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鄞义林:争取实现一个人民的平等、公平和正义以及真正关心人民的新加坡。

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编者按语:

这是鄞义林受国际学生节邀请于2015年2月13日在挪威的特隆赫姆(Trondheim位于挪威这部的一个港市)的演讲中文译稿。本文章刊登在鄞义林个人博客网址:http://thehearttruths.com/

演讲的现场录像视频:

[Video] My Speech at the International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT) in Norway on 13 February 2015

鄞义林在挪威演讲

鄞义林的说明:

上个月,我受国际学生节的邀请,在挪威的特隆赫姆市举办一个《分享我在新加坡工作的心得》。我在2014年五月被新加坡总理起诉,接着,我又被政府以刑事罪名控上法院。我在这个分享会上谈及了有关在人民行动党政府管理下的新加坡公积金退休金基金缺乏透明度和可信任性。

以下是我的演讲现场录像视频网址:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoHk93Q7gAQ

以下是我为这个演讲会所准备的讲稿。

各位在特隆赫姆市的朋友们

今天,我为能够与大家在一起成为你们当中的一部分动力和热情并向你们学习,为此感到十分愉快与荣幸。这样的交流将有助于改进我的国家。   我的名字叫鄞义林。我是新加坡的一名博客和社会活动分子。但是, 在2104年5月,新加坡总理李显龙以个人诽谤罪起诉我。   他说,我诽谤他滥用了新加坡人民的退休金。

政府之所以要起诉我的真正原因,那是因为我暴露了新加坡政府如何把新加坡人民的退休金转移到两个投资主体。他们控制着这笔退休金资金不要退还给新加坡人民。

但是,我并没有这么说啊!我完全没有诽谤总理。

在我被起诉后,政府同时要求聘用我的医院对我进行攻击。接着,我又被他们引用刑事法典起诉。我是在行使自己的言论自由和表达自己看法的自由。我是在保护自己抗议权利被剥夺和争取新加坡的人权。

从去年5月开始,政府也同时使用受他们控制的国家媒体工具对我展开个人的攻击,这个个人攻击的运动至今还没有停下来。

我个人的博客网站的名字叫:《真心的事实》(The Heart Truths)。这个网站是我在3年前开设的。它主要是在讨论有关同性恋和社会政治课题。

在去年5月,当时总理因为我在网站里写的一篇文章而起诉我对他个人的诽谤。我被起诉的真正原因并不是因为这篇文章而引起的。

在我被起诉前的3个星期,我的上司已经与我谈起有关我活跃于博客的事情。那就是我知道政府正在注视着我了。

大家看看,在我被起诉的两个月前,我写了两篇文章。这两篇文章是在暴露政府从1960年起就已经挪用了我们的退休金,并从中赚取了利润,但是,政府并没有归还给我们。当我撰写这篇文章时,我知道政府正在注视着我了。

两个月后,他们终于找到了对对付的藉口了。

在我被起诉后,政府要求我受聘用的医院对付我了。我收到了解雇信,并被要求在1小时内离开医院。在那个时候,我的同事被告知留在办公室里,不允许任何人到我的办公室来向我道别。假设他们接近我,他们将会被通知离开医院。我已经被他们视为罪犯。

接着,医院和卫生部一起向报章发表声明支持对我采取的行动。

我在(在芳林公园举行的抗议集会)的第一次演说后,他们采取行动对付我。就是对我进行起诉。当时,我在演说中提出要求政府在执行退休金的问题上要采取透明化和可信任的政策。三天后,他们又再一次的攻击我。

当我呈交诽谤案件的诉状书和证据时,国家控制的媒体完全不报道这件事。无论如何,他们只是报道了总理的诉状书的新闻。

在我的诉状书里,我重点提出了我是如何获取有关政府从公积金户头里划走新加坡人民的退休金进入那两家投资机构以及政府是如何掩盖和删除我发现的这些证据。

我同时暴露了,政府是如何否认他们在2001、2006 和2007年拿走我们的退休金用于这两家投资机构。在我被起诉后,他们已经无法在掩盖任何有关这方面的信息了。他们在2014年5月承认了这个事实。这是他们有史以来第一次承认这个事实。

新加坡的第一任总理在2001年和2006年先后否认动用我们退休基金投资在政府投资机构——新加坡政府投资有限公司(GIC)。

李光耀说GIC与公积金无关联

新加坡政府也狡辩说,他们并没有干预GIC的运作。GIC,这个投资主体也狡辩说,它们不知道自己是使用新加坡人的退休基金进行投资。

无论如何,新加坡总理、两位的副总理和几位部长、前部长和国会议员读书GIC董事部的成员。

GIC董事部

因此,政府不干预GIC的运作的说法就根本就不可能存在的。GIC不知道他们的机构是使用新加坡人的退休金去进行投资活动的说法,这也是根本就不可能存在的。

无论如何,即便是他对我进行的起诉书因为我撰写了有关退休金的问题,但是,他说,我在诉状书里所提出有关退休金问题是与诽谤案件没有关联。他说,我在诉状书里详细罗列了这些证据是“不可接受的”、“毫无相关的”、“滥用了法庭的程序的”。

但是,起诉并没有到此结束。在去年9月份,我出席第四场有关要求政府执行透明化和可信赖性的退休金政策。

犹有甚者,他还向法院申请禁止我揭露更多有关退休金的问题。

政府对此预先为我们设下了阴谋。

当我们在(芳林公园)进行这场活动时,另一场活动也同时在同一个时间进行。这个活动的组织者把一些孩子拉出,然后说,在场的孩子受到我们的‘惊吓’。

假设您不知道什么叫做‘惊吓’,不需要感到忧虑。大部分新加坡人在那个时候也并没有受到‘惊吓’。但是,政府刻意选择‘惊吓’这个字眼。

‘惊吓’的意思即是正在参与活动的人受到骚扰。但是,政府选择‘惊吓’这个字眼是那具有更多的含义的。

但是,我并没有这么做啊!事实上,我是经常在教导那些自闭的孩童,我很疼孩子的。我不可能要去‘惊吓’孩子。

与此同时,几位部长和国会议员,包括了哪些政府的支持者和行动党控制的国家媒体随即展开了一场针对我的联合行动,指责我‘惊吓’了会场的孩子。

最终,在线新闻说我并没有进行‘惊吓’孩子。我要求政府向的道歉。但是,他们拒绝。

在事件发生后的两个星期,警方为进行调查此事件传召我去问话。一个月后,我被控告涉嫌危害公共安宁的罪行。这包括了在抗议活动场所进行摇旗和喊口号的行为。这是正常的抗议行动和非法游行集会。

政府的目的就是要摧毁我的个人声誉。

当我第一次被起诉时,我为了这场官司的法律费用进行了筹款活动。我筹措到10万元,或相等于6万5千元欧元。

这是筹款活动是一个极其明确的支持我的事业的信号。那是因为政府已经划走了新加坡人民的退休金。今天,很多新加坡人都无法过退休生活。他们当中一些人还必须一致工作到死去为止。很多新加坡人对政府很生气。一项调查显示超过半数以上的新加坡人支持我的看法。

无论如何,新加坡人不会站出来说话。他们会协助我筹措款项,但是,他们不敢站出来(与政府)进行斗争。

在新加坡恐惧思想的存在还是很严重。

当政府说我‘惊吓’孩子时,(公开)支持我的人数就明显的消退了。人们都愿意让自己的恐惧心理证明他们放弃支持。

在今年较早的时间里,总理又拿了九篇我写得文章来起诉我。他用这九篇文章来指责的是目的是要求我支付给他的律师更多的钱。

就是在政府制造诋毁我的个人名义的行动后,我被判决诽谤总理个人名义的案件也接着下判了。

但是。事实上这些文章中的一些文章中只是关于我个人的生活和对新加坡的许愿,但是,总理说这是我企图‘攻击’他。

接着,总理的新闻秘书发表声明说,我不愿意在法院审讯时进行交叉盘问,她撒谎。我并没有这么说。显然,政府再次要诋毁我个人的声誉。我向她提出挑战。我要求她起诉我指控她是在说谎,或者,她向我道歉。她两者都不选择。

但是,您看,新闻秘书可以谈论这个案件。总理,作为一个公众人物,是不可以个人的身份起诉我的。无论如何,如果他是以个人的身份起诉我,那他就不是什么特殊人物了。总理的新闻秘书仍然坚持她有权为总理辩护,因为诽谤案件是与新加坡人民的退休金有关连的。

不过,当我在自己的诉状里谈及有关退休金时,总理说这是‘没有关连的’?

非常明显的。他们是在自相矛盾,是在使用自己的言论在压制我。

我之所以要对这起诽谤案件进行抗辩,并不会是因为相信我会赢得这起诉讼案件。我知道我将会输掉这场官司,为它本身就是一起政治性质的案件。

无论如何,我所以愿意进行这场法院的斗争是因为我坚信一些观点,新加坡人民将会起来进行斗争,但是, 这个时刻尚未到来。

如您所知,我并不仇视总理谈所做的事。事实上,我同情他的处境。当年他是出生在一个富裕的家庭、他是第一任总理的长子、他所要的一切有人已经把它端到盘子里给你时。他将会怎样?

但是,总理却厚颜无耻的起诉一个普通的公民时,他却没胆到法院于我对峙,或者到讲述这个案件。倒过来, 他却一直躲在法律的背后保持沉默。

到目前为止,我一直在等待着今年7月的审讯判决。我赔偿总理诽谤名义损失的数额是多少?总理已经向高等法院提交有关诽谤诉状。根据以往的判例是超过25万元新币,或者相等于10万元欧元。这是我必须准备赔偿的数额。

在世界上贪污清廉指数国家排名新加坡是最佳的国家之一。我们的国家排名在第7位。但是,在过去数年,我们的排名已经开始往下跌。

但是, 反贪污指数并没有完全准确的含盖了在新加坡存在贪污的范围。这个指数只是含盖了衡量观察新加坡的商业贪污的水平。非常显著的是,新加坡是受到那些赚钱的资本家宠爱的国家。

同时,据统计,新加坡的经济超过60%是控制在政府手中的。理所当然的,大部分的商业观点将会倾向有利于政府的。

但是,假设你看到其他相关的指数,新加坡的表现是极其低劣的。

当你看《经济学人》杂志编辑的裙带资本主义指数,新加坡的指数是紧跟在俄罗斯、乌克兰、香港和马来西亚之后的第五国家。这就是说,这是世界上5个让富人最容易通过隶属于政府变得更加富裕的国家。

当你看到收入不平等的水平时,新加坡是早发达国家中一个最不平等的国家,也是一个最不平等的国家。

当你看到俄罗斯、乌克兰、香港和马来西亚这些裙带资本主义最高指数和高度不平等的国家时,你将会看到它们都是出于高度贪污水平的国家。

新加坡的指数是同样类似于裙带资本主义指数和收入不均的国家。

在表面上,新加坡的每个国内人均生产总值(GDP)单位是世界上最高的,实际上却是相等于挪威的水平。无论如何,挪威是世界上最平等的国家,而新加坡则是世界上发达国家中最不平等的国家。

在挪威,人民最低收入是大约5千元新币或相等于2万5千克朗(挪威的货币单位)。但是,在新加坡,最底层的人民每个人每月赚取的是1千元新币,或相等于5千克朗。

在医药保健方面,挪威人民支付医药保健的费用最高顶限为4百新币或相等于2千克朗。但是,在新加坡,支付医药保健这是没有顶限的。新加坡人已经有无数可以证明必须支付医药保健账单超过1万新币或超过5万 克朗的例子了。

在儿童保健方面,挪威人民只需支付新币400元或相等于2千克朗。但是,在新加坡,平均 个新加坡人必须支付儿童的保健费用是960元新币或相等于5500克朗,它可能会更高的费用。

但是, 新加坡人民却是发达国家中赚取最低薪金的国家,同时,也是发达国家中人民购买力最低的国家,与印度和马来西亚同属于一个水平。

事实上,新加坡政府在支付医药福利和教育方面的费用在发达国家中占国内人均生产总值(GDP)是最低的,也是世界上最低的国家。

你已经看到香港人民争取民主的斗争了。那是因为他们要在缩小自己国家的不平等情况。无论如何,在许多水平上,新加坡的情况是比香港更加恶劣。但是,新加坡人民将会争取回来。

我读了一篇文章。在香港有一位父亲说,为了我的家庭和孩子们。我将会继续斗争。无论如何。在新加坡,他们会说,为了我的家庭和孩子们,我将不会参与斗争。

正如一位国际组织的演讲者告诉我,世界上没有人真正知道新加坡到底是咋样的?因为太多的事情被隐藏起来了。

作为一个执政党,新加坡人民行动党已经掌控了50年的政权。在今天,反对党在国会的87个议席中只拥有7个议席。事实上,这是反对党在过去50年来拥有最多的议席了。

就在昨天,世界报章自由度最新排名指数出炉了。新加坡在无国界记者排名是180个国家中的第153位。不仅如此,没有民主指数,新加坡的报章自由度指数也同时跌倒与俄罗斯、伊拉克、巴基斯丹和卢旺达一样属于最低的排名。

总的来说,假设我们要获得更加美好的生活,最终只有新加坡人自己挽救自己的国家。我们必须站起来进行斗争。我们知道自己手中握有神圣意义的一票。我们将通过选举另一个政府来保护人民的利益。

但是,在此,我呼吁世界各国人民支持我们。在过去几天里,很多人告诉我,过去他们都只知道新加坡展现良好的一面,当我把真相说出来后令他们感到吃惊。其中一个人告诉我,假设这就是新加坡的真正榜样,那么,他将不会让他们的国家跟随新加坡。

因此,请大家帮忙我们。让全世界知道新加坡目前所发生的一切。因为这将会影响到你的国家。许多发展中国家都在学习新加坡。但是, 今天我听到了许多人,其中包括来自卢旺达、秘鲁和土耳其度都取类似于新加坡的手段的压制反对他们的人民。

我非常担心,当新加坡政府和这些发展中国家的领导人见面时,他们会不会也把这些经验与他们分享,那就是:告诉这些的国家领导人,如果要取得国家的经济增长,就得必须同时压制人民的反抗?但是,这是否是他们的人民所要的政府?这是不是我们要求其他国家学习新加坡的榜样?

难道目前在新加坡出现的不平等情况要世界上其他国家追随吗?

因为新加坡是世界上发达国家中收入不平等的最高的国家。今天,我们也是发达国家中属于最低诚信水平的国家。我们也是发达国家中犯罪水平最高的国家。我们也是发达国家中社会流动性最低的国家。这一切都不是我们希望成为其他国家学习的榜样。

我们要的是,希望新加坡和其他国家能够更加平等和世界各国人民的生活水平提高,这样,我们将不会逃离自己的国家到另一个国家寻找更好的生活。但是,在我们国家,我们知道,我们可以通过斗争改变目前的一切情况,进而创造平等保护我们的人民。

在此,我仅此与大家帮忙新加坡人民争取改变的斗争。即便是新加坡是一个世界学习的亮丽榜样。这是因为我们是为了人民的平等、公平和正义,以及真正关心人民的新加坡。

谢谢。

人民力量

ROY:

Last month, I was invited to the International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT) in Norway to share on my activism work in Singapore. I was sued by the Singapore prime minister in May last year and was subsequently charged with two criminal charges, because I had spoken up about the lack of transparency and accountability on the Singapore PAP-run government’s management of the Central Provident Fund (CPF) pension funds of Singaporeans.

Below is the video of my speech:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoHk93Q7gAQ

Below is the text of the prepared speech:

鄞义林在挪威演讲

Dear friends at ISFiT,

It is my pleasure and honour to be able to with you here today, and to be part of your dynamism and enthusiasm to learn so that we can improve our countries.

My name is Roy Ngerng. I am a blogger and activist in Singapore. But in May last year, I was sued by the Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong for defamation.

He said that I had said that he had misappropriated the pension funds of Singaporeans.

But I have never said that. I have never defamed the prime minister.

The reason why the government wants to prosecute me is because I exposed how the Singapore government was siphoning off the pension funds of Singaporeans into the two investment firms that the government controls and does not want to return to Singaporeans.

After I was sued, the government also asked the hospital that I was working at to fire me. I have since been charged with two more crimes, for exercising my freedom of speech and expression, and for protesting to protect my own rights and the rights of Singaporeans.

The government has also used the government agencies, state-controlled media as well as online media affiliated to it to launch a campaign against me since May last year. And it has not stopped.

I started blogging 3 years ago and wrote on gay issues as well as on sociopolitical issues. I write on The Heart Truths.

In May last year, the prime minister then sued me for defamation for an article I wrote. But the reason why I sued was not because of the article that I was sued for.

Three weeks before I was sued, my supervisors at work already spoke to me about my blogging activities. That was when I knew that the government wanted to get me.

You see, two months before I was sued, I wrote two articles which exposed how the Singapore government has been taking our pension funds to use since the 1960s, for the past 50 years, to earn from it and not return it. When I wrote the articles, I knew that the government was going to get me.

Two months later, they found an excuse to do so.

After I was sued, the government asked my hospital to fire me. I was given a termination letter and was asked to leave within an hour. During that time, my colleagues were told to stay in their office. No one could come to my office to say goodbye and if they came near, they were asked to leave. I was treated like a criminal.

The hospital and the Ministry of Health then sent out press releases to support my firing.

The firing also came after I spoke at the first protest that we held after I was sued. I spoke at a protest to demand for the transparency and accountability of our pension funds. Three days later, I was fired.

When I submitted my affidavit and evidence for the defamation suit, the state-controlled media did not want to report on it. However, they would report on the prime minister’s affidavit.

Inside my affidavit, I outlined evidence of how I had managed to trace how the government has siphoned off Singaporeans’ pension funds into the two investment firms and how the government had covered their tracks and deleted the evidence that I had found.

I also exposed how the government had denied taking our pension funds to use in these investment firms in 2001, 2006 and 2007. And they only admitted to the truth for the very first time in May last year, after I was sued and they could not hide the information anymore.

In 2001 and 2006, it was the first prime minister of Singapore who denied having taken our retirement funds to invest in the investment firm GIC.

李光耀说GIC与公积金无关联

The Singapore government has also claimed that it does not interfere in the GIC’s operations. GIC, the investment firm, also claimed that it does not know if it uses the pension funds of Singaporeans to invest.

However, the Singapore prime minister, the two deputy prime ministers, several ministers, ex-ministers and members of parliament also sit on the board of directors of the GIC.

GIC董事部

So it is impossible that the government does not interfere in the GIC. It is also impossible that the GIC does not know if it uses the pension fund of Singaporeans to invest.

However, when I detailed all of these evidence in my affidavit, the prime minister said that my affidavit is “inadmissible”, “irrelevant” and “an abuse of the (court) process”. He said that the evidence that I had brought up about the pension funds were not relevant to the defamation suit, even though he sued me because of what I wrote about the pension funds.

And even though he wanted to apply to court to stop me from revealing more about the pension funds.

But the prosecution did not end there. In September last year, I attended the fourth protest to demand for transparency and accountability.

The government then set us up.

Another event was being held where our protest was held. When we marched past that event, the organisers of the event pushed some children out and said we “heckled” the children.

If you do not know what “heckling” means, don’t worry, most Singaporeans at that time did not either. The government had purposefully chose that word to use.

 “Heckle” means to disrupt an event. But the government chose the word, “heckle”, because it gave a more negative connotation.

Right after the protest, several ministers and members of parliament as well as supporters of the government, and state-controlled media and online media affiliated to the government launched a coordinated campaign to say that I had “heckled” the children.

But I did not. I used to teach children with autism and I love children. I couldn’t possibly want to “heckle” the children.

Eventually, an online news site wrote that I never did “heckle” the children. It asked the government to apologise. They never did.

Two weeks after the incident, the police called us up to be investigated. A month later, I was charged with two criminal charges for public nuisance, but for things like waving flags and chanting slogans, things which you pretty much do in a protest; and for holding an illegal demonstration.

The government’s aim was to pull down my reputation.

When I was first sued, I conducted a fund raising to pay for my legal fees and raised more than $100,000 Singapore dollars, or 65,000 Euros.

There was clear support for my cause because the government has siphoned off the pension funds of Singaporeans. Today, many Singaporeans are unable to retire and some have to work until their deaths. Many people are angry with the Singapore government. A survey showed that more than half of Singaporeans supported what I say.

However, Singaporeans wouldn’t stand up and speak up. They would help in the fund raising but they did not dare to come out to fight.

The fear in Singapore is strong.

When the government said I “heckled”, there was a clear withdrawal of support. People were willing to allow their fear to justify their withdrawal.

Soon after the government created this campaign to pull down my reputation, the judgment that I had defamed the prime minister was then passed.

Early this year, the prime minister took issue with 9 more of my articles again. He wanted to use these articles to ask me to pay more money to his lawyers.

But some of these articles were personal articles where I spoke about own personal life and what I wished for Singapore. But the prime minister said that I was trying to “attack” him.

Later, his press secretary issued a statement to say that I do not want to be cross-examined in court. She lied. I never said that. Again, the government wanted to pull my reputation down. I challenged her to sue me for saying that she had lied or to apologise. She never did either of them.

But you see, the press secretary is not allowed to speak up on this case. The prime minister is not allowed to sue me in his capacity as a public figure, as a prime minister. He is only allowed to sue me as an individual. However, as an individual, the prime minister is nobody. Still, the prime minister’s press secretary insisted that she has a right to speak up for the prime minister because the defamation suit is pertaining to the pension funds of Singaporeans.

But then, didn’t the prime minister said that my affidavit was “irrelevant” when I had talked about the pension funds?

Clearly, it was their word against my word. And they were using their words to oppress me.

The reason why I decided to fight the defamation suit was not because I had believed that I would win. I knew that I would lose, because it is a political case.

However, I was willing to fight because I had believed that at some point, Singaporeans would rise and fight as well. But it still has not come.

You know, I do not hate the prime minister for doing what he has done. In fact, I sympathise with his position. What do you when you are born into a rich family and you are the son of the first prime minister, and where you have everything given to you on a platter?

But the prime minister has the audacity to sue an ordinary citizen but he has never had the balls to face me in court or to even speak about the case at all. Instead, he has hid behind the laws all this while and kept silent.

Right now, I am waiting for the hearing in July on how much I have to pay the prime minister in damages. The prime minister has filed the defamation suit in the Supreme Court which oversees cases of more than $250,000 Singapore dollars, or 100,000 Euros, so this is at least how much I am expected to pay.

Singapore is ranked well on the Corruption Perception Index. We are ranked 7th last year. But we have been falling down the index for the past few years.

But the Corruption Perception Index is not a fully accurate measure of the corruption that exists in Singapore. This index is only a measure of how businesses perceive the level of corruption in Singapore. And quite obviously, Singapore is well-loved by capitalists who want to make money.

And where some estimates put the government as controlling more than 60% of the Singapore economy, so naturally, the majority of businesses would view the government quite favourably.

But if you look at the other relevant indicators, Singapore performs poorly.

When you look at the crony capitalism index that The Economist compiled, Singapore ranks 5th on the index, after Russia, Ukraine, Hong Kong and Malaysia. This means that it is the 5th easiest for the rich in Singapore to get rich if they are affiliated to the government.

When you look at the level of income inequality, Singapore is the most unequal country among the developed countries and one of the most unequal in the world.

 When you look at Russia, Ukraine, Hong Kong and Malaysia, which rank high on the crony capitalism index and have very high inequalities, you realise that they have a high level of corruption as well.

Singapore ranks similarly on the crony capitalism index and income inequality.

On the surface, Singapore’s GDP per capita is one of the highest in the world, and is in fact on par with Norway. However, Norway is one of most equal countries in the world while Singapore is the most unequal among the developed countries.

In Norway, the minimum a person earns is about $5,000 Singapore dollars or 25,000 krones. But in Singapore, the lowest a person earns is only $1,000 Singapore dollars or 5,000 krones.

For healthcare, Norwegians pay a cap of about $400 Singapore dollars or 2,000 krones. But in Singapore, there is no cap and there have been many cases of Singaporeans who have to pay more than $10,000 for their hospital bills or more than 50,000 krones.

For childcare fees, Norwegians only need to pay a cap of about $400 Singapore dollars or 2,000 krones but in Singapore, the average a Singaporean has to pay is $960 or 5,500 krones. It can go even higher.

But this is when Singaporeans already earn one of the lowest wages among the developed countries and thus also have the lowest purchasing power among the developed countries which is on par with India and Malaysia.

Indeed, the Singapore government spends the lowest on health and education as a percentage of GDP, among the developed countries and one of the lowest in the world.

You would have seen the Hong Kong protests where the people in Hong Kong would fight for democracy because they want to see the inequality in their country reduced. However, on many levels, Singapore’s inequality is actually worse than Hong Kong, but Singaporeans wouldn’t fight back.

I read a news article where a father in Hong Kong would say that, for my family and my children, I will fight. However, in Singapore, a person would say, for my family and my children, I will not fight.

As I’ve also asked one speaker who heads an international organisation tells me that no one really knows what is going on in Singapore because so much is hidden.

And the ruling party, the People’s Action Party, have allowed themselves to be kept in power for the past 50 years now. While today, the opposition only makes up 7 out of 87 seats in parliament, and this is actually the highest number over the past 50 years.

Just yesterday, in the latest World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders ranked Singapore 153rd out of 180 countries. Not only is there no democracy, Singapore’s press freedom ranking has also dropped to the lowest levels and is on par with Russia, Iraq, Pakistan and Rwanda.

At the end of the day, it is up to Singaporeans to help ourselves and to save ourselves. If we want a change to better lives, then we have to stand up and fight. We have to understand the significance of our votes and vote to put in another government in place which will protect the people.

But I also appeal to the world to help us. Many people have told me over the past few days that they have always known Singapore to be a shining example but are shocked to find out what I have said. One person told me that if this is what the Singapore model is about, then he would not want his country to follow it.

So, help us. Help us raise awareness on what is happening in Singapore because this will affect your countries. For many developing countries, they look to learn from Singapore. But as I have heard from many people today, from Rwanda, Peru and Turkey, these governments are also using similar tools of oppression against their people.

I worry because I do not know if when the Singapore government meets with the leaders of other developing countries, do they share with those leaders that in order to have economic growth, you would need to oppress your people as well? But is this the kind of government that we want? Is this the kind of example we want other countries to follow?

Is the income inequality that is happening in Singapore what we want other countries to follow?

Because Singapore has the highest income inequality among the developed countries, today, we also have the lowest level of trust, one of the highest levels of prisoner rate and one of the lowest social mobilities. This is not what we want other countries to learn from.

What we should want is for Singapore and other countries to be more equal and for the lives of people across the world to be uplifted so that we do not have to run out of our country to have a better life but where we know that even in our country, we can fight for change and create an equality to better protect our people.

So help us, help us raise awareness about Singapore and fight for change. Even if Singapore is to be a shining example for the world to follow, it should be because we are one which is equal, fair and just, and one that truly cares for the people.

Thank you.

 

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