Monday, December 30, 2013

In Singapore, thinking is bad for your health

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In Lee Kuan Yew's tiny Singapore island city state with no more than 5 million people of whom just 2 million are native born citizens, their Ministers and politicians are, strangely enough, the highest paid in the world.

90 year old Lee Kuan Yew and his son who is the Prime Minister are each paid $3.7 million a year and an equal amount in bonuses. So are all the other Ministers. If you add it up it would probably be $6 million that each of these Ministers get. Leaving aside the bonuses, each of them is paid about 5 times the salary of president Obama of the United States.

On an alternative assessment it amounts to the total amount of all the European presidents of the European Union. Check it out for yourself. These are facts.

At the same time, Singaporeans have no rights. The Constitutional provisions that guarantee human rights have all been denied. The freedom of speech and expression article has a clause inserted in it with requires a government permit to make a public speech.

The same restrictions apply to freedom of assembly. There is no freedom of the press which is state owned and controlled under the Newspaper and Printing Presses Act. What you get to read is just what they want to tell you, nothing more. I can go on. Check it out for yourself by reading the Singapore Constitution and the Newspapers and printing Presses Act.

In the end it boils down to simply this. In Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore you live at his mercy.

Given the fact that Singaporeans, many of them, have a tertiary education, but still accept this sort of a life. A thinking man would have come to the obvious conclusion that this is wrong.

He would have tried to demand change. For his freedoms to be restored and to be free from having to live at Lee's mercy. But it appears the unique Singaporean specimen of a human being, for some unknown reason, does not think about these things.

So what sort of people are Singaporeans anyway, at least those who stay behind in Lee's one party state.

They are ones for whom none of these things matter. It is immaterial to them that Lee pays himself 5 times the salary of Obama and is more corrupt than President Mobutu who stole the diamonds.

It is immaterial that they are denied the human rights enjoyed by the citizens of the developed world such as Australia and happily live obeying the latest orders of the Lee family, whatever it happens to be.

Because loyalty and support for the Lee political party is a sure way to secure good well paying jobs and career promotions, Singaporeans make a bee line at Lee's political party organizations such as the Peoples Association and the Residents Committee to volunteer in the hope that they are seen, recognized and selected for high office.

It does not matter for any of them that their masters are corrupt and steal from them at the tune of $3.7 million a year, deny them their human rights and abuse the rule of law to silence dissent. All these injustices, it appears, is irrelevant to the citizen hopefuls lined up at Lee's offices to volunteer and be recognized. The monetary rewards is, it seems is all that matters and conscience or even logic or common sense doesn't count.

It is the same for their children. If you thought that an eduction is intended to make you think, you are wrong if you were in Singapore.

Thinking is the worst thing a Singapore child should do, in fact it could land him in big trouble. Imagine a curious intelligent student looking at the Constitution and finding out that every single human right is blacked out, and decided to stand on a soap box outside Lee Kuan Yew's palace and demand a remedy that very instant.

I think I know what would happen to him. First his parents would have rebuked and instructed him that it is bad to think such things. Second he would be arrested for doing it and sent to the mental hospital to have his head examined. Although anywhere else, he would be admired and respected for being an upright thinking citizen who followed his conscience, in Singapore he would be labeled a criminal, an idiot and a fool not to know which side of the bread is buttered.

A good student in Lee's Singapore is one who has the good sense to realize that thinking independently is dangerous and unwise. He is one who has the good sense to know that to merely follow his leaders in Lee Kuan Yew's government is always the best policy.

A good student is one that has all the right answers when confronted with the simple truth, such as, free speech is wrong because it upsets society, creates instability and the best way to live is to merely obey your rulers and be an obedient quiet boy.

In the end, what you have is an island comprised entirely of followers. People who go about their jobs without any thinking beyond it. Students who study science and physics but have no opinion about Lee Kuan Yew's $3.7 million salary or that you need a permit to make any speech along the street where you live!

The absolute right to think is held entirely by the Lee family. Lee Kuan Yew and his son are allowed to think on how to run the island. He will give the necessary orders to his minions to carry it out or he may have sessions with his minions to formulate policy.

As for the rest of Singaporeans, their lot is to quietly obey and get on with their lives. Regardless of how strongly you feel about Lee's million dollar salary or the denial of your freedoms, you simply should not take action to make it known. The good Singaporean is the quiet one who minds his business and does what he is told.

In Singapore's way of thinking, the worst people are men like myself, Gopalan Nair, who incessantly keep criticizing them. In order to make it known how bad a person I am, they jailed me for 3 months for writing a blog criticizing one of their corrupt judges Belinda Ang Saw Ean, fined me more that $3,000 or so for behaving in a disorderly manner and finally disbarred me from practicing law in their island.

Unfortunately for them, I have no intention of being a model Singaporean and simply accept their abuse of power lying down. It seems to me completely unacceptable for a man to live like this without complaining, unless he is a Yorkshire Terrier.

I am not an expert in psychology but if I had to guess, it a form of pack mentality, where everyone does like everyone else, and anyone who happens to think differently is some sort of a pervert needing to be beaten and straightened up.

My advice to Singaporeans is this. You don't have to live like this. You should either fight the system which obviously involves tremendous danger or simply get out and emigrate. Human beings, including even animals, cherish their freedom and their self respect. You will feel much better and happier in a free society. You can also tell Lee Kuan Yew and his son to stuff it up, if they knew where.

As for your children, you are doing them a great injustice by keeping them in Singapore. You are effectively raising a robot with some scientific or mathematical knowledge, not a thinking discerning human being. You should get them to live and study in a free society, not in Lee's Singapore. You are doing them the greatest injustice by leaving them in that island.

I am writing this from Fremont, California, USA near San Francisco. I can do this only because I am physically out of reach of Lee Kuan Yew's clutches. If I was in Singapore, I would not be able to write this. In fact the best thing I ever did was to leave Singapore for good. And the best thing I ever did was to bring my children to the US at a young age before their minds were permanently destroyed by the fear and repression in that island.

I am also aware that not all Singaporeans accept this nonsense. Many continue to leave the Singaporean shores for settlement abroad. They are doing the right thing. If you are reading this and have not left, you should, not only do it for yourself and but especially for your children.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525


Mama muslimah said...

Youre a wonderful honest person, thank you for telling the truth

Anonymous said...

Singapore students may be academically good, but are timid when it comes to creative thinking.

A lifetime of repression from kindergarten is hard to change.

Their teachers, fellow students and their parents all tell them not to buck the system.

Anonymous said...

Here is a smart Malay Sinaporean.

Takes LKY's money but makes sure that his wife and children are US citizens.

Bravo Yacoob. Don't let the Chinese stifle you and your family.

His wife is an American citizen They have two children, both American citizens,
and they travel to the U.S. frequently to visit his wife's

Anonymous said...

From the Korea Herald
Downplaying university degrees in Singapore

Unable to create enough meaningful jobs, the government is doing the next best thing ― downsizing the Singaporean ambition for higher education.

Countries in the developed West, too, suffer from rising graduate unemployment ― with one exception.

Unlike these countries, densely populated Singapore openly promotes immigration. Last year it admitted another 27,000 “foreign talents.”

Aren't you glad you don't live in Singapore. I hope your kids have left the place.

Charles Liong said...

Excellent piece, Gopalan.

It starts in the education system, carries through national service and into the working life. Emphasis on total obedience, willingness to work more for less, and having good character, defined as an entirely subservient individual who'll forsake everything for this pipe dream of stability, prosperity and happiness they sell us.

Stockholm Syndrome at it's best. Watch as things turn for the worse here on this island, and see the government propaganda machine go into over drive. They tell Singaporeans to blame themselves for being daft and not competitive, be aware that practically any other place outside of Singapore is overwhelmed by problems that Singapore does not encounter, or has mitigated to an insignificant level, and consistently tell us that more restrictions and taxes are really for our own good.

Irene Puah Siew Hoon said...

As you point out, Singapore's politicians are helping themselves to obscene amounts of money from the public purse. But all good times eventually come to an end - even the good times for the Lee clan. Let's hope sooner rather than later.

faithchoo126 said...

Hi Mr Nair,

I'm a 16 year old student stuck here in Singapore, and I have to say that I completely agree with your article, which was well written and makes a lot more sense than what the government is trying to teach to us youths (oh it's great to live in Singapore, don't leave the country, blah blah blah). Hah I bet if anyone in the government sees my comment, I'll be thrown right into prison for expressing my own thoughts.

I cannot tell you enough how frustrated I am at the thought of being forced to stay in Singapore for the rest of my life. I honestly would love to pack my bags and leave, but my parents on the other hand don't really want to migrate, or rather they don't see what's wrong with staying here, they've become neutral/apathetic. Every time I try to imagine a future here, I don't see anything good coming out of it. If I ever have my own family, I will certainly make sure they have the privilege of being born and raised in a better environment like the US or UK.

I'm highly likely to study in the UK for university in a few years, and I honestly hope to never have to return to Singapore as a citizen. Even if I don't study overseas, I will jump at any chance to relinquish this citizenship and leave the country (dragging my parents with me too, hopefully)!