Ladies and Gentlemen,
If you read Singapore's state controlled newspapers, (all newspapers, TV and the entire media are state controlled), you would never ever suspect that Lee Kuan Yew's son, whom he appointed Prime Minister in his place, is terribly worried about what would happen to him when his father dies. After all his father is 91, according to official sources (perhaps a few years more from other sources), and is already bed ridden and his batteries are losing their shelf life.
He would not be worrying now if he was the Prime Minister of any democracy with a well entrenched civil society with laws democratically enacted through a legitimate Parliament. After all, when Lee Kuan Yew goes, there is a system in place respected by the people to hand over to a new government and Prime Minister.
But Singapore was never a democracy. It has always been a one man, one party dictatorship for the last 50 years under his father and now by proxy his son. Civil society does not exist. Rigged elections are conducted every 5 years when Lee Kuan Yew's men always win. Having won, they enter Lee's rubber stamp Parliament where any law he wishes passes smoothly and without hitch.
The courts are an extension of his ruling party who whenever necessary pass verdicts against government critics destroying them with million dollar damage awards. The result is that they are either impoverished through bankruptcy, jailed or exiled. No Singaporean has any respect for these Kangaroo judges and if they can, remain as far as possible from them.
All the Members of Parliament and Ministers are minions and stooges of Lee Kuan Yew and now his Son. They have no independent view at all. All of them have only one view, that of the ruling party. And the ruling party's view which they extol has to be, one party dictatorships are good and democracy is bad; freedom of speech and assembly and peaceful protest are bad and simply accepting the dictates of the government is good; and so on and so forth. You get the message. You can also see why such a message is not going to resonate in any society, not even a Singaporean one after Lee Kuan Yew.
Political activity is appreciated, as long as it is pro government. Local citizens as well as foreigners are welcome to join and actively participate in the string of organizations of the ruling Peoples Action Party, which include Peoples Association, Residents Committees and Citizens Consultative Committees. In fact there is a great deal to be gained from serving in these organizations, such as promotion in your career, chosen for top jobs and even being chosen as Ministers with a million dollar pay. On the other hand political activity for anti ruling party is prohibited. If caught you may lose your job and as a foreigner, deported for interfering in local affairs.
Both the government and the entire population have turned themselves into hypocrites and opportunists without character, principles or moral uprightness. Both the Ministers and the people would swear under oath if necessary that they truly support the government. Privately the Minister would tell you that they do it for the millions they are paid, and the citizen would say, it promotes his career prospects.
Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela are not part of the syllabus of school children. Under the Singaporean doctrine of what is good and what is bad, these are bad men who overthrew governments. Imagine what would happen to Lee Kuan Yew's Son, if Singapore has a Mahatma Gandhi. Therefore any reference to these leaders are either blocked or skimmed over. Teachers are told to warn their children the dangers of following them. Instead the Chinese traditional Confusion values of prostrating at your Emperor's feet is promoted. In this case the feet of Lee Kuan Yew's son.
But things are not moving the way the Son wants. Unfortunately Singaporeans are educated in the English language and not in Outer Mongolian, which makes access to the Internet very easy. As a result, in the Son's eyes, the Singapore population is being poisoned by undesirable information such as democracy and freedom from outside which today has infiltrated the entire English speaking society of the island, which is 99%. And the people are not happy with their lives under a dictator, this time the Son, benevolent or otherwise. In Haiti, you had Papa Doc and then Baby Doc. In Singapore you have Lee Kuan Yew and then now the Son.
What the Son's worry is this. First the island is tiny with an even tinier population. The local Singapore born population who understand the island and the way of life has been reduced from a previous 3 million to no more than a miniscule 1.5 million now, through the lowest fertility rate in the world, mounting mass emigration to the West and the old people dying. The island's population of 5 million therefore consists predominantly of foreigners, many of who have taken citizenship primarily for jobs. All these foreigners have no intention of sinking roots in the island and would leave either at the first job opportunity elsewhere or the slightest unrest of any kind.
Tiny Singapore island with a tiny population is obviously the last choice of these migrants. After all who would trust their lives in a place as tiny as this with no democracy whatsoever. In fact all these migrants, many who have got citizenship are there simply because they were rejected from emigrating to countries of their choice. In desperation before their own people become extinct, the government has been accepting these third rate rejects.
All these Ministers and Members of Parliament are merely handpicked appointees, and none have any real support on the ground. And no one has any independent opinions of their own. When Lee Kuan Yew departs, none of them is any different from the other, capable of only parroting the long established government line which we all know, leaving one no better or no different from any other. And worst of all none of them have any legitimacy or respect of their citizens, who consider them nothing more than hand picked political opportunists.
To give you an example, in England, there are leaders who are in favor of immigration, others against; leaders for greater participation in Europe, others isolation; some who want the Euro, others the British Pound and so on. Any discerning Englishman can support the leader of his choice to promote his viewpoint. In this way the public can choose, this way or that. Englishmen respect their politicians and their judges. This situation does not exist in the Singapore island where everyone thinks alike and the judges are kangaroos.
No one knows what is going to happen at Lee's death. If the government continues today, it is because Lee Kuan Yew is still alive, in coma or otherwise. But when he dies the fear factor that maintained the island in one piece for so long unravels.
In that scenario, it is uncertain what will happen to the Son. Will he continue as Prime Minister or will he travel to his holiday home in Bermuda (I don't know if he has one there) and never come back? Will the other power hungry ethnic Chinese run around seizing power? Will there be martial law to silence the unhappy population? Will the foreign banks take out their money and go to Vanuatu? Will the economy collapse? And will the entire population capable of leaving depart to Australia Canada, South Africa, New Zealand or even join the Bushmen of the Kalahari?
One never knows but we will soon find out, if the reports of the 91 year old dictator's poor health are true.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525