Thursday, November 06, 2008

Advancing the best interest of our people

Contributed by Ho Cheow Seng

My Fellow Countrymen,

We, the Citizens of Singapore, are the best judge of what system of governance suits our Nation best in terms of advancing the well-being of our people. And no, we should not be so arrogant as not to want to look closely at other successful systems of governance with a view to adapting aspects of those systems to our benefit. Only that we need to be well-informed about why such and such a system has worked so well for such and such a country or countries.

The observation has been made that it is those countries in the West, who were former colonisers of countries in Asia, and who robbed lands belonging to others, suppressing the native inhabitants of the lands they conquered, and stealing their valuable resources to fuel the industrialization of the 'Great White Lord's
motherland, who now condescendingly want to teach us how to govern ourselves following their model wholesale.

These were also the countries that once lorded over the great ancient civilization of India, and who also derided China [another great ancient civilization] as the 'sick man of Asia. And these were also the nations that, at the height of their imperialism, imposed, by sheer brute force, the 'right' of extra-territoriality upon the countries they had subjected. And now, lo and behold, they are crusading for Freedom and Human Rights in their former colonies as well as the other countries of Asia.

Have you ever wondered why no Asian countries have ever tried to preach to countries in the West about our Asian values and way of life? Do remember that it was the great Asian and Middle-Eastern nations that gave the world the first great inventions in the various fields of human activities? As the current Chinese Premier Wen Jie-Bao once said in his address to the Chinese People's Congress:"Why should the U.S. and the West be afraid of China's economic re-surgence?" He went on to say that history has shown that China had never harboured any imperialistic ambition and had not occupied an inch of anyone's territory.

And so the West, and in particular the U.S., want now to teach us how to run our countries according to their model of Democracy. Beware of their pulling cotton wool over our eyes. Do you seriously believe there is genuine Freedom and practice of Human Rights in America? May I refer you to Noam Chomsky's "Manufacturing Consent" commenting on the 'eponymous efforts' of the rival political factions in engineering support for their partisan and provincial causes in America where Chomsky is both a citizen and one of its most brilliant thinkers and incisive critics of the American Democracy as well as of the American obssession with Human Rights to the point of being ridiculous in not a few instances.

You know the term 'cultural bananas'? To give you some clue, a banana is yellow outside and white inside. And 'cultural bananas' is the term the great white lords used to pour scorn on the 'Westernized Asians' who were bold enough to speak up to them.

Why do we allow ourselves to be treated this way? Have we no self-respect or do we totally lack the ability to think for ourselves that we should sink so low as to be devotees of everything 'white' and Western? Given our colonial history, many of our citizens are anglophones. This is perfectly fine especially as we are a muti-racial society and we need a common language to facilitate transactions both social and economic among our various ethnic groups.

But please, please, don't ever fall into the trap of taking that one further step to become an 'anglophile' in the misguided believe that THAT would enhance your standing in the eyes of your countrymen and also of the 'great white lords'. If at all, you will in all likelihood be despised.

The late Mahatma Ghandhi once penned a few verses to show his disgust for the Indian worshippers of Western Western culture. He wrote about them in the following vein:

Discarded by the West
And despised by the East,
They stand as living monuments
Of Western adultery.

By 'Western adultery' the Mahatma may be referring to the adulteration of Indian [and likewise Asian] culture by the Western culture. So don't be sold on Western Democracy and Human Rights. Right up to the second half of the 20th Century, Afro-Americans were still fighting their white counterparts to be accorded equal rights. In 1964 [date stands to be corrected] the late Martin Luther King Jr. had this to say:

"I have a dream that the day will come when the children of black slaves and the children of former black-slave owners will sit together at the table of brotherhood."

ML King Jr. may well be more than surprized should he be alive today to witness the very real likelihood of an Afro-American, a coloured man [strange that they don't consider 'white' to be a colour. Perhaps to be white is to be colourless] ascending to the highest post in 'the Land of the brave and the free'; the post, that is to say, of the President of the United States of America.

For all Afro-Americans and all coloured peoples of the world, indeed the wheel has come full circle.

Maju-lah Singapura!

Ho Cheow Seng

"Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates." - Gore Vidal:

"There are times in politics when you must be on the right side and lose." - John Kenneth Galbraith:


Han said...

Dear Mr Tan,

Honestly what is the point of this post? It is becoming clear that this person is a joker. He doesn't even make sense. You are damaging your credibility by associating with crazy people.

Anonymous said...

This man is "chau quava nist". He forgot that Obama was elected by the will of the people and the will of the people is white majority through a democratic process because the white accepted the black. It has come a full circle. Yes today people realised they are one people united and not some fragmented ideas as the writer HO Cheow Seng is promoting


Anonymous said...

I read the post umpteen times and still don't understand what he's trying to drive across. Am I supposed to be impressed by his knowledge on quotes by famous people and history? His article lack a chain of coherent thoughts. If I did not know better, I would have assumed he cut and paste together this article from various sources.


Anonymous said...

Ho CS,

I like to correct you. I had worked in chinese and american companies in the last 20 years. I have also worked in the US for a while. There are vast differences. In us companies, there is more freedom, both speech and actions. There are acceptances of differing opinions and way of doing thing, even though i'm chinese. It's no wonder amercicans are at the leading edge of innovations and technology. and I feel respected. On the contrary, local companies i worked for previously practice neoptism, relationships, and suppress differing opinions and way of working. I had cultural shocks when i first joined. What the big boss said is final. He knows best? You don't even suggest or you'll be shot. What is viewed as a trivial and unintentional mistake can be magnified many times there and people got "black listed" or ask to look for another job elsewhere. At the very basic, there is respect and acceptance of different voices - we call it human rights.

AlphavilleSG said...

What is the purpose of this article?

Maybe Mr Tan is more accepting of wide and varied views? Whether it is for or against? Surely everyone has an opinion about something! We are human beings! We think, therefore we are! :D

Anonymous said...

Ho Cheow Seng is trying to espouse anti-Western philosophy to criticize Western imperialism & liberal thinking to take advantage of this Lehman debacle. However, he comes across extremely strong on meaningless quotes [hint: showboating on his [sic] intellect] and incredibly dense & prejudicial on the subject matter! [what's your point, anyway & what's the alternative]

Trying to disengage from the West is futile! If you do not wish to adopt Western influences - are you prepared to give up your Ipod, Windows Vista, Google, MySpace, Facebook, etc. I don't think so!

Ancient China & early century India failed because their political system failed their people. Ancient China with its rigid monarchy, imperial scholar systems & exams, elite social structure with Mandarins, Feudal Lords, etc. It failed because it was totally disconnected with the population! The political system did not prepare the ruling class to help the people but instead made them subservient to the Chinese Emperor with a outmoded blind faith & bound them to ancient philsophies like Confucius/Mencius. The Chinese govt of that day did not export their empires not because they weren't interested but they had trouble holding their empire together. They had to isolate their country from foreign influences to keep their populace docile. Like anon 9.36PM said, China [read Chinaman}, "practice nepotism, relationships, and suppress differing opinions and way of working" as means to maintain power. Sound familiar!

'...Have you ever wondered why no Asian countries have ever tried to preach to countries in the West about our Asian values and way of life? Actually, MM Lee did preach about Asian values but got pillored by Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia [little red dot], Taiwan [pee-sai/nose snot] etc. MM got better reception from the West but once it got to the democracy & human rights Q&A part - it went silent & the West smelled a rat after that!

HCS may have a way with words but by saying that Communist China, "never harboured any imperialistic ambition and had not occupied an inch of anyone's territory" is simplistic - not taking into account the millions or billions that lost their lives in the early day of their rule & the Cultural Revolution! Why bother about outsiders when there are lots of your own people to kill or torture! Mr HCS, if you were there during the Cultural Revolution - you'll be either be dead or be singing a different tune today!

Also, China's economic prowess today is nothing fantastic - they simply copied the Japanese & Asian Tigers' export-oriented economic formula to their advantage. A country of 3 billion people should have come up with something better instead of plagarizing other country's ideas!

Making racist remarks like "Cultural Bananas" on the 'Westernized Asians' - Can you [HCS] please grow up! Don't sink so low to that level. It sound like the GCT's 2002 NDP speech [Quitter vs Stayers] implying that people who migrated to Australia become 'Second-class citizens'. If so, why still so many Sporeans clamour to go to Australia to become 2nd class citizens? Why?

"..Have we no self-respect or do we totally lack the ability to think for ourselves that we should sink so low as to be devotees of everything 'white' and Western?" In respect to the Lehman issue, replace 'white' and Western with Singapore Government /MAS and ___ Bank Relationship Manager - to be brutally frank! To be brutal - we had the option of stopping this toxic product from the 'White' western end from entering our shores or did we 'totally lack the ability to think for ourselves' & rely on our government's safe capable hands & listen to your bank's RM solid recommendations. The MAS which allowed Lehman products into our shores - are they not guilty of sinking, 'so low as to be devotees of everything 'white' and Western?'

'..But please, please, don't ever fall into the trap of taking that one further step to become an 'anglophile' - Jeez! What are you talking about! In that case, all anti-anglophiles should avoid wearing shirts & ties and business suits & wear mandarin collar long outfits for men & cheong-sam for ladies to go to work! Anyone?

"Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates." - Gore Vidal: Without political change, there will never be forward progression for the people. If there was never forward progression, there will be rigidity and stagnation! Ask why transport and utilities cost in Singapore have increased so much when oil prices have come down so much? Ask why foreigners can get a place in our university while Singapore-born cannot despite having a better command of English than them?

If democracy is not working, Mr Ho Cheow Seng - what then is your brilliant alternative?

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