Due to his highfalutin character, the eminent Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew can never refrain from making booboo in his bombastic utterances, usually made at the wrong time for the wrong reason. His latest gaffe is his deleterious comments in the National Geographic magazine in which he portrayed Singaporeans as less hard-driving and hard-striving so that it became necessary for the Singapore government to bring in Chinese immigrants as a counter-measure.
His gratuitous comments happen to grate on the raw nerves of Singapore netizens, besides innumerable other citizen, who, one and all, do not mince their words in their condemnation of the ungracious MM Lee. The essence of their anger centres around the fact that for MM Lee, who draws a whopping salary of over three million dollars a year, jets around the world at taxpayers' expense and does nothing but in his own words "forecasting", to portray Singaporeans in such despicable terms is stretching their patience to the limit.
This is not the first time that MM Lee has made a gaffe nor will it be the last to the government's embarassment. The problem is that he has too much time on his hand and, apart from "forecasting", he does not know what to do with his leisure. So he thinks hard to find a topic that he thinks will amuse his international audience and at the same time please his Singapore electorate. But experience has shown that he is not the consummate entertainer who does not falter in his clowning.
The indiscriminate influx of Chinese immigrants is a sore point not only among the discerning Chinese Singaporeans but more so among the Malay and Indian Singaporeans. There is an overtone of racisim involved in this connection as Malays and Indians are naturally alarmed by this overwhelming influx of yellow intruders. They do not appear to enhance the quality of life here except to make up for the deficiency of the Chinese demography and to provide cheap labour. They are so ubiquitous that there is hardly any service job that is not monopolised by a Chinese national.
Is this policy of encouraging the indiscrimiate influx of Chinese immigrants a rational one to rectify the demographic deficiency? Are we getting the right type of Chinese immigrants who can enhance the elitist quality of the population? There appears to be a need for the re-examination of the government's immigration policy to ensure a more equitable influx of quality immigrants, not only of Chinese nationals but of other nationalities as well.
That the Straits Times did not carry MM Lee's callous remarks is not surprising.