Thursday, September 15, 2011

Singapore, a series of mistakes.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is generally understood that the tiny island of Singapore with a local born population of only 3 million and recent foreign immigrants of 2 million, 5 million in all, today suffers a number of serious problems making it progressively less efficient or competitive.

For one, it has a declining native population.

Too many people are getting old and dying while locals are not having enough babies.

To make matters worse, the repressive authoritarian style of government causes increasing numbers of educated citizens to leave for the West.

In order to counter this imbalance, the government is making matters worse by letting in even greater numbers of immigrants thereby angering the native population who want a stop to any further immigration, as this represses their wages and reduces their standard of living.

It appears to me that the Lee Kuan Yew father and son government of Singapore are like pilots of an aircraft which has been set on auto pilot for so long that now since the electronics has malfunctioned, and it is falling off the sky in a tailspin they have forgotten how to how to disengage the autopilot, recover the aircraft and fly it manually.

The comparison to the travails of modern day aviation has many similarities to the insurmountable problems that tiny Singapore faces.

Firstly, it's problems follows the familiar patters of all state controlled dictatorships of the world.

When Lee Kuan Yew first came to power, the idea was, as it is even today, a powerful centralized government which can enforce order and obedience over it's people, which of course helps a fair amount of progress.

With the control of every aspect of the lives of Singaporeans; with the control of the press; the control of the courts; the control of the unions and everything else in between, the island became one almost militaristic disciplined organization that advanced to a certain point like clockwork.

With no criticism entertained from any quarter under the pain of defamation actions and imprisonment, any government could have progressed just as Singapore did.

But the problem is that such controlled progress has it's limits.

Just like the Soviet Union which only progressed so far, but crumbled when suddenly faced with freedom and democracy with the fall of Communism, Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore too appears to have reached it's limit for success under this controlled political atmosphere.

The problem with all these dictatorships is the same everywhere, which is, the dictator thinks he knows too much, which has been the cause of the down fall of them as well as their countries.

In Singapore Lee Kuan Yew and his PAP monopolized the thought process.

A handful of people surrounding Lee (vastly insufficient since it is already a tiny country) decided on everything, how many schools, what types of schools, how many children should a family be allowed, how many universities to build and the same about everything else.

The only ideas that were entertained were those which comported with theirs.

Any variant from their thinking was shut out by the state controlled media and if the proponent of it persisted rendered him liable to arrest, imprisonment and defamation lawsuits.

But surely, with a very small number of people doing the thinking and formulating policy as in Singapore, you are practically shutting out a great number of diverse and novel ideas which all die even before they see the light.

And quite obviously because these small number of thinking caps at the top cannot always be right, you find a series of wrong policies with devastating consequences on the people, which would never have happened had the people been allowed to have their say.

And for the people to be allowed to have their say, for the betterment of society as a whole, you need a free press, not a state owned and controlled press that serves the Lee Kuan Yew family as in Singapore.

Recall some 30 years ago, the government imposed the rule denying families the right to have more than 2 children, under the pain of heavy penalties.

Singapore's hapless weak population who live in fear of Lee Kuan Yew and what he will do to them if they refused, obediently complied with devastating unintended consequences today, where the government finds itself having the lowest birth rate in the world and no amount of inducement perks or goodies can correct it's collision course to destruction.

Take Lee Kuan Yew's wierd inexplicable determination to keep increasing Singapore's population by importing immigrants from Mainland China burgeoning it's polulation from 3 million to what it is today, 5 million as if this population increase is somehow the secret for success.

Yet you see several mightily successful similarly or even smaller sized countries doing equally well if not better with much smaller populations, such as the Indian Ocean island state of Mauritius, Malta and Gibraltar.

These countries not only do well, unlike Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore, they are democracies with a free press and an independent and respected judiciary, where their citizens are happy to be called either Mauritians, Maltese or Gibraltarians and they have a good healthy birth rate, and none of them are dying to escape from their countries to the West as Singaporeans do.

What the Lee government refuses to accept is the fact that in today's Singapore,just as in any other modern society, every single human being is capable of contributing ideas and opinions on how a society is run and it is from the sum total of these ideas that good sound policies emerge and stabilize and correct the path of the society.

Simply put, in any society, the more thinking caps the better.

In fact the adage too many cooks spoil the broth, is completely inapplicable to nations because it is just the reverse.

Too many cooks or discerning concerned citizens, are in fact a necessary requirement for any nation to keep progressing and advancing.

The clash of ideas and viewpoints in any society is a healthy thing which is the fuel that propels a country to further and further heights.

It is also a self correcting keel like that of a sailing vessel, which corrects and stabilises it in a storm from capsizing, keeping a steady keel.

In fact the more educated minds in a society with more divergent views, the heavier the keel of the imaginary ship of Singapore, that will ensure it's survival in times of stormy weather, keeping the boat afloat.

But Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew has so successfully shut out any views which may be even remotely different from his own, all you have left is a handful of men and women, essentially bootlickers, who surround him, formulating policies which would hopefully please their master.

You recall a child like girlish looking 27 year old ethnic Chinese woman who was recently elected into Singapore parliament as the people were bereft of any other choices, Tin Pei Ling.

Hearing her speak one begins to wonder if she has any views of her own at all.

This little girl will be ruling over Singaporeans in her capacity as member of Parliament, I expect doing nothing more than repeating parrot like what Lee Kuan Yew had said the day before and what her political boss had told her to say the day before that.

In fact I can say that too; I can say, PAP is good, housing is good, education is good and Singapore is best.

In Singapore today, people look at politics as a way of making money, not anything more.

None has any ideas of their own, no vision, no purpose, nothing whatsoever.

You become a lawyer in Singapore to make money and you do it by joining the PAP.

You will then get good jobs in big law firms and government contracts.

You can then go out and buy your Mercedes Benz and live happily ever after.

You join Singapore Civil Service to make money, never mind anything else.

You do it by joining the PAP and doing anything you are told like victimizing Lee's opponents, denying them jobs and generally doing anything you are told to please the Master.

That way you get promoted, get even more money and live happily ever after.

You join the police to make money.

You do this by pleasing your master.

You will have to arrest government critics and keep surveillance over them.

When Lee knows that you are obediently towing the line and doing the dirty work, you get promoted and become the Chief of Police.

That means more money and a very happy life.

With a hopeless situation such as this in a tiny island of only 3 million locals, where a mere handful of men and women or Lee Kuan Yew lackeys create the polices and everyone else like Tin Pei Ling doing as they are told, Singapore's prospects appears zero.

In fact it has no hope at all.

Singapore's situation is no different from that of the former Soviet Union.

One would have thought that after liberation from Communism, the Russians would have jumped to it, grasped the opportunity and become a vibrant progressive democracy.

Far from it, it has declined even further from what it was even under Communism.

The Russians were for so long a country of mere followers, incapable of thinking independently for themselves; and now since they have got their freedom they don't know what to do with it.

The Soviet Union did manage to achieve some success under it's previous state controlled economy but in today's world merely doing what you are told is simply not good enough.

You need to think and that is where the former Soviet Union fails.

Singapore suffers from the same problem that Russia today faces.

The people are incapable of thinking.

They are only capable of following.

And such blind obedience is not enough to take Singapore ahead.

And with the difficulty compounded with a tiny population, there is simply no hope for Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.

Lee Kuan Yew has simply damaged his people's ability to think freely, being constantly kept in great fear of arrest and defamation actions, that they have permanently lost this ability altogether.

Their minds are permanently damaged through decades of self induced fear.

Lee Kuan Yew fails to understand one cardinal principal which is, that you allow people their rights to have their own opinions and ideas.

Doing this, you inculcate a sense of loyalty into Singaporeans, a sense of belonging, a sense of importance and being appreciated; and a desire to contribute to their country.

A thinking population full of ideas is itself a force which will take the country into newer directions and greatness.

Have you ever imagined what Singapore could have become had the 3 million local native born Singaporeans been allowed their place in society?

They would not have emigrated in droves as they do now, they would have sunk roots, have families and have come up with new and innovative ideas far superior to any this tin pot tyrant and his few bootlicker cronies could have ever churned up.

It may have become an education hub, a legal hub or an aviation or maritime hub.

There could have been great sportsmen, adventurers, scientists, poets.

Singapore could have been a much greater place than it ever is today had there been freedom and liberty.

Singapore has been kept under autopilot for far too long by Lee Kuan Yew and his friends at the top.

Now for the first time facing real challenges to keep the airplane airborne, the people of Singapore have lost the knowledge of how to manually fly the aircraft.

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

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Anonymous said...

Malaysia is one up on Singapore. The Malaysian government is scrapping the Internal Security Act.

Anonymous said...

This is far ever the best written state of affairs present day singapore finds itself.
Gopalan Nair has successfully written truthfully about the real singapore only people who are living or left in singapore know of. A Well written document, excellent stuff. An eye-opener.
Hats off Goplan Nair. Keepup the good work.

Anonymous said...

In Singapore, more money = very happy life.

The people that vote for LKY don't care about rights, opinions, ideas, ...

They are told by their parents to keep their head down.

Sell the HDB flat, take a CPF money and leave for Australia, NZ or Canada.

Anonymous said...

Mr Nair,it is patently clear LKY is using and had used taxpayers money to buy obedience,silence,soul allegiance of many top people in the public and private sectors Many of such people are willing to be rich scapegoats when the occasion arises and the old man demands it.

mycroft said...

A very nice analogy there, Gopalan: the Great Oarsman who has dropped his oar and is now up the creek without a paddle. As we speak, the just-turned-88 incorrigible media whore is busily denying to anyone who will listen that his cruel Stop-at-Two/Graduate Mothers Only eugenics programme of the 60s was responsible for the precipitous fall in the nation's population in 2011. This despite 20/20 hindsight and a ton of statistics proving his mistake beyond a shadow of a doubt. It wasn't any of his doing you see, it is educated women who are at to blame, don't you know!

“Stopping at two has nothing to do with what’s happened. It has happened throughout the developed world, once you have women educated with equal job opportunities, they do not see their future just bearers of children,” replied Lee who was also speaking for the first time as a "distinguished fellow" of the graduate school.

“So the fertility rate has gone down in Singapore to 1.18, I don’t see it going back to 2.1, which is the replacement rate. The only way it can happen if you diseducate or uneducate the women, that doesn’t make sense, the economy will suffer. So the answer is migration," he said.

His facile reply and casual dismissal of any other option but the wholesale import of aliens to rectify his grievous error is simply breathtaking in its contempt for the feelings of the people of Singapore. Is it any wonder that no one believed his denial of the Wikileaks revelation that he referred to Islam as a 'venomous' religion? Of course no one was permitted to embarrass the old fool by asking him why other developed nations with even more educated females do not suffer the same level of reproductive difficulty, not even ageing Japan, and why the UN ranks Singapore at #186, just 9 from bottom, in its list of countries by fertility rate.

With the rise of the Internet and the concomitant fall in the credibility of his government-controlled propaganda mouthpieces, he has no option but to repeat his well-practised lies over and over again and hope that there are still enough suckers around to buy the bullshit. Seems to work as 60% of the electorate are still too hypnotised to notice that all of their present difficulties, the overcrowding, the inadequate infrastructure, reckless over-building leading to unpredictable flooding, soaring prices and falling standards of living...all of these traumas and more can be laid squarely at the door of that disastrous decision by one venomous creature to play God.

Anonymous said...

It is crystal clear LKY is using and had in the past used taxpayer's money to buy obedience,silence conscience ,allegiance,favours from business people in private sector and top civil servants from the public sector.
Many of such people are willing scapegoats and very rich scapegoats,when the opportunity arises and the godfather demands it.

Anonymous said...

As each day goes by, more people are questioning LKY's legacy and pointing out his numerous policy failures, including (1) stop at two; (2) speak Mandaring, (3) FT and so on.

The younger generation don't care much for him.

The new citizens don't know much about his past 'achievements', and do not have any nostalgic feelings for the man.

It's only Singapore old people, mostly the parents of the baby boomers who support the man and his son. These parents, i.e. PAP voters and LKY lovers, will soon be leaving this earth.

So, the longer LKK hangs around, the better the chances of a large number of people who will despise the man.

Anonymous said...

I am a man in my late sixties and was extremely grateful for theEnglish colonial government giving me a fulfilling education with freedom of thought and expression.
My classmates,many of whom are still around,detested this chap like hellPersonally,I do not believe most thinking old men support the PAP regime,but I am inclined to believe most uneducated Chinese woman do support them

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous Sept 19, 0529,

If you were suggesting that you are old, being in your sisteies, take heart, you are not old. Many in their sixties have sailed the world single handed, climbed Everest and even close to where I am, scaled El Capitan at Yosemite, a sheer rock massif going straight into the sky several hundreds of meters not just alone but with his 12 year old son in tow trailing him on the line below.

Both father and son made it to the top of course because I wouldn't be telling this story if they didn't.

Furthermore Singpaore's eternal tyrant Lee Kuan Yew is already 88 and as if that is not bad enough, if I am not mistaken has even vowed to live to 110 to the eternal disappointment of all freedom loving people around the world.

I myself have vowed to live at least up to 120 if not longer and have already started on the necessary excercises to ensure the record longevity.

So whoever you are, don't lose heart. Whatever else you do, don't lose heart.