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Are You Confused? July 10, 2008

Posted by The Truth in Im Allgemeinen.
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Our ‘most popular’ daily, The States’ Times, has once again proved why Singapore is judged to have no press freedom.  Let’s take a look at this letter, written by a certain Syu Ying Kwok:

Five Years? MM Lee’s Estimate Was Too Optimistic

WITH reference to last Friday’s column, ‘Welcome to scary Singapore, land of four million smiles’, I could not help but disagree with Ms Lynn Lee.

It is naïve to assume that all human beings can be trusted to do the right thing, and that we should appeal to the public by their conscience and sense of fairness. While it is ideal to strive towards a kinder and gentler society, Singaporeans must be made to realise the world is actually very brutal.

Why is Singapore schizophrenic? To me, it is both a modern-day wonder and an insane attempt to push the boundary of human sociology, political science and human ingenuity.

With a population of 4.6 million and no natural resources, Singapore is like a 3,000m-tall giant inverted pyramid balancing precariously on a ridiculously small footprint of less than 700 sq km. To further create instability and complexity, the population is a mixture of races, religions and cultures due to its historical immigrant origins.

In some ways, Singapore’s few short decades of peace may bring hope to a millennium of violence in Jerusalem.

On the contrary, I feel Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew is very optimistic when he said recently that Singapore can be unscrambled in just five years.

With modern telecommunications and banking infrastructure, trillions of dollars can be transferred out of Singapore in an instant if the current leaders and their policies change overnight.

Singapore’s economy can become an empty shell within weeks. The grim reality is that global financial investors would have no qualms in rendering us incapacitated in this fiercely competitive world.

In many ways, Singapore is a failure due to its own success. Thanks to its ability to provide housing, work opportunities and good economic growth year after year in a First World environment, it is no wonder that most Singaporeans, especially those born after 1965, have bred a false sense of security, thinking modern Singapore is a creation by mother nature.

Recently, opposition politician Tan Lead Shake made headlines after a tragic event in his family. But what chills the bones is the fact that in the past three elections, an average of more than 20 per cent of the electorate voted for him or anyone else who stood for election with little consideration of his credentials or abilities.

Will Singapore last as long as the 3,000-year-old Great Pyramids of Giza? Very unlikely, when civilisations in history last an average of less than 500 years.

But the real answer lies not just in our children but in the choice we make now to ensure a better future for them now.

Syu Ying Kwok

Whoa.  It seems like our friend has a huge penchant for the dramatic.  In fact, in his first paragraph, he has already literally shot himself in the foot, dug his own grave, and threw himself in. “It is naïve to assume that all human beings can be trusted to do the right thing, and that we should appeal to the public by their conscience and sense of fairness,” he proclaims.  Which is how so very true, but it is questionable how come he thinks that a select group of politicians should be the only people we can trust to do the right thing.  How is it that a small group of people can decide for 4 million people what the right thing is?

While politicians are there to represent the people and even to make difficult and unpopular choices, the very fact that this select group of people under one party has dominated for so long implies that they may be misguided, but in every sense of the word doing what politicians do – representing the people, only perhaps without realising what the people want.  So it boils down, effectively, to who is being represented, indeed.  I think this is what is meant in the original article which he attacked.

“While it is ideal to strive towards a kinder and gentler society, Singaporeans must be made to realise the world is actually very brutal.” No wonder Singapore is where it is today.  An over-competitive educational system, which mass-produces drones which repeat the same process used to achieve success, albeit only in one meaning of the word.  Which, in effect, makes the system brutal, and primes the kids for being brutal through exposing them to the dog-eat-dog world of Singaporean academia.  The fact that people in school still help each other should be seen as a blessing already.

In fact, this sounds like something someone belonging to the political élite (or an aspiring wannabe) would write…after all, Singapore is pragmatic mah!  How many times do we have to be reminded that life is brutal, when we see it all around in everyday life?  Perhaps the Gahmen has failed to see that apart from material well-being, which is an important prerequisite for a healthy mind and mental life, that this in itself is vital too.  I think the Gahmen is slowly waking up its idea, but this author actually doesn’t.  He thinks that because Singapore is rich in terms of moolah (although wealth distribution is in the woods), we should be happy and mentally healthy, so we need a reminder that life isn’t all that dandy.  Hehheh.

Here’s more…”With a population of 4.6 million and no natural resources, Singapore is like a 3,000m-tall giant inverted pyramid balancing precariously on a ridiculously small footprint of less than 700 sq km.” Same old argument.  An inverted pyramid is naturally unstable, but only that it makes a big bang when it happens to be 3 kilometres tall.  So you mean, Mr. Syu, that if Singapore collapsed in the 1960s, it would be totally fine with you?  I mean, it would be fine with me, because i wasn’t born then yet.  Then he says ” In some ways, Singapore’s few short decades of peace may bring hope to a millennium of violence in Jerusalem.”

Don’t I hope so too.  You must understand, Mr. Syu, that the world is actually very brutal.  You said it yourself.  On top of that, who are you to talk about Jerusalem?  What do you know about the history of Isreal?  Isreal was a plot of land allocated to the Jewish peoples after the Second World War.  Was Singapore allocated an island which once belonged to Malaysia?  You decide.  The land which is Isreal used to belong rightfully to the Arab nations.  One millenia of stryfe has been intensified by this.  I don’t remember reading in my history textbook that Singapore was allocated land by the Commonwealth or whoever, thus making the Malay-speaking neighbours extremely unhappy.

And again, “trillions of dollars can be transferred out of Singapore in an instant if the current leaders and their policies change overnight.”  Indeed, which is why Singapore needs this ‘public conscience.’  The lack of transparency means that PURELY THEORETICALLY (emphasis means that this is theoretical and is NOT a statement that it is happening), trillions of dollars could be transferred out of Singapore without us knowing.  Good faith in the Gahmen is important, but how far does this good faith go?

Singapore is a victim of its own success.  Very true.  Wouldn’t it be easier to control Singapore if we were small, 3rd world, with most of us struggling to survive on the most basic of necessities?  I mean, in that environment, Singapore would be really easy to control.  The PAP would receive more support than ever.  A false sense of security, thinking modern Singapore was created out of Nature?  The last time i did history, it was listing down all the illustrious acts of one Lee Kuan Yew and his less-important and not-so-often-mentioned friends.  If all, we know that Singapore is a product of human effort.  And not so many of us have a false sense of security anymore, except when it comes to terrorists and their Great Escapades.

Recently, opposition politician Tan Lead Shake made headlines after a tragic event in his family. But what chills the bones is the fact that in the past three elections, an average of more than 20 per cent of the electorate voted for him or anyone else who stood for election with little consideration of his credentials or abilities.

This is just a cheap shot, made in low taste.  I wonder why the editors even let this get published, when other, more readworthy letters, are cut out due to a ‘lack of space.’  Truly laughable.  The Mandarin saying 近朱者赤,近墨者黑 may be relevant here.  But seriously.  This is chilling.  So we know little about his credentials.  But that he married someone who may turn out to be guilty of murder?  Please.  That’s just a cheap shot.  It is also questionable how come this even got published.  Is this, perhaps, ‘nation-building?’

Furthermore, we don’t know if the PAP politicians have credentials or abilities.  We assume they do, because they are scholars, etc.  But then again, terrorists have escaped, and people have gone overseas using the wrong passport, and there is no responsibility being assumed.  So what are we to believe?  Did we assume wrongly, and heads cannot roll because they don’t have the credentials or abilities?

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