The author, Colin Smith, debunks the myth that Singapore was lost because the guns were pointing the wrong way. Three 15-inch guns of the Johore battery at Changi - so named because Sultan Ibrahim of Johore paid for their upkeep - swiveled 180 degrees to fire at Yamashita's troops moving down the main road to Bukit Timah area, well within their 21-mile range. The armour piercing projectiles were meant to disembowel warships, but they could make holes bigger than suburban swimming pools, and much deeper.
Myth #2: Foreign Workers are Dumb
Han Fook Kwang - de facto ghostwriter of all those Lee Kuan Yew books - disabused all and sundry holding common misconception that foreign workers are illiterate and poorly educated. He tells of a student conducting a survey who was surprised when the construction worker interviewed read out the form in good English and filled up the questionnaire on his own. It's not lack of intelligence that compels a welder to accept $400 a month, it's the exploitation of labour by merciless agents, unscrupulous employers, and bureaucrats who turn a blind eye to rampant wrong doings for the "greater good" of economic growth.
Myth #3: Happiness Causes Riots
At an Asean summit meeting in Tokyo, Lee Hsien Loong said unhappiness among foreign workers did not trigger the Little India riot, "There is no tension, there is no sense of grievance or hardship or injustice". The riot was spontaneous and localised, with signs that alcohol was a factor, he insisted, making you wonder why he called for a Committee of Inquiry (COI) when he already had all the answers. Or why he chose to announce that “a substantial number of dormitories will be built over the next two to three years” to better house foreign workers. Or "We have to make sure they are well treated, they are paid properly on time, their safety is taken care of, their living conditions are up to standard, and they are given full protection of the law.” Seems an awful lot of work needed to be done for a group that's perfectly happy and contented. Maybe he's simply recycling his "we’re sorry we didn’t get it exactly right, but I hope you’ll understand and bear with us" speech.
According to government statistics, about a quarter of the country’s 5.4 million people are transient workers, compared to a tenth in 1990. The unhappy people on the Internet are expressing the contrarian view that sentiments of discontent have been simmering among both Singaporeans and workers in Singapore for some time now, and the lid might finally blow off, setting up what Shanmugan imagined as "(there is a) possibility of copycat acts."