Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lee Kuan Yew's death. Singapore's time for hope or a time for despair

Ladies and Gentlemen,

An occurrence which is sure to happen by the law of nature, and by the subject's own admission, (Lee confessed in his recent book that he is dying) is that 90 year old Lee Kuan Yew is about to die any moment now.

Being in essence a dictatorship Singapore's unique problem, unlike any democracy with an established political system allowing for peaceful political change to happen without revolutions and coups d'état is that he alone single handedly was responsible for running the place and everyone else, whom he considered far inferior to him,  was a mere handpicked minion as well as his son the Prime Minister whom he appointed to that position.

Singapore has no leaders except for one, Lee Kuan Yew himself.

And what usually happens in dictatorships once the reigning dictator dies is that there is the inevitable jockeying for power by the political aspirants, very often bloodshed, total economic ruin and from the rubble a new dictator rises and life goes on in the miserable boring way it did all along under the previous dictatorship.

The question is, when the present dictator Lee Kuan Yew dies, will Singaporeans be content merely to obey Lee's son, the Prime Minister,  and life goes on in it's present boring manner under the son's dictatorship , or will there be the aforementioned unavoidable chaos and instability from which hopefully a democracy emerges? Only time will tell.

Knowing Singaporeans very well, they are more educated and demanding than you may think. True, they have quietly accepted life under Lee Kuan Yew thus far without complaining but I am not so sure that with his demise, they are going to accept the nonsense under his son lying down. I don't think it is going to be business as usual.

Singaporeans for the first time will demand real representative government, not a mere handpicked errand boy as Lee Kuan Yew's son is. I don't believe any Singaporean has any faith in him, let alone any respect and if they haven't risen up in revolt up till now, it has to be because his father is still around to call the shots. I believe once Lee senior is dead, his son will be history, very ancient history.

I really don't know what will be the new Singapore be but it will certainly be interesting to see. I  am holding my breath for the moment of Lee Kuan Yew's death, and I am sure thousands of other Singaporeans are doing the same and waiting for that epic monumental event to happen.

There are many Singaporeans who had to go into exile to escape Lee's punishment for having stood up to him. Many of them may come back to lead the new Singapore after the dictator is gone. Former Singaporeans such as Francis Seow who lives in the US, Tang Liang Hong who lives in Australia, Tan Wah Piow who lives in England and many others both known and unknown may return to work or help in the new Singapore. Of course, since it may have been a long time when some left the island and having sunk roots in their new countries may not find it so easy to return but hopefully they may assist in other ways possible.

I am eagerly looking forward to the death of the Singapore dictator Lee Kuan Yew so that there can be a chance for a new Singapore, not based on totalitarianism but on democracy, and freedom for all.

Of course the faster Lee Kuan Yew dies, the sooner change can happen. For the present moment, we will just have to wait a little. 

I personally don't think it is too early to put the champagne bottle in the ice.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 491 4375


Anonymous said...

Thanks to LKY's string of mistakes, there is no hope left for Singapore citizens.

HDB, Health care, Car, Education, Jobs - unaffordable or unavailable.

There is only despair left.

Anonymous said...

String of mistakes? I thought his opinions were very much sought after from China to Obama's USA.
Surely, he could not have made mistakes in Singapore :-)

Anonymous said...

>HDB, Health care, Car, Education, Jobs - unaffordable or unavailable.

Add CPF to this list. You can kiss this goodbye.

Linda Kosmanto said...

We have the champagne on ice :)

Anonymous said...

Too late though.damage has been done. If only it had happened sooner.

Anonymous said...

SG is NOT going into chaos as soon as LKY dies. Far from it. The technocratic city-state will sustain itself. People are too wealthy and comfortable to want radical change.

Moreover, the Son is going to make gradual changes, curbing and reversing the excesses of the father's dictatorial overreach. These reforms may temporarily prop up the dynasty. But you are correct in presaging the eventual rise of a non-PAP government.

My hunch is that SG will see a non-PAP govt ten years after the death of LKY.

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous who said

"SG is NOT going into chaos as soon as LKY dies. Far from it. The technocratic city-state will sustain itself. People are too wealthy and comfortable to want radical change"

I am sorry you are wrong. Either you are not Singaporean or you do not know the country. The island has been ruled by one man Lee Kuan Yew since the last 50 years or so. Not on any rules set in the Constitution but entirely on whim and fancy. I mean his whim and fancy.

Now he is going to die. The on-going question is, what happens next? Is the son going to continue, as he has, on his whim and fancy? If so will the people accept it.

I doubt it.

Any country needs a set of rules for governance. If it is merely the words of one man, formerly the father and now the son, it cannot fly.

People have too much at stake in the island, with huge investments tied to the hope of security and stability. With the father's death, at one stroke, the people are left guessing. And anyone with any investment worth safeguarding is not going to be satisfied by merely hoping for the best.

The first thing they will do is to liquidate, sell, and clear out. This has already begun to happen. After yesterday's announcement that Lee was ill and missed his Chinese dinner at Tanjong Pagar, property prices immediately took a tumble. People began to sell en masse and there are no buyers. For your information, the property bubble has already burst. Property prices will not recover. I am not sure who you are. If you are working for the government to ally fears of a financial collapse, you are not very convincing.