Ladies and Gentlemen,
In the recent Singapore elections, Lee Kuan Yew's son's government once again rode into power, this time with an even greater majority. 70% of the electorate chose to continue living under a one party dictatorship, where there is no freedom of speech, expression or assembly; no rule of law or no free press.
Ordinarily any government should be swooning over backwards with joy with this success. But I am not so sure if this is indeed something to be joyous about or is not something more sinister leading them to their eventual downfall.
Let me go back a little in history. Adolf Hitler, another dictator in a Fascist regime like that in Singapore managed overwhelming economic progress. In fact in 1938, Nazi Germany was the most successful European country, far more successful than even England. Even Fascist Italy under Mussolini achieved tremendous success. But that was in a time when there was no Internet, and where a government with a state controlled media could make their citizens believe anything they want.
Singapore today like Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy is also an authoritarian one party state. However today one thing is different. We have the Internet. And the state controlled media is not in a position to make us believe anything they want.
And if you believe that an island such as Singapore needs most their highly skilled and educated population, for them Singapore is indeed a very distasteful place to live. Given a choice why would anyone with skills who is able to work anywhere in the world want to live under a dictatorship where he has no individual rights whatsoever, where he cannot obtain any independent news and where at the slightest expression of free speech, he can be sued for defamation and bankrupted by Lee Kuan Yew's son.
I left Singapore and took my family with me. I did not want to live in a society that denies me the right to free speech expression and assembly and I did not want my children to be subjected to such a life. And just like me, thousands and even hundreds of thousands of highly educated Singaporeans are leaving daily for settlement abroad, leaving behind the less skilled citizens who either are unable to leave or do not mind not having any freedom.
Some brain drain can be tolerated by large countries, but for a small island with a small population like Singapore, this a total catastrophe. They simply cannot withstand brain drain at this level.
Can you imagine what happens when this brain drain of best and brightest continue to leave at this alarming rate, leaving behind the unskilled and uneducated; more and more poorly skilled and educated and less and less educated citizens. The result a progressively less skilled and mediocre society.
As time progresses and more an more educated leave the island, you get a less innovative, less imaginative, less sophisticated and less competitive society. You end up a society of peasants.
In this way the overwhelming success for the dictatorship will likely to be the Achilles heel, the sword of Damocles that will eventually destroy this dictatorship.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525