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On Singapore's "Values"

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(While this isn't specifically related to Burma, it does explain
a bit about the mentality of one of chief supporters and major
investors in SLORC's Myanmar.)  

UPI - Kyodo

It was the kind of speech Gordon Gecko of the film "Wall
Street" might have made:  Forget about the intangibles in life,
just get rich and buy things.

Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong never said "greed is
good," but his message to Singapore's youth last weekend was
essentially as simplistic.

"Unless the economy performs well and we are able to sustain
higher standards of living, we will have very little room to
think about nonmaterial things," Lee told a young generation
that is increasingly questioning the materialistic way of life in

At a privately organized - youth seminar, Lee heard several
participants say they aspired to more than just better housing
or transport, namely, they wanted a higher quality of life that
enables them to fulfill cultural, intellectual and psychological

Lee responded by saying that such desires are intangible and
cautioned them to be "very careful about trading the material
for the nonmaterial."

He wondered how the participants would react if their pay
hikes for next year were canceled, quipping that they would
then have to find non - materialistic ways to satisfy their

In any other country, except perhaps Hong Kong, such logic
would likely have raised eyebrows about the spiritual and
moral well-being of the particular society.

But in Singapore, a relatively new nation state with little in the
way of religion or history or geography to unite it, there has
never really been much more to life than the collective pursuit
of money.

Whereas Marx talked about religion being the opiate of the
masses, in Singapore it is work and making money that keeps
the citizens quiet and in line.  Allowing people to get rich and
protecting that wealth has always been the central tenet of the
ruling party.

The Nation, Bangkok Sept.17, 1995

Reprinted in the Japan Times on September 20, 1995