Monday, February 13, 2017

Will Singapore Island's committee of future economy save the island? What is the real problem?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For at least 10 years now the tiny Singapore's island's economy has been steadily declining. Today the growth rate is almost zero or minus. Almost everything is down. Remember the island is a dictatorship. And just like any other dictatorship economic planning is done by the state. The citizens' job is just to work in the economic sectors given to them.

So you have a dictatorship or oligarchy that has decided that the port should be one industry, the airport should be another, the biotech sector, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas refining and bunkering for vessels, oil rig manufacture and so on. The creation of these industries has nothing to do with the common man. Just as Stalin in the Soviet Union would come out with a 5 year plan to expand grain production, so it is in Singapore.

Unfortunately for these dictators, every one of these sectors has collapsed. First the developed world no longer sees a need to invest in wet back cheap labor countries. They could automate and produce cheaply within their own borders. In any case Singapore labor has become so expensive thanks to the mismanagement of these dictators that it is no longer profitable to locate in the island.

And then you have the repression of the people which has successfully produced an entire society which is incapable of thinking for themselves. Just as in the Soviet Union, the way to advance is to be a sycophant and government bootlicker. In order to succeed what you need most is the recognition of the government of your support. In the Soviet Union, you would have joined the Communist Party which helps to advance your career. In Singapore a similar organization is the Peoples Association. By joining and volunteering in it, you are guaranteed a steady job, promotions in your career and security from unemployment.

Most Singapore citizens who want a successful life are more concerned with finding a job in the government sector, a government linked company or other related organization while at the same time publicly and openly showing your support for the dictators by your work in the Peoples Association. You can see them everywhere in their white uniforms, the color of the dictators and their ruling party the Peoples Action Party. This sort of an attitude does not encourage independent thinking or doing things on your own. The Singaporean has a crutch mentality, where Lee Kuan Yew's son and his friends and relatives who run the government are his mentors, his patrons and his source of a livelihood. And so far, during the island's entire history, the dictators have been always loyal to their supporters. It is only the Singaporeans who like dogs, run around and lick the boots of the dictators who manage to advance and succeed in their careers.

While at the same time, anyone who has shown the slightest of opposition to the regime is viciously destroyed. The late JB Jeyaretnam, opposition politician, Chee Soon Juan opposition leader, and dozens of others who have even expressed the slightest of objection to the regime have all been destroyed primarily through defamation actions, using Kangaroo judges who do their bidding.

As a result of these years of character training, like you would train a dog, Singapore citizens can be said to be incapable of doing anything for themselves. Just as a dog's only purpose is to please it's master, the Singaporean's only purpose is to ingratiate himself to his dictators. Jump and do as your told and you get a bone. Show any disobedience and you get the stick. Their minds have been crippled by fear. Fear of what the state would do to them if they showed resistance. They are only capable of obedience and showing support to the regime and score points thereby. Scoring points is a very important aspect of the Singaporean's life. The more the dictators like you, the more you progress. If they hate you, you don't stand a chance. So you spend your entire life trying to find ways in getting into the good books of the dictators.

Let me give you my own example. The Singaporean dictators never liked me. While I was living in the island in the 1980s, I told them openly that they are a bunch of corrupt dictators and they are no good. As a result for years, while I was in Singapore, I was repeatedly persecuted through trumped up charges. In 2008, while I was on holiday in the island, they put me in jail in Singapore for writing a blog stating that Belinda Ang Saw Ean, one of their judges who unjustly punished Chee Soon Juan, was prostituting herself as a judge. And then, because they were very angry, no doubt as a result of my temerity, they charged me with another trumped up charge of disorderly behavior and fined me. After I returned to the US, they decided to disbar me from practicing law in their island because I stated that another Kangaroo judge of theirs was similarly prostituting herself.

Lest you may have any doubts, their disbarring me in their tin pot banana republic Singapore island,  has no effect whatsoever on my life and career in California USA where I continue to be in active practice of the law and a member of the State Bar of California.

After all this, they have told me that even though I hold a US passport I need a visa to enter Singapore. The truth is, even if I have a visa for Singapore, I still will not go. You never know they might just arrest and jail me on a whim. This is the sort of thing that happens in banana republics. If you anger the ruler, you would never dare to step foot there again because they can simply do anything they want to you. This is not the sort of thing that happens in a civilized, respectable country with the rule of law.

Singapore today does not have the basic fundamental rights that anyone can expect in any civilized country. No freedom of speech, assembly, right of protest, no workers right to strike or collective bargaining, no rule of law and no freedom of the press. Any activity on any of these accounts is a criminal offense and will land you in jail.

And the reason why they behave in this obnoxious way is two fold. One to ensure there is no threat to the dictators grip on power. And the dictators can be as corrupt as they want without anyone to criticize. The Singaporean dictators are as corrupt as the worst of the African dictators as they pay themselves millions which they call salaries. Any criticism of corruption directed at them would immediately result in a defamation action or arrest before their Kangaroo courts.

Many tertiary educated Singaporeans are unhappy to live like this. As a result they emigrate to the West resulting in the worst brain drain in the world. Their unhappiness results in the lowest birth rate in the world. In effect the native Singapore population is literally dying off. To replace them the island brings in hoards of Chinese nationals from Communist China literally changing the very identity of the people of the island. This angers the remaining locals causing them to leave in even greater numbers.

Coming to the economic problems of Singapore, the problem lies in the mind of the local Singaporean. Fear and character training like you would train a dog to be obedient has created and entire society of followers, not independent thinkers who can stand on their own. If all the average Singaporean is capable of is to join the state bandwagon of the Peoples Association and be a supporter in the hope of the crumbs that they throw at them, you will never have entrepreneurs, inventors, innovators or men of ideas. And without them, you simply don't have the grit which is needed for economic success.

You might take issue with my claim that Singaporeans are incapable of being entrepreneurs. After all Singapore is known as a business center. True there are businesses in Singapore. But they don't belong to Singaporeans but to foreigners. The dictators have created a free for all business atmosphere with low taxes so that anyone from anywhere can come to set up business. And the Singaporeans are the ones who work for these foreign businessmen for low wages. Unfortunately despite the low taxation these foreigners no longer want to invest in the island since their own countries are giving them even better terms. So they are not coming and the poor Singaporeans is out of work.

In addition to the foreign businessmen, Singapore attracts crooked millionaires who use the island to launder illegal money. Unfortunately even in this money laundering sector, Singapore is losing out because the countries from which they come have tightened loopholes making it very difficult to repatriate funds.

Singaporeans have no hope because they cannot think. They are destined to do as their leaders tell them. And unfortunately it seems the leaders have run out of ideas just as all dictators eventually as history shows us.

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