Ladies and Gentlemen,
The best way to describe the Singaporean government is to call it a make-believe government. More a case of saying, what you see is not what you get. It is an island where ever since independence 50 years ago till today, the general understanding, although it is nowhere written, has always been Lee Kuan Yew and his PAP government is destined to rule over the people. The handpicked rulers will be scholars recently returned from abroad on government funded scholarships, and Lee Kuan Yew's relatives who have been handpicked by the ruling party.
Every five years there are elections to give simulated compliance to the Constitution but in reality those elected will always be scholars or relatives of Lee Kuan Yew. Elections don't mean anything. Those who are not from Lee's PAP or the simulated Workers Party opposition have no chance of winning. Today, his son is the Prime Minister and several of his relatives such as Wong Kan Seng, Home Minister are in office.
The Constitution is completely sidelined and flagrantly and brazenly violated. All the freedoms that people in any democracy would assume are all denied, including free speech, expression and assembly. There is no free press and Lee Kuan Yew and his family are above the law. As for the law courts, they have Kangaroo judges.
Since this doctrine of rule by Lee Kuan Yew family through handpicked ministers is nowhere written, it becomes impossible for anyone to know unless one finds this out through oftentimes painful experience. For instance, when I returned after my education in England to practice law in my country Singapore, I never knew that this was the way things were run. I naturally assumed that Singapore was a parliamentary democracy with the usual rights that citizens have. It only dawned on me much later that what you see is totally different in reality. In spite of all the good things written in the Singaporean constitution, it is nothing but a dictatorship or a fascist state.
And here lies the problem for Singapore island. Anyone who has any understanding of politics would know that it is not a democracy and one has to live literally as a slave accepting anything thrown at them without complaint from their masters. This results in a great many capable Singaporeans unwilling to live under such a system and despite the good roads, infra structure and clean running water, they simply clear out for settlement abroad.
And with these disgruntled Singaporeans who have left, which by the way are the most educated skilled and most importantly self respecting upright thinking individuals who have some self respect and a capability to survive anywhere in the world, those left behind are of two types. On the one hand you have the ignorant who have no idea of any rights and would be very happy to live under a monkey as long as they are fed. The former president of Singapore, Devan Nair, no relation of mine, had a term of them: Department Store Dummies.
The other type who stay behind are the opportunists who lack any self respect, have no ideas of their own and are in in it purely for the millions that Lee Kuan Yew pays them. These are the bootlickers and asslickers like the Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and the Minister for Law, Tamil K Shanmugam. They are doing what they are doing, running around propping up the Lee Kuan Yew regime because it pays well. As a result you have an entire government of Ministers, top civil servants and military officers none of whom have any ideas of their own and are ever ready to give lip service to their masters for large sums of money, millions to be exact.
As a result of this selection process, the entire island is deprived of true leaders and the only ones you have are the ones who support the denial of the rule of law, the denial of any human right, using Kangaroo judges to silence dissenters, and people who simply run around parroting Lee Kuan Yew's mantra whatever that happens to be at any moment of time. In other words the entire government of Singapore comprises of mindless conformists who toe the line for the opportunity.
On the other hand if there was even a single Singaporean out there who felt that freedom happens to be a good thing and if he took out a placard and peacefully stood outside Lee Kuan Yew's palace to demand his ousting, he would be immediately arrested and locked up. The bottom line is, if you want to survive in Lee Kuan Yew's island, please don't have ideas of your own. Simply adopt whatever is the prevailing thinking and train your mind to accept it as the truth, a mental exercise that Singaporeans have taught themselves very well.
I am not sure if you read Orwell's 1984 where it is a very good idea to believe that you were really at war with Oceania even though only last week the war was with Eurasia. And it surely doesn't hurt to believe that Big Brother invented the airplane after all.
Such a system which demands submission under pain of punishment alienates a great many capable and able Singaporeans with independent ideas and passion, only to force them either to emigrate or to withdraw from co-operating with such a regime. Such as system is especially damaging to an island which has no more than perhaps 2 million local born citizens; and declining. For instance not for all the gold in the world would I want to do the job of the Singapore Law Minister where he has to justify laws which detain people without trial, arresting peaceful protesters or critics of the government and other equally obnoxious things. As Edward Rice Murrows was reported to have said, when you do this, you would have difficulty shaving in the morning (you would have to look at your own face).
In the end such as system cannot last. The foundation is unstable. It simply does not have the integrity needed to support any society for any period of time. All they can expect is to continue attracting young students without any moral fiber willing to sell their souls and their mothers, because it is profitable. At the same time much larger numbers of educated upright thinking young men and women with some pride and confidence simply clear out of the country in disgust. And as time progresses, you are going to have more and more weak minded crooked individuals ruling over you and anyone passionate about any thing would have long gone and cleared out.
In the end, you can build as many roads and skyscrapers as you want but without a strong foundation of thinking morally upright young men and women with a passion for what they believe in, and ideas, a tiny island such as this has no chance at all.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525