Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Lee Kuan Yew's Singaporean dictatorship taking its toll on the island, its people and it's future

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The universal truth is this. People all over the world want to be free, and Singapore is no exception. This is inherent in human spirit. Human beings are not happy when told by their dictators that they cannot speak freely, cannot complain freely, cannot protest or cannot question authority. And the universal truth always is, when dictatorial governments try to control the lives of their people, they rebel, refuse to co-operate, refuse to respect their governments, refuse to give their best, and when possible, leave their countries.

This is what happened to me. I was born in Singapore. I was a Singapore citizen. I was deeply involved in local politics. I went to school there. I joined opposition political party. Contested general elections, was part of the local population, fraternized with them and tried to change their government with what I thought was a better way to live.

But then I realized that it is impossible to be free in the Singaporean dictatorship. They don't allow it. The laws prevent anyone from speaking openly, from challenging authority, from writing and publishing what I want, to protest in public. In other words, I cannot be free in Singapore. When I realized this, the question was, do I live the rest of my life unhappy under a dictatorship, which controls every aspect of your life, or do I leave for another country that allows me to be free?

There can be no doubt what the answer is. Without any question, it was better to leave and live somewhere else where you can be free. And that is exactly what I did. I packed up my bags and my belongings and headed for California United States, where I am now a citizen.

I think today's dictatorial government of Singapore somehow appears not to realize this. It is not the glitter, fancy airport, shopping malls and glass skyscrapers that attracts one to his country, but the ability to be free that does.

It is the dictatorship that drives native Singaporeans away from their country, suppresses the birth rate which is the lowest in the world, and greatly lowers the competitiveness, inventiveness, entrepreneurship and productivity of the state. And the constant fear of the dictatorial government under which they live results in widespread island wide medical diseases and poor health caused by the extreme stresses and tension in their daily lives.

It is inventiveness, innovation and productivity that spurs a country forward. These qualities create change. And change is essential for any society to advance. Otherwise they are stagnant. In Singapore it is impossible for anyone to feel safe with an independent mind. If your thinking comports with the state's ideology, then you are fine. But if you are seen to have ideas opposed, you are not allowed the light of day. Your ideas are not published in the state controlled monopoly media, you are harassed, kicked out of your job and no one will ever know or hear about you.

As examples of the government's modus operandi, take the case of Chee Soon Juan, JB Jeyaretnam and myself, Gopalan Nair. All of us had ideas contrary to that of the dictatorship. We stood for free speech, free expression, the right to peaceful assembly and opinion. So all of us had to be silenced, branded criminals and denied any chance to be heard. We were all permanently silenced within the island.

So what sort of people make up the island population today after 70% of them voted for this government in the recent elections? They obviously are people who appreciate the dictatorial form of government where people are denied free speech and expression and peaceful protesters are arrested and jailed.

But what about the rest of 30%? I reckon the entire 30% are no longer in Singapore and can be found in distant places such as Australia, New Zealand, United States and Canada. And I have no doubt that increasing numbers continue to leave because they don't wish to live in a dictatorship. So as more and more people leave, the knowledge that one's life can be far better in a democracy is spread to others, who in turn themselves leave. There can be no doubt that life in a democracy where you can think and speak the way you want without fear of arrest and imprisonment is far superior to life in any dictatorship such as Singapore. In the battle between democracies and dictatorships, democracies always win and dictatorships always lose.

As the best citizens are ones who can think freely, educated and are able to bring diverse opinions into the marketplace of ideas, it is usually these people who are in a position to leave. As a result dictatorships like Singapore lose the very citizens they need the most, their brightest. I have a college degree in law and able to bring diverse and independent ideas into society. Since Singapore dictatorship will not allow me to exercise my independent thought and contribute to society for change, I decided to pack up and leave, just as thousands of others like me leave. As a result of the island's determination to continue as a dictatorship, I have taken my skills, knowledge and experience to Fremont Northern California. Instead of serving the local community in Singapore where I was born, as a lawyer I now represent clients in my new community of choice in Northern California. Instead of Singapore, the place of my birth benefiting from my training, experience and knowledge, it is Northern California that benefits.

And while here in the US, I continue to expose the Singaporean dictatorship through this blog for the benefit of those who may think otherwise about the island. In this way I continue to play my part in damaging the dictatorship government of Singapore.

In the same way, Singaporean lawyers, doctors, scientists, teachers, biochemists and skilled people in every sphere pack up their bags and leave because they find it disagreeable to live a life under a dictatorship. As a result these Singaporean professionals serve their adopted communities in Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada which benefit by their presence while the island of their birth the Singaporean dictatorship suffers a devastating loss.

Such a lack of skilled people on a permanent growing rate through mass emigration to the West cannot sustain this Singaporean dictatorship. The democracies of Australia New Zealand USA and Canada are the net beneficiaries of this movement of people from the dictatorship and Singapore continues the net loser. As a result Singapore continues to lose out on inventiveness, innovation, entrepreneurship and competitiveness. Which is why it's productivity is among the lowest in the world today and no attempt by the government is able to raise it. So as long as this dictatorship  government of Singapore is unable to realize this truth, the island will continue to see it's progress fall and slip further backwards, while the net beneficiaries, the world's democracies will continue to enjoy a net gain in every respect.

Because people inherently yearn freedom. It is part of human spirit.

Finally Singapore today is a boring place totally lacking in vibrancy. People living in fear of the Singapore dictatorship government are incapable of being vibrant. For a vibrant society it needs to have courage. Instead of courage, what you have in Singapore is island wide fear. Fear of arrest, fear of defamation lawsuits, fear of being thrown out of your jobs and fear of bankruptcy in the dictatorship Singaporean government if they are displeased.

* If you like what I write, please spread the message of this blog, Singapore Dissident. The more people are made aware of this dictatorship, the more the cause of freedom and democracy is served. Thank you.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Why do people like Singaporeans Teo Soh Lung and Roy Ngerng take this harassment lying down

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The latest incident of harassing anyone who criticizes the Singapore government is the case of Teo Soh Lung and Roy Ngerng. Please see Singapore state controlled newspaper article here

According to the story, they were not supposed to have suggested their choice of candidate before the recent by elections this year. According to Singapore laws there is such a thing as a "cooling off period" which is the day before the polls when it is illegal for anyone to support any particular political election candidate. I am not sure to what extent they wrote in Facebook their candidate of choice but even so, this appears to be a very minor incident.

But this dictatorship government in their high handed manner, bent on silencing any and all dissent, have made a mountain out of a molehill, repeatedly detained them at police stations for questioning, ransacked their houses and confiscated computers files and videos, demanded several other persons to submit to police interrogations on the guise that they are collecting evidence, and generally behaving like gangsters for one purpose alone, that is to terrify the entire island population into submission through fear which they have already done.

One would have thought that the last people in the world who would submit willingly to Singapore island republic's authoritarianism are people such as these. Teo Soh Lung is a lawyer and a democracy activist who served time in jail for challenging the island dictatorship. Roy Ngerng was a blogger who was sued by the island's dictator Lee Hsien Loong and has been ordered to pay several hundreds of thousands of dollars in monthly instalments. Both of them have shown themselves to be intelligent, politically aware and have tertiary qualifications.

With professional skills such as they have, there is no need to accept the repression thrown at them. They are, compared to other less educated and less qualified citizens, in a best position to say No. To say, I am not going to take this anymore. Take the case of Teo Soh Lung. Although I am not privy to her personal circumstances, from what I know of her, it shouldn't be too difficult for her to stand up and resist. She was a good lawyer, but the harassment she suffered resulted in her having to give up her law practice. In her present state, of having nothing much more to lose, it is an easier choice to make for her to fight the regime instead of meekly submitting.

In the case of Roy Ngerng, he too has a college degree and used to work for a Singaporean hospital. As a result of his criticism of the regime, he was thrown out of his job and now works privately. In his case too the state has been ruthless and vindictive. Why does his blood not boil and say I refuse to submit to this nonsense any more like Peter Finch in the award winning movie "Network".

The obvious actions that comes to mind is for them to publicly protest. Deliberately break Singapore's illegal laws that criminalize peaceful protests, invite them to arrest them and embarrass them in the world stage as a repressive one party totalitarian state that denies their citizens fundamental human rights. Revenge should be honorable in a case like this and they should be prepared to face whatever this illegitimate government would throw at them. In the end, if the government goes through and does arrest and punish them, the fallout in the democratic world would hurt them even more.

Alternatively, if they are not prepared to go through the trouble, then clear out, emigrate. Pack their bags and go to the West. There is no doubt every single western nation would give them asylum.

But I notice, very strange indeed, that they just stay back and take this nonsense from the government, lying down. And what are we supposed to do, blame this government and proclaim how bad they are. To take an extreme example, it is like a North Korean tortured by Kim Jong Un willingly taking the punishment but yet refuses to leave the country even though he can!

I don't think it is necessary to sympathize with Teo Soh Lung and Roy Ngerng. It is not as if they are helpless, they are clearly not. They are intelligent capable people. They can stand and fight but they choose not to. They can emigrate but they choose not to either. Instead they wish to stay behind in Stalin's Russia or Lee Hsien Loong's Singapore and take the bullying. They are grown adults with a head on their shoulders. If this is how they wish to live, who are we to say otherwise.

The worst thing in my mind is to give Lee Hsien Loong, the present Singaporean dictator the satisfaction that he can abuse you and get away with it scot free. And what is even worse, the knowledge that you are willing to let him.

When I was in Singapore, I too was being persecuted for fighting for freedom and human rights. I could either have stayed back and fought the regime, through peaceful protests and free speech. On the other hand I could have left. I did the latter.

My advice to them is to do one or the other. Either stand up and fight or leave. Don't just willingly hang around for them to push you around. You don't have to . And it is not necessary.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Has Singaporean teenager free speech advocate, enfante terrible Amos Yee, signed his own death warrant

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There can be no question on the principle. Amos Yee has the right to speak his mind. That is the law and that is the Constitution. And no dictator such as Lee Hsien Loong, Lee Kuan Yew's son nor any other bigwig thug strutting around that tiny island of Singapore like a prize rooster bullying anyone in his way has any right to stop him.

I support Amos Yee on that principle. Having said that, is all the other stuff that he says really necessary. And for what purpose?

By all means, call Lee Hsien Loong any number of names you want. He deserves every single insult thrown at him, the corrupt multi millionaire rascal. But my question is this. Why insult Muslims and Christians? What purpose does that serve? You may disagree with some of the seemingly illogical verses in the Muslim Holy Book that Allah created the world and everything in just a few days, but there happens to be millions of Muslims around the world who really believe this. So why not let them be? In any case what satisfaction would you derive by insulting the Muslims or for that matter proving your point on the right of free speech, and be murdered in the process.

But have you really thought through the consequences of your action. It is a fact and quite obviously so that there are Muslims around the world including in Singapore who are very hurt by your actions. For some, according to their interpretation of their Book, to kill or maim and hurt someone who insults their religion is not only a right, it is their duty for which they are rewarded in Paradise upon death. So what is there to stop any Muslim in Geylang Singapore to beat you up or even kill you by the justification that a few years in jail or even execution is a small prize to pay for the Paradise eventually waiting for them.

Bing killed or maimed for standing on free speech principle doesn't make much sense to me.

I remember the British Prizewinning author Salman Rushdie. After he wrote the Satanic Verses, he went into hiding for fear of his life and the British police actually supplied around the clock bodyguards, at government expense, to protect him. Will Amos Yee have to go into hiding too and will Lee Hsien Loong, the Singapore dictator whom he continues to insult on a daily basis send bodyguards to protect him! I think it is very probably the reverse! After all the insults, I suppose he would celebrate when Amos Yee gets the polishing.

And to a great extent he has already made himself a prisoner in his own island. It is not Lee Hsien Loong that has done that to him. He quite literally dare not come out of his apartment, lest there is a Singapore Malay Muslim waiting with a dagger round the block to cut his throat. Although they have confiscated his passport, even with one he could hardly travel. For one thing, he should never go to Peshawar Pakistan, Baghdad Iraq or San'a Yemen, unless he intends to commit suicide. In fact he can hardly travel anywhere in the world, not even to the US. Here in California as well as any other part of the US there are many waiting for the opportunity to go to Paradise, with the help of Amos Yee.

One can of course stand on principle but one should of course also use common sense. And one should face reality. I can if I want exercise my right of free speech by standing in the middle of Baghdad Square Iraq and insult Allah. I should know what will happen next, no need to even thick twice. And to a large extent Amos Yee has done just that. Through the Internet, it is probable that the worst terrorists in Baghdad have already got wind of this teenager's escapades. Will they wait for him to go to Iraq to finish him off or are they sending someone right now to Singapore for this purpose?

And has Amos Yee considered his future life in Singapore  assuming he has one? Lee Hsien Loong and his bully government are a cowardly vindictive lot. They will make sure that he gets no help whatsoever even to survive. Let me tell you the obvious. It is good that he lives with his parents. If not the government housing authority HDB where 90% of the islanders are housed will not provide accommodation. He will have to live on the street in a tent! Second employment. No one will give him a job. Not the government nor any private employer. They are all afraid the government will punish them if they did. And then of course he can try to emigrate. It is certain he will obtain asylum in any third country. But besides worrying if someone will kill him, what sort of work can he get? He is reported to be a dropout without any trade. He knows how to make YouTube movies. He can go straight to Hollywood California and try his luck but what guarantee is there that he will succeed?

And another thing closer to home. He can't even go to Malaysia. It is a majority Muslim country and I have no doubt they are waiting patiently for him.

I am afraid this young man has rushed headlong into his free speech crusade without actually thinking through his actions.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525

Sunday, May 29, 2016

My legal advice to teenager Amos Yee, Singapore governments bete noire

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This 17 year old Singapore teenager, Amos Yee, has been all over the news in that dictatorial island for some time now. He is not a criminal in the normal sense of the word. Not by any means. He is not a thief, a burglar or a fraud. His only crime is to speak his mind. And that, the  Singapore government does not want. And this is something every dictatorship cannot accept, including Singapore.

A background. Last year Yee first came to the attention of Singaporean dictators when he posted a YouTube video which was not too flattering of Lee Kuan Yew, the father of the present dictator Lee Hsien long, Singapore's  first dictator . Besides calling him a tyrant and despot, he posted an Internet image of the dead dictator having sex with the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who many believe also to be authoritarian but by no means to the extent of the dead Lee.

Yee spent 50 days in a Singapore jail for that. They thought of course that Yee was sufficiently intimidated like the other timid Singaporeans, but this was one hard nut to crack, which they didn't realize at the time. Instead of submission and quietly going away, it appears the arrest has enraged and emboldened him even more. Instead of stopping he immediately upon his release published a barrage of attacks  even more hard hitting than before leaving the government in a quandary to which, for the first time in the island's entire dictatorial history, they have no answer! What to do with this determined 17 year old teenager who refuses to take no for an answer.

They can of course, break him, beat him, torture him, cause him permanent bodily injury, damage his mind or do any of a multitude of dirty tactics which dictatorships around the world do. Or they could even kill him. But none of this is going to do them any good. Amos Yee has already come to the attention of the world and any hardship or injury he suffers will draw the outrage of the entire world. After all he is only 17. But if you do nothing and release him, he would not only continue his criticism, he would escalate it.

I can venture to say that if there is one man (or rather child) who can successfully break the rule of Lee Kuan Yews' son's PAP, a dictatorship, it is none other that Amos Yee. I have been in communication with him and am providing him advice on his present case (although he has not requested any assistance) and will provide any assistance he requires or any unsolicited advice I can give him. I am a Barrister at Law, England and Wales and practiced criminal law in Singapore from 1981 to 1991 after which I left for the US due to persecution I suffered for my anti Singapore government activities. I obtained asylum in the US and have been actively practicing law in California USA. I have also been throughout a thorn on their side, and have no intention to let up. I am fully competent to advice Amos Yee.

I understand Yee's case come before Singapore's Kangaroo courts on 5/30/2016.

Presently Amos Yee is facing 6 charges for posting YouTube videos insulting Islam and 2 charges for failing to report to police stations in Singapore. I understand that he has had difficulty finding a lawyer prepared to represent him. The following is my advice to him

1. He should not seek a lawyer even if he can find one. Singapore lawyers are famously timid souls who have been successfully intimated by their government. They all fear representing government critics because of the vindictiveness of their government against them if they did. Lawyers who have represented political dissidents have all suffered harassment in one way or another, so much so that a former government connected criminal lawyer who has since died, Subhas Anandan, publicly admitted that he would be "prepared to represent even the most vile criminal. But please, not political dissidents". Moreover even if he manages to find one, they would be moderating their representation so much, not to displease the Singaporean judge that one would begin to wonder whether he is representing his client or the prosecution! Alone, without an attorney Yee could ask hard hitting questions without fear to cause maximum damage to the Singapore government.

2. His main argument should be that the Constitution protects his right to free speech. The Constitution does not condition that right or deny that right about religion or anything else.

3. Second he should argue that the laws enacted by the government preventing anyone from criticizing religion is unconstitutional. The Constitution is sacrosanct. No law that abridges that right to free speech is permitted. The Constitution can be amended provided 2 conditions exist. That the state is in imminent danger without the amendment and that 2/3 of Parliament votes in that favor. Of course Singapore has 2/3 majority in that rubber stamp parliament. But they cannot show that the state faces imminent danger. After all Yee's YouTube videos have not resulted in island wide riots. In fact the head of the Muslim mosques in Singapore has not even condemned Yee's criticism, he has in fact even forgiven him! So where is the harm to the state?

4. Yee should line up as many witnesses in court to support his argument that the defense of free speech is right and they were not offended by anything he has said.

5. Yee should also make reference to similar cases around the world, such as Charlie Hebdo in France and the numerous other free speech advocates in Western Europe. None of their governments have charged any of them nor even condemned them as the right to free speech is a cherished human right regardless of whether the Singapore dictator Lee Hsien Loong would agree or not.

6. And lastly Yee should drag and delay his trial for as long as he can. Conduct extensive cross examinations against the prosecution witnesses and stretch and delay the case as long as he can, several weeks, months or even years. The plan is to keep this trial in the public eye as well as the eye of the world for as long as he can. This will take up a lot of the court's time while every session in court will be published and scrutinized around the world as well as locally. You want to try to obtain as much publicity as possible to cause as much damage to this government's reputation as you can.

7. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a time to rally around Yee because his right to free speech impacts us all.

8. Yee is free to contact me if he wants throughout these proceedings and I will help all I can. Friends, there is no need to be intimidated by these multi millionaire corrupt thugs who pay themselves millions and run Singapore island. Stand up to them.

This blog will undoubtedly be read by the Singaporean dictator and his Singapore Attorney General who are bullying this teenager. Don't allow that.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A2
Fremont California 94538
Tel: 510 491 8525

Monday, April 25, 2016

Singapore, an island where Democracy is kept a state secret.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore, surprisingly enough does have a Constitution. But I bet you, if you asked anyone there, very probably they have never even heard of it.

Of course, if anyone took a special interest in the subject, they could research it. And if they did, they would discover that nothing that is guaranteed to them in that document is ever given to them. The Constitution talks of the right to free speech, expression and assembly. But all these are not only disallowed, they are criminal activities that will land you in jail if you tried any of it.

The reason why no one there has heard of the Constitution is because the totalitarian government there, which has been running it since 1959 prefers it that way. After all it is much easier to rule a society where no one knew their rights because the State could do anything they want, lock up anybody they did not like, carry out as much racial discrimination they want against Malays and Indians, appoint Ministers and civil servants by nepotism, not their ability and be as corrupt as they want without anyone questioning them.

The reason why you cannot question them is because you didn't know you had any rights in the first place.

I was born in that island except for some years in England studying law and the rest of the time here in America. I can tell you this from personal knowledge. The average Singaporean has no political ideology. None at all. All he knows is that he is supposed to work, not commit crimes, not associate with any anti establishment activity and if possible join the state organizations and support them because open support for the government may result in your being given cushy jobs and a secure career. Just like in Communist China or the former Soviet Union. Or rather how young boys live obeying their parents.

One thing is guaranteed. If you are not seen as a threat to the establishment and have not committed any crimes, you would be pretty well left alone. It is society where the less you think and mind your own business, the better and safer for you.

On the other hand it is unwise to begin thinking of such concepts as freedom or democracy. Of course you can think as much as you want as long as your thinking is in support of the establishment. But thinking anything contrarian will lead you into trouble.

Why this state of affairs exists must be obvious. Lee Kuan Yew's son, his family and all their nepotism friends in high places are openly corrupt. By corrupt I mean they pay themselves as much as 5 times the salary of the President of the United States and much more secretly. So obviously they want to continue being corrupt and not want to lose their immense wealth by anyone questioning them.

The other reason is because of the unfortunate state of international business. For wealthy Western European and American companies wanting to invest overseas, they are looking for a compliant and obedient workforce who will not demand any rights. The more you behave like slaves, the better for them, especially when it comes to producing cheap products. It will come as no surprise that Bangladesh would be a far more attractive location for an American company than Australia. The same argument for Singapore even though they may be paid a bit more than in Bangladesh because in all other respects they are no different.

Singapore workers have no real trade unions (trade unions who support the employers and not you), they can be paid anything their employers want, they can be fired anytime and if they did protest for higher wages, they can be jailed. They are no different from a Bangladeshi worker or a worker in Abu Dhabi.

Up till now, this clever plan to keep the society ignorant and dumb appears to have worked. But you see it cannot last. Today the only ones who are wealthy in the island are the Lee family and their nepotistic cronies and relatives who rake in the millions, foreign bankers who come in as travelling businessmen and make money as long as they can and then leave. And the workers they employ are very often foreigners themselves who have no real ties to the island and would also leave when it is convenient.

The locals on the other hand have it the worst. They make a living working for the foreign travelling businessmen or serving the Lee Kuan Yew family and his friends who if generous would provide them a good living. But of course nothing is certain. If they don't like you they would let you go.

Although the local children are never taught any Constitution or human rights in Singapore schools, today with greater mobility many have travelled abroad and realize that the German, the Italian, the Finn and the American live very different lives. For one thing, they seem to know their rights. And knowing their rights they appear committed to their countries, wanting to make their lives and that of society better because they love their countries. This loyalty to their country is something that does not exist in Singapore island. Why should anyone be loyal to Singapore when the Lees can pay themselves millions and no one can question them? Why should they live in fear of the police and the state because they have no rights? Why should they live in an island where foreigners strut around like kings and you are no better than a slave to them?

My office is near Walnut Avenue in Fremont city center. I went to eat at Shalimar Restaurant just now and next to it, I saw a Japanese sounding tiny restaurant which recently opened. I saw the man outside and inquired who he was and lo and behold, he was a Chinese Singaporean. Just as ethnic Chinese Singaporeans in the island of Singapore, he too appeared secretive as if he was a criminal and did not want to be found out. I told him I was a Singaporean named Gopalan Nair but he had no idea. He appeared to be like the other ordinary ignorant ethnic Chinese in the island who are only looking out to make some money and nothing else. It was quite clear that he had come to the US not because he was yearning for freedom but because he must have thought he could make some money. From the location of his restaurant and him, I don't think he would be around in business there much longer.

But the younger generation in the island are different. When they travel abroad, I am sure they will see how bad and miserable their lives are under the Lee dictatorship. And this is already causing a mass exodus from the island which is already crippling the Lee oligarchy.

The other bad news for Lee Kuan Yew's son's future is that Western countries are now not only finding ways to manufacture in their own countries cheaply through technological advances, they are also refusing to invest in countries like Singapore which do not allow their citizens democracy and freedom. Today it is bad for publicity reasons to be known as having industries in places like North Korea or even China where the workers are abused to make your products.

I am sure slowly and steadily the denial of democracy and freedom will result in the downfall of these tyrants. That is the direction the world is moving.

And I am doing my part in making this known to the world.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525

Friday, April 22, 2016

Singapore opposition Chee Soon Juan helps destroy Lee Kuan Yew's PAP by losing elections !

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In Singapore news Bukit Batok Constituency is to have by elections in May. The incumbent government member has had an affair with a woman and therefore was removed for bad moral character.

Chee Soon Juan, the ever ready opposition politician who has never won any elections in his entire life is nevertheless determined to do it once again. It is reported, he will contest the elections once again against the almighty PAP. Of course he will lose, and we all know that, but he is not bothered by that one bit. The question is by how big a margin this time. One can wonder of course why he continues in this pointless path. He had in the past engaged in public protests to bring about change. I thought that was the right way under the unique political system in that island but apparently he has given that up. Instead he is determined to fight every election knowing full well that he would lose each time.

But strangely in his losing each election, he is in a way helping to destroy the ruling party. It is like this. The vast majority of Singaporeans today are resigned to the fact that you simply cannot live there unless you support the powers above, meaning the ruling PAP. Even to scrape a living in the island, you have to be seen as a supporter. The handful of people who are na├»ve enough to think otherwise are thrown out of their jobs and have no future whatsoever. As a result of this fascist system of government prevailing in the island, the handful of those who still cherish their independence are simply packing up and leaving en masse for the West. Singapore has the highest brain drain rate in the world.

But each time the ruling party pummel the few opposition politicians at the elections, the numbers emigrating to the West take a spike and hit the roof. So this time again when Chee Soon Juan who will no doubt lose at the coming elections it will actually help to chase even more educated freedom loving Singaporeans out of the island for settlement abroad.

Singapore is a small island city and even a few leaving the island bad enough. But because this government is determined to make it's citizens live no better than the North Koreans without any civil rights whatsoever, English educated Singaporeans are leaving in droves to the West, not prepared to live under a fascist dictatorship. This huge brain drain, the highest rate in the world relative  to it's size means it really hurts this regime.

This huge brain drain which continues thanks partly to Chee Soon Juan losing at elections will continue to hurt the ruling party. The ones who pack up and leave are those who refuse to live like a slave under the regime's totalitarian system of government. They are also the very best of that society, the very ones this government finds hard pressed to lose.

Chee Soon Juan is not going to win any election in that island. In fact I won't be surprised if he wouldn't even get 10 % of the vote. But in an uncanny way, he does indirectly serve the cause of freedom by driving anyone with any sense of independence and self respect out of the island. To that extent we have to thank him for that.

The only way you can topple this totalitarian government is through civil disobedience and masse protests and demonstrations; not elections. This regime which has been running the island for the last 50 years and would no doubt be running it for another 50 is a completely fascist regimen. When the state controls every aspect of your life including your jobs, your savings and your housing, and who watches your every move, it is impossible to vote for anyone else. I think Chee Soon Juan knows that too. Although he does not intend it, Chee Soon Juan's losing at elections drives home the message once more that there is no hope at all for democracy in that island. And the hopelessness of the situation will drive even more skilled educated professionals out of the island. And without it's best citizens, naturally the ruling party has to weaken even further.

Singapore will move even closer towards a total fascist state. Very probably 90% of the citizens would vote for this regime, turning it into a mindless conformist society as one would expect in North Korea. With such a society of just followers and no leaders, it cannot expect to achieve any progress. And hence on the path to destruction.

We have to thank Chee Soon Juan for that.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Tel: 510 491 8525

Thursday, April 14, 2016

In totalitarian Singapore, a lone peaceful protestor is arrested

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore is no better, when it comes to human rights than any of the "Stans" in the world, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kirgizstan or even the middle eastern Emirates or North Korea. And in these "Stans" the only ones with any normal life are the rulers. The rest live in fear.

Yesterday in Singapore they arrested a lone peaceful protestor causing no harm to anyone. He was seen quietly holding some anti government and anti judiciary posters. In Singapore to do this is a criminal offense. They don't want anyone criticizing their rulers.

Singapore's state controlled newspaper Straits Times (all news media is state controlled) of today carries a report "Istana Park Protestor in court over 2 charges". The culprit, Yan Jun, a 40 year old Singaporean "had displayed 2 placards including one in Chinese which read "Protest against High Court of Singapore for miscarriage of justice". He protested outside Istana Park, or the Palace of Lee Kuan Yew's son, Singapore's ruler on March 2nd and another occasion near the island's Parliament. See the newspaper report here

For just peacefully protesting, the government prosecutor has claimed Yan Jun is insane and therefore should be detained at the island's mental asylum.

The authority to arrest this peaceful protestor comes from the Public Order Act of 2009. Under this law, section 2 (a) states that even a single person standing alone peacefully is an "assembly". This statement defies logic, as many things do in that island, but apparently their rulers there don't seem to care how stupid they look!

Under Section 7 of this legislation, anyone intending to protest has to obtain a permit from the island's Police commissioner. But what is not mentioned in this law is that the Police Commissioner has never granted any permit to anyone wanting to protest against the government in the entire history of the island!

This legislation just like a great many others in the island is just another piece of waste paper. It makes no sense because the law requires you to obtain a permit while if you did, you will never get one!

Surprisingly, this demand that anyone who protests against the government has to have his head examined is a routine procedure.

It assumes that anyone who has the audacity to protest against their Singaporean rulers has to be insane (they have labelled the mental disease "persecutory delusional disorder"), otherwise why would anyone do such a thing! It doesn't occur to them at all that all over the world the right to protest is an inalienable right and rather than being insane, it is the most noble of human endeavors.

When Yan objected to being sent to the mental asylum, a natural reaction from anyone in his shoes, the Singaporean prosecutor justified his demand by observing that, because he objects being sent to the mad-house, it proves that he is indeed crazy because " The way Yan talked about his defense suggested there might be something preventing him from accepting and processing information critical to his understanding of the nature and consequences of his action, said the DPP" a medical judgement despite the fact that he has no medical qualification at all!

The reader would note that this sort of thing is painfully reminiscent of Soviet Union under Stalin where every single political opponent was invariably labelled "insane" and sent off the Siberian Gulag.

Naturally the Singaporean judge whose primary responsibilities includes silencing any criticism against the island's rulers roundly agreed that Yan Jun has to be mad and promptly sent him packing to the mental asylum where he is to remain for 2 weeks.

After that he will be jailed or fined. That much is certain. Singapore is one country where you can predict the outcome in such cases before you even step into the courtroom. You were guilty the moment you were arrested. His picture would be prominently displayed in these state controlled newspapers to warn anyone else of the dangers of criticizing the multi billionaire rulers who are above the law and can do anything they want.

Singapore trials such as this are like Alice in Wonderland. Remember the trial of the rabbit who stole the tart. The Queen Judge wanted to deliver the verdict even before they heard any evidence!

As a result of these laws that criminalize any dissent, the entire island of Singapore, or those still remaining there have all been made to realize that they have no means to question authority. This one incident of protest is an extreme rarity in that totalitarian island and there is unlikely to be any more of these for a long time. I understand in North Korea too no one dares to protest.

In the last elections, despite laws like these, in an island where the rulers are openly corrupt in paying themselves millions of dollars as salaries, where there are no fundamental human rights, no rule of law and no free press, 70% of the island voted for this regime. This is a clear signal that the Singaporeans presently living in the island actually prefer to live under a Fascist government where they obediently accept what their government tells them to do.

Of course not all Singaporeans were like this. There were, normal thinking human beings, like anywhere else, but most of them have left the island for settlement abroad for obvious reasons.

The brain drain of ordinary educated Singaporeans to the West is one of greatest in the world.

For an already tiny island with a tiny Singaporean population, this is almost ethnic cleansing on a massive scale, with Singaporeans leaving and the tiny island's population completely transformed into one made up entirely of recent immigrants.

Today Singapore has already lost its identity and is in fact another Communist Chinese city as the foreign population has exceeded that of the local population. This problem is compounded in this tiny island by having the lowest birth rate in the world and the fastest aging population.

Although the government is aware that the dislike that people have to this administration is due greatly to the lack of democracy, except to make speeches urging the local population to remain and have more babies, it does nothing to advance democracy even one bit.

If this repression continues it would only result in the few remaining locals and the foreign population in the island being thoroughly fascist and totally supporting their rulers with only one opinion, that of the state. It is fast becoming another Nazi Germany or Mussolini's Italy where 99% of the people support their dictator.

An island like this is no good for individual thought or ideas. It is an island consumed in fear. Fear of Big Brother  and the need to conform and submit. It is a stagnant society like North Korea waiting for our Dear Leader. For competition in this modern world it lacks an essential quality. You cannot orchestrate innovation and change. It has to be spontaneous.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525