Saturday, October 31, 2009

Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew's American honor is not worth much.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In keeping with Singapore's state controlled newspaper's duty of constantly trumpeting the life time boss of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew, the Straits Times online edition of October 28, 2009 has this article "MM Lee honored in the US". But if you were not very careful reading it, you may have thought that this man was in fact honored by the US Government. It was nothing of the sort. The award of a life time achievement was given to him by a private American organization called US-Asian Business Council. Had it been the US Congress, the Senate or some official US body, it would have been different. It would have been substantial. But no. It was only a group of businessmen who felt that this man has helped American businessmen do business in Singapore. And in the hope that he will continue to bend over backwards for them, which is very likely, naturally they give him an award of some sort.

The article says he was given it for his contributions towards US and Asean ties. He is being honored for doing no more than promoting the interests of American companies such as Nike, who also have plants in Indonesia and various parts of the world, and the various other small and big American companies who are given given preferential treatment in taxes and all manner of benefits to make profits in Singapore. Mind you, profits for Americans, not Singaporeans. As to how much all this has helped Singaporeans or whether the whole presence of foreign companies in Singapore is a good thing, whether they actually hurt local Singapore businesses more than they help them; and how many Singaporean businesses have lost out because of this preferential treatment are questions which have remained unanswered.

Then the article states 3 US Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George Bush sent congratulatory messages; as if this is something we should all be proud about! Mind you, each one of them stayed away from the occasion preferring to merely send messages. We do not know why they did not attend or was this a message to all that they would have preferred not to be seen with a dictator; we do not know. And as to their sending congratulatory messages, why shouldn't they if Singapore is helping US businesses? They would be silly not to. Every president of the US would honor any foreign president if it promotes US interests.

It goes on to say that Henry Kissinger and George Shultz were present to clap him on. Of course Henry Kissinger and George Shultz would do it. Why not. They sit on various boards of international companies which have major business interests in Singapore. They would be letting down their companies if they did not do it. Lee Kuan Yew is their best friend, after all. Surely this is the least they could do.

It goes on to say that Lee Kuan Yew is the first recipient of the life time award. If I am not wrong, the late Ferdinand Marcos, the dictator of Philippines was also a very good friend of US Business while he trampled on the human rights of his Filipino people. He too was honored numerous times by US Business. So was the Indonesian dictator Suharto. So was the late Shah of Iran the US stooge who ruled his country with an iron grip just like Lee Kuan Yew does. He too I understand was honored by US business interests. The Iranians under the Shah were so good to US business interests, he completely destroyed local industry. One Iranian told me that in 1978, Iran even purchased chickens from the US with their unlimited oil money.

And then Dr. Schultz describes Lee Kuan Yew as " Ideas, information, clarity of mind, integrity of purpose. Mr. Lee Kuan Yew is truly a great man who has been a wonderful friend over the years". Surely. Very nice. Very nice indeed. I wonder whether he knows that Lee Kuan Yew pays himself $3.9 million a year, controls the entire media in the island, retains the Internal Security Act jailing those who oppose him without trial, uses compliant judges to crush political opposition and denies the fundamental rights of free speech, expression and assembly.

I wonder whether he also knows that there is massive emigration of intellectuals from Singapore, Singaporeans refuse to have children and the island of 5 million people only has about 2,000 lawyers!

I wonder whether he knows that in this Alice in Wonderland island, permits are needed to speak in public, which by the way are always denied!

Would Shultz still have said the same words if he knew this, or does it not matter what he does to his people, as long as he serves American business.

The reader should again be reminded that this award is nothing. It is not a Nobel prize which even Dr. Kissinger has received. Neither is it anything from the American government. It is merely an award from a bunch of rich Americans who are grateful for Lee Kuan Yew's continued support and preferential treatment for them over and above the interest of Singaporeans. That is you.

This is another propaganda piece from Singapore's state controlled media to praise Lee Kuan Yew, the strongman of Singapore. You could expect this sort of thing also from other dictatorships such as North Korea in praise of their leader Kim Jung IL.

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

Your letters are welcome. We reserve the right to publish your letters. Please Email your letters to And if you like what I write, please tell your friends. You will be helping democracy by distributing this widely. This blog not only gives information, it dispels government propaganda put out by this dictatorial regime.

1 comment:

mycroft said...

The value of this 'lifetime achievement' award given to Harry Lee Kuan Yew by a consortium of you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours self-serving businessmen pales to insignificance beside the honor paid by the world to a certain remarkable prisoner who never forgot her people's suffering and who has sacrificed her all for them. I know whom I would walk over broken glass for and it certainly isn't the one whose cynical support has kept the junta in business till this very day.

"The United States House of Representatives awarded Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi the Congressional Gold Medal, bestowed to only a few prominent people, including Mother Theresa, Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King Jr, Robert Frost and Elie Wiesel. It remains the highest civilian award in the United States.

Aung San Suu Kyi was also given the honorary citizenship of Canada by the Canadian Parliament, the highest civilian award in Canada. She was only the fourth person in Canada’s history to receive this award.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991."

Lifetime achievement? Heh. Enough said.

Ironically, a certain 'Harry' Lee did also receive the Congressional Gold Medal. That, however, was on September 24, 1779!