Lee Kuan Yew and this Tavern Keeper crossed paths in my youth, when I was a mere squire and he a brand new Prime Minister-come-BossMan of the new Republic of Singapore. The Eminent man enjoyed having the rich and powerful join him for dinner, and it was such an occasion which propelled me into Knighthood. Someone had to 'stand-in' while the Big Nuclear Cheese in the Far East was the guest of honour.
My Knighthood was marginally lower than his 'God Calls Me God' GCMG, but we both tip the hat to the Saints. Except he does it in their presence now while I pull pints and mop the floors.
You can read a full 'bio' of this man here:
Not many people these days know that Singapore was nearly killed in the womb.
Britain had conceived Singapore but just as it was about to be born as an independant little nation, Indonesia tried to kill it.
It was a sort of attempted national late-term abortion. But Britain prevented that. British Knights and Squires, yoemen and cooks and bottle-washers patrolled outside the abortion clinic of the far east and even went through the doors to hunt the staff and throw them out into the street.
I was there. We saved baby Singapore.
(That is an analogy, by the way. Just in case you thought ......) Anyway...
Singapore is a 'model' of a capitalist society - and a warning. From Lee's early days when it was a rather smelly, swampy place, it has grown and developed under his firm hand to be a powerhouse.
Not only, but a clean, well ordered, fair and sensible place in most of its practices. Indeed, it is a beautiful place that manages to treat its citizens well. Lee was the Big Father to his people. Firm, yes, but also for their best interest.
Singapore is one of the richest per capita places on the planet. It trades with everyone. It is at a 'cross-road' in Asia. It is a financial 'super-city'. If you are looking to profit from hard work and smart thinking, look to Singapore.
But for all it's and his success, a darker legacy may well become apparant. Michael Cook sank a few bevvies with us and pointed it out. And that led to several further discussions arising.
Great men make great mistakes
Lee Kwan Yew was a visionary statesman.
But his vision for Singapore's population may have doomed the prosperous city-state.
Lee Kwan Yew, the founding father of Singapore, died this morning. On many counts he was a great man: he took a poor city with no natural resources, not even its own water supply, and turned it into one of the most prosperous and best-educated countries in the world.
But the gleaming buildings and immaculate streets of Singapore distract visitors from a desperate problem: a lack of young people. The birth rate is possibly the lowest in the world.
This could undo everything the great man dreamed of.
(The MercatorNet article below was published in 2012 but has lost none of its currency, as his Lee's son Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong,acknowledged last year.)
Lee Kuan Yew, the founding prime minister of Singapore, is one of the great statesmen of the 20th century. A man of steely resolve, he turned a tiny, defenceless, impoverished, racially and politically divided island with no natural resources into an economic powerhouse.
Today Singapore is a leading financial centre, is the world's easiest place to do business, is ranked number 8 in foreign exchange reserves, has the world's top-ranked education system, and is the world's least corrupt country.
Economically Singapore is a miracle
....and Lee Kuan Yew is its wizard.
But there is a cloud over Singapore's existence. Although it is situated in a volatile part of the world, the threat is not war or tsunami or cyclone.
It is its own imploding birth rate.
In finances, Singapore is at the top of the league table; in fertility, it is at the bottom.
With a birth rate of 0.78 it has been ranked by the CIA World Factbookat 222 out of 222. To compensate for the falling number of babies, Singapore imports people. About 35 percent of Singapore's workers are foreign-born and about 23 percent of all residents.
In short, like the great man himself until yesterday, Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore is slowly dying. The government is trying desperately to boost the birth rate with generous benefits, dating services and louche advertisements. And still the birth rate falls.
Lee is watched this tragedy with tears. Speaking at a National Day celebration dinner on Saturday, [11 Aug 2012] he sounded desolate:
"If we go on like that, this place will fold up, because there'll be no original citizens left to form the majority, and we cannot have new citizens, new PRs to settle our social ethos, our social spirit, our social norms. So my message is a simple one. The answer is very difficult but the problems, if we don't find the answers, are enormous…
"Our educated men and women must decide whether to replace themselves in the next generation. At the moment, 31 per cent of women and 44 per cent of men are opting out. Not leaving a next generation.
"So, just ponder over it and you will know the solution is not simple. But we've got to persuade people to understand that getting married is important, having children is important. Do we want to replace ourselves or do we want to shrink and get older and be replaced by migrants and work permit holders? That's the simple question."Perhaps it's rude to ask this of a man mourning the mortal illness of a child whom he conceived, dandled on his knees and coached through adolescence, but who is responsible for this disaster?The answer is Lee Kuan Yew. Great men make great mistakes.
In the 1960s and 70s he worried about the Population Bomb and enacted stern population control policies. He encouraged sterilisation, urged Singaporeans to "Stop At Two", and imposed harsh financial penalties for those who didn't.
By the late 80s, the government had panicked and changed its tune to "Have Three or More (if you can afford it)". A future prime minister was already warning Singaporeans that "passively watch[ing] ourselves going extinct" threatened national survival.
It was too late.
Michael is quite right of course, and generous in his praise despite warning of the inevitabilities. But what do we onlooking nations think? What are our national attitudes to the great birth control issues?Singaporeans had acquired a taste for shopping and small families. Now their country's future belongs to immigrants and workers from nearby China, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia. Singapore has to face the possibility of cashing in its chips.
Singapore's woes may be of its own making but there is a lesson here for the rest of us. In a small nation, the impact of an ageing population is felt more keenly and more swiftly than in larger countries. Singapore has to face the possibility of cashing in its chips. But demographic trends are inexorable everywhere. When birth-rates fall below replacement level, as they have throughout the developed world, migrants with very different cultural values replace the native-born.
Going extinct is no fun at all. Just ask Lee Kuan Yew.
Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet.
Well, we all know the answer to that. We in the West are in the same slippery slope as Singapore.
We have been on the contraceptive boom ever since the 60's: the abortion boom since the seventies; and the sexploitation of everyone from the age of three upward since the eighties. Hedonism rules. We have abandoned morality and promote sodomy as a population plan. Not only has morality suffered but even thinking has. Feminism, cultural marxism, homosexuality, gay friggin' marriage, the 'entertainment' industry. Our society is disintegrating before our eyes.
This is most notable in the abortion debates.
We had Peter Hitchens sitting down with a free supply of Fine Ale and a couple of godless brainiacs today. Now, I have to say this but even with quite smart people he can be cutting. Here though he tore apart the abortion arguements just like an abortionist tearing a baby to pieces. It was messy !
The atheist pro-baby-killing chap was left legless and armless. Unfortunately not harmless though. His arguments are 'current wisdom'. Wrong, but official cant.
Despite all the knowledge we have from the very 'science' that such pro-abortion people seem to rely upon, the pro-baby-killers completely ignore the relevant.
So here are some 'discoveries', 'clear pronouncements' etc I won't put all of them here. You can follow the link for all 41.
41 Quotes From Medical Textbooks Prove Human Life Begins at Conception
“The life cycle of mammals begins when a sperm enters an egg.”
Okada et al., A role for the elongator complex in zygotic paternal genome demethylation, NATURE 463:554 (Jan. 28, 2010)
*****“Fertilization is the process by which male and female haploid gametes (sperm and egg) unite to produce a genetically distinct individual.”Signorelli et al., Kinases, phosphatases and proteases during sperm capacitation, CELL TISSUE RES. 349(3):765 (Mar. 20, 2012)*****“The oviduct or Fallopian tube is the anatomical region where every new life begins in mammalian species. After a long journey, the spermatozoa meet the oocyte in the specific site of the oviduct named ampulla, and fertilization takes place.”Coy et al., Roles of the oviduct in mammalian fertilization, REPRODUCTION 144(6):649 (Oct. 1, 2012) (emphasis added).******“Fertilization – the fusion of gametes to produce a new organism – is the culmination of a multitude of intricately regulated cellular processes.”Marcello et al., Fertilization, ADV. EXP. BIOL. 757:321 (2013)******National Institutes of Health, Medline Plus Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary (2013), http://www.merriamwebster.com/medlineplus/fertilizationThe government’s own definition attests to the fact that life begins at fertilization. According to the National Institutes of Health, “fertilization” is the process of union of two gametes (i.e., ovum and sperm) “whereby the somatic chromosome number is restored and the development of a new individual is initiated.”Steven Ertelt”Undisputed Scientific Fact: Human Life Begins at Conception, or Fertilization” LifeNews.com 11/18/13******
Why do people just not take notice?“Human life begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoo developmentn) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.” “A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).”
Keith L. Moore, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. pp. 16, 2.
“In that fraction of a second when the chromosomes form pairs, the sex of the new child will be determined, hereditary characteristics received from each parent will be set, and a new life will have begun.”Kaluger, G., and Kaluger, M., Human Development: The Span of Life, page 28-29, The C.V. Mosby Co., St. Louis, 1974.******An embryology textbook describes how birth is just an event in the development of a baby, not the beginning of his/her life.“It should always be remembered that many organs are still not completely developed by full-term and birth should be regarded only as an incident in the whole developmental process.”F Beck Human Embryology, Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1985 page vi******“It is the penetration of the ovum by a sperm and the resulting mingling of nuclear material each brings to the union that constitutes the initiation of the life of a new individual.”Clark Edward and Corliss Patten’s Human Embryology, McGraw – Hill Inc., 30******“Although it is customary to divide human development into prenatal and postnatal periods, it is important to realize that birth is merely a dramatic event during development resulting in a change in environment.”The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology fifth edition, Moore and Persaud, 1993, Saunders Company, page 1
I could go on, but instead ask you to continue at:
Clearly some food for thinking there. It can be washed down with some of my servings from the bar.
Place your orders.