18 Dec 2006

Vote For Lee Hsien Loong

For twelve months, openDemocracy's readers have visited shame upon the heads of the planet's worst despots, kleptocrats, finaglers and warmongers. Our monthly Bad Democrat poll has put six candidates to the public vote. Each winner has been notified of his achievement and now goes forward to this, undoubtedly one of the least coveted prizes in politics, the Bad Democrat of the Year award. You can vote for your choice below, or, if you prefer, send a cheque to the usual address.

Vote for Lee Hsien Loong Click Here
It was only when the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank rolled into town in September that the extent of the suffocating control the premier exerts on Singaporean society was write large. Even Paul Wolfowitz, neo-con hawk turned World Bank president, described the regime as "authoritarian". Chee Soon Juan, the opposition's most vocal politician, and his fellow democracy campaigners had been banging on about such abuses for years – and generally had their arguments brushed away with a copy of the city-state's economic growth figures. Elections in May saw websites that fell short in their sycophancy blocked. Lee and his father – who continues to hold the dubious post of "minister mentor" – have taken adopted a litigious strategy to maintain their grip on power: if it moves, sue it.



Anonymous said...

They have got it wrong. LHL is not the man to put up as a candidate here. Every knows that the real power broker, the king maker and therefore the real leader, albeit behind the scene, is LKY the Minister Mentor.

This situation is exactly like China during the time of Empress Dowager in the Qing dynasty. Although she was the emperor's mother, she is the ultimate power in the whole kingdom. Eventually, we all know how the dynasty collapsed and how China as a country was curved up and dominated by foreigners. Earning the dubious title of - The Sick Man Of Asia.

See the similarities - foreign powers, foreign army, foreign workers, foreign talents - they are all the same. Foreigners. All welcome by the Qing rulers and considered as superior over and above local citizens(talents). Remembered somebody mentioned Singapore is ruled by the Lee family of the PAP dynasty.

Gets one thinking doesn't it.

Matilah_Singapura said...

I gave LHL my vote for Bad Democracy.

Actually, bad democracy ain't so bad — when the "bad democracy" is actually good for freedom.

I still don't get all this talk about an "open society". That turncoat apologist George Soros decides to hammer the (capaitalist) system which made him rich, and comes out in favour of "democracy" over Individual Freedom & Private Property Rights.

Bench Marking The State

So how would I benchmark a state? A state is that all-invasive, absolute decision maker with the monopoly of force and taxation in a given territory.

A "govt for the people by the people" means that the people will always get the govt they deserve. So why take a pot-shot at the leader? It is the system which is flawed.

To benchmark a state therefore is to have a look at how well or badly this "false god" called The State protects or usurps:

1 Individual Rights

2 Private Property Rights

To what extent are individuals (the people of the country) free to do as they damn well choose, and to what extent can they own property — self-ownership being fundamental.

By having property rights, begining with self-ownership, the freedom individuals enjoy are strictly LIMITED. i.e. Individuals (who own themselves) may act in any any manner they choose, so long as they do not physically interfere with anyone else.

Let's look at a popular topic: free speech. Since speech does not physically interfere with anyones freedom — even if the speech is hate speech, taunting speech, libel or slander — then freedom of speech means TOTAL freedom of speech. It doesn't interfere with anyone's freedom because The Listener always has a choice to agree or disagree.

So... the S'pore state doesn't fair well in the free speech area, and thus has a black mark against self-ownership

However, in the economic realm, Singapore fairs very well. There is good protection of private property rights, unfortunately there are a few blackmarks here too.

1 Conscription: if you own yourself, there is no earthly authority that has a moral right to compell you to "die for your cuntry".

2 By using the principle of "eminent domain", the state of S'pore (and Hong Kong) become the ultimate arbiters on how land is to be used. It is nice to know however, that is changing as the govt is allowing more and more land to be PRIVATELY owned. In the early days of the PAP, and even today land was confiscated by the state by the "official" authority: The LTA. BUT, there have been new land releases of land – notably that huge chunk in downtown Orchard Road — which is now privately OWNED.

The Mixed Political Economy

Singapore, like most developed countries, runs on a mixed economy: there are some lelements of laissez faire capitalism, and there are some elements of outright socialism: be it communism or fascism. "Nationalised" industries by way of the GLCs, Temasek and the GIC is outrightly fascist, and free schools, public health and regulated telco, gun control, public transport are clearly communist.

To what extent do these incurupon individual freedom and private ownership, is the question to be asked.

To me, I'm not preturbed. Temasek and many of the GLC mechatilists lose money, and their reputations are being dragged into the quagmire of global condemnation. Many international business folka are now WARY of Temaseks incursions into their domestic economies. Sooner or later, everyone reaps what they sow.

"Bad Democracy" might actually be GOOD for FREEDOM — Individual freedom, and private property rights.

I contend that the state is far too strong in Singapore. For the people to be free, PRIVATE PROPERTY must come first, and in my mind only widespread if not TOTAL privatiseation of everything within the territory of Singapore is the best guarantee for FREEDOM. Whether or not the people can keep their mitts to themselves and respect each other's property, and thus defend, nuture and enshrine their freedom is entirely another issue.


I would say he gets about 7.5 out of 10.

He encourage people to be "personaly responsible" and not ask the govt to "solve everything". This is wonderful. The more people can cooperate voluntarily, the less power the state has.

Unfortunately the message has not sunk in totally. Many of the folks still believe in "robbing their neighbours" instead of "paying for it if you think it is a good idea".

What do I mean?

If you think that educating your child is a "good idea" — YOU pay for it. Not ask the govt to "help", because when they "help" they'll rob everyone else of their private property so that your "precious child' can get an education.

Similarly, if you think having 1st class medical facilities is a good idea — YOU pay for it. Just like if you reckon owning an iPod is a good idea — you pay for it. How would it be if you went to the govt to tax everyone so that you could get a "free iPod"? Outrageous.

So in the realm of economic freedom LHL doesn't do too badly, given the fact that we're still in a mixed economy.

S'pore is not as good as Hong Kong of course. But there is always room for improvement.

Personally I would like to see a govt at least 50% (and shrinking) of what we have today, no GST, no income tax or corporate tax, liquor and tobacco taxes - zero. A state can only exisit and function if it has funding. Therefore the way to limit the size of the state is to make TAXATION VOLUNTARY.

Like I said, if you think it is a good idea, pay for it — voluntarily.

What may be "bad" democracy, might be GOOD for freedom and the "pursuit of happiness".

Joe90 said...

Interesting points brought up, Matilah. But with all due respect, may I point out to you that it is ths SLA (Singapore Land Authority) and no the LTA (Land Transport Authority) that is the government body in control of land distribution in Singapore.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Thank you for that.

They control land distribution — yet another State Monopoly.

...they have people with guns who work in other agencies, and people making the LAWS in still other agencies. All legal monopolies.

I can understand a Sicilian Mafia crime boss or a Somalian warlord being extremely jealous.

I wouldn't even blame Kim Jong Il for being jealous.

Singapore must be a world leader in the area of government (state) usurpation, specifically plundering of the people and the country.

Forget all those red-herrings and scaremongering the state does about being CONQUERED by "foreign invaders" — a bunch of idolent Malaysians and/or Indonesians using antiquated weaponary.

If they don't pay attention to their FREEDOM (note: I did not say "democracy"), there is a good chance Singapore could possibly be CONQUERED by its own bunch of "elite" people — not in a free market, mind you, but under one of mans most insidious abstract creations: The State.

IMO, anyone who receives a state salary is part of a big criminal conspiracy.

When you can legal plunder citizens of their property, and infringe on the freedom — essentially telling what they can or cannot do by engaging in peaceful activities, mind you — then you become the envy of organised criminals and despots everywhere.

The State does it with such style, almost poetically graceful... simply reapeating itself, generation afetr generation. People become conditioned to accept that this is actually the way it is supposed to be — without disagreement, without cahllenging the status quo...children pick-up on it at a young age, and the child-abusing State education system ensures that the young people are STRIPPED of their individuality, put into UNIFORMS (man, what century are we in??), and made to internalise the BULLSHIT of The State. This is just as the Nazi's did to their youth, are made to sing National Anthem before school everyday, and recite a "pledge" — which everyone does on "automatic" anyway...12 years of education, and still unemployable (except low-level work) after that. To be employable, they young'uns have take special courses, mainly in MORE state institutioms, to be specially formed and moulded into a precision cog in a huge wheel.

Goh Chock Tong made a claim on that he and his team at the time were "custodians of the people" (and the country).



Matilah_Singapura said...

Sorry correction: Goh Chok Tong said that the govt we TRUSTEES of the people.

Anonymous said...

I am a Singapore PR since 1999 and I applied for Singapore citizen last August(not due to PM Lee saying Spore need more citizen)

gov.sg website stated that process time is 3-6 months. Now I was told that it takes 6-7 months. So can't we trust government website?

If I am an old guy and I happen to be sick during my application process, I have to pay more for my medical bills due to the change in government policy. It's all because of the 'efficiency' of Immigration department.

I really wonder what kind of work they need to do that they have to spend 6-7 months in approving citizenship application.

Sometimes I feel that my human rights are violated as probably they will check on all my private matters.

However, since the government of my current citizenship is one that has a very bad human rights track record too, I would still want to be Singapore citizen, it's better than my current one though it may not be the best but it is the only choice I have for the moment as I have studied and worked here for most of my life.

Anonymous said...

I really envy Malaysians becoming citizens in Singapore. It's still like a dual citizenship. No NS. Childhood friends and relatives are just next door. Work in Singapore and spend like a King(Queen) in M'sia among familiar and strongly bonded people. In the familiar old hometown. Best of both worlds.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Yes, having more than one passport allows you to distance yourself from the interfering tentacles of any one state: the moment they start acting funny, you just exit and go somewhere else.

This is also allows you to legally avoid being taxed too much in any single territory. Let's face it, your money is your money — no state actually has a rightful claim on any of your property, and ALL taxes are essentially THEFT.

Using its absolute territorial powers, a state can also take "ownership" of your children and conscript (force) them to lay their life on the line for the "national defense" of the territory. This is total bullshit, and it in actual fact SLAVERY. Having PR or citizenship of another country allows you FREEDOM and CHOICE, so that you needn't succumb to the arbitrary whim of the state's apparatus.

Human beings have been normadic since the dawn of time. These days, thanks to capitalism, it is much easier with modern transport systems, cheap flights and communications.

to anon 02:02-

Most nation states of the world violate human rights sooner or later. So far, there has never been absolute freedom and liberty, and it is doubtful whether these "ideals" are at all possible, as long as there are humans in the world hell-bent on fucking with the freedom and liberty of their fellow humans.

When you choose one territory over another, it is, like all choices a trade-off. So you might feel that S'pore violates your rights, but do keep in mind, no one forced you to come. The degree to which your freedom has been affected is probably less than your former country. (I suspect you come from PRC) So there you have the trade-off.