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.
Ho Cheow Seng
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