Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Singapore. A country that could not care less about it's reputation

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore's attitude towards what people think of it is puzzling. It appears as if it couldn't care less what anybody thought. And surely if it is perceived badly surely everything else suffers.

1. It is an island of only 5 million in total, of which nearly a half is made up of foreigners. With a size as small as that one would have thought it would have carefully guarded it's reputation because any further loss of it's local population which it relies upon as an English speaking business center would mean utter ruin. But for some reason or other it simply does not care.

2. Over decades now the law has been openly manipulated as a tool to silence critics. This fact is now well known both locally and abroad, with it's legal system thoroughly disgrace. Today, Alan Shadrake the English author will be going to jail for 5 weeks for writing a book critical about Singapore's death penalty laws. The knowledge that Singapore has no rule of law and uses it to stifle dissent is known throughout the world and it harms Singapore in every way you can imagine. But they don't seem to care.

3. This repeated abuse of the laws and a totally arbitrary system of government, chases the capable from leaving Singapore for settlement abroad. It has been reported that no less than 1,000 highly qualified citizens leave the island permanently every year principally occasioned by the very bad reputation and insecurity in the island. Very soon there won't be anymore skilled or capable Singaporeans. The children of every single judge, civil servant and even Ministers have not only been educated abroad, they also live in those countries. In the past the government had tried various means to coax locals to remain and to entice Singaporeans overseas to return. No one wanted to stay or return and the exercise was a total failure. Today they have given up even trying and appear resigned to Singapore losing their best.

4. This insecurity in the island occasioned by it's lack of the rule of law and the lack of democratic rights also results in people not having any children. The birth rate is one of the lowest in the world. Similarly there were numerous efforts by the government to encourage higher childbirth to no avail. It appears in this case too the government has given up trying and is resigned to a unstoppable decline of it's local population.

5. Locals are not marrying in large enough numbers. As for the Chinese in lower income groups, they cannot find a partner in the island and are forced to get a mail order bride from neighbouring countries such as Vietnam. This further reduces the quality of its citizenry, with a large section of population without any knowledge of English or the character, culture and history of Singapore.

6. Walking the streets of Singapore today, you hear a cacophony of foreign tongues all jabbering away in foreign languages which no single group of Singaporeans can understand. You hear Burmese, the ubiquitous Mandarin Chinese with a mainland accent, some Thai, some Vietnamese and God knows what else. You hear many languages in London too, but at least England or America are countries large enough to withstand sufficient number of immigrants. With only 5 million people of which half are already from somewhere else, with the local population continuing to decline without let up, with even more foreigners coming in to take their places, I would say, Singapore in a couple of years would no longer be Singapore. But as I said, the government does not appear to care.

Of course if you had a free and independent press, these issues which are vital to the very survival of Singapore would be reported and discussed, but whith the media and the press entirely controlled by the government (no different from the Soviet Union or North Korea) nothing except good news gets reported, and these problems never see the light of day.

It seems to me that the Lee Kuan Yew government has run out of ideas and simply given up. And if anyone would dare to criticize them on their policies, they will sue you without fail, which means a population today which is totally silenced.

And this scenario should be worrying to anyone. But in Lee Kuan Yew's case, he doesn't seem to care.

I guess the reasoning is that if the Titanic is sinking anyway, what is the point of making a fuss about it. Just sit back and enjoy the little time left.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
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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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr.Nair, you are absolutely right. This great Titanic is going down to the bottom.
Your description of the present day Singapore is accurate and realistic.
There is now a sense of uncertainty and impending disaster regarding the political and social aspect of Singapore.
Who or what miracle can now save Singapore from going farther down to the rocks at the bottom?

C.Y.H 2011