Thursday, August 1, 2013

Singapore, a yes-man's paradise

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Depending on who you are, crowded tiny tropical Singapore island may not be such a bad place after all. For a start, you have clean running water, 24 hours electricity which does not go off as in other  3rd world countries, a good infra structure and transport system. Most of all, you can earn more than in the impoverished countries of the world.

But the problem is this. It is not the inability to make a living that is the obstacle, it is your mindset that is the issue. Singapore unlike other countries has a Lee Kuan Yew who demands acceptance of a certain philosophy for success, by which I mean, his philosophy.

And a few examples of his  philosophy are, Malays and Indians although citizens can be discriminated by the Chinese majority, a race relations law is unnecessary, a minimum wage law is unnecessary, trade unions shouldn't have any rights, the judges should abuse the law when ordered to destroy political opposition, the newspapers have to be controlled by the state, and people should not have the right to strike, protest, or the right to free speech, expression or assembly.

In other words, you simply have to accept whatever Lee Kuan Yew, his son, and their handpicked brilliant Harvard and Yale scholars in their infinite wisdom tell you to do. He wants you to tell yourself that since they are all so highly qualified and you are nothing compared to them, who are you to question them. They are Gods; who the Hell are you?

The pre-requisite to succeed in the island is to accept the fact that Lee Kuan Yew, his son, and their political party are your masters to whom you have to give your undivided loyalty and support. They have ruled over you since 1959 and they have no intention of doing anything else, now or anytime in the future. You have to get that into your head if you want to succeed.

Your total submission is what makes the Lee family happy and this is your ticket to a prosperous and successful life and career in his island. In his mind, you have to be a fool to question him and willingly suffer the dire consequences, that will undoubtedly follow.

Of course you have to be good in school and pass your exams. Having done that, if you toe the line without question, join his party, and always espouse your support for him and his government, I expect you to have a very prosperous, successful and long life.

Most people who live in his Singapore island live this way. They wake up in the morning, go to work, send their children to schools, go home and watch television or have a beer and do that day after day. Life is peaceful and uneventful. None of them have any trouble. As long as you don't commit any crimes and mind your own business, or better still, volunteer your time at his political organizations, he would love you and do all he can for you. As for you, you can enjoy the good transport system, the clean running water and the working telephones in his island, and thank God you are not living in Somalia.

In fact even his supporters in government who have transgressed the law are still looked after once they completed their punishments. They may be quietly given jobs in state controlled companies or some other posts where they can serve the government. Lee Kuan Yew does not forget his supporters as long as you continue in submission and obedience.

Another way of putting it; you have to be like a faithful Labrador; never leaving his master's side.

On the other hand, Lee Kuan Yew hates, and I can say, viscerally hates, people such as myself, the late former opposition politician JB Jeyaretnam or anyone else who dared to question his style of government.

People like us have no place in Lee Kuan Yew's island. Showing opposition to him is unforgivable and subject's one to life long punishment. We are treated even worse than his supporters who have committed crimes. At least they will still be cared for in Lee's merciful arms, but not anyone who has dared to question him. We are forever doomed in Lee Kuan Yew's island; our unforgivable crime was our refusal to accept the reality of Lee Kuan Yew's omnipotence and absolute wisdom.

Unfortunately it was not possible for me or for others who have stood up to him in the past, even if we tried, to accept life under Lee Kuan Yew's one party police state lying down.

Our minds simply do not allow it. It is simply not possible for us to be that obedient Labrador. And Lee knows that too. So for many of us, the answer has been either to emigrate to the West or to simply disappear into oblivion in his island, if that is all possible, not to mention poverty and misery of not having a job.

But for those who will accept such a life, for the countless Indian nationals who are simply looking for a better job than in their impoverished India, the same with the Chinese from their native remote areas where they were previously living in poverty, Singapore is an excellent place to live. More money and clean running water. Surely it can't be so bad and what is wrong about kowtowing to a tyrant, if it means a better, prosperous and secure life and career, not only for yourself, but also for your offspring.

Surely life under Big Brother (the Lee Kuan Yew family)  can't be that bad after all. Should I now become the reformed Winston in Orwell's 1984 when he finally realized the big mistake he made in not accepting Big Brother? Surely Big Brother was right after all. Big Brother was always right. How stupid of me to have wasted my life by not submitting to our loving kind and caring Big Brother.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: (510) 491 4375

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Singapore's press freedom rating is as good as china communist party, apprx ranked 150 every year. everyone living in oblivious paradise, with little or no concern for taiwan or hk democracy, arab spring, Ukraine crisis, US interventions, etc. but obsession over smap's convert ticket.

I think SG gov is excellent, I seriously do. but common core style education, diminishing critical thinking, discussion, debates, creates machines. 37% of youth (15 to 30 years old) feel no loyalty, no culture or saying in the country, suicide cases everyday.

it's all still good and beautiful, staying naive and lovely. until SG advantage over neighbours, its port and financial hub, is easily duplicated by its neighbours. when our neighbours decide to wake up from decades of corruption.

we are made to believe we r rich. feel superior over developing countries. well an average farmer in Sarawak can pay of his 4000 sqft house in less than 10 years, nap in afternoon, 20 hours week, how about singaporeans?

speaking to an average Singaporean is probably the most boring conversation one can have. with little or no views on everything.

I'm not saying PAP is bad, in fact its really good in many ways. but it has start to develop diversity, encourage perspectives.

most businesses are beaten down by rent. the most successful business is rent itself. open the straits times and you'll see pages of business and investment seminars, but little or no interest group meetings.

we cannot rely solely on expensive houses, port, financial hub, forever. these facilities are easily duplicated. the true resources we have are people, and people without thought processing abilities is not going to strive in coming years.