i wonder.. how many of us can truly say we've been through hardship.
the type that our parents have.. the type that our forefathers have been through.
we come from a generation who have not seen our friends die right in front of our eyes .. nor have we seen death at our door steps.
we have not been in situations where its either do or die.
where we simply just anxiously await another day to live.
Lee Kuan Yew's generation saw war when they were teenagers. Lee Hsien Loong saw racial riots when he was in secondary school. What has our generation seen?
i have friends. and i think many think that Lee Kuan Yew is this guy who just wants his hands on Singapore till his death. As though he were on the same level as Mahatir. We see two leaders of the same era bring lead their country into a new era. While Mahatir despises the young leaders who come after him, Lee Kuan Yew would defend his appointed ministers tooth and nail. While Mahatir tries to stir up racial cries to rally the Malays in Malaysia, while neglecting the Chinese, Lee Kuan Yew rallied for racial harmony.
No doubt.. he has his hoards of critics. But.. i always feel a tinge of sadness when the critics are non other than Singaporeans themselves. I'd rather Lee Kuan Yew's critics be the western media than a fellow Singaporean. Who knows how much this man has sacrificed and cried for a land that Singaporeans would leave at the first sign of danger. These men and women who so proudly slam their own country ( as though they were trying to free us from oppression) in the name of justice would leave Singapore simply because they can and they couldn't care one bit about the country that has provided the stability so they could study without having to worry if the next day they might be robbed on the way to school.
I wonder.. how many Singaporeans would die for this land.
This land of miracles.
This oddity amongst countries who are vastly different from us.
I wonder.. how many Singaporeans would proudly say they would ditch this country and fly off to Europe, or America, or Australia.. simply because they think these countries would also embrace them with open arms and provide them with a better environment than Singapore could ever do so.
I used to be infuriated when i thought about such Singaporeans.
But then again, they are brought up thinking that stability is a given. That equality is a given.. that fairness is a given.. that racial equality is a given. that honest and upright government is a given.
They, like me, have never seen what Lee Kuan Yew's generation knew from experience.
Lee Kuan Yew is an architect.
He structured Singapore with words, i.e Singapore's Law system. Inventing a governmental structure with the one opportunity he had. When Singapore broke away from Malaya. That was the only time he could do what he did for Singapore. But then again.. such circumstances could only have been crafted by a bigger hand than Lee Kuan Yew's. It took someone like Lee Kuan Yew to be at the right place at the right time with the right preparation to recognize that if he wanted to do anything big, this was the only opportunity he had.
While reading the book, the hard truths, to keep Singapore going.. i was feeling this stirring of emotions that i never had when reading any other 'textbook'. As though.. this was something that i wouldn't mind giving my life for.. something bigger than just money. Perhaps a clarion call of sorts..
that the next generation(our generation) would have to rally ourselves to see through the eyes of the generation that went before us.
You see.. America won't give a damn about us if we don't give a damn about ourselves. Neither would Malaysia, nor Europe, nor Australia.. nor any other country.. The reason why there is Singapore is because we had men who gave a damn about our country.
Our country is full of talent. However, the kinds of talent we have are shallow. Because they are easily bought by money. Dangle some loose change in front of them and they would prostitute themselves, sell you their families and sacrifice their friends, throw away any integrity they have. That's where our talents are going. To where the money leads them.
Unless we can make Singaporeans see that they are not just any people who can be bought by money... we would eventually sell our integrity. The only thing that makes us stand out from Malaysia, Indonesia and many of our neighbouring countries. This is perhaps why we are valued far more than other countries. Our nobility lies in our government's integrity.
Destroy that... and you would be like America.. where the country simply has lost hope in their leaders.. Where their own people can't even trust their leaders to lead. Where honor is not given where it is due.
Our government needs the honor it is due.
Problem is.. our people are too shallow to even realize how much more our government has sacrificed when they could have just easily taken the easy route out..
with values that we are devouring day by day from the United States of America... it wouldn't be long before we start singing the same song the Americans sang when George Bush was in power. Everything good about this man was always being smeared.. labelled as a war monger. Why would such a man tolerate such rubbish and persist being in power.. wouldnt' it have been better if he had left quietly and escaped all public accusation? It dosn't take alot to put things together.. i hardly know anything about America.. but from what i know.. they are full of disrespect for authority. They have become a naive group of people who believe that power should be for the people.. and that to put all the power in the hands of one man is stupidity. Instead of attacking the heart issue, they decide that changing the structural system of governance is the solution. The only thing their democracy has given them is a louder voice for the majority and an ever smaller voice for the minority .. till the democracy they have is one which people don't have a definite idea.. they lack a clarion voice... to sound the alarm because everyone thinks they are the eyes of America and that everyone knows what's best for their country. Clearly, not everyone is the eye, nor everyone the mouth or ears of America.. Someone has to be the eyes and ears while the rest have to obey and work as one body with different skills. A democracy dosn't allow for any of that to happen. So what drives America is basically the human instinct. Demand and supply. Nearly everything that America is known for is based on the 7 sins. Greed, lust, rage, gluttony, sloth, pride,envy. The economy is driven purely by these.
Where in the economy do you see any good? being promoted?
Yet.. fifteen years ago.. when i was still in pr sch, my favorite country was America because it was the country that stood for something noble.. that when other countries were suffering.. you could count on America to come in and trash the Japanese and the Germans . They stood for something bigger.
Now they are just a mere shadow of their forefathers. Because everywhere in America, you see distrust.. dog eat dog... sarcasm, irony.. people who mock at idealists .. the generation of mockers is what they have turned into.
They have turned into a people who have to be bribed for them to give a vote. Its no longer principles that leads them to make decisions.. it is merely bribes that would make one man sell his vote.
The thing is... America is propogating their brand of democracy.. a far cry from what they started off with.. They label other forms of government that are different from theirs and try to discount it as inferior..because this country has assumed intellectual superiority. Yet.. its intellectual superiority is only achieved because America does not just consist of Americans but foreign talents who have been attracted from all corners of the earth. Look at the education levels of the average american.. they have turned into ignorant and stupid bimbos, whose lives never go beyond sex and money.
Of course i'm generalizing. but look....
why do Singaporeans still get captivated with the kind of society that America has? Why do Singaporeans feel that our country is inferior to this country who can't even take care of their own people by providing housing for majority of their citizens. Our country is the richest country in the world because if u look at our properties, we stay in a country where our properties become assets that increase with time.. We live in a country where our government subsidizes for us... provides a structure where as far as humanly possible.. every Singaporean gets a house to live in.
Why are we giving up all this to go to somewhere like America where we have to fight to get a place where we might one day be discarded as inferior goods because someone else better would replace u.
Why do we envy a country like America which has so much freedom of speech? Are we intellectually inferior to them? Are we inferior to them as a human species? Are we inferior to them that we would abandon our families in Singapore to find fame and fortune in a place which views us as mere immigrants?
Singapore is still in a safety zone where this situation has not happened. We still have a majority of people, the older generation, who know and understand that their government has sacrificed much for us.
But our younger generation.. who dosn't even know why they are 'forced' to enter NS think that .. the government is forcing them to do something they are not supposed to. We compare ourselves to other countries that have a voluntary army rather than a conscripted one... and then we say.. Singapore sucks. unless we start thinking as leaders... we will never see beyond tomorrow because all we see is ourselves.
Its always a heart issue.. that has to be resolved before we can talk about solving the structural issue.
Like what the 2nd law of thermodynamics states, the state of the earth can only grow more chaotic.. things just don't iron out on their own.. by changing the structure or the system.. rather than changing the heart issue... we only make things more complicated without ironing anything out .