(I am publishing this letter which i received. I think it is very well written and about a topic which has crossed my eyes often on the forums when surfing.
I have often read articles both online and on printed media made by people claiming that Singapore has no "freedom". A quick google check tells me that freedom means that we are not imprisoned and enslaved.
When i compare my country Singapore to other nations like the United States, I realised that my nation is so much more accepting of who we are and who we wanna be. In the United States, the police are brutal and so many videos on youtube exist showing police using their strength to manhandle normal civilians. In Singapore the uniformed police are very polite. They address everyone as "sir" or "mdm". Living here almost all my life I must say to be fair i have never once felt oppressed or unfree in any circumstances.
In Singapore we have religious freedom and racial freedom. In the US, the people are segregated. Racial tension exist in every day life. Our government has been educating our people for decades on the importance of acceptance and mutual respect for one another. In the US its almost like everyone who thinks its hip and cool to be a gangster. That is no wrong on it own but such behaviour will only segregate the people further and encourage violence over better judgement.
Yes you will get sued if you go and slander the government. They will take you to a court of law and sue till you bleed from your nose. Just like how you will get punched in the face if you go up to a big man and accuse him of something he didn't do. No one likes people lying or misleading others at the expense of your reputation. Even a dog will defend himself if cornered. Here we have the freedom of speech. No one can stop you saying anything you like. However just like anywhere in the world, your mouth will affect your reputation and it will make or destroy you. Here you will be made to account for your claims and if necessary be taken into a court of law and cross examined. Does that mean our government is tyrannical? It simply means they are exercising their freedom to defend their reputation and use a legal channel to prevent further outrage by offending parties. Will you NOT sue someone if someone comes up to you and accuses you of taking their wallet, money, car keys or CPF?
A strong government is not one who is swayed by popular opinion and general consensus. A strong government is one that is prepared to make unpopular decisions in order to do what is right. Ensuring their people as a whole survives.
A government is not here to cradle and molly cuddle you. They are here to create a stable, opportunity filled environment for you to reach your maximum potential. The sad fact is that most losers blame their incompetence on the government when their own parents, spouse or even themselves could be so much more liable for their financial plight.
Once again if asked if there is freedom in Singapore, Ia would say Yes. Here's a land free of crime(almost), a land where i can pursue my interest, be who i wanna be and be a place i can raise my children. I would love to be a Singaporean again in the next life. It's not heaven but its the closest you will get to UTOPIA.
The above article is written by a Singaporean.