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Dear Dr Chee,
I have for long admired your Idealism and Guts.
I hope the days you spent in solitude behind prison bars have given you quiet time to go within yourself and find the inner strength, the inner Being which is part of GOD –know that some very great and recent spiritual-political leaders – Ho Chi Minh and Nelson Mandela spent years in the very worst jails. And there is our very own Said Zahari who spent 17 years in Changi…a man who emerged with no bitterness, plenty of humour and boundless compassion plus an ability to speak and read Mandarin fluently (He is a very dear old friend) and counts his former Prison comrades (mostly Chinese-speaking) his truest friends. He used to joke and say when things got stressful after his release… “It was so peaceful in Changi”.
So, you can now count yourself among these great men who were imprisoned for their beliefs and compassion for their fellow humans . ..and feel comforted and strengthened.
Let me share with you WHY, despite feeling so strongly for Singapore, my birthplace, I have chosen not to get involved in politics. (I was a political science grad from the old S’pore U and my first job was with the Min of Foreign Affairs) Now more than ever I feel that getting involved in (Singapore) politics is absolutely futile.
Briefly, these are the reasons, and I hope that my reasons will help you find new directions for yourself, your family and yes, even the SDP – I note that your sister
is standing strong beside you and am very happy for that.
The Singapore of today is no longer the Singapore of my childhood and girlhood. Singaporeans have, under the PAP’s evolving economic vision (I have a lot of respect for the old guards who really cared for the people) become so materialistic, so selfish and so self-centred – at the same time so dependent (on their maids and foreign workers), that they only care for either keeping or growing their present ‘wealth’ and material lifestyle –totally indifferent to the fact that our way of life is Unsustainable, destroying the Environment-Nature (of which we are a part of) and our ‘wealth’ is at the expense of indigenous people every where else. So we continue plundering and wasting Mother Earth’s natural resources…and creating waste that is polluting and cannot be safely disposed of. (Once created, a toxic molecule is there in the environment in one shape/ form or another.)
Conclusion: Any heroic effort to bring democracy (to Singapore) will be snuffed out by those who want to protect their turf and ridiculed and rejected by the majority of the electorate. Simply put, until people are READY, everything we say or do will fall on DEAF ears. (And we might get our ears cut off too!)
Even if you were to be elected to Parliament, along with Chiam and Low and Sylvia…Singaporeans will simply expect you all to deliver the same Material Goodies that the PAP have…(eg Upgrading which to me only brings more Waste of natural resources and more pollution) You would just be working so hard to make sure that same unsustainable economic PIE gets shared more fairly. Maybe change the bread crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table to cake crumbs.
I lived for 9 years in Darwin-rural where I joined Greenpeace Australia, had an organic farm and led environmental protests (so liberating to be able to storm a minister’s office to protest against fogging! and NOT get arrested!)…but our efforts were futile…it was only on the ground that we could sow SEEDS and set small examples by the simple way we live, including home schooling our children. It was also there that I realized that we are ONE with all of Humanity and it does not matter WHERE I live or whom I help. Like Sis Teresa Hsu (108 years young) says, Every one is my brother and my sister. This is also what my guru Sai Baba teaches…
“There is only one religion and it is the religion of LOVE, there is only one Race, it’s the human race.”
Conclusion: Go where you will be appreciated and your children can grow up in a more natural environment (I don’t use the word recognized – I was recognized as a glamorous magazine editor in Singapore (so what?) , I was not recognized or known at all in Darwin…but in time I became appreciated as an Earth Mother and contributor in the rural community and it’s a kind of happiness I can’t find here.
“We must learn to live Simply so that others can simply LIVE…because there is enough in the world for everyone’s NEEDS but not for everyone’s GREED.”
My vision (for Singapore and the World) is totally opposite to that pursued by Bush, Blair, Howard and LKY…read Paul Hawken and Dr Amory Lovins’ Natural Capitalism (and Hawken’s earlier Ecology of Commerce) to see the Bioneers, the companies and the community leaders who are already creating a new way of living in harmony with Mother Earth.
I invite you and your family to join me. I intend to set up a Foundation to build a Spiritual Eco Village (in West Malaysia) that will be inter-faith and multi-racial;
also self sustaining and using only eco-friendly technologies. There are ‘models’ of these villages (all on the Net) but I intend to visit (and revisit) them to learn and see which model is the most apt for Singapore-Malaysia.
I end by quoting channeled passages from a book I ‘wrote’ and published in 1996
It’s called, Conversations with My Spirit Guide – What You Can learn of Life, Love, Earth Changes and Soul’s Purpose….Tread softly, quietly for
” Violence, Corruption, Greed, Cruelty
Ultimately will destroy itself
Feed upon itself until it is no more
But LOVE feeds upon itself
And grows stronger and multiplies…
It is in the Gentleness, and in the Quietness
And in the Softness that you will find
The Key to Paradise.
With LOVE and Best Wishes to You, Your Family and your Friends and Supporters in the SDP.