Saturday, December 22, 2007

The ugly Singaporean

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The average Singaporean stands out from others elsewhere; as a people overly afraid of authority, in many cases insecure and unwilling to stand on principle, when principles are called for.

The cause for this unfortunate Singaporean trait is none other than Lee Kuan Yew himself. The founding father of Singapore as he is called, turned out to be a very bad role model, and since it is him that has been at the helm these last 40 years, Singaporeans have learnt very bad lessons. In trying to be like him, Singaporeans have turned out, by and large to be a heartless, soulless people, without compassion or principles and driven primarily by greed.

Look at Lee Kuan Yew. During these last 40 years, having made countless speeches and very long speeches at that, sometimes extending to several hours, not to be undone by President Sukarno, former President of Indonesia also well known for marathon speeches, the underlying message in each of them has always been the same. How he outsmarted and outwitted his hapless political enemies by various dirty tricks and cunning; and how proud he was of himself.

Lee Kuan Yew prides himself in how he was always one step ahead of his competition, how he managed to neutralize a critical press by dirty tricks, how he managed to imprison Lim Chin Siong and Chia Thye Poh, how he brow beat the Chinese Middle School students, how he managed to destroy the kampongs and erected HDB flats, how he had to finish off President Devan Nair, how he managed to detect the dishonesty of Francis Seow in time to pack him off to the ISD prison, how he finished off the then student Tan Wah Piow and so on and so forth.

Oh, you must not forget Lee Kuan Yew’s famous hatchet speech. About 2 decades ago, in Parliament he made his famous "hatchet" speech, which JB Jeyaretnam used as the title for his book "The Hatchet Man of Singapore". In the speech, Lee Kuan Yew said he always carried a bag, and in that bag, he always kept a hatchet. According to him, if politician crossed him, he will first challenge him to a fight. He would lure him to a back lane, which formed a cul de sac, so as not to let his victim escape, and there he will draw his hatchet and kill him. This speech clearly shows the thinking of this man; the founding father of Singapore. It sums it all.

A megalomaniac, too big for his shoes, Lee claims he did all this for the good of Singapore. But then you can also ask whether there was another reason. Was it for the good of himself?

Lee believes these are his accomplishments. If indeed they are, they appear more the accomplishments of a ruthless power hungry tyrant, more at home among gangsters, than that of a human being of conscience. There is no greatness, at least for me, in a man who uses dishonest means and dirty tricks, and in instances extreme cruelty, to destroy his opponents. These are acts of a desperate political tyrant; not the acts of a great statesman; and the last thing that any honest parent should wish is for his son to turn out as another Lee Kuan Yew.

But yet, regrettably, it is Lee Kuan Yew who turns out to be a role model for a great many Singaporeans. So many try to emulate him and encourage their children to follow. Since he is seen as a person who has become rich and wealthy by destroying the opposition, parents send their children to his PAP organizations so that they too will be able to get rich and wealthy in the same distasteful manner. These people are quite willing to do and say anything to please him; and like him, destroy innocent people just because they happen to be the opposition; because it is profitable to do so, and profit is God.

Large sections of Singaporeans have completely lost their core principles of humanity; emulating Lee Kuan Yew who has none. They appear totally lacking in compassion. Government leaders who think in the same unkind way that Lee Kuan Yew thinks, have no qualms to pay themselves millions while the less fortunate Singaporeans live in poverty; for less than $400.00 per month! Since Lee Kuan Yew has no compassion, they too have no compassion for the poor. Compassion is no longer in vogue in Singapore; since Lee Kuan Yew, their leader has none.

Since Lee Kuan Yew has no respect for the rule of law, his judges too, like him have none. They abuse the law on a daily basis, without a tinge of conscience, to find innocent defendants guilty.

They feel nothing at all in ordering Dr. Chee to pay half a million dollars merely because he asked Goh Chok Tong for an accounting of the promises of several million dollars to President Suharto by Lee Kuan Yew!

They feel no shame at all to order JB Jeyaretnam to pay another half million just because he alleged the PAP Indian MPs were not taking care of Singapore Indians. Even if you try very hard, even if you were under the influence of an opiate, you will still not be able to convince yourself that these were in fact defamations! Yet these judges are prepared to do this on a daily basis. Just like Lee Kuan Yew who would have no qualms either.

Courage is one quality that is almost universally lacking in Singapore. Men and women, human beings consider courage a quality to be acquired and cherished. Men, at least men in places other than Singapore, believe it an admirable quality to act according to your conscience and to refuse unconscionable acts; even it means loss of employment or other discomfort.

In other places, courageous righteous men are respected and are abundant. In Singapore on the other hand, only money appears to matter. Courage, honor and integrity appear to have no place at all.

In Singapore, you can see this despicable characteristic in many. There is an Indian Sikh with a turban, a lawyer who unashamedly does defamation cases whenever called upon by Lee Kuan Yew to sue his various political opponents. What is shameful about this individual is that he knows even before he steps into the courtroom that his client will win even though he knows that the law is clearly against his client since no defamation has in fact occurred.

He knows that the judge has already been ordered to favor his client and what is more, the quantum of damages, that is the million dollars, has already been decided; all this even before the parties have stepped into the courtroom! And this is how, this Sikh lawyer makes a living without any qualms, day in and day out. In trying to emulate his leader Lee Kuan Yew, he has succeeded in becoming a thoroughly unprincipled human being; a human being for whom the only thing that matters is money.

This Sikh lawyer is but one example of the hundreds and thousands of Singapore government employees and leaders; they all have lost their soul and like their master Lee Kuan Yew, integrity and honor does not factor into their daily lives.

And then there are the masses of ordinary Singaporeans. We can call them CPF Singaporeans since they are subject to CPF contributions, which means they have to make monthly contributions to the government for their retirement, but in fact, this government will not let them have any money at all! These are Lee's forgotten people. These are people that Lee takes for a ride; and a people that sadly are prepared to be taken for a ride.

These are the fearful people. People who are afraid to question, afraid to criticize, afraid to speak, afraid of their shadows. As for these people, Lee Kuan Yew will do anything he wants to them with impunity. And while Lee Kuan Yew ill treats these people, Lee Kuan Yew's cronies who are paid millions seems to be entirely at peace with their conscience.

You have the Lee Kuan Yew elite, paying themselves millions, greedy, selfish, without any integrity, honor or human compassion. You have also the down trodden, the poor who have lost all courage to stand up against these tyrants, lacking self respect or courage. This is what I mean by the ugly Singaporean.

They have all turned out to be Lee Kuan Yews or a version of it!

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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I just want to say that I enjoyed reading your opinion against Lee Kuan Yew, and I absolutely agree with your stand.

The nature of apathetic Singaporeans strongly disgusts me. You have strung the words well when you said "In Singapore on the other hand, only money appears to matter. Courage, honor and integrity appear to have no place at all."

Now I will quote someone else who also shares the same view as you and I. "Democracy is ugly, when you have a nation of people that are unable to act satisfactorily on the infringement of their rights. To pursue it. That is ugly. When you have restrictions that cripple, and an education to nurture the young never to stand up for their rights, that the ruling party is always right. That is ugly."