Saturday, February 27, 2010

Singapore. Time to abandon a sinking ship

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am not sure if the Singapore strongman is 86 or is he 87, but in the main, I don't think it really makes much difference. A man cannot go on for ever, even if he is Lee Kuan Yew. He has to die very soon, this year or next. And even if he doesn't die, he would be for all purposes useless anyway, certainly not up to running around dictating the way he used to.

And surely, is this not the time for those who have been running around in riches blowing his trumpet, to question whether is it safe to stay on in the island? Would not packing up and going to Alice Springs Australia a very good option now as things stand?

Despite all his claims for intelligence I think he is quite incompetent, really quite incompetent. Anyone wanting to preserve at least some of what he has built would have realized that governance has to spread out. All power being in him alone is not a good idea because when he dies or becomes bedridden, power does not seamlessly shift to someone else. It may happen in North Korea or Cuba, both closed societies, but it is most unlikely in a English speaking (or a form of it anyway) city state with open borders. That is why if Kevin Rudd resigns, Australia does not collapse and neither does Britain if Gordon Brown does it.

In an island city state run up till today by a man who has held power since 1959 and puts anyone in jail for criticism, ruling through fear, can it be fairly accepted that the people would turn their kowtows to his son, who will in turn become the Dear Leader?

I doubt it.

If you are not thinking about it, you should do so now. It is not safe. The Belinda Ang Saw Eans of Singapore, the Judith Prakashs, the Walter Woon Cheong Mings, the K Shanmugams should really take stock of their prospects now.

I predict Singaporeans refusing to pay homage to Singapore's Dear Leader's son in the event of his demise. I expect unrest but on what scale I cannot say. But there will be unrest. There will be a outgoing flood of foreign companies, foreign assets, and people with cash trying to save what is left of their savings. You are going to see a run on the Singapore dollar, and on the whole mayhem. After some time, just as after all calamities, the situation will become stable but to what extent one cannot say.

Singapore, will not produce a new despot such as Dear Leader Lee Kuan Yew and out of this melee, something else may come out in the end; unrest, chaos and uncertainty.

But if you are the standard Singaporean or Belinda Ang Saw Ean, one of Lee's ever willing judges, is it not time to pack up? Better to be to be able to keep some of your money and in Belinda Ang Saw Ean's case, better to be alive than dead!

The "SS Singapore" is listing badly and taking water. It may be time to abandon ship.

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.


Anonymous said...

Buffett: Execs should pay price for risky bets

Billionaire Warren Buffett, in his annual letter to shareholders, sternly urged companies to develop harsh penalties for executives who get into trouble with risky investments.


Ho Ching must be glad she works for Lee Kuan Yew and not Warren Buffett

Anonymous said...

Mr Gopalan Nair, you might criticize Singapore and its style of leadership but you have forgotten your origins.

This was the place brought you up and raised your level of consciousness.Without darkness,you will not understand what light is.One should always respect the place one is breed in.

You would have forged numerous relations and friendships in Singapore. Those are ties that bind.But without a place to call home, one does not have a support base.

I do believe you missed your time in Singapore. Please refrain from calling Singaporeans "department store dummies". We are a well traveled lot even though we might be a little red dot.

If we had to allow too much freedom of speech and exercise of rights, we will retrograde into the South East Asian situation of the 1960s. One has to gain situational awareness in deciding on a leadership style. Besides, Western Democracy on its very own right has never delivered a stable government. If you do not control unions like what they did in US, they grow to be a fiery lot. With that, you lose out on economic competitiveness. Policies become hard to implement because they require the collective effort of every citizen. We want to ensure that no one is left behind-but the choice is up to the individual to embrace.

Please consider the the consequences of freedom. As they say the forbidden fruit taste the sweetest,what remains tantalizing is not necessarily the best.

mycroft said...

That is what I have maintained and feared all along - that the gathering of all the reins of power of the State into one pair of hands with no checks and balances to prevent abuse is a disaster simply waiting for the right moment to happen.

After half a century LKY has succeeded in making a mockery of the Singapore Constitution, turned the judiciary into a laughing stock amongst true democracies and created a cowed and dependent people who remain paralytic until they hear nanny pontificating from on high. What happens when that voice is stilled, shut up permanently, as will happen real soon now? Does Singapore have a single leader who is respected/feared enough to smoothly seize the baton and carry on?

A single glance at the stumble-bums in cabinet and an equally aged President will give you the answer. Not a one comes across as his own man. All wait for The Voice to speak before daring to venture an opinion which invariably slavishly parrots the geriatric's outdated and flip-flopping views.

Minister Mah Bow Tan says govt flats are still affordable? Up pops old man a fortnight later to opine that MBT has screwed up planning and it is up to the electors to chuck him out on his ear if they want. A slap right across the chops if ever there was one and what does the honourable minister say in response to this direct affront to his competence? Nothing, absolutely bloody nothing. Any self-respecting office-holder in the UK or US would have immediately given back as good as he got, demanded an apology and handed in his resignation in protest if necessary while retiring to the back-benches to cause maximum embarrassment to the incumbent. Not MBT the Chicken-Heart, though.

Another example? Take the entire PAP cabinet singing in close harmony since 2000 from the same hymn sheet about the staggering benefits brought to the nation by the Foreign Talent policy. First it was, "they bring in skills we don't have". Next, "they create jobs for Singaporeans". Then triumphantly, "they help alleviate the low fertility rate". Now it's all change as the oracle throws a huge monkey wrench into the mutual backslapping fest by declaring (after reading the worrying reports of massive grassroots unrest no doubt, and with an election imminent) that the FT policy wasn't such a good idea after all and it would be scaled back and "we'll make a sharper distinction between citizens and PRs, see if we don't". Oops.

Now, that's ONE elderly madman crapping all over the entire Singapore cabinet from PM through Finance, Home Affairs, Defence, Law... ministers and all the way down through the ranks. No govt in the world with a shred of self-respect would put up with this kind of insubordination and insolence from a member of cabinet but ours does! All of them, every single one, groveled and cringed at the Emperor's feet. They are living proof that every man has his price.

I ask you, is this healthy? That all power be cupped in the palm of a single person who will soon be on his way to meet his maker? All it takes will be that unscrupulous and ruthless operator presently quietly biding his time in the ranks to manouvre his way to the front, eradicate the weakling leader, and bingo! North Korea / Burma here we come. Loot the Reserves and devil take the hindmost. Easy, because all opposition, all checks and balances, all dissent, has long been remorselessly eliminated in the pursuit of absolute power.

If you haven't already made one it's time to seriously consider a Plan B, just in case your worst fears are realised. Otherwise, as the Americans say, "Buckle up"!

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous of Feb 28 0450,

You have put up the classic agument of fascists throughout the world including Hitler, Mussolini and Castro as well as their subjects after sufficient brainwashing.

I leave your argument published for those freedom loving humans among us to repsond. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Ho Ching must be glad she works for Lee Kuan Yew and not Warren Buffett


Lee Kuan Yew is Chairmain of GIC, which has lost billions of the peoples money (that we know off).

LKY must be glad he works for LKY and not Warren Buffett.

Anonymous said...

Citigroup Inc. CEO Vikram Pandit received $128,751 in compensation for 2009 as the bank suffered huge losses on risky investments and failing consumer loans.

Meanwhile, Lee Kuan Yew, his son and his daughter-in-law collect their millions despite the losses suffered by GIC and Temasek.

To all the department-store-dummies (which is what they are), who attack you, we ask don't you have the b*lls to question this group of failed investment managers.

They are squandering your money and your childrens future.

Perhaps the department-store-dummies are planning to emigrate to NZ, and don't want to rock the boat.

Perhaps they love FAMILEE & PAPARTY so much.

FAMILEE & PAPARTY: good name for a band - listen to our music or we jail you; or we sue you; or we ...

Anonymous said...

To the Anon of Feb 28 - I will wait for LKY passing first before lashing out the "I told you so" phrase.

Singapore today is like living in Saddam Hussien Iraq. So long as Saddam was around, Iraq was safe because he was able to balance the power of different forces working in that country. But we saw what happened after he was gone. All hell broke loose and no one knew where is the govt, and who to believe what. Anarchy reined.

Post-Lee Singapore will face a similar situation. Perhaps riots will not happen overnight but there will be greedy wolves in your midst in sheep fur taking away your style of living. Slowly, tick tick tick - you may find the next LKY need to resort to a lot of tricks to fill LKY shoes, he will end up more evil and greedy than what LKY will dare to admit. For all the checks and balances that LKY want to put in place to secure his legacy, we know that living humans are smarter. When that day comes, no one may know what happen.

I am trying to scare you? I am talking nonsense? We will wait for LKY passing first.

I think GN is not incorrect to call Singapoeans "department store dummies", but I would think they are more like well-travelled sheep.

Well-travelled in Singapore's definition usually means travel a lot and little else.

Why? Singaporeans can't think. Singaporeans see things but fail to comprehend. They just see what they want to see, and believe what they want to believe. No one ever say that liberal democractic freedom is the best solution, neither do we belive that capitalism is all bad. Unions have their place in the world. (Britons wish that they can turn back some Thatcherism and bring back the unions).

If you think everything Singapore PAP has to offer is the best, perhaps, a trip down your ivory tower will enlighten you to the REAL situation in Singapore.

After experiencing living in many countries and see the problems associate with freedom, unions and liberty, I decided that Singapore is the last place I want to live as a citizen.

A Quitter said...

To the writer on Sun Feb 28, 04:50:00 AM PST

About consciousness
If we peel off the facade of Singapore, it is a police state. The locals are conscious about that, so do quitters.

About Darkness and Lightness
I as a quitter, would like to see Singaporeans see the light, taste the light and not to believe that the PAP blend of darkness is light. The light Singaporeans see on TV or on their tours are often mistaken as darkness because that is what the PAP textbook says. (Too much free speech no good - yes, no good to those with ulterior motives)

Singapore's Report Card
As a result of the controlled upbringing, Singaporeans are a fearful lot. They appear awkward when having fun, they appear uncomfortable with daily living.
They failed to take a lead, failed to "throw caution in the air and try new things". They failed to create a renaissant city. For all the happenings in Singapore, it remain boring.

What is happening to my friends
I cannot help seeing Singaporean talking to himself/herself, talking to imaginery friend, making funny faces - you will not noticed unless you have been away for too long. Many of my Singapore friends are not healthy. I look younger than them now!

Yes, I remember Singapore
How sad, my country of origin, my birthplace reduced to such state. Small hearted pettiness rule. While my migrant friends in my adopted land enjoy dual citizenship, a true-blue Singaporean who serves NS, is not acknowledged for his past contributions, but ask to give up the rights to his country of birth. Here is one aspect that differentiate a free human from a relatively rich Singaporean.

If we continued to be consumed by the political propaganda abusing the SEA situation of the 1960s, how are we going to move on? We will be stuck in the 60s. We will not build the proper institutions that will ensure 1960s never return. Well, Singapore has only build one institution to "mitigate" 1960s, and it is around the cult of a Great Leader. He has not managed to transplant his cult influence to his son and like what another writer put, we do not know who will fill the void left behind by a cult personality. Will Singaporeans still accept millionnaire ministers then, who seem out of touch with the new generation of post-LKY rebels.

Western Democracy has delivered stable governments. Look at the peaceful transition of governments in Australia. This do not happen by chance. It is a result of a process that has been refining all the time.

More than just Freedom
USA is a large country, it has made some serious mistakes including the creation of a Federal Reserve as a bank. But does anyone has a better solution? What happened if we collective move in what appears to be a solution, but turn out not to be one? Do we have a one-size solution that take care of the disadvantaged, the little men? In the end, it is the process that counts. USA managed to do it in a humane way. Australia and New Zealand, being more welfare-based, are more compassionate in this aspect.

If we weigh the good and bad of freedom, I would say that given Singapore's educated population, greater good will be achieved by more freedom.

Otherwise, the political elites in Singapore are the only ones tasting the sweetest forbidden fruit - forbidden only to the "less mortals" (how one MP describe the other Singaporeans).

It is your choice.
Like a HK movie where an actor said. "He would rather cry (live miserably) in a Rolls Royce (in comfort), then to be happy in a beat up Japanese car". It is Singaporeans' choice.

Garrett said...

Mr Nair, I must say that your analogy of a sinking ship is not appropriate. Singapore was a sinking ship back in the 1990s. Now, it is a *SUNKEN* ship.

Christopher Story said...

DBS Bank/Development Bank of Singapore: This bank was closed down by the Singapore authorities

Anonymous said...

Singapore GIC Faces US$10 Billion Loss on UBS and Citigroup, may take a decade to recoup losses

How does LKY sleep at night?

Anonymous said...

March 2 (Bloomberg) -- Stocks majority-owned by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte fell in Bangkok trading after a Thai court ruled Feb. 26 that ex-leader Thaksin Shinawatra abused his power to benefit those companies.

How does Ho Ching sleep at night? Why does she still have a job at TH?

LeeConYou said...

To the anonymous writers (Mar 2) who wonder how LKY and his extended family can sleep at night.

I think they are sleeping peacefully.
Well, what are the chances of them still having their jobs in Singapore in the next 5 years? 100%

If they ruin your retirement money, they can jump ship like the Thai version of LKY, Thaksin Shin, and still live the good life overseas. 100% Yes.

What are the chances of yourselves having CPF left for your own retirement? hahaha.

Hope you people can sleep well tonight.