a labour party message for Labour Day (how appropriate!!)

saw this in the mail today - it's a loong read, - but it's funny, so it may yet still be worth ur while reading it.

And in other news, ... loser continues to act like a loser - very much childish, spiteful, and stupid. And the guy should very much be considered a "legal adult" already. Sheesh kebabs.

Note: the formatting of the text in the original article IS hard to read - so if u want a "lighter" style of presentation... consider the sg_review copy of the post. Note though!!! The original text of the article was actually written a "few years ago", as "Jaundiced Lenses" attests. I will reproduce here the first few paragraphs for ur select "previewing" pleasure.


A Letter to Tony Blair

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Received this in my mail several years ago...

Dear Mr Blair,

Just a mere few weeks after you took office, Lee Kuan Yew came a-calling to offer his unsolicited advice in all unseemly haste. And, no doubt, also to wrangle an invitation to the Great Hongkong Handover. But that is really him. That man has made a calling of giving advice to all and sundry, considering himself an experienced statesman of world standing while you, in his eyes, are an untried, inexperienced beginner who doesn't have the benefit of his wisdom.

Also, he knows that you're young and all your adult and formative years have been spent in a post-Empire Britain in which the 'Great' has become a mere echo of greatness past. Also, you made the mistake, like Patten, of calling upon him to seek illumination, thereby reinforcing his patronising proclivities. So, in the tradition of Lee, here's some advice to you on how you can make Britain***a***'Singapore'.

My first piece of advice is "Never take any advice you have not paid good money for." That applies to my advice, of course. Free advice is not worth the money it's not paid for.

A further disclaimer. I know little of world, British or even Singapore affairs, not having the time nor interest nor presumption to make it a full time job to read all that stuff generated by academics, newspapers and diplomatic attaches. Unlike Lee, who has no other job at all, though he's the highest paid Minister in the land and probably the world, too. All he does nowadays (and for a long time, too, when he was Prime Minister), is to follow world affairs assiduously while dismissing Singapore's affairs as being too trivial to justify his attention.

Also, you get tired of running such a small country. Also, you run out of ideas, especially when you're not very creative to begin with and your only claim to success is, in truth, dumb luck, in being in the right place at the right time to catch the Asian tide of 'economic miracle' success. Like Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and lately, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia. Especially Hong Kong, which has done better than Singapore. All these countries do not have the dubious benefit of a Lee Kuan Yew at the helm. Yet they are doing well, most posting 6% or better GDP growth rates consistently, some even bettering Singapore, which has been declining of late.

The main reason why Lee is so highly regarded is that he has been around the longest unlike the case in all the other economic miracle countries, which have had numerous changes of Prime Ministers. Hong Kong, for instance, has had a dozen Governors during Lee's long reign. If it had had just one Governor presiding over its development, that Governor would today be hailed as a 'miracle worker' greater than Lee.

Of course, it helps that Lee also speaks the best English of all these Premiers, spicing his speeches and grand pronouncements with pithy quotes from Confucius to Samuel Huntington. He works at it, knowing that the Western media, which makes or breaks reputations, places great store on wit and grand speeches while actions, which are supposed to speak louder than words, are boring and difficult to document. That also explains Lee's reputation while the many nondescript now-forgotten PMs who masterminded the growth of the other miracle economies are now unremembered.

He has few original ideas. In a speech decades ago, he exhorted his Ministers "not to try to re-invent the wheel but to go to the developed countries where they have had similar problems, and copy the solutions". That has taken his administration very far, until now, when unique problems have begun to surface that have no parallel in the developed countries and hence, leave the 'best brains' of the country nonplussed. Many of the 'original' ideas they have tried to come up with have proven incredibly stupid, some even being the 'brainchild' of PAP Ministers with impressive Colombo Plan and Cambridge degrees.

So how do you make a 'Singapore' out of Great Britain?

To begin with, think small. Singapore has 3 million people in 225 square miles of land. There are more psychiatric patients in Britain alone than that. And as for area, some airports coming up in the region are bigger than this island. Case in point; it takes a mere 30 minutes to drive from North to South and 40 minutes from East to West, under normal traffic conditions.

That means you'd have to hive off most of Britain and govern over an area and population roughly the size of Greater London. Like a Lord Mayor of London except that you'd have all the taxation and law-making powers of the House of Commons. With only 2 Opposition MPs from the Conservatives to contend with. Suddenly, you begin to have an inkling of Singapore's unique circumstances. And its 'success'. There must be at least 50 cities -- and I don't mean countries -- in the world with people and land area bigger than Singapore's.

Next, you'd need 'political stability' to attract foreign investment to your 'city'. Much can be justified in the name of that hallowed concept, including a harsh definition of democracy. That is partly why Democracy in Singapore is such a pale version of the real thing, so pale it's like an Albino standing in stark contrast next to a group of normal people. An Albino Democracy, in short. Or God's grotesque mockery of human pretensions.

'Political stability' is accomplished through several inter-related measures, the first of which is to eliminate the Opposition. That means you must sack all Conservative members who are working in your Labour Government, including the Public Service, Universities, Government-linked Companies and even Private Corporations over which you have influence. One Opposition Leader, Dr Chee Soon Juan was thus summarily sacked from his University Lecturer post several years ago by his Department Head, who, no surprise, is none other than a Peoples' Action Party MP, Dr Vasoo.

(Note that Lee, who founded the PAP, one of the earliest political parties, never even thought of naming the party 'Democratic' or 'Independence', two very worthwhile goals in Colonial Singapore. His calling it "Action' indicates that his Party was formed to further his personal ambitions and not for the good of the people. What is 'Action'? Until now, nobody, not even Lee, can explain what it stands for).

Till today, Dr Chee cannot find himself a decent job befitting his PhD qualifications, so great and pervading is the PAP's influence. That is something you'd have to develop your stomach for, a kind of total viciousness and determination to utterly stamp out any Opposition, however minor. It is so easy to control the Universities here because there are only two. That means you'd also need to hive off all the other universities under your administration and 'concentrate' on just two.

Furthermore, to eliminate all Opposition, you'd have to successfully sue, even bankrupt and sack from Parliament any Opposition Leader who seems capable enough to be a threat to Labour's hegemony. This means you'd have to monitor every word spoken or written by William Hague and his team and successfully sue for slander and libel over even the most indirect and innocuous remarks and implications that you can twist to fit into an unboundedly wide net of catch-all legal definition of slander or libel -- with your own very sympathetic judges to interpret the law as you will.

Please note that you will never fully understand the legal climate here (or the political climate either) but you can begin by realising that there is no jury system in Singapore. The jury was abolished with hardly any debate or second thoughts long ago. The reason is simple. A jury composed of citizens picked at random only for the one-time purpose of hearing the evidence, deciding guilt and awarding punishment, is almost impossible to influence or intimidate. That is the genius of the jury system.

Lee recognised that, which is why he abolished the jury and created a system whereby only the judge in the case will rule. This judge, being in the employ of the Government, is like all employees of the Government in Singapore, extremely sensitive to coercion. When a judge knows that his next pay-cheque or promotion depends on his 'performance', it clarifies the mind wonderfully. Which suits Lee just fine as events have proved. It is a system you will have to adopt if Britain is to succeed a la Singapore.

. . .


1 HaHaas:

Anonymous Anonymous HaHaa-ed:

You're famous.

Thursday, May 05, 2005 4:14:00 PM  

Give Me a HaHaa!!!

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