Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Singapore. Children growing in blinkers

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Any Singaporean mother worth her salt, reading this blog must agree; it is criminal bringing up children in Singapore under this repressive dictatorial government.

A mother would want the best for her child. Education, confidence and the ability to live free; to exercise their minds to the fullest; the courage to challenge conventional wisdom; to think outside the box even if it is not what Lee Kuan Yew wants to hear; to call a rat a rat when he sees one; in other words, where the young child grows up in full control over his destiny, because of his ability, and not because it pleases Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.

I believe that any normal normal young man, confident of himself and his ability to succeed in a career; would be justifiably offended if told that he must live his life in accordance to the dictates of his government. That he must not question their actions for fear of government reprisals, such as defamation actions and bankruptcy.

Unfortunately in Singapore, the ability to live comes at an unbearable price; unbearable that is, for anyone with any self respect. It is impossible for a child to grow up in Singapore as a child would grow up, for instance in Australia. In Australia, in USA, Germany or any other democratic country; a child is told that being a human being comes with privileges; that is human rights. He is told that George Bush is not not his God; that as long as he is law abiding, he can question authority. His success depends on himself and not because he has not criticized Mr. George Bush. In this atmosphere of freedom to think and question, a child in the west grows up full of confidence, willing to take on challenges and realizing that the sky is the limit for him. Life itself becomes an adventure and full of excitement.

Not so for a Singapore child. Let alone the child; the Singapore parent herself lives in an stifling debilitating atmosphere of fear. Fear of her government. No matter what abuses the government perpetrates against its citizens, such as denying the rule of law and abusing legal process for political ends, she must be careful never to be seen or heard criticizing the government. If ever she did it, this small minded government will retaliate and she may be suffer in more ways than one.

The mother who is already in fear of her government makes sure that her child too grows up that way. Her advice to her child is not to criticise. To be careful no one sees or hears any criticism. Be as quite as possible, pass his exams and get a job, continuing in life being always careful not to offend Lee Kuan Yew, his son or their government.

A child like that grows into adulthood only to live very miserable lives; because there can be no doubt that living daily in fear of Lee Kuan Yew and his government cannot be a pleasant way to live.

The uneducated working classes may not realize what they are missing, since they are usually not aware of their rights. By government design, they are satisfied with what little they get, basic necessities and a little bit more and they are satisfied with that. In their case, ignorance is bliss after all.

But not in the case of educated men and women and their children. Living in fear of anyone, let alone Lee Kuan Yew and his son, must be a miserable way to live. Such people are not satisfied by bread alone. Life for them is an adventure and they want to experience it to the fullest. For such men and women, the more the challenges the more exciting the life. And it is these people that would find life in Singapore miserable.

For them, Singapore is their country, not Lee Kuan Yew's country and Lee being an elected official should take orders from them and not the other way around. They would like to remind Lee Kuan Yew to remember that it is they who are paying his wages through their hard earned taxes. And for their own good, it is about time they came down from their high horses and did what the people wanted, rather than striding all over the place like a bunch of gangsters.

This is how educated capable parents and children would preferably want to live. As proud men and women who refuse to be pushed around, especially not by the likes of Lee Kuan Yew or his son. But you know what the problem in Singapore is. If they did exercise their rights to question authority in Singapore, the Lee family shamelessly retaliates by false cooked up criminal charges and defamation actions brought before compliant judges.

Therefore this becomes an intolerable situation for educated families. What do you do in a case like this? Do you do the right thing and challenge Lee and his son, knowing that if you did, Lee, like a common gangster, will use dirty tricks to make life miserable for you? Or do you do nothing and live like a slave under Lee Kuan Yew; making slaves not only of yourselves but also your children? Or do you pack up and leave Singapore to settle in countries such as Australia?

If anyone even for a moment thinks that those who have achieved success through grovelling at the feet of Lee Kuan Yew are happy, is entirely mistaken. Take Lee Kuan Yew's chosen lawyers like the Sikh who is used to do his dirty work in suing Dr. Chee for defamation and the recently appointed Tamil lawyer as Minster for Law. I have no doubt that they live the most miserable lives imaginable. Both they and Lee Kuan Yew know each minute of the day as to what the arrangement between them is.

The Sikh must be prepared at any moment to carry out any dishonest work that is demanded of him, such as suing innocent people to please Lee Kuan Yew. As for the Tamil Minister, he must be prepared to pass as many unjust laws as demanded by his master Lee Kuan Yew. These are not free men. They are castrated eunuchs who willingly wait each day at Lee's court to do his dirty work. It is a disgusting life. Even if one is paid very well, this is not a job that any self respecting man or woman would want.

If the Singapore mother facing these difficult choices of either staying and becoming Lee's zombie in Singapore; or staying behind and fighting the system to live as free man and women willing to accept the concomitant trials, tribulations and punishment consequent thereon; or not wanting to go through the suffering and just pack up and leave for western democracies.

For any mother who loves her children, this is the difficult choice she has to make. And you have my sympathy for it.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914
Email: nair.gopalan@yahoo.com
Blog: http://singaporedissident.blogspot.com/

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