Thursday, September 12, 2013

Singapore wastes it's very best citizens

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Those who have been reading this blog would know that I have very little good to say of Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore. It is nothing but a one party dictatorship regardless of what anyone wants to call it with no human rights whatsoever.

But having said that, after having lived in America for the last 22 years, and practicing law here for nearly as long, I cannot deny that Singapore has many redeeming qualities, which the power freak Lee Kuan Yew dictatorship appears determined to fritter away.

As a lawyer specializing in Immigration Law in my practice I have the opportunity of meeting people from all over the world, many from impoverished Latin American countries.

Only last week I had two clients from El Salvador applying for asylum, who crossed the Mexico Arizona border after crossing the Sonora Desert into Nogales Arizona. They told me they suffered great poverty in their country and in their entire life, listen to this, they attended school for just 3 days! Both of them are only in their twenties and they are completely illiterate. And like them there are many among their population who have no education whatsoever!

I then thought of Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew's pigeonhole government housing in which everyone lives and his Singapore schools. And then it dawned on me how lucky Singaporean children are, for being given an education and a roof over their heads. There is no doubt regardless of how repressive the society is, Singaporeans are given an education and the basic necessities for a decent living. A Singaporean is without doubt far luckier than someone from El Salvador unless you happen to be the son of their president.

For anyone who may think that I have now suddenly embraced the dictatorship, and have become a turncoat and have made a complete U turn, let me assure you it is not the case.

At the state of development at which Singapore is today, for which we cannot deny some  accomplishment on the part of Lee Kuan Yew, we should be comparing it not with El Salvador but with Finland or Australia.

And if so compared Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore is a total failure, because although it gives it's people an education, it denies them their freedom, which makes the education useless. What good is an education in the head of someone who is afraid of his own shadow and that of Lee Kuan Yew. What good is an education in the head of a mouse?

This is my message for the Lee Kuan Yew government. Well done for doing what you have done so far. But don't throw it all away by treating your people like sheep. They don't like it. And this why they emigrate. You are losing your best talent by your determination to keep a lid over them. You are afraid of your own people. This is why you behave this way. And this is why you are losing your very best talent.

I can assure you, if educated Singaporeans stayed instead of leaving for Australia, the island would be a far better success than it is now.

The average Singaporean is a far superior specimen to the El Salvadorian that I mentioned, no doubt about it. Far more educated and far more capable. And they will stay if you treat them like human beings, not like rabbits.

If you allowed true democracy in your island, your citizens will stay. And you will benefit by their presence. Otherwise, as what is happening now, your very best talent is leaving and you are replacing them with second rate foreigners. This is the most stupid policy I have ever seen in my life.

Use your head. Retain your talent by treating them as human beings. I can assure you, you will be doing your island good.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 491 8525


Anonymous said...

Singapore offers an education system, says GN. But is does offer a system that teaches students to think.

My experience with students and graduates from USA, Australia and Britain is that the education systems there produce intelligent people with opinions and ideas, as well as the courage to try new things. Most Singapore students cannot hold a candle to these students.

LKY says that he and his son can do all the thinking necessary for Singapore. Hence no reason for SG students to learn how to think.

Anonymous said...

Having worked and lived in the UK for coming to 20 years, I have always heard praise for Singaporean employees and graduates. It is funny how Singaporeans are appreciated in other countries, mainly because we stand out against the less educated, less intelligent peers in our host country. What makes me sad is Singaporeans are not appreciated in Singapore. When I graduated from NUS and started working in Singapore, the locals were always treated worse than our foreign co-workers by our employers. This discrimination against one's own people seems to be a very Asian thing which frankly I find stupid. As said in this article, Singaporeans start leaving in droves as our skills and expertise are better valued abroad. Since working in the UK, I am treated the same as my UK co-workers. I have the same career opportunitites, benefits etc. Singapore instead fawns over their foreign talent when they have talent in their own countrymen and women. Singaporeans like me once having tasted work in the US, UK Canada etc will never come back to Singapore. Why come home and be treated like a 2nd class citizen and see foreigners (less comeptant ones as well) be treated better than you?