@ I’m writing this on the 17th of September 2020, a day before the scheduled execution of Syed Suhail bin Syed Zin, a Singaporean, for possessing drugs, specifically heroin. The accused was arrested in 2011 August 3rd, received the death penalty in 2016, and was scheduled to hang earlier this February. This incident has made me feel obligated to write down my thoughts about this disgusting country that I so fervently abhor.
In a stressful and materialistic country like Singapore, where citizens work one of the longest hours per week(45hours), being one of the most emotionless country, with one of the highest income inequality after taxes, poverty rate is 26% according to a local university in one of the HIGHEST cost of living in the world, and having one of the toughest education system, where your value as a person is solely predicated on the grades on your tests, the number on your bank account, and measurable achievements, it’s no wonder people abuse substance to reduce stress. The drug related issues in Singapore is so bad that over 70% of prison inmates are drug offenders, and in 2018, 11 were executed for drug related offence. Rather than addressing the root problems for people defaulting to taking drugs, and even trafficking it, the Singapore government would rather execute people, not giving them a second chance. It is absolutely disgusting beyond belief.
These issues doesn’t stop there, otherwise the title would be misleading. Even though voting rights are granted to Singaporeans, the government control the entire mainstream media (Newspaper, TV, etc), policing the internet by having a Protection from Online Falsehood and Manipulation Act(POFMA) bill, restricting activism and protests, suing critical journalists to bankruptcy, jailing oppositions most notably Chee Soon Juan, and a mandatory 2-year military, alongside 10 years of a military reservist where you have to appeal for a travel permit to travel outside of Singapore, to spread pro-government propaganda and instill obedience. It is not a democratic society at all. Blasphemy and homosexuality is also a crime, and the government take active measures to censor them. And the judicial system in Singapore is controlled by the government.
Earlier this year, Reporters Without Borders(RSF), a third party non-government organization, has condemned Singapore by comparing Singapore to China. The totalitarianism in Singapore is so bad that according to RSF, we are ranked at #158, below communist Russia and Sharia Law’s Pakistan and Human Right Watch(HRW), another independent non-government organization, have condemned Singapore on numerous occasion, specifically with regards to the POFMA bill. The POFMA bill essentially give government the rights to censor anything that they deem a ‘false’ by the very own juridical system that they control. They even ordered facebook to block Singaporeans’ access to a facebook site.
With totalitarianism this oppressive and authoritative propaganda this effective, it’s no wonder that the same ruling party, the People Action Party(PAP), is able to rule the country for over 50 years straight, and on top of that, apparently in Singapore, the government is heritable too, and that Singapore’s leaders are related. Governments are to serve the nation and their citizen’s needs and yet Singapore’s Prime Minister is the highest paid in the world, at 1.7 Million USD, more than 75 times Xi Jin Ping’s salary, the most powerful politician and person in the world. Yet, the government refute and justify themselves against allegations with regards to their high-paying salary as ‘necessary’ to prevent corruption. It is not controversial at all to claim that Singapore is some sort of feudalistic nation.
People often mistaken Singaporeans as rich. But that’s not the case at all, it’s true that Singapore’s GDP per capita is one of the highest, however, the statistic doesn’t paint the full picture. The wealthy are really wealthy, and millionaires and billionaires from all over the world come and live in Singapore, inflating our GDP per capita. Imagine if Jeff Bezos were to enter a room of 200 people, the average person in the room’s net worth would skyrocket to a billion. More than 1/4 of Singaporeans are living in relative poverty, while working one of the longest hours in the world, and we do not have minimum wage to protect them. And housing cost is one of the highest in the entire world.
I implore everyone — Singaporeans and foreigners — to please do thorough research rather than viewing Singapore through a rose tinted glasses. The way that Singapore is being govern is so insidious that people all over the world have no idea how Singapore is really like. Foreigners seem to enjoy Singapore — it’s clean, pretty, and we have one of the best airports in the world. However, the truth is so much more than just pure measurable materialism. 6 in 10 Singaporean youths have considered leaving Singapore and more than 1 in 7 people experienced a mental disorder in their life, and yet nobody is brave enough to speak up in fears of getting sued.
I have no idea what Singaporeans can do, my only hope is to leave Singapore in search of a more democratic, less authoritarian and totalitarian country