Ladies and Gentlemen,
Every five years the island conducts what appears to be parliamentary elections. But in reality it is nothing of the sort. It is just an island wide carnival atmosphere where both the ruling PAP party and the so-called opposition are allowed to stand on make shift wooden structures to make their speeches to the boos and cheers of their helpless islanders. They are simply allowed let off steam. This celebration like the Rio Carnival goes on for a few days, after which the election is held and Lee Kuan Yew's son and his long standing ruling party the PAP would of course naturally win and dictate over your lives for another 5 years. And then you go through another such gala carnival and then another 5 years of the same.
Reading the newspapers in the island today, you may get the impression, provided you are not someone like me who knows the game they play, to go away thinking that you are witnessing the real thing. But of course, it is a game they play. One thing has to be understood. Lee Kuan Yew's PAP has to rule forever and that is that.
Singaporeans simply have no democracy. They have no control over their who will rule them. They are allowed to simply live to do what to do now and what to do next. Nothing more and nothing less.
Despite the island's Constitution which gives rights, in reality the people have none. There is a the right of free speech but which requires a police permit which by the way is never granted. There is the right to assembly which similarly requires a permit which is never granted. By law newspapers are all state controlled and there is no freedom of expression. Judges are carefully selected to ensure that decisions are always in line with what the rulers desire.
The style of government of the island is exactly what you see in the Peoples Republic of China. There are no elections there and the Communist Party is by law the only government of the land. The people in China minus the right to vote have no control of who will be their rulers. This is decided by the Communist Party and all you have to do is just accept. The rights of the Chinese people only go the extent of petitioning for better living conditions, better wages and a better life to these rulers who have been decided for them. The Communist party is like a monarchy. The miserable peasant can beg for better living conditions. But accept heir monarch, they must.
Singapore is a carbon copy of Communist China. In Singapore it is Lee Kuan Yew's PAP that will rule over you, something that you have to accept. You are allowed like the Chinese masses, to request better living conditions, which the PAP will or will not give you. That is the extent of your rights.
As a result the people of the island appear to have actually accepted this. They, including those who are standing as opposition electoral candidates, have it appears self regulated the extent to which they can plead for their lives. They are not allowed to speak of such things as human rights, the lack of free speech, expression or assembly and they have accepted this. Opposition candidates can be heard speaking of the unacceptable levels of immigration that is displacing the local citizens, the lowering of wages and the growing income divide. But not the right to free speech and expression or the fundamentals of liberty.
There is a reason for this. The PAP will not allow you to speak freely or assemble freely as this they see as a threat to their domination. But they have no problems with you complaining of the immigration policy since that by itself does not threaten their hegemony and control.
The PAP government knows that you are completely at their mercy. If you speak or agitate, they will unleash their police, have you arrested and dispensed with through their Kangaroo judges. This overwhelming fear ensures that people remain in line and never threaten PAP rule. Otherwise, your livelihood, your liberty and future is on the line.
The opposition candidates are a watered down subjugated lot who pretend for democracy but who have so such illusions. Through self censorship they rein themselves in to squeal about this problem or that. But never will they dare to state that the judges are Kangaroos, that they demand their right to speech expression and assembly nor the demand for an independent press. They are like men who confront a poisonous snake. They skirt around it in fear but not the guts to take it by the neck.
Singapore is a boring bland island which will continue as it is, with the PAP doing whatever they want and the people obedient. If by chance a few of these reluctant oppositionists enter Parliament, they can always be removed by fake criminal charges or defamation lawsuits and removed at the PAP's will. This ensures that even if they enter Parliament, they will continue as the meek souls that they are now.
Any real change can only be brought about by the educated who desire democracy, as the common man is not aware of this. But in Singapore, the educated have already been sufficiently subjugated, they are no better than sheep. So without leadership who desire a democratic island you are not going to have any real participatory parliamentary democracy in the island, not now or ever. Until and unless leaders appear who believe in the virtues of democracy, it is doomed to continue as it is, a PAP dictatorship, or a nanny state. Singaporeans like helpless children should do as their told by their nanny.
Today the opposition Workers Party have a number of seats. But unlike any other democracy, they are incapable of doing anything different from the PAP. The Workers Party have no separate ideology of their own. They are simply the PAP with another name. For the last 2 decades or so while they have been in Parliament, not one inch has democracy advanced. Their main role has been running their local community which the ruling PAP can equally do if not even better. One would have hoped that as an opposition party, they would have independent ideas on how a society should be run, like democracy for instance, bit they don't.
Low Thia Khiang, the leader of the Workers Party is a Chinese educated businessman. He has no idea of democracy, let alone the virtues of it. His job it appears is to go to Parliament and complain of the immigration policy and the PAP's job is to deny it. After which both he and his PAP opponent goes home and comes back tomorrow to complain of the congestion in the local subways. At other times he, like the PAP leaders, run their own communities.
With leaders like this, what hope do the islanders have to live as free men, none whatsoever.
This sort of permanent total control both helps and hurts the PAP. For one, this totally helpless society is a boon to American and Western companies to invest in the island, with no strikes, no wage demands and totally obedient workforce. On the other hand it hurts them by increasing numbers of thinking educated people simply leaving for settlement in the West, not wanting anything to do with a bland boring cemetery like society. Losing the educated also means importing even more immigrants to replace them, thus destroying the very identity of what Singapore is.
With the Internet and bloggers like myself exposing what the island really is, matters are coming or will come to a head, sooner if not later. It is hoped, sooner or later the submissive subservient nature of the ethnic Chinese island population will change or they may lose control over the actions of the overwhelming numbers of foreigners who may not necessarily eat humble pie like their dwindling local fellow citizens.
This problem is exasperated by the fact that the island's population is abysmally shrinking with the lowest fertility rate in the world, the growing seniority of the population with deaths far exceeding childbirths.
This sort of "you listen to me or else" style of government cannot last in the long run. And for a tiny island like Singapore, the long run may be even just a decade if not less.
Note: If you wish to comment please state who you are. I will not post comments from people who want to say something but are afraid to identity themselves. If you are afraid, please don't say anything.
Attorney at Law
Fremont, California USA
Singaporean by birth
Now American citizen
Tel: 510 491 8525