S’pore’s success: An observer’s take

Dear Mr David Mason,

I refer to your article published by the Straits Times on 27 Oct 2011.

The first transistor radio you bought in 1963 at Raffles Place was courtesy of our founding in 1819 as a free port and British free market principles which helped Singapore blossom into a bustling emporium for goods to be bought and sold.

Singapore’s transformation from a swampy island began in 1819 when the British set about sculpting a beautiful port city out of this tiny island. The majestic buildings we inherited from them have become precious monuments in our country. We continue to be beset by mosquitoes with outbreaks of dengue fever cases every now and then.

The prosperity of the Western democratic nations shows that democracy is no impediment to stability and that there is no truth to the notion that embracing democracy means throwing away progress our forefathers fought so hard to achieve.

Having aircon buses might seem a God send for a Westerner like yourself who is not used to our hot weather and who leaves wet marks under your shoes. But for Singaporeans born and bred, the heat is no issue. When aircon buses were first introduced, some commuters actually requested for more non-aircon buses so that they don’t have to wait every other bus to get on a non-aircon one which charged cheaper fares.

We have indeed become a place of enjoyment for the well-heeled but not for the masses who struggle to cope with a place rapidly becoming expensive.

HDB shouldn’t be compared to public housing elsewhere since it is sold at prices comparable to private housing prices elsewhere. If HDB suddenly decided to offer the kind of cheap public housing found in other countries it may be surprised that the population might want to cash out on their current expensive flats and move into those cheap flats.

If Jurong is unbelievable, Taiwan’s Hsinchu is even more unbelievable as are countless other unbelievable industrial parks sprouting all over East Asia. While our CBD is close to the best in the world, we still fall behind New York, London and Hong Kong.

The supposed need for unchecked immigration is not founded on macro-economic grounds, a point even our distinguished ex-civil servant Mr Ngiam Tong Dow acknowledged in his 10 Nov 2011 Business Times article “Climbing the Global Economic Ladder”.

You applaud our massive immigration because you are not here to feel our daily commuter crush; you don’t have to pay sky high property prices due to excessive immigration.

While Singapore was won by the mid-1980s, our fight really began in 1819. In his speeches, Goh Keng Swee spoke of crisis after crisis Singapore had to overcome soon after our founding in 1819, long before PAP won in 1959.

It is not just the younger generation that lack understanding, understanding is generally lacking across generations. Generation after generation have been fooled into believing that Lee Kuan Yew and the PAP gave us prosperity. If that were true, we must be the only prosperous nation to have made it after the Second World War, for there is only one Lee Kuan Yew and one PAP in this world. But we are not the only nation to have prospered after the war. Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea prospered too without Lee Kuan Yew or PAP. In fact, hundreds of developing nations emerged after the Second World War but only four prospered. All four came from East Asia. Is that mere coincidence? The chance of that happening is so low it can’t be coincidence. Our success has everything to do with East Asian exceptionalism and nothing to do with Lee Kuan Yew or the PAP.

Asians respect elders. But our elder has referred to us as animals whose spurs are not stuck deep enough into our hide. He claimed we would become maids and foreign workers if not for his good government. He recently threatened us with five years of repent if we voted in the opposition. You are mistaken, Mr Mason. It is not us who have no respect for our elders; our elder has no respect for us.

The awful sense of birth right and complacency has gone into the heads of the PAP, allowing them to bulldoze through one poorly considered policy after another.

Since success is rooted in East Asian exceptionalism, not due to any one elder, our nation is not at risk come what may to our elder.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “S’pore’s success: An observer’s take”

  1. Saycheese Says:

    Would it not be great to have a Lee Kuan Yew award instead of the Deng Xiao Ping award and with Mobutu Sese Seko, Ferdinand Marcos, Suharto and various Myanmese despots as some of the first recipients of the award?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: