Ladies and Gentlemen,
Singapore is a small tiny island with about 5 million people, about 2 million of them are locals while the rest are foreigners especially recent immigrants from China. It has no natural resources whatsoever and it survives mainly of trading.
If a foreigner were to spend a few days in the island, he may not realize that the Singaporean is a very strange specimen of a human being. He is more similar to someone who has lived in the former Soviet Union, East Germany, North Korea or Cuba and has less in common with people who live in free countries such as the West.
For instance, in the West, one would admire courage on the part of an individual. The courage to stand up to one's convictions and beliefs or to fighting against tyrants and dictators is appreciated and admired. This is not so in Singapore island. There it is the other way round. If someone were to stand up against this Singaporean regime which is actually a dictatorship, he is not only not appreciated, he is treated as a fool and a clown who does not knw what is good for him. Someone who toes the line, sings praises to the regime's rulers, supports them in their various grassroots organizations and achieves high office through this support is seen as smart, intelligent and someone who knows what's good for him. Parents and teachers encourage their children not to criticize the regime, instead to openly support the regime because this will result in great reward and lifelong success and security.
But then how does one support a regime such as this? You see, it is a regime which is openly corrupt, whose rulers pay themselves five times the salary of what President Obama gets, and in addition siphon off millions in addition. It is a system of government whose constitution is misused where it is illegal to make a speech in public, demonstrate in public and any criticism will attract imprisonment and financial ruin. In spite of being so, which everyone knows, the vast majority of citizens actually openly support this regime and hope to profit from their support.
What sort of man is this who is willing, not only to live a life such as this in bondage but in fact openly proclaim that that he supports this miserable form of life? It takes a hypocrite to say one thing and actually believe another. And therefore one could safely say that the Singaporean society is made up entirely of hypocrites or people who would be prepared to do or say anything if that is what it takes to succeed.
I can challenge any visitor to the island to prove me wrong. Just ask any ordinary citizen in Singapore whether he likes living the way he does. In private he may very well tell you that he is very unhappy but officially he would either say nothing or proudly proclaim that he is quite happy to live in a society which has no rule of law, no freedom of speech or expression and no liberty whatsoever.
His life is the most predictable one can imagine. The philosophy is for a student to work hard, be obedient, don't do anything wrong, obey your teachers and parents and do as you are told, support the ruling party and work hard in their grassroots organizations, get a scholarship and a university degree, then secure a job with the government or a government linked company, make a lot of money and retire. Such a man is considered very successful.
Whereas on the other hand, if you had other ideas, if you publicly stated that the regime is oppressive and you wish to have it changed, that you are going to fight them, that you want a society where people are free to have their own ideas, if you worked to bring down this regime, you would be labelled a bad man, a thug, a criminal. And the rest of society would shun you, not give you a job, not associate with you or have anything to do with you. You will be forgotten with no hope whatsoever. You would not be treated a hero. Instead you would be considered a clown and a buffoon. Someone who does not know what is good for him.
As a result of an entire population thinking this way, you have very little creativity, new innovations, or ideas since the whole population have stopped thinking and leaves it to the rulers to do it. The people on their part merely obey what the rulers have decided for them.
You can see that in numbers, this is a very bad arrangement. In a small society like Singapore, if only the rulers are allowed to think and formulate ideas, you are losing out on the creativity of an entire population, because they on their part have decided that it is not their job to think but just obey. This as you know is not the case in the West. In free societies everyone is allowed to think and be creative. Those who have the courage to stand up to injustice are treated as heroes like Martin Luther King or Gandhi. One looks up to those who have conviction and courage to stand up to their conviction, whereas in Singapore such men are treated as fools who do not know what is good for them.
You have been following the recent Singapore news where the economy has been steadily failing for the last 4 years with no recovery in sight. It has been clear to anyone who knows Singapore that the reason for this is the lack of democracy in the island. For an island such as this, you need human ingenuity to progress, you need ideas, you need political discussion, you need real news, not propaganda, you need gusto. It is not enough for the Singapore government to sit at their lofty tables to formulate their 5 year plan as to what to do. This is not enough. You need the participation of the people and without that you are doomed.
I think the Lee government realizes this but it is too late. Firstly the government is not prepared to allow democracy. If they did, they would be toppled. And secondly, even if they did, the people have become so behavior trained into submission that no amount of persuasion can make them think independently. You have seen this phenomenon in Russia. True, the Soviet Union collapsed and Boris Yeltsin became president of a democratic Russia. Did anything change? No . It didn't. The Russians did not know what to do next.
The Russians are not like Americans who can come up with some weird ideas. But weird ideas are good, like electing Trump. Trump or no Trump the USA will go on. Because it is the people who have ultimate power because they are free. And this creates change and change always creates progress. The Russians don't know this.
Singapore is like the former Soviet Union. Singapore will economically collapse. And the reason is the inability of the people to think. They are only capable of following. And following is not enough.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont (San Francisco) USA
Tel: 510 491 8525