Thursday, May 7, 2015


By Mansor Puteh

Ancient Chinese proverb: When you drink water, do not forget its source!

Just how many Singaporeans today are aware where the water they drink and use for their everyday survival comes from?

It is not Newater alone that they are consuming. Even then Newater was also originally from the same source that has been recycled by daily use and allowed to flow into the drains and other channels to be collected and processed or distilled and filled into the natural water that is processed at the reservoirs in Singapore.

Newater could not be created from thin air.

So it is now known how Singapore had existed and who had caused it to become a state, with land stolen from the Sultanate of Johor and an exile prince Raja Hussain Shah a.k.a. Tengku Long who was cheated by Stamford Raffles, who was a mere officer of the East India Company (EIC) and later bullied by his successor, William Farquhar until Sultan Hussain Shah sulked and fled from Singapore on the ‘Julia’ yacht belonging to the Sultan of Kedah where he died and was buried at the Masjid Trengkerah in Melaka.

From then on the British assumed that they had founded a new country that had not existed before, for which Lee Kuan Yew thought he would free it from British colonial rule to rule it.

And Singaporeans today would be better off if the state had continued to be part of Malaysia, but that would be in the personal interests of Kuan Yew who would not be prime minister and also architect of modern Singapore like what we can see today.

Singaporeans as Malaysian citizens would be able to enjoy life better, and they can litter where they want and also park their cars indiscriminately without being punished severely.

The Causeway would also have been demolished long ago and more links between Singapore and Johor would be constructed to ensure the better flow of traffic from both sides of the Causeway.

Singaporeans too as Malaysian citizens would be able to own larger houses and more cars and not feel holed inside a small island-state.

Despite not being on the same par as the Singaporeans today, most Malaysians are still able to enjoy a better level of life and even with their lower incomes, they are still able to own landed properties with three to five vehicles.

It was what Tunku had wanted, if he had his way, and if Kuan Yew was not in his way, of how Singapore would become a model state with the best economic growth and the Chinese would continue to prosper despite them or their ancestors having come to Singapore and other parts of Malaysia as mere coolies.

He only wanted the Melayu to be the political masters of the land, which means that they can be left unattended and happy to serve the Chinese.

No wonder, Tunku appointed a Chinese, Tan Siew Sin as his first minister of finance, a post which now opened only to the Melayu today.

And Singaporeans today as Malaysian citizens could enjoy water, with the water agreement canceled altogether.

The Water Agreement signed by the British with Malaya and Singapore when the two countries were under their colonial rule cannot stand as it was, with Malaysia only able to charge so little to Singapore at about six British Malaya cents per one thousand liters or gallons of untreated water that they can get from the rivers in Johor that is allowed to flow into the reservoirs in Singapore till today.

By right and legally too, the Water Agreement can be considered to be null and void as it was signed when Singapore was part of British Malaya and agreements on the price of water took into account of this fact.

Worse, with the separation of Singapore from Malaysia, the currency used in the agreement can be said to have disappeared and what this means is that Singapore had no way of paying for the water it gets from Malaysia.

The Malaysian Ringgit and Singapore Dollars are not the same as the British Malaya Dollars.

The value of six British Malaya cents was very high back then, but six Malaysian Ringgit sen, do not match the value of the British Malaya cents which is worth around sixty Malaysian Ringgit  today.

Older Malaysians can still remember how they could survive on a few British Malaya cents a day then and even the one cent counted.

The Malaysian government had wanted for many years to demolish the Causeway, but to no avail; the reason given by Singapore was that Kuan Yew felt sentimental with it, and that the demolishing of the Causeway could only happen when he is gone.

One now wants to see when this can happen so that a new and wider bridge can be constructed in its place, so that not only traffic flow from the two countries be done smoothly but water flowing under the bridge can help to resuscitate marine life in it too.

American President Barack Obama gave a tribute to Kuan Yew when the later died on 23 March, 2015, after being admitted to the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) on 5 February for pneumonia.

And America was represented by former President Bill Clinton, with former National Security Advisor, Henry Kessinger attending together with few other regional and international leaders for the funeral service held in a hall at the National University of Singapore (NUS) on 29 March, six days after Kuan Yew’s death.

And America claimed that Kuan Yew who knew all the presidents since Lyndon Baines Johnson personally was a true and close friend of America’s.

But is it true?

The truth is that America had tried to distablize the Kuan Yew PAP government by taking issues which the White House probably was not fully aware of with the Singapore government charging the American State Department for launching such an attack on it with the aim of causing its collapse.

Fortunately, this did not happen.

And what about the ‘lies’ Singapore had made by saying they were getting Mexicans to help with the construction of their Army when they were in fact, military advisers from the Zionist state of Israel who were willing to offer help to this ‘new country’ in exchange for the establishment of a diplomatic relations with Singapore, to be the only country in the Southeast Asian region to do so.

(Final note: Many of the facts in this three-part essay were from the few books written by Lee Kuan Yew that I had read, some interesting information of which had not been disclosed in the eulogies I had heard read by those who were invited to give them in the funeral service for Kuan Yew.

No one had bothered to say how Kuan Yew had engaged a consultant to come to Singapore just after the country separated from Malaysia, who gave Kuan Yew some advic on how to develop the country.

The most interesting part is how Kuan Yew or Singapore did not provide for the flight and hotel as well as board for the person, who willingly agreed to foot the bill each time he is asked to come to Singapore to consult with Kuan Yew.

And more interestingly was how the consultant had told him to keep the local names of the areas and places in Singapore so we can still some of them today although ‘Bukit Larangan’ has been changed to ‘Forbidden Hill’, Blakang Mati to Sentosa and Hospital Kandang Kerbau to KK Hospital.  

The other interesting part is how Kuan Yew, despite being prime minister of a country and in his forties could still find the time to take a short course at Harvard University sitting in the same class or group with those who were much younger than he was.

And it looks like not many Singaporeans and also Malaysians had read them in their entirety, despite many of them having bought copies of the book, all written by Kuan Yew himself.

It was also surprising to be told or informed by Hsien Loong in his eulogy of how his father was still taking Mandarin lessons from his tutor a day before he was admitted to the Singapore General Hospital on 5 February to further improve his Mandarin.

But what many people did not know is how Kuan Yew had also got his successor, Goh Chok Tong to take English lessons because he, Kuan Yew thought Chok Tong’s spoken English was not perfect.

Yet, when he gave his eulogy, Chock Tong was heard to be speaking in exquisite English, even though Hsien Loong’s English was better. And his Melayu, too, was equally good, except that he had started his speech in Melayu by greeting everyone with ‘Saudara dan Saudari, instead of Tuan-Tuan dan Puan-Puan, like they do in Malaysia. But I would rather say Saudara-Saudara as it includes the men and women, too, as ‘relatives’ or ‘my own blood’ as it is translated literally.

Kuan Yew only allowed his name to be given after a school at the National University of Singapore, the Lee Kuan Yew School of Government, which copies from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

No one knows what sort of a monument the government of Singapore will name after him. After all Ahmad Ibrahim who was involved in drafting the constitution of the country has a highway named after him, the Ahmad Ibrahim Expressway.)  

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