Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dictators around the world have always managed to build fine cities. Hitler, Mussolini, Franco all did. They also managed to get the trains run on time. Lee Kuan Yew was no different. The skyline of the island which in the 1960s had no tall buildings at all, is today full of skyscrapers which foreigners to the island gawk at with awe and amazement and drool with envy. I don't think anyone can deny that.
But what about the society he has created, the Singaporeans. Have they any ideas about anything?
He has managed to create a society where the only thing that is important is to be part of the government sponsored ideology. I will not get into trouble if I said Lee Kuan Yew was the greatest. But I would if I said he was a fool. The island ideology for the past 50 years has been as follows. The island needs Lee Kuan Yew and his PAP because only they have the best qualified citizens and the ability to rule.
Second, they are always right and any attempt to argue otherwise will result in your being branded an enemy of the state, a destructive force and a target for persecution and victimization.
So their view point is something on these lines. The PAP are very good politicians and leaders. They are not corruptible even though they pay themselves $3.7 million a year in salaries each.
Newspapers should not be free since a free press always disseminates lies and distortions. Therefore the government controlling the entire media is a good thing because they alone are responsible and tell the truth. Which is why a free press cannot be trusted and therefore the government is justified in controlling the press.
People like the late JB Jeyaretnam, Chee Soon Juan, myself and a string of others are all bad people. They are destructive people unlike the constructive ones in Lee Kuan Yew's PAP. They deserve to be sued for defamation of character, jailed and destroyed. Their names have to be obliterated from history. Today the memory of JB Jeyaretnam is slowly fading. Tomorrow they won't know who he was.
The successful Singaporean is one who knows what is good for him. In another word's to quote Lee Kuan Yew's often quoted refrain, "you should know which side the bread is buttered". Men such as JB Jeyaretnam and myself are all a bunch of fools because we don't know which side the bread is buttered and we get ourselves into all kinds of trouble.
It is highly profitable and leads to a stable and successful career if you join the Lee Kuan Yew bandwagon.
Let me tell you what a good Singaporean in the Lee Kuan Yew's sense is. He is one who does well in his exams. He joins all the PAP grassroots organizations such as the Peoples Association and Residents committees.
He always says the correct things at all times, which is PAP is a good government, they bring stability and prosperity and joining and supporting them is profitable not only for yourself and your entire family for life.
It is not necessary in Singapore to have independent ideas about anything. in fact the less you think the better. Being politically stupid has it's benefits.
It is sufficient if you remember just one thing alone, which is to support the PAP, praise and applaud them whenever you can and stay away from crime or immoral behavior. As long as you follow this rule, life will not only will be smooth sailing, it will also be highly profitable.
People like me and JB Jeyaretnam have a different philosophy. We believe that society advances best if people have their freedom of thought.
On the balance between extent of government interference through laws in peoples lives and their right to their independence, the principle should lean in favor of individual liberty.
If you don't harm your neighbor, you should be free to promote and espouse your views publicly without being molested. It is in this way through a conflict of ideas that society progresses. I do not believe that Lee Kuan Yew has all the answers. I believe that the man next door, Joe Blokes may have some ideas too, even better than Lee Kuan Yew.
But this where the rub is. In Lee Kuan Yew's philosophy, he is a man who can do no wrong, a man who is the repository of all wisdom in the world, and by extension his PAP, and you would be wise to understand that. So once you are prepared to accept this, life becomes very comfortable from the word go.
Common sense will tell you this is nonsense. Even the Chinese noodle seller at Toa Payoh food stall may have some great ideas too. But in Singapore the noodle seller has no voice. He is nothing. Lee Kuan Yew is everything. And now his son is everything. And his party is everything.
It is a society of mob rule. The entire society has to think one way and accept the supremacy of our Great leader who has passed away and now our Gracious Leader, his son, who is as kind gracious and wise as his illustrious father. And if I do not agree to think and behave the way they want me to, I must be sued for defamation, charged for contempt of court, defamed in the state controlled press and victimized for life.
Let me tell the Singapore authorities this. I don't want to think the way Lee Kuan Yew's son and company thinks. I don't want to join their party. I think they are a bunch of megalomaniacs and bullies who say my way or the highway. And just like me thousands of others who refuse to think and live the way the PAP wants simply don't fit in. We just pack up and leave for societies where we can think and act the way we want.
And who are those left behind? The ministers civil servants and minions of Lee Kuan Yew's son who run around saying and doing the right things and joining the necessary grassroots organizations for the benefits it provides.
And what sort of a society has Lee Kuan Yew created. It is a society made up of a submissive insecure people who do not have the courage to say and do what they want for fear that they may not survive. So to survive, in Lee's island, they force themselves to parrot the government line.
I am not insecure. I do not have to toe this line to succeed. I can think they way I want. I can succeed without them. And that is why I am labelled a destructive force and an enemy of the state. I am not a model citizen.
Sometimes it becomes even embarrassing to be a standard Singaporean. For instance it is hard to justify paying Lee Kuan Yew's son $3.7 million a year and not call it corruption. It is hard to argue that free independent newspapers mean that the news will inevitably be falsified.
It is hard to argue that Lee government will always come up with the correct news and no one else which justifies state control. It is hard to argue that the late JB Jeyaretnam and Chee Soon Juan had defamed the Lees by what they have said. It is hard to argue that the Singapore's courts has the best legal system in the world and the most independent judges and not just Kangaroos.
It is hard to argue that the Malays and Indians are not discriminated against in jobs, in housing and in every which way.
It is hard and embarrassing to argue that 2 plus 2 is 5 and not 4.
But in order to succeed in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore you have to say just that, even though you may look very silly doing it.
There is a young woman called Tin Pei Ling who didn't have anything in her head going by the video of her before the last elections. I don't have to wonder about her answers to the questions above.
If she was asked about the independence of the judiciary, her answer would be of course it is independent.
Of course the state control of newspapers is good. Of course Jeyaretnam is bad. Of course Lee Kuan Yew is the wisest kindest and most brilliant man who ever lived. And I am sure she would go on even more. And that is why she is appointed Member of Parliament with a stable secure well paid career and life, thanks to the Lee Kuan Yew family.
You can see that in order to support the PAP for your success, you don't have to do much thinking. All you have to do is to keep quiet and show your support for the Lee administration, no matter whether you really agree with it or not. In fact the less knowledge you have the better. All you need is to have the skills required in your trade. You don't have to read John Stuart Mills "Liberty". In Lee's Singapore, you would have wasted your time reading it. No one knows it and what is worse, no one cares.
Unfortunately in Singapore a great many people have accepted this mindless ignorance and conformism as qualities for career advancement.
You have literally created a society of trained Labradors who will jump at your command because you get a bone if you do.
In Singaporean ideology, a great man is not an independent thinker, in fact he is a man who has the least ideas of his own, and necessary only to be able to parrot the establishment line every time he is called upon.
Teo Chee Hean Lee's Deputy Prime Minister is a model citizen. He has unbounded admiration for Lee Kuan Yew because he founded and created Singapore, never mind Sir Stamford Raffles of the East India Company a hundred years earlier. In fact you can see his eyes water when he speaks of the greatness of Lee Kuan Yew, the greatest man that ever lived. By the way, Teo Chee Hean is also paid $3.7 million dollars a year.
On the one hand Lee Kuan Yew created this glittering island of glass and skyscrapers. But in that island he created a society of dumb mindless, clueless conformists. Because conformism according to the Lee Kuan Yew doctrine is the way to succeed.
But will this way of thinking lead to a better society? Will Tin Pei Ling if called upon for once to think independently, have any ideas of her own? I don't think so, because the entire island is made up of Tin Pei Lings who know only what they are supposed to know. It is a society that has very little real wisdom. It is a society of craftsmen and professionals who know only their trade and nothing more.
It is uncomfortable for anyone who is not like Tin Pei Ling to enjoy life in such an island. Because I refuse to think the way you do, I must be punished, sidelined and neutralized. If I want success, I have to be another Tin Pei Ling.
Lee Kuan Yew may have created a glittering city of skyscrapers. But in it he has successfully created a society which can only think the way he wants, because thinking any other way is prohibited. This sort of society has no hope of success because it is downright unpleasant for human beings with the ability to think to live the way Tin Pei Ling does.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525