ST editor tells Lee Kuan Yew’s daughter to be happy that “we don’t spit on your dad’s grave”
IS THE DEMISE OF SINGAPORE INEVITABLE?
This book, MY MOTHER, LEE KUAN & GOD, is what my mother thought of LKY and his belief in capitalism instead of God, and that is why I needed to take this spiritual journey. Many people who know me have often asked this question, “Why are you so obsessed with Palestine?” Well, frankly speaking, my journey was never about Palestine. In fact, my journey was all about Lee Kuan Yew’s greater belief in the Joos’ power instead of believing in God’s power.
Lee Kuan Yew’s greatest concern and fear was the demise of Singapore and similarly, my first ex-husband’s greatest fear was when he opens the door one day and I disappear with our children. Well, his fear became a reality and I strongly believe that Lee Kuan Yew’s fear is now happening right in front of us since his demise. Why do I say that? Because if you are a one-man show, building a country’s base on your sole vision of how a society should be IS JUST SINFUL. That was what my mother said and she also believed that even for his own children, LKY had no right to run their lives, much less an entire country.
A country must grow organically and cannot be structured in any way you see fit. And that is because a nation cannot be run like an army and worse to be treated like a CORPORATION, it’s as simple as that. Capitalism has NO ROOM FOR HEARTS just focus on the bottom line, period!
Let me share with you what Chua Lee Hoong from Straits Times had written and what I thought.
“Sad to say that the Government had already made up their mind in the early years of nation-building that the people could not think so even till now in the 21st century they still carry this mentality, therefore they still feel it was their responsibility or they got to think for the people at large? This is our main problem and dilemma!
So does Mr. Lee Kuan Yew still believes it is possible to produce a maverick in a Confucianist society? And if he still believes it could be done, maybe the country should have a dialogue session to discuss this subject further? Furthermore, when he said that ‘This is a problem for all Confucianist societies’, was he referring to Singapore? But I thought all along Singapore is a democratic society, but after reading Mr. Lee Kuan Yew statement I am a bit confused as to what kind of state Singapore really is? Could someone help clear the air? I guessed when it suited the PAP Government, Singapore can be whatever they want it to be? For example, one minute we are a nation; next minute we are not yet a nation? Isn’t it confusing for the people at large? Not only it is confusing it is driving Singaporeans crazy at times?
We Are Not Yet A Nation
When PM Goh Chok Tong said that Singapore still not yet a Nation I was very troubled by such casual remark because here I am having all these great vision for Singapore and he was saying things that were confusing. Ms Chua Lee Hoong article “Can Singapore Inc Ever Become A Nation” (Straits Times 11 November 2000) was very disturbing for the soul? She was very concerned and confused after hearing what PM Goh Chok Tong got to say about the future of Singapore. After reading her paper I was very worried and disturbed too; I seemed to lose faith in the PAP government under the leadership of PM Goh Chok Tong for his lack of vision and direction into Singapore’s future because he was confusing the people unnecessarily?
Thinking Aloud – Can Singapore Inc Ever Become A Nation?
I don’t know about you, but two different statements made by Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong last weekend got my brain cells itching. On Saturday night, he was at the National University of Singapore after 2007. Part of the session was given over to urging people to enter politics, or more precisely, to answer the People’s Action Party’s called to join its ranks as election candidates.
He was looking for people who felt strongly about Singapore, and who had good ideas, he said. Then – itch No 1 – he likened himself to an “MNC recruiter”, who would be the first to spot these worthy persons. The next afternoon, at a convention organized by the Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP). Mr. Goh admonished the body for straying into the political arena. Issuing a strong warning against racial politics, he said Singapore was still a young country. Itch No 2: “We are not yet a nation,” he stressed. Now, if you take those two statements – “MNC recruiter” and “We are not yet a nation” – separately, they are fine. In fact they are old hat.
Singapore has been Singapore Inc, for so long now that when the prime minister described himself as its headhunter, it attracted ripples of laughter. As for Singapore being not yet a nation, it attracted ripples of laughter. As for Singapore being not yet a nation, Mr. Goh made the same point in parliament in may last year. He urged that the creation of “Singapore tribe”, an extended Singapore family of all the races here, with distinctive core values and social characteristics, and a common destiny.
Some people retorted then that Singapore was already a nation. “Aiyah, we all know who we are.” They declared along with life! Columnist Monica Gwee. This time, no one is bothering to raise the same refrain. Part of the reason, of course, is that Mr. Goh’s Sunday remark was directed at the AMP, and not Singapore in general. The Prime Minister defined “nation” this way” “A nation comprises people with shared past and pulls together in the same direction because they see the same future for themselves and their children.”
In other words, it is not the race that counts, but the destination. As long as different communities are headed in the same direction, nationhood is not far away. Since this is American election time, let me quote something from former president George Bush, which highlights how many communities can still make one nation. Speaking at the Republican national Convention in New Orleans on August 18, 1988, he said: “We are a nation of communities, of tens and tens of thousands of ethnic, religious, social, business, labor union, neighborhood, regional and other organizations, all of them varied, voluntary, and unique…a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky…”
I have a theory about America to explain why, despite its holds together so well. America thrives, and is such a magnet for immigrants, because, among all the 22-odd countries on earth, it has the most coherent and appealing national philosophy. It was first articulated in the 1776 Declaration of independence and reiterated countless times since then in speeches, movies, songs and the popular patois. It has made its way around the world, casting its spell on poor refugees and middle-class professionals alike.
It can be summed up in these famous words: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is America credo and America rules the world because its credo embraces every human need. What of Singapore?
Earlier, I said the PM Goh’s two remarks, about being MNC recruiter and Singapore being not yet a nation, were fine, as long as you take them separately. Put them together, however, and I start getting uneasy. The reason is simple. If we are, on the one hand, a multinational corporation, and, on the other, not yet a nation, the question begs to be asked: Can a corporation ever become a nation? If the answer is Yes, the next question is, How? If the answer is No, the next question is: Which is more important, nationhood or, to coin a term, corporationhood?
And should we still be harping on Singapore as Singapore Inc? PM Goh said he was an MNC recruiter looking for people with “good ideas”. But did not say if these should be good for Singapore Inc or Singapore the nation. MNCs are driven by the bottom line. The profit motive ensures that employees work in more or less the same direction. They will battle one another for position and power, but the company moves ahead nevertheless. Employees know that whatever advances the bottom line advances themselves.
Not so in a country that is not yet a nation. The bottom line is necessary for Singapore, but far from sufficient. The mercantile-minded welcome the commercial focus, but not everyone has the mercantilist drive. Proportionately speaking, but at the risk of generalization still, more Chinese and Indians in Singapore may be able to accept a mercantilist bottom line. Less so the Malays the recent AMP controversy, in fact, throws up an interesting angle. Is this: While it was social and economic upliftment of the Malay community that the Government tasked the AMP with, the later became more enamored of the political aspect. The rhetoric of marginalization came to dominate the AMP agenda.
It was ironic that precisely what it had been tasked to do – get the Malay community out of the margins of society through more upliftment programs – was flipped on its side and made a complaint. There is a moral in there, and it is not so much that power gets to the head. It is that no matter how strong a state and its figures of authority are, they can never be sure of control over individuals and communities. There can be nations within nations. Sovereignty without does not guarantee sovereignty within. Sovereignty within comes only with a common ideal, a shared vision of what a country is all about? It brings us to the hard question. What is Singapore all about?
Many think it is about attaining every higher economic growth and keeping ahead in the economic race. Not very inspiring stuff, but fine if we are satisfied being Singapore Inc. I am not satisfied though. I want Singapore to be a nation, How? That’s for another day.
Maybe Miss Chua got another day to think about such issue, but I don’t have any as my children’s future lie in my hands? So how are the people going to follow the Government in the long run when they could not make up their mind what Singapore should be? I got a straight forward and simple mind, the way I see it if we can achieve 30 sec to run 100 meters why should we restrict ourselves and take two minutes or even one minute to finish the race? So don’t you think it make better sense to ‘To Open The Political Doors’ now instead of later? Or bit by bit starting from the physical like bar top dancing, is that the way the Government will take in Remaking Singapore in order for us to catch up to survive? The Government said that if the other ASEAN countries couldn’t catch up, then Singapore should not be held back by them, similarly, why is the Government holding back the people potentials, if not why aren’t they opening up the political door? The Government must not allow their insecurity mars the people full potentials. It is not fair to the people at large and Singapore especially.”
We have failed to pile the right foundation for Singapore by not nurturing the local talents and SME and instead just focus on building the MNC during nation building! Sim Wong Hoo was a local talent and when he was successful he was asked to share his talent or know how because he was a Singaporean but where was the Singapore government when he needed their support when he was not doing well?
WE ARE NOT LIKE ROBOTS but, unfortunately, this was how Lee Kuan Yew created Singapore. So naturally, after his death, the country died with him. And this is proof when I say.
Samuel Ngo And the forthcoming realization of the Kra Canal Project with full backing from China will deal the death blow to the tiny chauvinistic Singapore whose political leaders only worship MONEY and hide behind the BIG BULLY but shows NO RESPECT for the Motherland of 75% of its population even as they are part of Asia and not America!
Te Pu Win What I see is that the CPC leaders have long memory; very loyal to their friends, such as Kuok Hok Nin, and quietly remember how LKY was so very extremely anti-Communist when he got elected and then turned on Lim Cheng Siong, who deserved 1st merit for his support.
Dennis Etler Singapore, HK and Taiwan all need a good spanking with a learning stick so they finally realize who the hell they are.
Samuel Ngo Well said, Dennis. I think California, Texas and Quebec as well.
Australia’s leading source of information and entertainment abc.net.au
smh.com.au|By Heath Aston
Kym Rider Good! Piece of shit Singapore deserves to be hit hard and be taught a lesson.
Sunny Chong YES AND IT’S HIGH TIME DUE TO OUR CONSTANT ARROGANCE. I never forget what my mother said in the 70’s on Singapore’s future. She said that as long as Lee Kuan Yew still alive and America still the dominating power then Singapore will survive if not the min LKY dies Singapore will die a natural death!
THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE KRA CANAL IS LONG OVERDUE AND IT MAKES COMMON SENSE TO MAKE IT HAPPENS AND WE SHOULD BE HAPPY FOR THEM. MOST SINGAPOREANS SEE IT AS AN ACT OF ECONOMIC WAR BUT I hAVE EXPECTED IT BECAUSE MY TEACHER TOLD US IT WAS A MATTER OF TIME THIS WILL HAPPEN. WE JUST NEED TO ADAPT AND BE AGILE INSTEAD OF CARRYiNG FEAR LIKE IT IS THE END OF THE WORLD!
In Singapore mentality, if others are ahead of us this means people did bad to us like for example when our neighboring countries increase the sand price and granite price which had not increased since the 60’s, LKY screamed out LOUD on TOP of his lung that our neighbours are jealous of our success, what UTTER RUBBISH! We must learn how to compete instead of blaming our setback onto the others. Frankly speaking, if the leadership still carry the old mindset of the 60’s than I am very afraid of Singapore future.
Let me take this opportunity to share with you this conversation I have with a fellow Singaporean. I said what if Malaysia will not sell agro to us and do you know what was his reply? He said, “If Malaysia doesn’t sell to us then sell to who?” So this means if they don’t sell the sand to Singapore nobody will buy their sand right? Singapore eyes only see now they cannot see far like Johore growth is unstoppable and this mean if the Malaysians can supply to Johore why should they bother with Singapore on top of it our attitude SUCK so great time for them to be even! So don’t you think it is important to remind Singaporeans to be humble and build a good relationship with our neighbors especially our immediate neighbor and when we go over there have RESPECT to their environment this mean don’t anyhow LITTERS!!
The canal that will sink S’pore’s maritime-trade dominance is one step closer to fruition
The Kra Canal may become a reality in Thailand with China helping with the construction bill.
AFTER MY REPLY TO MY FRIEND TO HELP ME PUBLISH MY BOOK I DID NOT HEAR FROM HER ANYMORE 🙁 IT’S EXPECTED AND MOST PEOPLE DON’T EVEN ENTERTAIN TO TALK ON SUCH SUBJECT
On Monday, March 20, 2017, 1:05 AM, Daphne <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
So nice to hear from you! Thanks for thinking of us when it comes to publishing! I would love to help you in any way I can. My apologies for my late reply, I was in Sri Lanka with my mom for her birthday and was offline for the trip.
Just to make sure we are on the same page, Guy and I do not actually publish books on Publishizer. What we have is a platform that helps authors sell preorders of their book in order to get publishers interested. We do not need a manuscript. We need a book proposal (you can create one on our site) that fulfills all the categories required by publishers.
However, it is not up to us to sell preorders. It is up to the author, and for most, it is a difficult journey. Your story is really fascinating and interesting, but can you please tell me:
1) What is the purpose of your book? Is it a memoir of your achievements? Are you trying to impart knowledge?
2) Who is your audience? Do you have people who are willing to support your book? How large is your audience?
I can give you a call if you wish to have a chat about it. Have a great day!
From: Sunflower Chong <email@example.com>
To: Daphne <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, March 20, 2017, 5:27:46 PM GMT+8
Subject: Re: MY BOOK – My Spiritual Journey
Thank you so much for your reply. The books were written in 2003 and I just leave it as it is because I had vent out my frustrations with the sad state of affairs of our country. Someone from Facebook sent me an article on Singapore future and I was troubled by it and this was what I had written.
This article “China successfully plot Singapore into recession” disturbs my peace of mind and I need to write the book entitled My Mother, Lee Kuan Yew, & God to share with my fellow men that NO ONE HAS PLOTTED SINGAPORE DOWNFALL!! In fact, the way I see it we caused our own downfall due to many reasons. In the first place, this Singapore is LKY Singapore, not the people Singapore! This Singapore is one man vision how a country should be and that is CHASING MONEY AFTER MONEY AS A WAY OF LIFE and not art as part of living. We have failed to pile the right foundation for Singapore by nurturing the local talents and SME and not just focus on the MNC during nation building! Sim Wong Hoo was a local talent and when he was successful he was asked to share his talent or know how because he was a Singaporean but where was the Singapore government when he needed their support when he was not doing well?
In the first place, this Singapore is LKY Singapore, not the people Singapore! because this Singapore is one man vision how a country should be and that is CHASING MONEY AFTER MONEY AS A WAY OF LIFE and not Art as Part of Living. And do you know why? Singapore is run as a Corporation, not a Nation.
Let me share with you this article sends to me by a Malaysian from Facebook to my messenger. Instead of finding out where we were wrong during nation-building Singaporeans blamed others for our setback.
Once KRA Canal is built Singapore will fall even further if we do not start planning ahead for such a scenario…
Spore will go into decline economically and JB market is the future as long as China pumps in development funds ………
China successfully plot Singapore into recession
November 3, 2016
According to an in-depth international politics talk show, China is the main reason behind Singapore’s recession today and the plot started from as far back as 10 years ago.
Below is a translation of the key points covered by the talk show:
Host A: Recent quarterly figures GDP revealed that Singapore’s economy has seen a fall of 4.1%, and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said “our economy will eventually turned for the better”. What he exactly mean is that Singapore’s situation is seriously dire, and when will the economy turn for the better – nobody knows.
At a recent dialogue, a university student questioned Lee Hsien Loong “will I still have a future in Singapore? Will we still have good jobs? Why did the Singapore economy suddenly turned for the worst?”
This has to do with China’s One-Belt One-Road policy and Malaysia is a key player in this policy. In recent years, China has been heavily investing in neighbouring state Johor Bahru’s infrastructures – seaport, airport and even now the railway system.
This also means Singapore’s status as a seaport country has been replaced by Shanghai. This year, Singapore’s transport volume is only 80% of Shanghai. Also, China no longer pass their sea goods via Singapore and has instead passed them to neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.
China even adopted the Shenzhen-strategy, by uplifting the infrastructure of Johor Bahru to compete with Singapore. Here is the question: Why did China painstakingly plan to act against Singapore?
*Introduction to other guests – Host A summarise again, introduce guest speaker B*
Guest speaker B: This could be a coincidence, but this coincides with the death of Lee Kuan Yew. When Lee Kuan Yew passed away, Singapore’s economy start collapsing. From May 2015, Singapore’s key sectors have been declining. Retail, finance, logistics – every sector is faced with direction competition from China.
Host A: China seems to be gloating at Singapore’s failure at the moment.
Guest speaker B: This is the strategy. China wants to take over as the leader of South East Asia countries, and the ASEAN leader has always been taken by Singapore. So China wants to take down Singapore and take over South East Asia. Singapore claims to be a Chinese society, however, Singapore leans towards US and UK. In such circumstances, even Philippines bowed down. If China can take Singapore down, it means US no longer have any allies in South East Asia. Taking Singapore down means taking out the US presence in South East Asia.
Host A: Here are some images of popular shopping district Orchard Road. It used to be a very popular shopping district but the malls are now empty.
Guest speaker B: This is a major change because Orchard Road is Singapore’s key shopping district. However, now there is no crowd like before. Even shoppers are also not buying from these retail outlets. Everywhere is under construction but nobody knows if there any new shops after construction.
Host A: So now, let’s focus what did China do over the years.
Guest speaker B: Singapore is now US’s only partner and the only knight in the South East Asia region. The plot to take down Singapore took 10 years. First, let’s cover sea trade logistics, let’s focus on the greater geography. China and Thailand are building the Kra Canal. When that is built, there is no need for ships to pass by the Malacca Straits. Singapore’s seaport will collapse.
Look at this graph of Singapore’s container volume versus Shanghai. Over the years, Singapore and Shanghai have been competing closely with each other. But from 2014 and 2015, Singapore went into recession while Shanghai continues to prosper. This is how the trading volume of Singapore became only 80% of Shanghai’s.
Host A: China also has a port alliance with Malaysia and Indonesia. China now invests heavily in Johor Bahru to kick Singapore out just like it is doing now with Shenzhen to kick Hongkong away.
Guest speaker B: This is the ShenJun-strategy – make Shenzhen prosperous and Hongkong will be replaced. This is why China is investing in the Johor Bahru’s Iskandar Special Economic Region. Johor Bahru has always felt inferior to Singapore because it was “unluckily” located geographically. In 2006, Malaysia started the Iskandar Economic Region.
However, China did not invest in the Iskandar region initially. It is only a few years later when China start pumping funds into the region and Johor Bahru starts to think about replacing Singapore. The total invested funds amounted to $40 billion. Therefore, it is only a matter of time Johor Bahru becomes the former Shenzhen. Johor Bahru even set up a number of tax-free zones to compete with Singapore.
Then, China only invested in the manufacturing sector of Malaysia. Excluding property, the amount was $13.6 billion and created 20,000 jobs. China even planned to send their citizens as migrants to Malaysia – literally creating Shenzhen.
The interview subsequently covered a Pakistan investment oversight by Temasek Holdings. Temasek Holdings screwed up the investment by not fully utilizing the port, China then buys over the trade port and developed it.
According to another guest speaker, China is developing the Silk Road and direct trade with Europe through the Middle East. The Silk Road will take only 16 days instead of 30 days through the sea route via Singapore. China is also heavily investment in a high-speed train to China.
The real threat to S’pore – construction of Thai’s Kra Canal financed by China
New China Silk Road – Risks to Singapore? http://www.mizzima.com/business-opinion/new-china-silk-road-%E2%80%93-risks-singapore
Earlier this year I wrote an article arguing that Myanmar will play a pivotal and key strategic role in China’s “One Belt One Road “strategy and that Singapore would be the net loser of such an initiative. Since the publication, there have been a number of commentators charting the development of the inland routes and little attention paid to the impact on the Maritime lanes.
With Singapore having built a solid and strong reputation around being a leading marine / maritime hub, any changes in the logistics patterns creates vulnerability for the island state. Despite some claiming that China has engaged with Singapore on a diplomatic level, one needs only look at the substance of these discussions it becomes clear that the intent is for Singapore to retain its financial and banking leadership with other countries seen as more suitable to support the maritime network. One has to remember that one of the key drivers in One Road One Belt plan is to secure energy and trade security by building a network that bypasses the Malacca Straits. In a sense, what was once a strategic location advantage for Singapore is now a disadvantage. This article will look at the land routes and backup infrastructure to support the changes in maritime thinking.
Supply Chain Consideration
When looking at the sail/rail mix in the region, we can see that a number of interesting developments have taken place. This is of particular importance when one considers that the region’s economic growth pathway will come from the likes of China, India, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. For example, Myanmar’s economy is expected to grow around the 8% mark in the coming year, and according to reports out of the ADB and others, China will account for 40% of trade.
China has invested significant funds in developing Chongqing and has not been secretive about making this city the logistics hub for Asia and replacing the likes of Singapore. The city is now seen as a leader in high-end manufacturing, particularly with regards to robotics, lower Labour costs and access to a market of 300 million consumers. Companies such as Volkswagen and GM have relocated operations to the area.
Furthermore, in order to facilitate and secure this trade, China has granted highly concessionary terms to finance construction and infrastructure projects. These projects include the railway project “Yuxin” that connects China to Germany via Kazakhstan, Russia, and Poland. In 2015, this rail corridor successfully completed 257 freight trips.
There has also been the launching of a direct rail and sea freight service between China and Pakistan. The map links the Yunnan province to Karachi port. According to the Xinhua news, this corridor will cut costs by up to 50 percent. The first cargo train carried a 500-ton load from Kunming.
Closer to home as far as Singapore goes, we have seen the signing of the BCIM (Bangladesh / China / India / Myanmar) economic co-operation agreement. The outcome of this agreement is to create a link between Kolkata – Dhaka – Mandalay – Kunming with a focus on building a transport, energy and telecom corridor. There are however some practical issues that need to be resolved, including rail gauge and the creation of special economic zones to facilitate transshipment. Furthermore, we can see the various transport corridors connecting the West to the East reproduced in the map below, that highlights the risk to Singapore’s hub status as China looks to secure trade and energy routes without the need to use the Malacca Straits.
Other examples that demonstrate that the nature of logistics within the supply chain has changed include what is unfolding in cities such as Baku. This is about to totally change the logistics balance that has dominated the East-West trade for the past 40 Years. It will allow manufacturers in once isolated, low-cost producer areas, to consider costs associated with using rail or vessels. An ADB study has shown that rail is considerably cheaper than ship. However the study does have drawbacks in that the modeling was based Double Stack Trains and does not take account of rail gauge issues as well as cross-border bureaucracy – issues mentioned earlier, and to some extent, resolved by the BCIM cooperation agreement.
Additionally, rail carriers travel at up to triple the speed of a vessel, and the potential financial savings from this new transport mix will translate into savings along the supply chain. One need consider the amount of time/money tied up in L/Cs and Value of Goods whilst in transit on lengthy Sea Voyage Journeys. Shippers may well respond by pushing and or developing super ports / break bulk hubs to improve transit times and reduce the cost per mile per shipped container, but these concerns have been taken into the strategy with key ports and canals under consideration. All these elements will help reduce the LC exposure period as well as improve shipping times.
If there was any doubt as to the veracity of these initiatives and impacts, one need only look at Dubai. The city was off the main shipping routes and yet now have 75% of large container vessels diverting to her port to take advantage of the quicker and cheaper transport routes allowed under a transshipment/break bulk facility. This has been enabled by construction of large deep-water ports, rail infrastructure, and land facilities.
With the shipping and rail complementing each other as evidenced by the transport map above, Singapore is at risk of losing its maritime hub status as the new alternative transport modes become attractive in terms of speed and cost. This will also place at risk OSV operators who have relied on Singapore to provide the “one-stop shop” to support offshore oil and gas logistics. Some companies in the sector have seen this and have moved offices to the likes of Malaysia and Thailand to better take advantage of the new paradigm brought about by China’s new Silk Road.
Controversial as it may seem, it is my opinion that Singapore, once the “Switzerland” of the East will lose this mantle in the not too distant future.
Courtesy of Andre Wheeler
I hope to include all these pieces of information in the book but I know it is not for me to give my view on such sensitive matter but when you decide to write a book I belive I must not hold back.
So when can we meet up to discuss further how I should approach the book in order to help the people understand we are living in a competitive world and sad to say Singaporeans have been living with the old mindsets for far too long:(