Singapore’s Future…Whatever is Happening?!

Commentary, Misc, Singapore
singapore

Whatever is happening to Singapore’s future?

Have you guys read the following news that is circulating on social media?

The following quote summarizes the gist of the long press release titled “What Has Happened To Lee Kuan Yew’s Values?”

QUOTE:

“Lee Kuan Yew served as Singapore’s prime minister from 1959 to 1990. Lee Hsien Loong is Singapore’s current prime minister. Wei Ling and Hsien Yang are also the executors and trustees of Lee Kuan Yew’s estate; Hsien Loong was removed in 2011. Wei Ling and Hsien Yang state:

“We have seen a completely different face to our brother Hsien Loong, one that deeply troubles us. Since the passing of Lee Kuan Yew, on 23 March 2015, we have felt threatened by Hsien Loong’s misuse of his position and influence over the Singapore government to drive his personal agenda. We are concerned that the system has few checks and balances to prevent the abuse of government. We feel big brother omnipresent. We fear the use of the organs of state against us and Hsien Yang’s wife, Suet Fern.

If Hsien Loong is prepared to act thus against his younger sister and brother, both contributing members of Singapore’s establishment, to advance his personal agenda, Wei Ling and Hsien Yang worry for Singapore.

The situation is such that Hsien Yang feels compelled to leave Singapore:

“It is with a very heavy heart that I will leave Singapore for the foreseeable future. This is the country that my father, Lee Kuan Yew, loved and built. It has been home for my entire life. Singapore is and remains my country. I have no desire to leave. Hsien Loong is the only reason for my departure.”

 

The above press release and statements were jointly made by Dr. Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang. Emphasis in bold are mine.

This is serious because some pretty strong words have been used.

As an overseas Singaporean citizen who has always been thankful and trusting of our country’s leadership –You can read my praises for PM Lee here and here too– I was quite shocked! 😮

 

Some people have said that this is “fake news”, so we went on reddit to cross-check:

reddit singapore

Wow. According to the above redditors’ logic, it is highly unlikely that those statements are fake news.

 

Further comments by Li Shengwu, Lee Hsien Yang’s son:

li shengwu

 

It would also be really interesting to see how the mainstream media reports this. Or perhaps, disturbing.

And it will be really insightful to see how PM Lee’s Public Relations Team pens a response to this. Come to think about it, this situation is not a good position for any Public Figure to be in.

  • On the one hand, it is not wise to sue your (high-profile) family members for defamation, as the Singaporean public would tend to see this act as “being heartless”. Because why would you sue your kin, instead of being more magnanimous and forgiving?
  • On the other hand, if the Public Figure doesn’t sue, his good name will be questioned. And people will also question the consistency in his decision– Did PM Lee not sue Roy Ngerng to protect his good name, even though some have criticized the act as petty? Shouldn’t PM Lee’s good name be protected at all costs “for the sake of Singapore”?

So one possible logical way out is to pepper the PR response with terms like “It is with great disappointment that I have to make this statement…”, “with great grief”, “regretful”, “would be happy to start a ‘constructive dialogue’ “, etc.

I don’t know– I’m not PM Lee’s PR Consultant. We can only wait and see.

Looks like something major is brewing. 😮 How worrying!

Immigration to Finland: Is the Finns Party Really Against It?

Commentary, Finnish Politics, Foreigners in Finland
immigration to finland

Last week, Yle News ran a debate in English involving political candidates across Finnish political parties. In that debate, the Finns Party was portrayed to be against ALL types of immigration to Finland.

I applaud the mainstream media’s initiative to conduct a debate in English with the intention of increasing the accessibility and inclusivity of politics to immigrants.

Having said that however, it does come across as a surprise as to how current debate has relegated to such a low level of intellectual discourse, evidenced by how Yle anchored the following topic:

Word-by-word QUOTE from the YLE video caption:

“Finns Party candidate Erlin Yang says that it’s “totally wrong” to say that his party is anti-immigrant.”

 

Of course The Finns Party–represented by an immigrant Erlin Yang himself– is “totally not” against immigration. Why is there a need to delegate such precious debate time to addressing such a silly anchor?

What The Finns Party is against is uncontrolled immigration to Finland.

Because I personally am tired of the Finns Party being misprepresented, I have taken the liberty to translate Mr. Erlin Yang’s stance into English. Also, translation does not mean endorsement. I am personally voting for the Greens Party.

Here is what Mr. Erlin Yang said, which I felt is an accurate official position of The Finns Party:

“The Finns Party is a political party which aims to serve and represent the working class in Finland. It officially espouses the following values:

1. To increase the employment rate in Finland;

2. To foster a healthy start-up scene and to promote entrepreneurship in Finland;

3. To advocate for the development of Finnish culture;

4. To secure the economic security of Finland and therefore enhance the well-being of every resident;

5. To insist on fair wages;

6. To protect the interests of minority and vulnerable groups in Finland;

7. To promote the health of children and ensure safety in schools;

8. To guarantee a high quality and accessibility of basic services to elder citizens and retirees, so that they can enjoy their retirement with dignity.

Related to immigration to Finland, the Finns Party is FOR immigration into Finland under one or more of the following reasonable conditions:

1. For the purposes of professional work;

2. For the purposes of studies;

3. For the purposes of reunion with family.

The Finns Party is against immigrants who are insistent on coming to Finland to exploit the Finnish welfare system. In particular, it is staunchly against immigrants who are involved with human trafficking, drugs dealing and “refugees” who insist on staying in Finland illegally.

The justification is because this latter group is considered net-takers to the Finnish welfare state. Furthermore, this group threatens the very social fabric of Finnish society.

Erlin Yang agrees with the basic tenets that underlie the vision and mission of the Finns party.

As a Chinese immigrant to Finland himself, he greatly respects the Finnish way of life and values. Erlin Yang considers it his personal calling to contribute to the betterment of Finnish society by encouraging more meaningful interactions between legal immigrants and natives. He strongly believes that immigrants and natives can work together to achieve a more prosperous, cohesive and harmonious Finnish society.

Erlin Yang admits that there might have been some members of the Finns Party who previously made controversial and provocative statements targeted at immigrants, in particular refugees. He stresses however, that this is not the official stance of the Finns Party and that these members are in the rare minority.

Here, Erlin Yang attests to the fact that he has never once faced discrimination within his party. On the contrary, he has received overwhelming support from fellow party members who wish for immigrants to be represented.

Against this context, The Finns Party does not necessarily encourage “multiculturalism”—undoubtedly a sensitive term in Europe these days.

As one viable alternative to a “multicultural Finland”, he stresses that the will to integrate is key to maintaining a harmonious society. From the current situation, Erlin observes that not all immigrants have demonstrated this desire to integrate.

All in all, Erlin Yang concludes by purporting the view that it is only logical, humane and essential that a country accepts new immigrants along principles of common values.
These values include the pursuit of freedom, the desire for progress, principled virtues of loyalty and integrity, and the willingness to work hard.

Erlin emphasized that it is ideal for immigrants to adapt proactively to the ways of the locals and respect local traditions, people and cultures.”

So please agree and disagree to official positions, not what you THINK the official position is. -.- And please do not sensationalise political topics unnecessarily.

Classy!! How Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong dealt with the BBC reporter’s implied "white man’s burden".

Misc

Have you guys watched the latest snippet of BBC’s interview with PM Lee Hsien Loong shared by Channel News Asia today?

Our PM Lee Hsien Loong BBC appearance was soooo much BURN. WATCH! 😀

 

I especially LOVED how PM Lee responded to the reporter’s condescending assumptions in his line of questioning. So much class!

“The world is a diverse place. Nobody has a monopoly of virtue or wisdom.” –PM Lee Hsien Loong

Here’s a toast to our Prime Minister for standing his ground so well! =)

This is another classic case of a “What is” VS “What should be” conversation. The people who preach that Singapore “should” do this and that– Just look at their track records. Have they done anything constructive for Singapore?

In other words, IF our nation ever vanishes one day, do these “should-sayers” with NO stakes in Singapore have to suffer the consequences?

It’s easy to preach “should”s when you don’t have to be responsible for the livelihood of many, isn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong, of COURSE it is good to have noble ideals. However, in a world of constrained resources and responsibilities, leaders have to make tough trade-offs and choices.

With freedom of expression comes A LOT of responsibility. Will I trust the masses with complete responsibility?

Looking at the UK’s recent excellent choice of BREXIT, OPPS! I think I’ll pass. Thanks and no thanks!