Friday, March 16, 2007

The root cause of Singapore's difficulties.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me tell you the bad news.

Singapore now is faced with a massive brain drain. It is having minus growth in population. 53% of young people in a recent survey claimed they wanted to emigrate. Suicides are at it's highest with videos of of it in MRT rail stations being circulated in the Internet. In a survey recently, it was found that Singaporeans are among the least happy people in the world. 95% of the Internet postings have a negative view of Singapore, resulting in the government admitting that they have employed agents, moles, to attack those critical of Singapore by using false identities. It has one of the world's widest gaps in income distribution between rich and poor, with Lee Kuan Yew and his son, paying themselves millions, while the bottom poor cannot afford 3 meals a day for their children.

It should be obvious to anyone why Singapore is facing these difficulties.

In a country such as Singapore, without natural resources except for it's sea port and central location on the sea and air routes, it's only real asset is it's people. Even Lee Kuan Yew repeatedly admits this. Therefore Singapore would do well to support and nurture it's people, give them confidence in their government, ensure that the pillars of society such as the courts remain strong and independent. With such an honest and principled government, Singaporeans would support and respect their country and die for it if necessary. Therefore the one thing that a country like Singapore requires is integrity, integrity, integrity.

Unfortunately the truth is that Singaporeans no longer trust their leadership anymore. They have lost faith in their courts, they have lost faith in their police force, in their civil servants. There is an overall indifference among their people to what happens in their country. Lee Kuan Yew is seen openly interfering in the administration of justice, in the impartial running of the civil service, the police force, to advantage his supporters and disadvantage his opponents. The people no longer trust the impartially of the courts and they begin to worry about theirs and their children's futures. Lee, his government is now subject to public ridicule, odium and contempt.

As far as the courts are concerned, everyone will agree that there can be no living human with a head on his shoulders who could ever win a case in court against Lee Kuan Yew or his son. That, I think, explains the situation best.

This is the reason why people emigrate, why people have nothing good to say about their country, where loyalty is lacking and there is general indifference among the populace. And this indifference and general dislike of their government results in people not wanting to give their best in their jobs and in whatever they do. Why should they, when they feel that their efforts will go to paying two million dollars each to the Lees and their cronies and large salaries to Lee's sycophants and trumpeters in the civil service and while they are thrown "peanuts".

Merit is no longer the criterion for success. Loyalty to Lee Kuan Yew is. This is not how it should be. As a result, you have mediocre officers in the civil service and the government being promoted with large incomes only because they are prepared to tow the line. These are not the material that can move the country to success.

Take the PAP Members of Parliament who have been recently elected. Not one person in his right mind would believe that any of those selected has the interests of Singapore at heart. The general perception is that these have joined the PAP and entered Parliament because it is profitable. They can now look forward to a comfortable future with high salaries and even in retirement, continued income from government linked company directorships as long as they continue to sing the PAP song, which we all know they will sing as long as it is profitable. These PAP MPs are detested. They are seen as dishonest people, having entered politics not because of altruism but selfish gain. Yet in the Singapore style of society, it is these dishonest people who reach the highest levels of income and success. Such a system becomes abhorrent to good people, who therefore either withdraw from supporting this regime, or leave the country altogether. What is left are dishonest people such as these PAP members of Parliament, who have no love for their country but only for their purses.

People feel cheated by their leaders paying themselves millions of dollars, which they naturally feel is unjust enrichment. There is no justification whatsoever for such astronomical salaries to be paid and this creates resentment against Lee and his cronies. They feel even more resentment since they have no power to democratically challenge these injustices since Lee rules by dictate and will not tolerate any opposition. They feel helpless and detach themselves completely from politics.

Parliament is discredited with minions such as these. The law is discredited with the courts being openly used to punish political opponents, therefore the courts lose respect. The civil service loses respect when the Official Assignee is asked by Lee, and he obeys to use his office as a political weapon against the opposition. Even though the Constitution calls for equality between the races, companies are openly permitted to discriminate against the Malays, causing them to lose respect for their government.

You see, on the whole, the Lee government has lost the respect of it's people. As a result, as I said, they have nothing good to say about their country, they emigrate, they say bad things on the Internet, they don't give their best at work, they lose interest, zest, hope and any desire to see their country move ahead. Almost all of them detest Lee Kuan Yew and not a single one has any confidence in the abilities of his son, whom he appointed the Prime Minister.

Such a situation means that Singapore cannot achieve any greatness. It may plod along but we do not know for how long. Can it be remedied? Once the leadership loses respect it is almost impossible to recover. There can only be decline.

One way to test whether Lee and Company has any respect could be like this. Let me ask you, if Lee Kuan Yew were to announce that he was going to give a speech today, would you take time off to hear it? Perhaps a few, just to hear what tales he may tell, out of curiosity. Would you go if his son were to speak? I think no one will go, unless they were paid. Would anyone go to hear one of his members of Parliament. None, unless you were prepared to pay a great deal of money before anyone will agree to waste his time. I think this test explains the pathetic state of government of Lee Kuan Yew and his son.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914


Unknown said...

Hi Gopalan,
You've expressed much of what I felt when I was living in Singapore. And yes I did emigrate - to the Great White North 30 .. years ago. Some things just did not change.

your fellow student from Winstedt Primary School and Raffles Instituiton.

Gopalan Nair said...

Hello K Teo,

Good to hear from you. Please keep in touch. Remember Winsdedt School. Large field in the middle. Monks Hill School on the right and Tanglin Tinggi Malay School on the left. Remember the fights between schools! All in fun of course. Tanglin Tinggi throwing coconuts at us and we throwing them back at them!

Also remember the game of hantam bola. Where we get a tennis ball and hit hard at anyone nearby, where the whole school is out in the field chasing this one tennis ball to hit another boy during recess.

Those were wonderful days. Nice even to think about it. Fond memories.

Gopalan Nair

Anonymous said...

it is encouraging to hear from your views. One that I genuinely related to since I'm one of pity soul in Singapore which has to bear all stupid nonsense from the gov.

Anyway, I working on a startup hoping to earn enough to leave the this pathetic country.

This place is not a place for human, very much a place for drone, robot and rat, i mean rat race.

You run the rat race here, sure to die, and left alone dying, with gov happily collecting the money that you help to make them rich !