Monday, February 13, 2017

Will Singapore Island's committee of future economy save the island? What is the real problem?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For at least 10 years now the tiny Singapore's island's economy has been steadily declining. Today the growth rate is almost zero or minus. Almost everything is down. Remember the island is a dictatorship. And just like any other dictatorship economic planning is done by the state. The citizens' job is just to work in the economic sectors given to them.

So you have a dictatorship or oligarchy that has decided that the port should be one industry, the airport should be another, the biotech sector, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas refining and bunkering for vessels, oil rig manufacture and so on. The creation of these industries has nothing to do with the common man. Just as Stalin in the Soviet Union would come out with a 5 year plan to expand grain production, so it is in Singapore.

Unfortunately for these dictators, every one of these sectors has collapsed. First the developed world no longer sees a need to invest in wet back cheap labor countries. They could automate and produce cheaply within their own borders. In any case Singapore labor has become so expensive thanks to the mismanagement of these dictators that it is no longer profitable to locate in the island.

And then you have the repression of the people which has successfully produced an entire society which is incapable of thinking for themselves. Just as in the Soviet Union, the way to advance is to be a sycophant and government bootlicker. In order to succeed what you need most is the recognition of the government of your support. In the Soviet Union, you would have joined the Communist Party which helps to advance your career. In Singapore a similar organization is the Peoples Association. By joining and volunteering in it, you are guaranteed a steady job, promotions in your career and security from unemployment.

Most Singapore citizens who want a successful life are more concerned with finding a job in the government sector, a government linked company or other related organization while at the same time publicly and openly showing your support for the dictators by your work in the Peoples Association. You can see them everywhere in their white uniforms, the color of the dictators and their ruling party the Peoples Action Party. This sort of an attitude does not encourage independent thinking or doing things on your own. The Singaporean has a crutch mentality, where Lee Kuan Yew's son and his friends and relatives who run the government are his mentors, his patrons and his source of a livelihood. And so far, during the island's entire history, the dictators have been always loyal to their supporters. It is only the Singaporeans who like dogs, run around and lick the boots of the dictators who manage to advance and succeed in their careers.

While at the same time, anyone who has shown the slightest of opposition to the regime is viciously destroyed. The late JB Jeyaretnam, opposition politician, Chee Soon Juan opposition leader, and dozens of others who have even expressed the slightest of objection to the regime have all been destroyed primarily through defamation actions, using Kangaroo judges who do their bidding.

As a result of these years of character training, like you would train a dog, Singapore citizens can be said to be incapable of doing anything for themselves. Just as a dog's only purpose is to please it's master, the Singaporean's only purpose is to ingratiate himself to his dictators. Jump and do as your told and you get a bone. Show any disobedience and you get the stick. Their minds have been crippled by fear. Fear of what the state would do to them if they showed resistance. They are only capable of obedience and showing support to the regime and score points thereby. Scoring points is a very important aspect of the Singaporean's life. The more the dictators like you, the more you progress. If they hate you, you don't stand a chance. So you spend your entire life trying to find ways in getting into the good books of the dictators.

Let me give you my own example. The Singaporean dictators never liked me. While I was living in the island in the 1980s, I told them openly that they are a bunch of corrupt dictators and they are no good. As a result for years, while I was in Singapore, I was repeatedly persecuted through trumped up charges. In 2008, while I was on holiday in the island, they put me in jail in Singapore for writing a blog stating that Belinda Ang Saw Ean, one of their judges who unjustly punished Chee Soon Juan, was prostituting herself as a judge. And then, because they were very angry, no doubt as a result of my temerity, they charged me with another trumped up charge of disorderly behavior and fined me. After I returned to the US, they decided to disbar me from practicing law in their island because I stated that another Kangaroo judge of theirs was similarly prostituting herself.

Lest you may have any doubts, their disbarring me in their tin pot banana republic Singapore island,  has no effect whatsoever on my life and career in California USA where I continue to be in active practice of the law and a member of the State Bar of California.

After all this, they have told me that even though I hold a US passport I need a visa to enter Singapore. The truth is, even if I have a visa for Singapore, I still will not go. You never know they might just arrest and jail me on a whim. This is the sort of thing that happens in banana republics. If you anger the ruler, you would never dare to step foot there again because they can simply do anything they want to you. This is not the sort of thing that happens in a civilized, respectable country with the rule of law.

Singapore today does not have the basic fundamental rights that anyone can expect in any civilized country. No freedom of speech, assembly, right of protest, no workers right to strike or collective bargaining, no rule of law and no freedom of the press. Any activity on any of these accounts is a criminal offense and will land you in jail.

And the reason why they behave in this obnoxious way is two fold. One to ensure there is no threat to the dictators grip on power. And the dictators can be as corrupt as they want without anyone to criticize. The Singaporean dictators are as corrupt as the worst of the African dictators as they pay themselves millions which they call salaries. Any criticism of corruption directed at them would immediately result in a defamation action or arrest before their Kangaroo courts.

Many tertiary educated Singaporeans are unhappy to live like this. As a result they emigrate to the West resulting in the worst brain drain in the world. Their unhappiness results in the lowest birth rate in the world. In effect the native Singapore population is literally dying off. To replace them the island brings in hoards of Chinese nationals from Communist China literally changing the very identity of the people of the island. This angers the remaining locals causing them to leave in even greater numbers.

Coming to the economic problems of Singapore, the problem lies in the mind of the local Singaporean. Fear and character training like you would train a dog to be obedient has created and entire society of followers, not independent thinkers who can stand on their own. If all the average Singaporean is capable of is to join the state bandwagon of the Peoples Association and be a supporter in the hope of the crumbs that they throw at them, you will never have entrepreneurs, inventors, innovators or men of ideas. And without them, you simply don't have the grit which is needed for economic success.

You might take issue with my claim that Singaporeans are incapable of being entrepreneurs. After all Singapore is known as a business center. True there are businesses in Singapore. But they don't belong to Singaporeans but to foreigners. The dictators have created a free for all business atmosphere with low taxes so that anyone from anywhere can come to set up business. And the Singaporeans are the ones who work for these foreign businessmen for low wages. Unfortunately despite the low taxation these foreigners no longer want to invest in the island since their own countries are giving them even better terms. So they are not coming and the poor Singaporeans is out of work.

In addition to the foreign businessmen, Singapore attracts crooked millionaires who use the island to launder illegal money. Unfortunately even in this money laundering sector, Singapore is losing out because the countries from which they come have tightened loopholes making it very difficult to repatriate funds.

Singaporeans have no hope because they cannot think. They are destined to do as their leaders tell them. And unfortunately it seems the leaders have run out of ideas just as all dictators eventually as history shows us.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, San Francisco, USA
Tel: 510 491 8525
Email: nair.gopalan@yahoo.com

Friday, January 6, 2017

Should Singaporean religious hate speech blogger Amos Yee be released from jail on bond?

updated 01/062017

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My name is Gopalan Nair, an Attorney in California with over 20 years of experience. I have done hundreds of asylum cases countries from as far and wide as Tajikistan to Pakistan. My telephone number is (510) 491 8525 and my Email is nair.gopalan@yahoo.com. I practice in the San Francisco area. Immigration is federal practice which allows me to represent client in all 50 states of the US.

Amos Yee, a Singaporean blogger was recently jailed twice for religious insults against Muslims and Christians in his native Singapore. He has recently entered the United States at Chicago asking for asylum and is presently on Immigration Hold at McHenry Correctional Facility, a prison, in Woodstock Illinois. Please see my post previous to this.

Asylum proceedings are confidential and information about any case is hard to get except for legal counsel or his own contacts. My understanding is that his "credible fear interview" has not yet been held. Normally if a credible fear interview is successful the asylum applicant is released on bond pending his Asylum hearing before an Immigration judge. If he fails in his credible fear interview, he still can request a hearing before an Immigration Judge except that he will not be released while he waits for his Asylum hearing.

My reckoning is that Amos Yee will not be released on bond. A judge among other considerations considering release should consider whether he will be a danger to himself or to the others or the community. Amos Yee is a religion hater, a hater of Islam and Christianity. He has insulted Islam and Christianity in Singapore which landed him in jail. The question for the American Immigration Judge is to decide whether his release to the community would be a danger to himself or others. We have seen the religious carnage in the not too long ago, Orlando shootings and San Bernardino shootings in the name of Islam. A judge will not allow this sort of thing to happen by releasing Amos Yee who may repeat his hate speech in the US resulting in others to retaliate with deadly force.

There should be no doubt that his release to the community would be a danger to himself or others. There is a serious danger that an self proclaimed religion hater like him would repeat his hate speech conduct in the United States. This may result in Muslims or Christians to retaliate. Although it is true that Americans have to right to say anything they want, Amos Yee is not American. The court need not release him to face racial violence in this country. Amos Yee does not have all the constitutional rights that an American citizen has.

I don't believe that he would be released on bail even if his credible fear interview is successful. He would be held in custody and I reckon in the end his asylum request would also be denied. This is not a case of protecting free speech. It is a case whether anti-Christ or Anti Islam hate speech should be given asylum protection in the United States.

Amos Yee has not suffered any past persecution at the hands of the Singapore government and neither has he any evidence of a well founded fear of future persecution at the hands of the Singapore government. He was merely given 2 short jail terms for hate speech against religion, a just and fair law in a multi racial crowded island. There is no evidence whatsoever that if he is returned to Singapore island he will be persecuted. And neither was he persecuted in the past. This is a man who believes he has a right to insult religions and therefore should be granted asylum in the US by reason thereof.

Another reason why his bail would be denied is his desire to avoid national service. National service is a universal requirement in the island of Singapore and the refusal to do it, shows bad moral character. In the United States, a draft dodger is even denied citizenship. This is a major point which will effect the judgment of the Immigration judge who will consider this whether to grant or deny asylum. An asylum applicant has to be of good moral character. A draft dodger does not have good moral character.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
Fremont (San Francisco) California
Tel: 510 491 8525
Email: nair.gopalan@yahoo.com

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Why profanity expletives laden Singaporean blogger Amos Yee should not be granted asylum in the US

updated 01/01/2016

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My name is Gopalan Nair, an Attorney in California with over 20 years of experience. I have done hundreds of asylum cases countries from as far and wide as Tajikistan to Pakistan. My telephone number is (510) 491 8525 and my Email is nair.gopalan@yahoo.com. I practice in the San Francisco area. Immigration is federal practice which allows me to represent client in all 50 states of the US.

I had earlier stated in my blog that I thought Amos Yee will be grated asylum. On re-looking at his case I have serious doubts that he will.

US grants asylum based on human rights under international laws and conventions such as the Human Rights Charter and its applicability to US law. If a country is seen to violate the rights of an individual under these laws and those rights are protected under US law, he is granted asylum.

It is true that freedom of speech is a protected ground. However this right is not examined in isolation but in relation to the prevailing circumstances in any country.

Singapore is a multi racial tiny island city state so overcrowded that people not only live next to each other but above them in high rise apartment blocks owned by the state. Jam packed like sardines. Therefore the possibility of racial disharmony and its consequences can be so serious that it will effectively even destroy the country. Realizing this, according to the laws of the Republic of Singapore, they have laws in place that criminalize words or conduct that may cause distress to other races or religions.

Similarly in France and Germany it is a criminal offense to deny the Holocaust. Not to say that there is no freedom of speech in Germany but because the unique history of Nazism which is still raw in the minds of many Germans, the state felt there is a need to criminalize such conduct. As far as I know, there is no German charged with such an offense who ever got asylum in the United States.

Singapore should not be compared to the United States. It is a large country and its society is more sophisticated buttressed with the First Amendment right to freedom of speech, part of it's social ethos. Singapore on the other hand is a tiny overcrowded multi racial city state with a mere 50 year history which has not had the history of the United States. What can be tolerated in the US does not necessarily become tolerable in that tiny island.

Singapore island has been lucky that since 1967 there has been no race riots. It is for this reason that the island justifies such laws.

These laws are applied equally and fairly without any discrimination. Also it has been said that because he was only 17, the state should go easy on him. But if a 17 year old can cause island wide riots like in 1967, he should be stopped for the sake of everyone.

Although I have not read or seen all his blogs and videos, he has gone to the extent of drawing caricatures  of trying to have sex with a crucifix and with the Islamic Holy book the Koran. If he is allowed to do this, what next? Should he be allowed to stand outside a Muslim mosque at Friday prayer and hold up a sign saying "F........K Islam". And if so would you not expect any violence from the Muslims? And would not the Singaporean ethnic Chinese retaliate? And what about the Indian Hindus?

The judge should in this case realize the peculiar circumstances of the tiny multi racial city state. Looking at it from that perspective, he should deny this asylum claim that the laws in place were fair and fairly applied to all Singaporeans. Remember he not only had these repulsive anti religion videos. He also, in the most foul language insulted the late Prime Minister and the Singapore government. But the government did not charge him for any of that. He was only charged for his anti religion speech in the crudest manner imaginable.

I don't think his lawyer the American Sandra Grossman has ever heard of Singapore before this, let alone the peculiar circumstances  of the multi racial tiny island city state of Singapore. And I would probably guess that the Immigration Judge who will hear this case does not know much about the island either. Singapore is not a high volume asylum traffic country to the US.

His case is now probably before the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency and it may take several years before it gets to a judge. Of course, if he passes his credible fear interview, he will ordinarily be released on bail while he waits. If you wish to make your views heard and be of assistance in this case, you should first write to the jail where he presently held, at the following address and seek his Alien Registration Number (A number) by which he is identified. With this A number, whatever you write will readily go into his file.  His name is Amos Yee Pang Sang. Date of birth 1998

McHenry County Adult Correctional Facility
2200 N Seminary Ave
Woodstock, IL 60098
Tel: 312 347 2400

He is, I believe, presently under the jurisdiction of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. His case has not gone before the judge yet. His credible fear interview is handled by ICE. Their address is the following. You can write to them.

ICE
Chicago Field Office
101 West Congress Parkway, 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60605
Phone: (312) 347 2400

Although I don't believe the case has gone to the Immigration Court their address is

Chicago Immigration Court
525 West Van Buren Street, Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60607
Tel: 312 697 5800

Finally the office of the government counsel, US Department of Homeland Security, who would be opposing this asylum clam is as follows.

DHS Office of Chief Counsel
525 W Van Buren St, Suite 701
Chicago, IL 60607
Tel: 312 542 8200

Anyone can write to these authorities and help them understand the situation in Singapore. You could refer to the Singapore Penal Code Sections under which he was charged, why you think the laws are necessary or otherwise and provide the videos and copies of his blog for which he was charged. I think this will help seek justice.

The authorities will be of course carrying out their own investigations but since this is such a high profile case, I am sure your input will be appreciated.

I hope that justice will be done.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
Fremont (San Francisco) USA
Tel: 510 491 8525
Email: nair.gopalan@yahoo.com




Friday, December 23, 2016

The detention of Singaporean Amos Yee at Chicago Airport

Update 12/28/2016. I have been getting readers who write asking for advice on asylum and national service. If you want advice please write to my Email nair.gopalan@yahoo.com or call me at (510) 491 8525 California time. Also note, I do not provide free legal advice. Please do not send anonymous comments. They will not be published.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am Gopalan Nair, a Singaporean, now US Citizen and practicing attorney in Fremont (San Francisco) specializing in Immigration law. I can be contacted at my telephone number (510) 491 8525. I have more than 20 years of expertise in my specialty. I am also a dissident against the Singaporean regime which has repeatedly harassed and persecuted me for my political beliefs when I was living in that island. I was also jailed in 2008 when I returned for a short visit for writing a blog criticizing a Singapore judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean for shamelessly abusing the law to punish one of the regime's foremost political opponents Chee Soon Juan. As a result of my imprisonment in the island, and for continuing my criticism, my lawyer license in Singapore was rescinded, and I was disbarred in that island from practicing law there. This did not have any effect on my practicing law in California and United States as the State Bar of California decided that I was not guilty of any improper conduct as the action against me was clearly politically  motivated.

I am also a Barrister on the Rolls in England.

I came to the United States in December 1991 and applied for asylum. I was granted asylum in 1995, and became a United States citizen in 2004.

A short background on Amos Yee. He is a young man about 18 years old blogger and U Tube video producer who has been criticizing the former Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew as a dictator. I agree with his observation. He has also criticized Islam. He produced a video caricature on U tube showing the late Prime Minister having sex with the former British Prime Minister of England Margaret Thatcher whom he considers equally objectionable. For this he was jailed and subsequently jailed for his on going criticism in that island.

What I am about to say is what transpired with Amos Yee contacting me seeking asylum advice in the United States. I do not consider my revelations here a breach of professional lawyer client confidentiality since he was never my client and the public are entitled to know these facts.

Several months ago Amos Yee contacted me by Email asking me how he could obtain asylum in the United States.

A point of correction in terminology. The several news reports about him refer to him asking for "political asylum" in the United States. This is incorrect. The correct terminology is "asylum". Not "political asylum". This is because under the United Nation Convention on refugees of which the US is a signatory, asylum can be obtained for persecution by a state by reason of "race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular group or political opinion". Therefore it is not just on political grounds that a person would be granted asylum.

I advised Amos Yee that he should somehow try to get to a third country such as Malaysia and apply at the US Embassy there. The problem of course is the ability to leave the island since I was told his passport was impounded by the authorities. I suggested that somehow he should try to smuggle himself out of the island if he could but there was no more discussion on that.

He then asked the procedure for applying asylum in the US. I was not confident he could get a passport since the last he contacted me, his passport remained impounded by the Singapore authorities. I told him that if he could somehow arrive at a port of entry in the United States, he should state that he wants to visit the United States (not ask for asylum at the airport). This is because if an arriving alien arrives at a port of entry in the US and is in possession of a valid travel document, has a return ticket and sufficient funds, he will be allowed entry into the US as a visitor for up to 6 months.

After entry the visitor has 1 year within which to apply for asylum in the US. This is a far better method  of applying for asylum since the arriving passenger is released into the United States and he can take his time to file a proper asylum application  from the comfort of his home.

Also someone who enters on a visitor visa has 2 bites at the apple. He applies firstly to the Asylum Office a branch of the Immigration Service. If his claim is not granted, then it goes to the Immigration Judge, whereas a person is detained and released at the airport, goes straight to the Immigration Judge.

On the other hand there are those who arrive with false documents and would therefore not be allowed entry into the US and would be turned around on the first flight out. In such cases the passenger if he wants to live in the United States would have no choice but to articulate an asylum claim at the airport.

The moment the arriving passenger articulates a fear of returning to his country, the US border agency immediately and automatically goes through a procedure known as "expedited removal proceedings". Under this process the passenger at the airport is taken into secondary inspection and held in custody ordinarily up to 48 hours in a detention facility. During this time an "Asylum Officer" from the Department of Homeland Security visits and interviews the passenger in what is called  a "Credible Fear Interview". Although it is intended to see if the fear of return is real, the threshold of review is very low, meaning as along as one has given a reasonable reason for fear of return, the man is usually released either under bond (bail) or with electronic surveillance such as an ankle bracelet or some other means. In other cases he is released on his own recognizance and given a date to appear in Immigration Court. In the meantime he applies for Asylum.

Amos Yee was wrongly advised to claim asylum at the airport. Since he appears to have a valid Singapore passport ( I am assuming) , he should have simply not mentioned anything about asylum at the airport in which case he would have been allowed to enter the country and not be detained. He could subsequently within 1 year comfortably file his asylum.

However if he had arrived with a false passport, then what he did was right as he would have had no choice, since he would have been returned immediately to Singapore on the next flight, had he not raised an asylum claim.

Amos Yee had asked me to represent him "pro bono" or free of charge. In my opinion, he did not appear to be lacking in funds since he himself had stated in social media that he was making a lot of money through his videos. Secondly he has his parents who live with him and are fully able to pay for his expenses. I quoted him my normal asylum fee of US$3500.00 but he refused. After that I did not have further communication with him.

Recently a US based Singaporean activist Melissa Chen contacted me. She said she was trying to help Amos Yee and had arranged some lawyers to help him free of charge. She was contacting me probably from Chicago. She asked me if I could arrange accommodation for him free of charge. I told her that I cannot and even if I could I will not. After all he is well able to pay for his accommodation under his circumstances and shouldn't be asking things free.

I have done many cases free for financially deserving clients. In my opinion he is not one of them.

Lastly all reports refer to him as being "arrested". This is incorrect. Amos Yee was not "arrested". The US Border agency had merely been following routine procedures at the airport when they detained him after he had articulated a desire for asylum. This is a normal procedure for anyone articulating an asylum claim to Immigration authorities at an airport. As I said, if I was representing him, I would have advised him not to claim asylum at the airport but to claim it subsequently after he has entered the US as a visitor. In that event he would not have been detained.

Also the news reports state that he arrived on a visitor's visa. This is incorrect. If he was using a Singapore passport, Singapore  island is a Visa Waiver Country. No visa is required for 90 day visit. That is provided he arrived on his own passport and not a forgery.

Finally I had advised him that where I am, at San Francisco, is the best location in all of the US for asylum claims. The success rate is much higher than any other part of the US given its reputation as a "sanctuary city". I had told him that. Obviously he has not taken heed of that in applying in Chicago.

But even in Chicago, I think he will succeed in his asylum claim. The Singapore government has clearly been persecuting him.

Finally a note of personal observation. I found him to be an unduly arrogant young man. He appears to think too highly of himself, a case of misplaced importance. This sort of arrogance will not do him any good in any country, let alone the United States. With an attitude such as this he would find it hard to make any progress in the US, especially someone like him whom no one knows here. I know he has never worked for a living and has been all along supported by and living with his parents. It will come as a rude shock to him in the US with this sort of attitude. Anyone who ever made it in the US had always started with humble beginnings. I think this is going to be hard for him.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
Fremont (San Francisco) USA
Tel: 510 491 8525
Email: nair.gopalan@yahoo.com
Email: nair.gopalan@yahoo.com

Monday, December 19, 2016

In Singapore, to succeed, support the Lee family and their ruling party

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In Singapore island, one thing that everyone knows is this. If you wish to succeed, you have to actively support the Lee family and their ruling party, the PAP which has been continuously in power the last 50 years. Anyone with ideas of his own is persecuted by not getting good jobs, not being promoted in their careers and failing in life.

But supporting the Lees and their ruling party is difficult for anyone capable of thinking. The Singapore government is a one party authoritarian police state. There are no individual human rights, no freedom of speech, expression or assembly. There is no free press since the entire media is government controlled. There is no rule of law as judges are mere minions of the establishment who rubber stamp the government's orders.

To enable the citizens to show their support to their government and their ruling party, the state has created an organization called the Peoples Association. It is directly run and controlled by the state. It is an umbrella organization under which there are numerous sub organizations such as Citizen's Consultative Committees and a dozen other organizations. Citizens who wish to succeed in life make it a point to join these organizations and actively volunteer in their activities. The state monitors these organizations and their members to see who they are and how loyal they are. It is from these organizations that senior government officials are selected and anyone can hope to aspire to high office if they are lucky in being recognized. And even if they are not selected, for special treatment, the state will make sure that they are protected in their jobs and when promotion time comes, they are the ones to benefit.

As a result of such a system, the state and the ruling party, the Peoples Action Party are one and the same. The state is the party and the party is the state. Just as in Nazi Germany, the Nazi Party is the State and the State is the Nazi Party. Or in Communist countries, the Communist Party is the state and the state is the Communist Party. In China today, if you wish to succeed, you better be seen as a Communist Party supporter or in Stalin's Russia, you better be a Soviet Communist.

This sort of thought process in Singapore makes almost everyone a hypocrite. Every single member who volunteers at these government grassroots organizations personally disdains the ruling party. The leaders are seen by everyone as simply corrupt by paying themselves literally millions of dollars which they conveniently call a salary. No one can question them. They are also aware that citizens of Australia and the West are lucky to be living in free democratic societies which they are denied. They are unhappy with their lives but because you need to support the rulers to advance, even to simply survive, they engage in this play acting to please their masters.

This sort of culture is exactly why societies like Russia failed. You had Russians praising Stalin when they personally knew that he was killing millions of their citizens. But in order to succeed or even survive in Stalin's Russia, you had to join the bandwagon or else.

Singaporeans today are facing their worst economic downturn in history. Every single sector of economy is failing. And in a tiny island with a tiny population such as Singapore, simply joining the bandwagon is the worst recipe one can imagine. For small islands like Singapore with a tiny population, you need to have every single citizen to be an independent thinker, with creativity and new ideas to drive the economy in new directions. What you need in any society is change. And change can only come about if individuals are allowed to formulate ideas of their own and exploit them. This is not possible in Singapore.

Anyone who openly suggests that Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister, who is the son of his father the previous Prime Minster is corrupt is going to face fire. He will instantly be sued bankrupted and jailed. Anyone who openly propagates freedom and democracy is punished. This way the society does not develop any differently. Lee Hsien long, the son of Lee Kuan Yew is there to stay, whether you like it or not. Their party the Peoples Action Party will rule over you forever whether you like it or not. There will be no freedoms whether you like it or not. You will do as you are told whether you like it or not.

One can see why the Soviet Union, East Germany and other communist regimes collapsed. It is because you have entire populations simply joining the bandwagon where new ideas are simply impossible.

Singapore's economy has many similar characteristics  from that of the Soviet Union. It is a centrally planned economy. The government had decided on certain sectors for economic activity, such as the oil and gas industry, commodities trading, bio technology, tourism and casinos. Unfortunately for them, every single one of these industries is failing due to external competition. Since the citizens are incapable of thinking on their own, they are simply waiting for the state to decide for them what economic activity is going to replace these failed ones for their jobs and their survival.

The government, we are told has now created various committees and sub committees to study the situation and come up with new ideas to grow the failing economy; just as in the Soviet Union they came up with plans every 5 years. But the citizens have no part to play in this. Their brains are incapable of doing anything on their own. Their main principle activity is to impress their rulers by their hard work in the Singapore People's Association a branch of the ruling Peoples Action Party.

Singaporeans are therefore incapable of any creativity or independent thinking since these things are frowned upon. The tried and tested means to success is the lifelong goal to keep your mouth shut and join the bandwagon by volunteering at the government's Peoples Association to impress Lee Hisen Loong, the son of Lee Kuan Yew and his peoples Action Party. Hopefully the powers above will take notice and you never know, you may be even selected to serve the Prime Minister himself. Just as an erstwhile Romanian would have thought, you could even be selected to be the right hand man on Nicolai Ceausescu if you played the cards right.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
Fremont (San Francisco) USA
Tel: 510 491 8525
Email: nair.gopalan@yahoo.com

Monday, December 5, 2016

As tiny Singapore island slides headlong into economic collpase, what it needs is some democracy, some kindness and compassion

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The economic bad news has been on the wall for a long time now. This tiny island's economy is heading to a total collapse. Every single economic sector of activity looks hopeless. The oil rig manufacture and supply is dead for obvious reasons. The days of fossil fuels are over, so the oil refining sector is dead. Pharmaceutical sector is dead. They are manufacturing it in cheaper countries. Casinos are dead. The Chinese don't have money to spare. Banking is collapsing because the idea of offshore banks supporting money launderers is failing.

Unless and until the rulers of Singapore realize that they need Singaporeans as their partners, and not their enemies, it is simply not going to work. What you have in Singapore is unadulterated merciless capitalism. You work for multi national companies and if you lose your job, you are destitute. There is no real safety net to speak of. This creates an atmosphere of fear, constant fear of losing one's job. This results in a sort of mental paralysis, lack of productivity and creativity since no one dares to venture into new enterprises for fear that you may fail and end up destitute.

And then you have a leadership that is seen by the average Singaporean as simply corrupt. The leaders pay themselves millions regardless of how anyone else lives. If you complain you are liable to be sued for defamation of character and hauled before their Kangaroo courts and made destitute.

The island has no basic freedoms. No freedom of speech, expression, assembly or freedom of the press. The citizens are required to simply obey and do as they are told.

And those who criticize, are treated very harshly. They are a very vindictive government. Many Singaporeans who have criticized the government have been driven into exile and either cannot return or are afraid to return. I was imprisoned in Singapore in 2008 for criticizing a judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean who unashamedly abused the law to punish an opposition politician Chee Soon Juan. Today he is completely marginalized. He was thrown out of his job and has no means of livelihood. I had to leave Singapore in 1991 because it was impossible for me to earn a living for criticizing the government. Today even though I am an American citizen, I fear returning to the island for fear of being imprisoned again on trumped up charges. There is no rule of law in the island. This sort of thing does not happen in any other country except in totalitarian dictatorships.

This sort of life results in deep dissatisfaction and unhappiness. The state is not seen as the partner of the citizens, but rather as their enemy about which there is nothing they can do.

If it has worked so far, it is only because in the 60s and 70s, there was no Internet. There was no instant news throughout the world. Today Singaporeans look at other countries where people live normal fruitful lives and ask why they have to live the way they do.

One country to take an example from is Finland. It is similarly sized in population of 5 million but has a much larger area. It is cold and a difficult country to live in. Yet they do exceptionally well despite their harsh climate.

1. It has real freedom, freedom of speech and every other freedom. It is truly a democratic society. Finns appreciate this and respect their government.

2. It has very generous unemployment benefits. This means that unlike Singaporeans they don't have to live in fear every minute of losing their job and becoming destitute. This enables Finns to experiment with new ventures and new enterprises. This promotes creativity and hence greater productivity.

3. They have free health care for all.

4. They have free education up to and through university. It does not matter what you study, it is free.

5. They have generous child care benefits. Mothers who have a child are given 3 months at full pay and another 7 months at 70% pay. You can if you want take more time off without pay. This encourages mothers to have children since they know that they don't have to be separated from a new born baby or lose their job if they took leave.

6. Child care centers are all over the country to cater for every Finnish child. And this too is free.

7. Finnish education system has been repeatedly declared the best in the world. Teachers are the most respected of professions and they are given great leeway on how or what they teach. Fin students constantly come up tops in mathematics and science in world ranking.

Understandably with this sort of welfare state, Finns are taxed higher than in Singapore, something which they willingly accept. This is because for the tax they pay, they get security in their lives and an opportunity to excel.

Finns despite their harsh climate are happy to live in their country. Unlike Singapore island which has one of the world's highest brain drain figures, Finns do not leave Finland.

The reader will be able to see why Finland is such a successful country. Their birth rate is much higher than in Singapore and some of the world's greatest companies are from Finland.

Unless and until Singapore realizes that they have to create a climate where their citizens can respect and trust their government, the economic decline will continue for the simple reason that the people dislike and distrust their government. The only question is whether the slide to economic collapse will be a gradual one or a sudden precipitous  one.

In spite of all this, I am certain of one thing. These corrupt millionaire rulers of Singapore island are not going to make any changes. It is going to be the same. And if that is so, no one can help Singapore.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont (San Francisco) USA
Tel: 510 491 8525
Email: nair.gopalan@yahoo.com

Friday, November 25, 2016

As a society, citizens of Singapore island are fundamentally inferior, not creative, obsequious, opportunistic and fairly stupid.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is how Brzezinski Zbigniew, the former US National Security Advisor described the Russians living under Stalin. He said, to paraphrase, they are "fundamentally inferior, not creative, obsequious, opportunistic and fairly stupid". These words, in my opinion, are equally applicable to today's citizens of Singapore island. The similarities of those who lived in Russia under Stalin to present day Singaporeans are in fact similar. If they differ, it is only to an extent of degree.

Stalin systematically destroyed any opposition to him to create an entire population of grovelers who achieved high office in this despicable manner.

It is the same in Singapore today. Opportunists and boot-lickers who sing praises to this regime which has no rule of law, denies the basic civic rights such as freedom of speech, expression and assembly are promoted to high office, while those who think and disagree with this totalitarian authoritarian administration are punished and removed from their jobs.

As a result the dumb followers of this authoritarian regime is promoted while anyone else showing even a modicum of independent thinking is destroyed and denied any success.

This is how it is done in Singapore. Firstly the government has a litany of grassroots organizations in the island. One of them is the Peoples Association. Cabinet Ministers and other high ranking party members of the ruling party the people Action Party run this organization including many others.

Opportunists who want to advance in their careers will join and volunteer their services to this organization. If you are a lawyer, a doctor or in any other profession or vocation, your volunteering at these organizations are noted. It is also noted that because you volunteer at these organizations, you are also a supporter of Lee Kuan Yew's son who is the Prime Minister and his Peoples Action Party. It is taken that they can count on you for your support, during conferences and speeches given by the government, they can count on you to attend to make up the numbers for photo ops. You will be considered part of the PAP ruling party family. And since the government controls everything and everyone on Singapore island, no matter where you work, a wink and a nod from the top will advance your career and you will have a glorious future.

For those who do not do this, you are not seen as one of them. As a result your career is not guaranteed, your promotions are not guaranteed and your future is not guaranteed.

For about 40   years since the creation of modern Singapore, this arrangement was fine. The government selected certain sectors for job growth, such as offshore oil rigs manufacture, oil refining, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and electronics. and tourism and money laundering. Although this worked well for some 40 years, since there was little competition in third world South East Asia, things suddenly took a compete turn with the advent of the Internet. Every other country began competing and oil continues at rock bottom. So the economy of the island literally collapses. And the people are no help since they are dumb waiting to be told what to do next and obsequiously  licking the boots of Lee Kuan Yew's son.

Singapore simply cannot recover,. Their people are basically stupid and incapable of thinking for themselves. A tiny island such as this with a tiny population can survive only if each and every citizen is an entrepreneur who can create a job for himself as well as 10 jobs for others. This these obsequiousness  boot lickers who hang around to please Lee Kuan Yew's son simply cannot do. They must collapse.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont (San Francisco) USA
Tel: 510 491 8525
Email: nair.gopalan@yahoo.com