Saturday, January 11, 2014

Tiny Singapore island struggles with increasing numbers of Singaporeans refusing to serve National Service

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Not a day passes without Singapore Dissident getting an Email from a young Singaporean abroad asking what happens if he does not return to serve national service.

If the frequency with which I am receiving these inquiries is anything to go by, Lee Kuan Yew and Son's Singapore government is having a hard time to convince their young men to do their duty to the island.

The problem that Singapore faces should be obvious.

Remember, it is an island no larger that 710 sq. km with a population of a mere 5 million of which just a mere 2 million or so are native born Singaporeans by which I mean they were born in Singapore and their parents were either born there or immigrated long ago before 1940s. Just as in my case, I was born there and my parents immigrated from India in the 1920s and 30s.

The problem is, Singapore is a pariah state among the proud democracies of the world. It is simply a one party state dictatorship. It has lost it's respect and credibility.

If a young Singaporean man is subjected to a regime that allows their leaders to get away with $3.7 million a year each in salary, better described as corruption; if they punish anyone from pointing this out through defamation actions and jail time; if they criminalize free speech expression and assembly; if you have to live in that island like a zombie; and then he goes to Australia and realizes that he can live like any other human being for the for the first time in his life, there is every reason he won't come back. It only stands to reason. This precisely is the problem that Lee Kuan Yew and his son face in the island which they rule.

Although these facts are not reported in their state controlled newspapers for obvious reasons; since they are bad news after all; it must be quite apparent to anyone that the island is now in a predicament from which they simply have no answers.

They have no answer as to what to do to persuade their young men who have left to the island to return for national service. They have no answer to the continuing decline in the birth rate among native Singaporeans, especially alarming in the light of their having no more than 2 million native Singaporeans. They have no answer to the huge rate of emigration to the west, the brain drain, the highest in the world, by educated Singaporeans who no longer wish to live under this repressive authoritarian regime. And they have no answer to the lowest fertility rate in the world, which literally means the local population is slowly disappearing.

The answer the state has which is really no answer at all is to simply import huge numbers of Chinese from China, people who do not speak or understand any English into Singapore to replace those leaving and the young men refusing to return.

Anyone can see that this is no answer at all. Firstly these Chinese imports are useless for modern Singapore because they have no English, none at all. Secondly they hardly citizen material, all of whom are there temporarily because it is a little better than in their home country China for the moment. If things get better they will return. From the numbers who have returned their Singapore passports for their Chinese one, they have obviously no interest in sinking roots in the island, a place for which they have no respect.

With these Chinese nationals given instant Singapore citizenship, it is like a revolving door. As some come in others leave.

As for the need for English speakers, the government turns in desperation to India and the Philippines with reluctance. Some numbers of Indians and Filipinos are admitted to citizenship in the hope that they will simply do their work and not venture in to political matters to oust the island's dictators like they would have done in the Philippines or Tamil Nadu, India.

Here is my advice to the young men who have been writing to me from Australia and refusing to serve Lee Kuan Yew and son's armed forces. As long as you remain outside Singapore, there is nothing they can do. If you return, and the government is still the same, you are liable to arrest and imprisonment. There is really no great hardship in this. Just don't go back to Singapore. Just tell them, good riddance, that's all. You can travel to anywhere else in the world you like.

This is a recurring question I get. If your parents are still in Singapore, nothing is going to happen to them. If they do get any letters from the Singapore Armed Forces, just ask them to toss it into the bin, where it belongs.

And give all your friends who are refusing to return to serve the military the same advice.

The Singapore government is simply in denial in refusing to acknowledge the fact that their national service policy is simply dead, kaput. Young men who are overseas simply do not want to return. And the numbers of young men in Singapore liable for national service is simply disappearing for 2 reasons, firstly they are all trying to get out before the have to serve the army; and secondly their numbers are diminishing even further with an almost zero birth rate.

Any contact with a soldier in the island will reveal that the barracks are all empty and they are having difficulties even finding sufficient numbers to fill the basic minimum for national security. As the whole concept of national service has in fact failed, which they realize, they are now seriously considering the re introduction of a regular army and even that may face problems for the very reasons mentioned.

Finally young Singaporeans  in Australia and abroad reading this post should have no fear. There is nothing they could do to you to compel your return. There is no possibility of extradition. If they send letters threatening you,  they are simply desperate. Simply throw those letters away and just ignore them.

And good luck to you in your life of freedom in Australia and the West.

I am writing this blog from my office in Fremont, California USA. If I wrote this from within Singapore I would have been instantly arrested and thrown in jail. As you can see, there is simply nothing they can do to you if you are outside their jurisdiction. Remember, by your refusing to return to Singapore, you are by your very action attacking the one party Lee Kuan Yew and Son regime, a one party totalitarian city state, which is an act of protest by itself.

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


Anonymous said...

Singapore is 710 sq km in size, not 710 sq m.

Gopalan Nair said...

Thank you for the info on Singapore's size. The correction has been filed.

Anonymous said...

According to Wikipedia, the Singapore President's current pay is $4.3m. In addition, there are allowances for personal staff ($4.5m), household expenses ($2.1m) and special services ($0.7m). The total cost of the mostly ceremonial (but elected) position adds up to a whopping $11.6m. Given the humongous windfall, the current "elected" President managed to win only 35% of the vote! Only very few people are qualified to run for the presidency. The field is rigged that a candidate like Obama or Reagan would not qualify for the election. The last election was basically a contest between PAP candidates! Now that's systemic corruption typical of Singapore.

Anonymous said...

All your blog posts just remind me how grateful am I to be an proud American. Singapore sucks with no justice and dictatorship, America is the greatest country in the world!

Anonymous said...

I know many people from Singapore who have a good education and a good job and have to work very hard, sacrifice and struggle just to survive and pay all their daily expenses. These people are good ,honest and hard working people.
The news about the salary of the officials in Singapore in a big contrast for me to these people.