Ladies and Gentlemen,
Those who have been reading this blog would know that I have very little good to say of Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore. It is nothing but a one party dictatorship regardless of what anyone wants to call it with no human rights whatsoever.
But having said that, after having lived in America for the last 22 years, and practicing law here for nearly as long, I cannot deny that Singapore has many redeeming qualities, which the power freak Lee Kuan Yew dictatorship appears determined to fritter away.
As a lawyer specializing in Immigration Law in my practice I have the opportunity of meeting people from all over the world, many from impoverished Latin American countries.
Only last week I had two clients from El Salvador applying for asylum, who crossed the Mexico Arizona border after crossing the Sonora Desert into Nogales Arizona. They told me they suffered great poverty in their country and in their entire life, listen to this, they attended school for just 3 days! Both of them are only in their twenties and they are completely illiterate. And like them there are many among their population who have no education whatsoever!
I then thought of Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew's pigeonhole government housing in which everyone lives and his Singapore schools. And then it dawned on me how lucky Singaporean children are, for being given an education and a roof over their heads. There is no doubt regardless of how repressive the society is, Singaporeans are given an education and the basic necessities for a decent living. A Singaporean is without doubt far luckier than someone from El Salvador unless you happen to be the son of their president.
For anyone who may think that I have now suddenly embraced the dictatorship, and have become a turncoat and have made a complete U turn, let me assure you it is not the case.
At the state of development at which Singapore is today, for which we cannot deny some accomplishment on the part of Lee Kuan Yew, we should be comparing it not with El Salvador but with Finland or Australia.
And if so compared Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore is a total failure, because although it gives it's people an education, it denies them their freedom, which makes the education useless. What good is an education in the head of someone who is afraid of his own shadow and that of Lee Kuan Yew. What good is an education in the head of a mouse?
This is my message for the Lee Kuan Yew government. Well done for doing what you have done so far. But don't throw it all away by treating your people like sheep. They don't like it. And this why they emigrate. You are losing your best talent by your determination to keep a lid over them. You are afraid of your own people. This is why you behave this way. And this is why you are losing your very best talent.
I can assure you, if educated Singaporeans stayed instead of leaving for Australia, the island would be a far better success than it is now.
The average Singaporean is a far superior specimen to the El Salvadorian that I mentioned, no doubt about it. Far more educated and far more capable. And they will stay if you treat them like human beings, not like rabbits.
If you allowed true democracy in your island, your citizens will stay. And you will benefit by their presence. Otherwise, as what is happening now, your very best talent is leaving and you are replacing them with second rate foreigners. This is the most stupid policy I have ever seen in my life.
Use your head. Retain your talent by treating them as human beings. I can assure you, you will be doing your island good.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 491 8525