Thursday, May 15, 2008

A difficult time for Singapore ahead

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Channelnewsasia , the Singapore state controlled news media reports on May 15, 2008 "Mrs Lee Kuan Yew in serious condition after brain damage". She suffered a massive blot clot in her brain which resulted in a weakness of her side and inability to speak, and still remains in hospital in a critical condition. It is understood she has a history of suffering strokes, the last one being in 2003. Medical science tells us that people in such a condition are bound to suffer recurrence in strokes and keeping her age of 87 in mind, the prognosis is not good for a permanent recovery, and usually death is not too far away. However much we may want her to make a full recovery, and we all, I am sure wish her well, we cannot avoid the reality of the medical condition in such cases. It is dire.

These are worrying times for the country given it's unique circumstances. We have Lee Kuan Yew who practically runs the whole show, with everyone else doing nothing more than just taking his orders and dutifully carrying them out. They have lost their ability to think since the last 40 years of dictatorship with Lee alone doing all the thinking. As for his son whom he placed as Prime Minister, even among his own party members he does not appear to instill any confidence. He too as a dutiful boy has been obediently doing nothing more than just following his fathers orders. Most people would agree that if he is Prime Minister, it is in name only.

With the father strutting around the island shouting orders and jailing anyone who dared to say otherwise, the country has managed to acheive a certain amount of stability over the years, thus attracting foreign investment and became a fairly prosperous country. The question is whether the country can go on, with the demise first of Lee Kuan Yew's wife, 87, who has now suffered a massive brain hemorrhage, with Lee Kuan Yew himself already 84 and not too long to go; will business go on a usual?

If Singapore is to slip into a steady decline with the economy unravelling and disintegrating, the fault must lie with Lee Kuan Yew alone. He will be solely responsible for its demise.

Having been at the helm of Singapore for the last 40 years, he knew or must have known that for any country to continue advancing, you need an educated questioning people who are committed to the country, whose views are sought out and encouraged, where leaders are encouraged to develop and where at any one time, there are a great number of people who have managed to acquire the experience and understanding of government; where change of government can seamlessly occur; something which he has never allowed to happen.

In order to ensure that he and his family alone rule Singapore in perpetuity, he violently put down anyone who was not prepared to tow his line; regardless of how educated or how capable they were. This has caused disaffection and disinterest among the educated whose ideas and contributions did not conform to his; which meant that a great many capable people were lost as leaders to Singapore's nation building. They either went into obscurity or emigrated and left Singapore permanently.

And this meant, the talent pool in Singapore is small; limited only to those who were prepared to to submit to his authority and obey his commands. These people, the civil servants, the Ministers and high ranking government officers, no doubt are highly educated and talented people but unfortunately useless as leaders; since in Singapore Lee's set up, they are not required to think independently; since all they do is to carry out orders, I mean Lee's orders in an very efficient manner. But for any country to remain a real country, you need leaders who can think and act independently, with an understanding of politics and government and the necessary experience. Unfortunately no one in Singapore has been allowed to fit this description. And the lack of such people mean the end of a nation. Singapore, you must remember does not have any natural resources.

So is it possible that foreign companies are already making plans to repatriate their money and their personnel from the island? Has foreign investment already begun to transfer their funds to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or whichever country appears a more permanent and stable place? Are more Singaporean educated taking their sons and daughters and themselves to Australia? Is the stock market beginning to suffer losses at a steady rate?

I do not have any firm evidence of any of this, but if I am to guess, with the wife of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew in a critical condition in hospital, perhaps even dying, and with Lee Kuan Yew already 84 keeping in mind no one lives forever, and the son looked upon as a good schoolboy and nothing else, I must confess, I have to worry.

And the blame lies entirely on Lee Kuan Yew, a man driven by greed and self interest; with none for his country.

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

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