Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Like the proverbial ostrich burying its head, Singapore shuns threats to existence

Ladies and Gentlemen,

     What Singapore has going for it is it's island wide Stalinist style control over the media. Singapore government like Stalinist Russia controls the entire media, every single newspaper, TV station every magazine or article either written or broadcast. As a result they control the thought process in the island. George Orwell in 1984 stated what is happening in the island, who controls the thought process, controls the future. Alas this is the tiny Singapore island today. This gives the government the ability to paint a rosy picture. Reading the Singapore newspapers, you are not going to hear any bad news; the politicians are the best, the ministers are the best, the teachers are the best, the schools are the best, everything is just fine; that is what you are told. And by this pretense, which the world believes, they manage to get business and investment, jobs and money. But unfortunately this will not last simply because it is not true.

     There are a number of fundamental weaknesses for which this dictatorship has no answer.

     One of them is climate change. If you read the news, which unfortunately they cannot hide, you would have known the flooding occurs in the island not occasionally as in the past but almost every other day. They have no control over the climate. The island straddles the Equator and temperatures are becoming unbearable causing sea levels to continually rise and increasingly severe thunderstorms that drop almost an entire ocean of water each time it rains. It cannot build a dyke around the island as they could in Holland and with half the tiny island underwater there would be nowhere left. If the island cannot survive, this dictatorship cannot survive too.

     Another is the monumental housing fiasco. 90% of the tiny island population live in government owned apartments that are leased for 99 years with the government retaining ownership. If the earlier apartments were built in the 1950s, 60 years of the leases have run out. These houses were leased using the people's retirement savings where each apartment costs several hundred thousand dollars. Now after having paid several hundred thousands of their retirement funds, eventually when the lease runs out, the government takes it and they have nothing. They would be left with no retirement at all! And if they wanted to sell it, no one would buy, since it is a depreciating asset, and worse, a depreciating asset with a termination date! Now if the island population find themselves cheated of their entire retirement savings by this government under false promises, there would either be a revolution, or there would be bloody murder! Either way this dictatorship has to fall.

     Singapore has the world's lowest fertility rate in an already tiny island population. If no one is having any children, they can only function, as they do now, by importing large numbers of ethnic Chinese from Communist China who think they can earn a few bucks more in Singapore. These people have no loyalty to the island, no understanding of Singaporean culture and society. The island will be soon transformed into a clone of any city in mainland China. I cannot predict the consequences of such an alien society changing what was once Singapore, but I reckon, there is going to be some problems. Whether this will contribute to the eventual downfall of this dictatorship, I am sure it will.

     Large numbers among Singaporeans emigrate to the West democracies. This is only to be expected. An educated person with skills and self respect would not want to live in a dictatorship like this without the right to free speech, Kangaroo courts, and forced submission to this dictatorship. I did not, which is why I left. Thousands like me have left for Australia, New Zealand, America and the West. And from the safety of being outside Singapore and where the dictatorship's thugs and their Kangaroo courts have no power over me, I can write and speak about Singapore and discredit the dictatorship. Almost every other Singapore √©migr√© to the West discredits the island too. This tends to expose what the island really is, and will undoubtedly contribute to its downfall in the end.

      Singapore has managed to carry on so far by hoodwinking the rest of the world into thinking it is something it is not. It has managed to carry on under hypocrisy and false pretenses. But truly no country can go on for too long like this. Soviet Union  managed to go some way by propaganda through its state controlled Pravda and Izvestia. But it finally fell.

      Singapore has managed so far by repressing any criticism and locking up and bankrupting its critics. This has been an inducement to foreign multi national companies which consider the island stable and it's people submissive. But this tactic of profiting by suppressing its own citizens cannot last forever although I concede that it may survive some time yet.

     Singapore is like a wooden house which is rotten in its foundation. Slowly but surely the rot will work its way up and the structure has to collapse.

     Western democracies on the other hand have got it right. They understand that a happy and free individual is a productive individual and an asset to his country. The majority of Singaporeans hate their government and if given a chance, would leave the island. Such a people cannot advance the island. I now live in United States and an American citizen. I love the United States for what it stands  because I am free. Because I know I have rights. Because I know there is the rule of law. Because I know I don't have to agree with the government if I do not, and because I know I cannot be punished if I oppose the government. That is why I would do the best for my country now, America. Which is why I don't wish the Singapore dictatorship well even though I was born in that island.

     You all know that people around the world if given a chance would want to emigrate to America, to Australia or New Zealand. Singapore island is very low on their list. But it is difficult to emigrate to these countries because they want only the best. The only ones who end up in Singapore are the Communist mainland Chinese, the impoverished Indians and Bangladeshis for the simple reason that  they are not accepted in the West. You can see therefore in the skills ranking, that these are second rate people, and the unemployed Australian or New Zealander who ends up there. They are not the cream. The cream are in the US. I am sure you appreciate what this means. If you do not have the best in workers, you are not going to compete the best either. Which obviously explains why the ones who change the world live in the West. In Singapore, all they can do is to write some propaganda in their state controlled press about their inventing the universe! Another reason why the best would not come to that island is its ridiculous reputation. Who would want to come to an island where people can be caned and whipped just for chewing gum! Even if not true, that's what they think!

     The decline in the quality of the Singaporean is due to actions of this dictatorship themselves. Singapore schools can produce good students. But when teachers are ordered to stymie and stifle creativity and individual thinking, children who are able to leave the island leave because they don't want to be brainwashed. And that is the reason why I left.

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

Friday, September 14, 2018

How does the one party island Singapore fascist dictatorship stay in power

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is how the island state Singapore a one party state fascist dictatorship stays in power

Attractive to Foreign Investment

Singapore island state is the ultimate country for foreign investors. There is no minimum wage laws, employers can pay anything they want. Workers have no rights. Labor Unions either don't exist or if they do, serve the employers, not workers. The Kangaroo courts placed by the dictatorship will always side with employers in any dispute, so workers have no chance. Under these circumstances the island is a paradise for foreign companies who are eager to establish factories there. As a result there is abundant work for Singaporeans. But they have no rights. This is a sort of trade off. You have work, which is better than no work, while at the same time, you have no rights. This is so because foreign companies are concerned with profits, not human rights. Any worker who strikes is immediately arrested and jailed. If he is a foreign worker immediately deported thereafter.

This fear among the workers prevents anyone from asserting his rights.

Attractive to Foreign Investment Good Infra Structure

The island dictatorship knows that foreign companies look for a good infra structure to locate their foreign factories. If you have mud roads, and broken telephones, it does not help business. So the island dictators made sure that Singapore has good infra structure; good roads, good telephones and good transportation.

Attractive to Foreign Investment; The English language

Singaporeans can speak and understand English although very poor in articulation. They speak a very bad version of English. However it is still English and this is attractive for foreign businesses. They also learn their own native languages, Malay Chinese and Tamil. The English language knowledge in the island gives it an edge over other countries who do not have English in attracting foreign investment.

Kangaroo Courts

There is no rule of law in the island. Instead they have rule by law. Which means the dictatorship, by definition, can pass any law they want, which they do, to ensure that government policy, not law, becomes law by itself. Therefore always anyone who criticizes the government is arrested and found automatically guilty and punished, any political opponent is immediately destroyed through the courts. In most cases after the case is over, the judge waits for orders from the government on the sentence. After the inevitable verdict, their newspapers and media which are all state controlled display the victim's identity and pictures, in order to prevent him from being employed anywhere in the island and as a deterrent to anyone who may foster such stupid ideas. In this manner any criticism is effectively silenced.

The lack of any opposition to the government makes the island a very quiet and predictable place which also is another big reason why foreign companies are attracted to the island, its stability and predictability because everyone is scared.

Israeli Style Total Surveillance/ Small Island

In Israel if any Palestinian is up to any mischief within Israel or the Palestinian territories, he is immediately monitored through modern surveillance techniques and immediate action is taken and the person arrested. In Singapore it is far easier to do this because it is much smaller. In Singapore a tiny island, the dictators have employed a vast force of Internal Security surveillance where your every move is watched and observed 24 hours a day. As a result any attempt by anyone to stage a protest or disturbance is immediately thwarted, and the citizen promptly arrested and jailed, his identity is immediately  published forthwith and his life promptly destroyed. No resistance to the island's rulers stands a chance. The entire island population have resigned themselves to a life of total submission.

Who are these Singaporeans who willingly live this way?

By and large they are the average Singaporean. By which I mean a person who has had some sort of an education or even a college degree. But he is by no means intelligent. He is not aware that it is better to live a free man than one under bondage like he does. He reckons that as long as he minds his own business and not question authority, he can live a reasonably good life. Imagine the Germans in Nazi Germany. Many Germans who lived under Hitler were aware that what Hitler was doing was wrong such as killing Jews and punishing detractors. But then they reckon that as long as they kept their mouths shut, life was very good in Nazi Germany. Work was plentiful, wages were good and they could go on holidays too. In fact just as Singapore manages to attract foreign investment by suppressing its workers, Nazi Germany managed to receive  foreign trade and investment for  the same reasons. Nazi German economy too, like Singapore did very well, but as expected it did not last.

Large foreign 3rd rate work force

Singapore has a large foreign workforce, as much as 30%. They mostly come from the nearby impoverished Asian countries such as Burma, China, Indonesia, Philippines and Bangladesh. The wages in their native countries are miserable so it is much better to work in Singapore. But they lack passion about anything. All they need is a job which their own countries does not provide. For these workers, they have no concern about human rights and workers rights since all they are concerned is the good wages they get in Singapore compared to their home countries. All of them would prefer if given a chance to go to countries where they would be treated better such as Australia or USA but because their skills do not qualify them, Singapore is still better to work compared to their home countries. Therefore these workers are by and large poor quality in intelligence, skills and capabilities. As a result of the dictatorial life they live under, Singapore suffers because of their inability to attract the best and brightest who prefer life in Western democracies.

Singapore does not murder people

The Singapore government does not murder it's citizens. I think if they could get away with murdering their political opponents, they will, but they realize that if they resort to murder like other dictators, the international community would oppose their actions and it would be difficult to preserve their dictatorship. So instead of murdering you, they imprison you, harass you, victimize you, defame you, deny you employment and harm not only you but also your entire family. Sometimes I wonder which is worse, just killing you outright or victimizing you your entire life!

In the long run Singapore dictatorship will lose out from competition from free and democratic countries

Today countries by reason of the Internet and International Mass media are able to attract the best and brightest. The best and brightest individuals are those with an education, and ability to think for themselves and the knowledge that human beings are much happier in their lives if they are free with human rights. For example although I was born in Singapore, I am a lawyer by profession and my skills enables me to live in a country that I choose. Because  of my knowledge of these things, there is no reason for me to live under a dictatorship. Thankfully I do not have to live like the poor Bangladeshi or Filipino who has the desperate choice of living in his own country and starving to death or live in a dictatorship like Singapore where he can least survive and support his family. So I realty don't have to live in Singapore or Burma or North Korea or Communist China. I would be miserable if I did so. This is why I choose to live in America because I don't have to live in a country with Kangaroo Courts and under a Lee family dictatorship.

I am sure you can see that I am not the only one who yearns to live as a free man and not under a repressive regime like Singapore. Just like me there are millions of others around the world who would similarly avoid countries like Singapore as they would the bubonic plague. Not only the rest of the world, but also within this dictatorship one party state island, there are many Singapore citizens who detest living under these miserable circumstances and are trying to leave the island for democracies elsewhere. Many have already left.

And the ones who are leaving are the best among the human race. They have skills, education, knowledge, a desire to live as a free people, analytical ability to judge between right and wrong. Such people contribute greatly to the countries where they live. I am for instance a practicing lawyer in Fremont San Francisco California USA. I am able to do good work and contribute to society. I am an asset to my society. Unlike the average helpless Singaporean I am able to create my own destiny. This freedom helps me in my state of mind thereby enabling to improve on my work, my thinking and my overall well being. On the other hand if I was forced to live in a repressive island like Singapore, I would be unhappy, my work and productivity will suffer.

In the long run this denial of human rights and the treatment of their citizens as worse than dogs will begin to hurt them. Countries which are free will beat the island in the race for progress because the best of human kind continue to go to the free counties and only the 2nd rate and less intelligent remain in the island. So as the free countries increase their proportion of skilled intelligent thinking citizens, Singapore will begin to have more and more third rate helpless desperate ignorant people. In this manner, their productivity will decline, their competitiveness will decline and they would be left far behind.

If America asks Singapore to jump, they would ask how high?

In order to stay in power Singapore is totally obedient to America. One way they stay in power is because America is supportive due to their obedience. This disgraceful total submission to America not only preserves the dictatorship, it remains very attractive to American companies foreign investment. Like what President Truman told a journalist who questioned American support for Nicaraguan dictator Samoza, "He may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son a bitch"!

How you can defeat this Singapore dictatorship

Unfortunately if you were to politically oppose this regime, you will not succeed. You will be arrested thrown in jail, and financially destroyed. And because there are still those in the island who would work for this regime to destroy you, you don't stand a chance. And the fact that they have a bad name as they do now, will not affect their ability to attract investment since foreign companies are only concerned with the profit line.

But you can still do your part in working to destroy this dictatorship by simply packing and leaving for the Western democracies. Singapore has a very low birth rate and they manage to still go on only by bringing in large numbers of impoverished poorly skilled workers from neighboring countries. If you continue to leave the island in large numbers, the population of the tiny island will materially change with a majority of third rate foreigners in the population ratio. Because the quality of these foreign workers are generally poor, and the world becoming more aware of the shameful political system in that island, it will not be able to attract anyone with any true understanding of the island.

When the dictatorship finds that it cannot attract skilled thinking intelligent people, Singapore as you know today will collapse. You can do your part by packing and leaving.

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Singapore a place for sycophants oppurtunists yes-men and crawlers

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have been observing Singapore politics for decades now. Besides I was in active politics in Singapore between 1980 to 1990. One thing has dawned on me over the years which is this. Singapore will not change into a democracy anytime soon, perhaps never.

And the activists fighting for freedom admirable men and women such as Thum Ping Tjin, Kirsten Han, Jolovan Wham are in fact not going to get anywhere in their quest for democracy in the island. I am not in any way denying the good work they are doing but their struggle for freedom in the island will not succeed, now or even the near future.

You have to understand human nature. Democracy is an intangible idea. First you have to understand what it is and why it is a good thing. But most people, the average man, has not studied political philosophy. He has not read John Stuart Mill on Liberty and other scholastic works. He goes about his daily life, goes to work, feeds his family, goes to the movies and tries to be happy. In Singapore as long as he minds his own business and does not question the Singaporean leaders, he is left alone unharmed. So whether he has a right to read what he wants really does not bother him.

What Thum Ping Tjin is trying to do is not only to try to convince the average Singaporean, who by the way is quite happy to be left alone without ever knowing anything about the virtues of democracy, that democracy is a good thing, that Lee Kuan Yew's son the Prime Minister is not allowing it, and therefore someone who espouses democracy should be put in his place to give them democracy. This is a difficult task under normal circumstances.

Any attempt by anyone to impose democracy on a people is unlikely to work. And it will not work in Singapore. If you are championing democracy, the people should already be demanding it. And then you can be their leader to bring it about. This however is not the case in Singapore. There is no indication in the island that anyone wants democracy. Occasionally you have a lone protestor or demonstrator who is promptly arrested and sent to jail under circumstances where no one cares.

Recently with the seismic political change to more political openness in Malaysia, there has been heightened activity among Thum Ping Tjin and other like minded people including the British citizen former Singaporean Tan Wah Piow in political meetings, public lectures, political seminars and YouTube sessions on democracy. Of course I applaud them for their actions. But frankly all this is not going to go anywhere. Simply because the average Singaporean has no clue or even the slightest interest in any of it.

But such a bleached uninteresting society will not succeed in the long run. Anyone who has any education in such things is going to find the Singapore island a very boring uninteresting distasteful place. If you have an education and skills, if you are a thinking person, you can make a living anywhere in the world, and you don't necessarily have to live in such as dictatorship. I am such a person. I don't have to live under PAP Singapore. So I left. This is why the brain drain which has been going on for a long time will continue. The remining Singaporeans will be those who do not have such an education about liberty and democracy who will be content to live in an island like that.

There are even people in the US who think that way. Only recently I was having a barbecue with an ethnic Chinese from Taiwan who lives in California. He had only good things to say about Singapore, which only included its economic success. But when I told him that you cannot criticize the regime, his answer was there is no need to criticize. According to him, all you have to do is keep your political ideas to yourself and make as much money as you can, like they do in Communist China. Which he said is not hard to do.

Once again let me make my point clear. You can only bring about change if the ground already demands change. If no one wants any change, as a lone voice on the pedestal, you cant get anywhere. And Thum Ping Tjin should be aware of that I hope.

Let me give you and example although it does not fit squarely in this case. Che  Guevara was very successful in his revolution in Cuba. Why, because the Cubans already hated their dictator Batista and wanted him out. On the other hand he failed miserably in the Belgian Congo and in Bolivia, where he was shot, for the simple reason that both these people were not dying to oust their rulers let alone know what communism even meant!

Amarjit Singh, the former Singapore judge who now works for Rajah and Tann was previously my employer in that island. While I was actively pursuing my fight for democracy in the island, he once told me this in the form of a parable. He said about my activism " When it shines, go out. When it rains go out with an umbrella. When it is stormy, don't go out al all". At the time I considered him a shameful opportunist prepared to lick the boots of the government. But now, although I detest his way of life, I think he was right in his advice.

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

Monday, November 20, 2017

Singaporeans will never achieve democracy

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The common but erroneous perception is that with more education and higher standard of living, a society would become more democratic. The belief was totalitarianism and societal advancements work in opposites. Unfortunately this is not true as history shows, and point proven by Singapore. Since independence no doubt the island has progressed economically, but as for democracy, it not only did not take root, and as far as democracy is concerned, it has regressed, not progressed.

And the reasons are obvious. A people cannot want what they do not know. And Singaporeans thanks to their dictators carefully shielding them from any mention of democracy have become today totally ignorant of what democracy even is. The ordinary Singaporean just as another Iraqi or Syrian or Afghan wants a job, food to eat and roof over the heads.  As for democracy, he hasn't heard of it, and as long as he is left alone, quite happy not to have it.

And this is exactly the state of affairs the islands dictators want. Singaporeans have no real rights as an American would have. Singapore police can arrest anyone anytime. But usually they only harass political opponents and criminals. If you are not a criminal or a political dissident, you have no problems at all.

Singapore does have a constitution which is almost the same as that of United States, replete with the rights of man, human rights, free speech and the entire litany. But unlike the United States all that is ignored and the police do whatever they want. But since the police and the Kangaroo judges placed by the rulers only punish anyone who is a critic or a criminal, people don't care whether they have rule or law or not since it doesn't affect them personally.

As a result Singapore today is a very repressive society with no rule of law. But the repression is only used against political opponents. The rule is, as long as you allow the rulers to be as corrupt as they want, you have no complaint of the lack of a free press, or lack of any freedoms, then you can go on with your life uneventfully and quiet. Since the aspirations of the average Singaporean only extends up to his daily upkeep and daily material needs, the dictators can continue in power for another 100 years as long as you accept your humble state.

Unlike the ordinary Singapore who lives this way, there are those, only a handful who may know that a free and independent life without having to live under Big Brother is much more meaningful and rewarding. So the handful, such as Chee Soon Juan and the late JB Jeyaretnam or myself have stuck our necks out to challenge this totalitarian regime for which we have suffered great punishment. And then there are the other handful who are aware but do not think it worthwhile to openly question authority. These people simply leave the island for settlement in free countries. I am one of them.

The procedure used by the Singapore dictators is an old practice used in ancient China. It comes from the saying "You kill a chicken to frighten all the monkeys". So if you have a lone critic like myself or JB Jeyafretnam, you come down hard on them. You abuse the law and punish them severely. By doing this you send a message to every helpless Singaporean that if you oppose, this is what will happen. This method of intimidation is very successful. It was successful in ancient China as it is today in Singapore. In this manner and entire society is silenced into submission.

But our leaving the island is not going to change the average mindset of the average Singaporean. As long as they have some income and some security of life, they will continue living under this totalitarian administration which will continue for a long long time.

As we can see of US and British history, it was the early founding fathers of the United States and England who believed that the best way to live is to be free. I am one such person who also believes this. And the US and British democracies exist because the rulers themselves understood this and encouraged this. Had they not, the US and Britain would be no different from Singapore of today. But since the Lee family who run the island of Singapore appear more concerned of their own personal interests and personal wealth, I don't see anytime when they would ever allow a democratic society in the island of Singapore.

And Singaporeans being satisfied with the way they live, absent democracy are not going to demand it either.

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

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Why I am very proud of being disbarred (struck off the Rolls) from practicing law in Singapore

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Under any other circumstances, a lawyer wouldn't be jumping up for joy if he was disbarred in any jurisdiction. Being disbarred is usually not a good thing, unless of course you are disbarred from Nazi German Courts, North Korean courts or Singapore.

That's why I am proudly displaying what they call a court order in disbarment in 2011. It is taken from their Singaporean website. http://www.singaporelaw.sg/sglaw/laws-of-singapore/case-law/free-law/high-court-judgments/14650-law-society-of-singapore-v-gopalan-nair-alias-pallichadath-gopalan-nair-2011-sghc-191

But strangely enough, for a Singaporean like me who was born in that island and now proudly practicing law in California and US Federal Courts, it is indeed turned out as a sense of pride for me to say, I was disbarred in the Lee dictatorship of Singapore island. Shouldn't I be proud!

Here is the judgement of the Singaporean Kangaroo courts against me

Law Society of Singapore v Gopalan Nair (alias Pallichadath Gopalan Nair)
[2011] SGHC 191

Suit No:   Originating Summons No 947 of 2009 (Summons No 1404 of 2011)
Decision Date:   22 August 2011
Court:   High Court
Coram:   Tan Lee Meng J, Tay Yong Kwang J, Lee Seiu Kin J
Counsel:   Peter Cuthbert Low and Han Lilin (Peter Low LLC) for the plaintiff; Defendant absent and unrepresented.

Subject Area / Catchwords   
Legal Profession – Disciplinary Proceedings

22 August 2011

Tan Lee Meng J (delivering the grounds of decision of the court):
Introduction

1       The Law Society of Singapore (“the Law Society”) applied under s 82A(10) of the Legal Profession Act (Cap 161, 1990 Rev Ed) (“the LPA”) for an order that the defendant, Mr Gopalan Nair alias Pallichadath Gopalan Nair (“GN”), be “struck off the roll, prohibited from applying for a practising certificate, censured and/or otherwise punished” for misconduct unbefitting of an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession. We ordered that GN be struck off the roll and now give the reasons for our decision.

2       GN, who was admitted onto the roll on 10 August 1980, is a non-practising advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore. He is presently an American citizen residing in California, USA.
 
3       Although GN is a non-practising advocate and solicitor, he is still subject to the control of the Supreme Court as s 82(A)(2) of the LPA provides:
All Legal Service Officers and non-practising solicitors shall be subject to the control of the Supreme Court and shall be liable on due cause shown to be punished in accordance with this section.
 
4       Pursuant to ss 82A(4) and (5) of the LPA, the Law Society applied in ex parte Originating Summons No 947 of 2009 for leave from the Chief Justice for an investigation to be made into a number of complaints about GN’s misconduct. On 4 September 2009, the Chief Justice appointed a Disciplinary Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) comprising Mr Toh Kian Sing SC and Mr Tan Jee Ming, under s 90 of the LPA.
 
5       The following 5 charges of misconduct were preferred by the Law Society against GN:

1st charge
 That you on the 4th day of July 2008, at or about 10.35 pm, near the junction of Bukit Timah Road and Race Course Road, Singapore, which is a public place, did use abusive words towards certain public servants, namely, police officers of the Singapore Police Force, in particular Senior Staff Sergeant Kang Wei Chain and Sergeant Noor Azhar, by shouting:
 
(a)“Fuck off you policeman, don’t waste my fucking time. You go and do your job properly and go catch thieves and I did nothing wrong. I am waiting for the fucking taxi”;
 
(b)“Fuck off, forget about my name, you fucking bastard.
 
(c)“You fucking Malay bastard”.
at the said police officers in the execution of their duties as such public servants, and you had thereby committed an offence punishable under section 13D(1)(a) of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act, Chapter 184, for which on 5 September 2008, you were convicted and sentenced to a fine of $2,000 in default two week imprisonment, and you are hereby guilty of conduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession which warrants disciplinary proceedings against you within the meaning of section 82A(3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Chapter 161).
 
2nd charge
 That you on the 4th day of July 2008, at or about 10.35 pm, near the junction of Bukit Timah Road and Race Course Road, Singapore, which is a public place, did behave in a disorderly fashion to wit, by gesticulating with your hands and shouting loudly, and you had thereby committed an offence punishable under section 20 of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act, Chapter 184, for which on 5 September 2008, you were convicted and sentenced to a fine of $1,000 in default one week imprisonment, and you are hereby guilty of conduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession which warrants disciplinary proceedings against you within the meaning of section 82A(3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Chapter 161).
 
3rd charge
 That you in your blog post at http://singaporedissident.blogspot.com dated 29 May 2008 entitled “Singapore, Judge Belinda Ang’s Kangaroo Court”, did make the following offending statement insulting the judiciary of Singapore, namely, the Honourable Justice Belinda Ang:
“The judge Belinda Ang was throughout prostituting herself during the entire proceedings by being nothing more than an employee of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his son and carrying out their orders.”
and you had thereby committed an offence punishable under section 228 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, for which on 17 September 2008, you were convicted and sentenced to 3 months imprisonment, and you are hereby guilty of conduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession which warrants disciplinary proceedings against you within the meaning of section 82A(3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Chapter 161).
 
4th charge
 That you in your blog post at http://singaporedissident.blogspot.com dated 28 November 2008 entitled “Hello from Freemont, near San Francisco, California”, did make the following offending statement amounting to contempt of court:
“…. I am defying the undertaking that I gave in court on September 12, 2008 when I admitted being in contempt of court. .. I had also given an undertaking to remove the 2 blog posts, of Sept 1 2008 and Sept 6, 2008 which referred to my trial and conviction before Judge James Leong in the Subordinate Courts for disorderly behaviour and insulting a policeman, charges entirely made up by the police to discredit me. I will be re-posting those 2 blog posts and stand by every word that I had written in them …” (Sic).
and you are hereby guilty of conduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession which warrants disciplinary proceedings against you within the meaning of section 82A(3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Chapter 161).
 
5th charge
 That you in your blog post at http://singaporedissident.blogspot.com dated 30 November 2008 entitled “Justice Judith Prakash, Another Kangaroo Judge”, did make the following offending statement insulting the judiciary of Singapore, namely, the Honourable Justice Judith Prakash:
“Judge Judith Prakash of the Singapore High Court has prostituted herself in the hearing of the Kangaroo T shirt case on November 24, 2008 by being nothing more than an employee of Lee Kuan Yew and his son, whom he appointed Prime Minister. By her actions in sending these young men to prison and making them pay crippling court costs of $5,000 each, she has shamelessly disgraced herself, her office as a judge, disgraced the Singapore Constitution and disgraced Singapore.”
and you are hereby guilty of conduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession which warrants disciplinary proceedings against you within the meaning of section 82A(3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Chapter 161).
 
6       GN sent, by way of emails to the Disciplinary Tribunal Secretariat, his Defence and his Amended Defence on 1 December 2009. However, although he knew that his case was being heard by the Tribunal on 20 and 21 September 2010, he did not appear for the hearing.
 
7       The Tribunal found GN guilty of all 5 charges brought against him and determined that there was cause of sufficient gravity for disciplinary action to be taken against him. The Chief Justice then appointed Mr Peter Low, the plaintiff’s counsel, under s 82A(10) of the LPA to make the present application in Summons No 1404 of 2011.
Decision of the Court
 
8       GN did not attend and was not represented by counsel at the hearing before this Court on 25 July 2011.The Court was satisfied that he had been duly served the requisite papers and that he was fully aware of the hearing scheduled for 25 July 2011.
 
9     The issues before this Court were whether due cause for disciplinary action against GN under s 82A(3)(a) of the LPA had been shown and if so, the appropriate penalty to be imposed on him.
Due cause
 

10     As for what constitutes “due cause”, the relevant part of s 82A(3) provides:
Such due cause may be shown by proof that a Legal Service Officer or a non-practising solicitor, as the case may be —
(a)has been guilty in Singapore or elsewhere of such misconduct unbefitting a Legal Service Officer or an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession ...
 
11     The Law Society rightly submitted that for the purpose of considering whether there has been “misconduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession” under s 82(3)(a) LPA, the meaning accorded to the identical phrase in s 83(2)(h) LPA should be adopted. As such, both misconduct in the solicitor’s professional capacity as well as misconduct in the solicitor’s personal capacity are relevant to this inquiry (see Law Society of Singapore v Heng Guan Hong Geoffrey [1999] 3 SLR(R) 966 at [24]). The same standard applies to non-practising lawyers.
 
12     The Law Society relied on the findings of the Tribunal to support its assertion that “due cause”, as defined in s 82A(3)(a) of the LPA, had been shown.
 
13     The 1st and 2nd charges against GN concerned his conviction with respect to two offences under s 13D(1)(a) and s 20 of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act (Cap 184, 1997 Rev Ed) for uttering vulgarities when speaking to officers of the Singapore Police Force and for behaving in a disorderly manner towards the police officers who had enquired why he had knocked a number of times on a police vehicle bearing the registration number QX501H. The gravity of his use of abusive and obscene language was stressed by the Tribunal in its report at [28]-[29]:
28    It is clear beyond reasonable doubt … that the Respondent uttered vulgarities towards the two policemen after he was stopped by them.All this happened in a public place in the full glare of members of the public. [T]he Respondent behaved in a petulant manner and apparently took grave offence when he was stopped by the police. His reaction was entirely unprovoked. Even if the Respondent was unhappy about being questioned by the police, he should have acted with self-restraint and moderation. In the entire episode, he displayed neither virtue. If he had responded to the questions in a co-operative manner, his subsequent arrest could possibly have been avoided. In our view, these vulgarities which the Respondent spewed were not only profoundly offensive, but also had the effect of lowering the dignity and professionalism of law enforcement officers.
 
29    We further find the racist outburst directed at Sergeant Daud to be wholly reprehensible and deserving of condemnation in a multi-racial society like Singapore. It demonstrates a callous, unpardonable disregard for the sensitivities of the different races that make up our society. It is not behaviour that one would expect of a member of the legal profession.
[emphasis added]
 
14     In regard to his disorderly behaviour in the presence of the police, the Tribunal noted at para [39] of its report:
 
39    Creating a ruckus in a public place, gesticulating wildly (even if a non-threatening manner), spewing vulgarities towards public officers shows a very low level of restraint and self-control as well as a complete lack of respect for law enforcement officers. Simply put, the Respondent had made a complete nuisance of himself in public. The fine of $1000 (or one week imprisonment in default thereof) may be marginally less serious as compared with the Respondent’s offence in MAC 3211.Nevertheless, such unruly, petulant and disorderly conduct (in full view of the public) is unfitting of an advocate or solicitor as an officer of the Court and as a member of a honourable profession. After all, a solicitor is expected to exercise a high level of self restraint and a bad tempered solicitor can only bring disrepute to the legal profession.
 
15     As for the breach of the undertaking referred to in the 4th charge, the background for the undertaking given by GN is as follows. When the case regarding GN’s abuse of the policemen, as outlined in the 1st and 2nd charges pressed by the Law Society against him, was heard before District Judge James Leong (“DJ Leong”), GN made several offending statements in open court. For instance, on 25 August 2008, he said:
 
... I frankly do not have any faith or belief that I will get a fair trial in this Court. Any attempt on my part to recall these witnesses would only be a waste of my time since I believe the result will be the same in any event.
 
16     Subsequently, GN authored two blog posts dated 1 September 2008 and 6 September 2008 on http://singaporedissident.blogspot.com. These were entitled, “Another classic case of trying to use the courts to silence dissent” and “Convicted” respectively and were replete with statements which attacked DJ Leong. For instance, he stated:
As for Mr. James Leong, I have this to say. I have begun to know him pretty well since it took 18 days of trial. He is a good man at heart; there is no doubt about it. If he had his way, there is no doubt he would have acquitted me immediately. But alas he is weak. He cuts a pathetic figure. A man, because of his circumstances, having to do things that he does not really want to do. He knows that his employment as a judge in the Singapore courts depends on the patronage of Lee Kuan Yew and his friends. He also knows that Lee Kuan Yew demands his judges to punish political opponents of the government. And therefore to keep his job as a judge, he has no choice but to find me guilty....
 
17     GN’s statements prompted the Attorney-General to make an application under Originating Summons No 385 of 2008 for an order of committal for contempt. When the hearing commenced on  12 November 2008 before District Judge Leslie Chew (“DJ Chew”), GN admitted that he had made the offending statements, apologized for his behaviour and gave an undertaking to the Court not to make similar offending statements and to remove the blog posts dated 1 September 2008 and 6 September 2008. As such, DJ Chew only reprimanded him and ordered him to pay the costs of the proceedings. As soon as GN left Singapore and returned to California, he breached his undertaking to the Court.
 
18     What was truly unacceptable was that GN subsequently declared that he never had any intention of abiding by his undertaking and that he deliberately breached the undertaking at the first opportunity. The Tribunal stated as follows at [62]:
 
By flagrantly flouting his undertaking to the court in such a defiant manner, the Respondent displayed absolutely no remorse or contrition for what he had done prior to leaving Singapore for the United States. He was simply trying to make a mockery out of the entire affair. The apology he made and the undertaking he gave were both quickly withdrawn once he was safely out of Singapore. Clearly the apology and undertaking was an expedient way to a lighter sentence – the Respondent by his own admission, never intended or believed in either.
 
19     As for the offensive blog post regarding Belinda Ang J on 29 May 2008, which was the subject matter of the 3rd charge, that blog post was in the context of a defamation suit brought by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong against the Singapore Democratic Party. For this charge of contempt of court, GN was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment by Kan Ting Chiu J. The sentence meted out gave a clear indication of the seriousness of the contempt. Yet, in his blog post in relation to Judith Prakash J on 30 November 2008, who had, at the material time, found a number of persons in contempt of court for wearing T-shirts depicting a kangaroo in judges’ robes, GN continued to abuse the judiciary.
 
20     After taking all the circumstances into account, we found that the Law Society had shown that there was due cause for disciplinary action to be taken against GN. As such, we proceeded to consider the penalty that ought to be imposed.
The appropriate penalty
 
21     Disciplinary action is intended to punish the errant solicitor for his or her misconduct, deter others from misbehaving in the same manner, and protect public confidence in the administration of justice: see Law Society of Singapore v Tham Yu Xian Rick [1999] 3 SLR(R) 68 (at [18]) and Law Society of Singapore v Rasif David [2008] 2 SLR(R) 955 (at [28]).
 
22     Although GN had been convicted of a number of offences, which were referred to in the charges preferred against him by the Law Society, it should be borne in mind that in Law Society of Singapore v Wee Wei Fen [1999] 3 SLR(R) 559, the Court observed (at [25]) that it cannot be that every violation of the criminal law implies a defect of character which renders the offender unfit to be a member of the legal profession and that the nature of the offence is clearly material. Similarly in Law Society of Singapore v Wong Sin Yee [2003] 3 SLR(R) 209, the Court stated (at [12]):
We would, at the outset, make it quite clear that conviction of criminal offence does not per se imply a defect of character rendering an advocate and solicitor unfit for his profession. It is the nature of the offence, and the circumstances under which it was committed, and in turn the punishment imposed, which are likely to be determinative…. The offence must be of such a nature that it is expedient for the protection of the public and the preservation of the good name of the profession to remove the solicitor from the roll or from practice.
[emphasis added]
 
23     The offences in respect of which GN had been convicted and the circumstances under which they were committed lead to the conclusion that a serious penalty must be imposed. Apart from abusing the police with foul language in public and behaving in a disorderly manner in the presence of the police, GN was imprisoned for contempt of court in relation to his blog post regarding Belinda Ang J on 29 May 2008.Furthermore, he openly defied the undertaking he had given to the District Court shortly after he was convicted by Kan J for contempt of court. He then posted offensive statements in his blog about Prakash J on 30 November 2008.
 
24     When considering whether or not to strike an advocate and solicitor off the rolls, it is worth noting that in Law Society of Singapore v Amdad Hussein Lawrence [2000] 3 SLR(R) 23, the Court held at [11]:
The earlier decisions in Law Society of Singapore v Ravindra Samuel [1999] 1 SLR(R) 266 at [15]; Law Society of Singapore v Tham Yu Xian Rick (at [18]; Law Society of Singapore v Suresh Kumar Suppiah [1999] 2 SLR(R) 1203 at [18]; and Law Society of Singapore v Heng Guan Hong Geoffrey [1999] 3 SLR(R) 966 at [28]-[29] have consistently affirmed and applied the following principles on disciplinary sentencing:
(a)    where a solicitor has acted dishonestly, the court will almost invariably order that he be struck off the roll of solicitors;
(b)    if he has not acted dishonestly, but is shown to have fallen below the required standards of integrity, probity and trustworthiness, he will nonetheless be struck off the roll, as opposed to being suspended, if his lapse is such as to indicate that he lacks the qualities of character and trustworthiness which are the necessary attributes of a person entrusted with the responsibilities of a legal practitioner.
[emphasis added]
 
25     In the present case, the relevant question is whether or not GN should be struck off the roll on the basis that he lacked the necessary attributes of a person entrusted with the responsibilities of a legal practitioner. After taking all the charges into account, we were of the view that he lacked the said attributes. In particular, the facts in the 3rd, 4th and 5th charges disclosed a contemptuous disrespect on the part of GN towards the judges concerned. Such egregious misconduct is totally unacceptable. As there were no mitigating circumstances to persuade us that he merited a less severe penalty than striking off the roll, we ordered that he be struck off the roll of advocates and solicitors of the Supreme Court of Singapore and awarded costs to the Law Society.
 
I don't think there is much for me to add here except to say those accusations of my swearing at policemen are accusations pulled out of a hat by 5 policemen who all testified in orchestrated parrot fashion that I had swore at them in a public place. But even if I did so what, they deserve to be yelled at behaving like thugs as expected. And in no country in the world do you disbar a lawyer for hurling insults at policemen of all people, except perhaps Nazi Germany.
 
But I love the part where it says I should be disbarred for having no respect at all for these Kangaroo courts. And that part I am proud to say is all entirely true. Yes I don't have any respect for judges like you whose main occupation is to persecute anyone who has the guts to stand up to the Singaporean dictatorship.
 
Finally if you note, they have ordered costs against me in the judgement. It clearly says "and awarded costs to the Law Society". But you won't be surprised to know that till now they have not demanded any money! And it has been 7 years since the judgement. Why if they believe, as they claim that they have indeed a real legal system. This is not a legal system. These are Kangaroo Courts. And I am very proud that I had this opportunity in 2008 when I visited Singapore to write a blog stating publicly that Singaporean judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean "prostituted herself and her office" in punishing Chee Soon Juan a government critic exercising his right to freedom of speech.  And I am very proud of resisting an unlawful arrest on July 4, 2008 in Little India Singapore while walking peacefully on a public street.
 
And finally if the Singaporean authorities are so sure that I am unfit to be a lawyer, why have they not made any attempt to alert the State bar of California, where I am now in active law practice, to commence proceedings against me or the Bar England and Wales where I am still on the Rolls? Perhaps they are not so sure they will receive the same verdict as in their Singaporean Kangaroo courts.

And as for their claim that I was "absent and unrepresented" at the hearing in Singapore, did they really believe that I would travel to Singapore from California again after what they have done to me! It is like asking a zookeeper to go into a tiger's cage voluntarily after I had just escaped after an attack! What do they think I am, insane?

And let me say I enjoyed every minute of my escapade with these dictators and their Kangaroo courts in 2008, being arrested being thrown in jail, being accosted on the streets, being held in solitary confinement, refusing to break. It was all great fun. I wouldn't have had so much fun even in the darkest corners of the African jungle. Thank you, you bunch of goons, you made my day. I will never forget the experience. And best of all, you have given me an opportunity to continue making fun of your courts and your country.

If you had been wiser, you could have just deported me and no one would have been the wiser. But thanks to the stupidity and shortsightedness of your Attorney General Walter Woon, you had me arrested where clearly it was a wrong decision. And you successfully made my case known throughout the world and the opportunity to put your Kangaroo courts in the spotlight of the world.  
 
Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont San Francisco California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525
 
 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The wasted minds of Singaporeans under a dictatorship.

updated 10/31/2017

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore is a dictatorship where dictator Lee Hsien Loong whose father was the island's dictator before him. It is a place where everything is literally controlled by the state and him. The people have no human rights. Despite Constitutional provisions free speech is prohibited, even one man peaceful demonstrations are illegal, all newspapers are controlled and owned by the state, rule of law does not exist and judges behave more like state appointed politicians rather than independent arbiters of justice. Any similarity between them and judges is just the black robes they wear and there ends any connection with the law. The police are there to carry out the orders of their superiors. Whenever they see anything suspicious they immediately get out their cell phones to their superiors. If ordered to arrest they do so immediately. And if it happens to be anyone who was known to have criticized the rulers, arrested without question.

Judges police civil servants and anyone in authority in Singapore invariably punish known political opponents, whenever they have an opportunity. No need to have done anything wrong.

If they didn't persecute known critics, their jobs are on the line. 

You have in this society a climate of fear and the need to be either left alone. So you stay as quiet as possible or better still join the state apparatus, called Peoples Association. It is like joining the Communist Party in Stalin's Russia. If you show support, you stand to gain but if you are seen to oppose, you are persecuted. This system is based on the old Chinese practice called "You kill a chicken to frighten the monkeys". The government comes down hard on critics mainly because this  discourages others, much less to punish the political opponent. This was how it is done in Communist China, it was how it is done in Russia and it is how it is done in Singapore island.

The government has done very well over 50 years of rule instilling fear across the island where today the citizenry have been effectively brainwashed into a state of hopelessness. Every Singaporean willingly accepts the life of a sheep or a tamed animal who understands that to survive, the best thing is either to openly sing praises or at least keep your mouth shut.

But it takes a large dose of hypocrisy and mental gymnastics to pretend everything is fine when you know you live at the mercy of the rulers. As a result it causes a man to lose sight of his own thought process and become someone other than himself. This is a sad wasted life, not only for yourself but also for the state. As a result of the fear their talents, imagination, ideas are all wasted because it is dangerous to be too public about what you may think. A nail sticking has to be immediately hammered. Result, an entire society all thinking alike and no one had a mind of his own.

The law course in England which many Singaporeans take, naturally includes Constitutional law, the right of citizens to be free, human rights, the right to free speech and expression, the rule of law.  They also know that when men are free, they as a society come up with new ideas, a better way to live, encourages change in society because change is good thing by itself. It is through change that a society gets better and the educated who are more capable of improving society and their law degree helps not only themselves society as a whole. 

Singapore lawyers do the routine stuff. In what they call a law practice, they represent a client in an accident case, insurance case or debt collection. But where it really matters, where men's civil rights are denied, where a man is falsely accused of defaming the Prime Minister, they are nowhere to be seen. They will not under any circumstances represent a political opponent of the Lees. They know full well that the Constitution provides for free speech and expression, yet they will not dare to claim that Lee Kuan Yew or his son are persecuting opponents.

They shut their minds on Constitutional rights of their people because their masters would punish them if they did. The question is then, why pretend that you are a lawyers if all you can do is debt collection and accident cases? Are you not bound as a lawyer to uphold the rights of your client beyond just defending him in a debt collection matter? The entire legal community in the island are sadly the same, afraid to do what their training requires of them. Nay, afraid of even being human beings. An example of this was clearly seen when Chee Soon Juan, the main opposition politician, was sued for defamation, some years ago by the Prime Minister abusing the law once again.  Despite diligent efforts, Chee was unable to find a single lawyer there to represent him. As a result Chee had to represent himself. It is as bad as that.

Unfortunately just as every other fellow Singaporean, lawyers are consumed with fear. Although they know full well, they are prohibited from openly criticizing the state for denying their human rights, they know they has no right to free speech, expression, assembly and that they could be arrested anytime. They know all this is wrong but they simply cannot pick up the courage to speak their mind.

Singapore lawyers pretend they are actually practicing law and what they see in their courts are actually judges. They dress up in fancy black lawyers garb in a shameless state of hypocrisy when they know these are not courts at all but state institutions to subjugate their subjects. In any other society lawyers would have been up in arms demanding the restoration of Constitutional rights, free speech and expression. Singapore lawyers on the other hand are like a lion in the circus. They has lost their ability to roar. They are caged animals with their dictator holding the whip. And for a lawyer of all people to be like that is indeed a disgrace, but that is what a society like Singapore does to its people.

You can see why a society such as this where people have to tailor their lives to appease  state authority have wasted lives. The purpose of an education is to be able to think and formulate ideas and principles, to promote those ideas for your own good as well as society. Education is supposed to embolden you, not make you a mouse. But when a society is prevented from doing this because it would displease their master, you have a society who are using just half their brain. It is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde existence. It is a theatrical performance. It is a pantomime.

Singapore lawyers are incapable of publicly proclaiming that their society is a rotten dictatorship which should be changed. Singapore lawyer is naturally afraid to do this because he knows the moment he is seen as a threat, his masters would claim he has just raped 20 women, or some other preposterous accusation, send him to jail and disbar him. That is what dictatorships do because they can do anything they want, punish anyone anytime. Singapore lawyers  only use half their brains to do their mundane work, while incapable of doing anything about the miserable way they live.

Can you imagine an island with everyone thinking like that. Everyone simply go about their lives, do their work for a living and behave as if nothing was wrong, because even if it was wrong, there is nothing you can do about it. And if you did you are punished.

Once the state openly proclaim you as a political opponent, from that point every single judge, every single government servant, every single private company, every single private individual is required to deny you a normal life. If you are a lawyer, you will lose every single case, if you are a citizen you would be denied every single request.

Sadly Singapore lawyers just as the ordinary layman just want to be left alone as far away from the wrath of their rulers so they can go home to their three meals a day and watch their television in peace. It is a truly a wasted life.

For a lawyer to remain in Singapore and submit to this nonsense of a profession is disgraceful. They should either stand up to the regime, or if this is not possible to leave the island for settlement elsewhere and to hold their heads up high. There is no honor in remaining and submitting to this your entire life. And worst of all pretending you are a lawyer when you are not. You are working under false pretenses.

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



Sunday, October 15, 2017

It is a pity. Too late for Singapore to ever be a real democracy

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I think it may be too late. Singapore may never be a real democracy. And its people may never enjoy the freedoms that one would naturally expect in  America or Western Europe.

First of all we have to agree that democracy is a good thing. I do. It is a system which as far as possible leave people alone to develop your full potential. The state only interferes if you harm others unlike in a dictatorship like Singapore where the state punishes you if you espouse ideas not to their liking. Democracies believe that the engine for change and betterment is the people while in dictatorships like Singapore it is the dictator who decides how you live.

For a country to be a real democracy, its government must accept that democracy is a good thing and consequently the State should create the necessary institutions to enable it. Take USA as an example. USA from its inception embraced democracy as the best form of government, created a constitution to enable it, and actively ensured that its provisions are obeyed, through the deliberate setting up of civil society, the rule of law, a free press and fundamental human rights. This is the case too in Western Europe, Canada Australia and New Zealand.

In Singapore on the other hand, since its inception more than 50 years ago, the government has deliberately and progressively sustained its policy of denying a free society. The rule of law is maligned with corrupt judges beholden to the government and used as tool to silence dissent, the papers are state controlled and have become an instrument of state propaganda, all freedoms are denied and anyone criticizing openly is liable to arrest and imprisonment. Although Singapore derived its political system from England, it deliberately suppressed any part of it that relates to democracy.

Under such circumstances unless the people are themselves aware of the need for democracy and are willing to stand up to this dictatorial government, there is no way that the system will ever change, mainly because people in a place such as Singapore, over years of behavior training by the government, are not even aware of what democracy means. And if they don't know what democracy is, how does anyone expect the people to fight for it or the society to become democratic?

Those who did not wish to live in a society like this Singaporean dictatorship have mostly left the island for settlement in the West. I too did not want to be a "digit" under Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore, as he once called the ordinary Singaporean. So I left. As a result over the years, the island has been depleted of people who know what it is to live in freedom. The education system in the island makes sure that students are never taught anything of Constitutional law or democracy. As a result they go through an entire school life not knowing anything about democracy, a topic which is almost taboo. In order to replenish those who have left the island seeking freedom, Singapore government continues to bring in large numbers of immigrants and offer them instant citizenship. Their main source for the immigration as expected is Communist China since the government knows that these Chinese from Communist China don't have a clue as to what freedom is, and would be quite content to live without any rights in Singapore, as they did in Communist China.

Unfortunately this does not prevent many immigrants from other countries such as Australians or some Europeans of coming to Singapore to work which they do just for a living. By and large these immigrants who don't really consider Singapore home would be willing to work anywhere regardless of the political system, since all they want is a job temporarily. As soon as they manage to get a job back home, they leave, as do the thousands of workers who work in Dubai.

Therefore as time progresses , with more and more people with any idea of democracy leaving and those left behind are totally unaware of freedom while supplemented with hoards of Chinese nationals quite happy to live under any dictator, I think it a little too late for the island to ever be free.

My observation of the ordinary man is that he does not necessarily have any desire for such imaginary concepts as freedom. Most people usually just want a job and be able to live a comfortable life and be left alone. This is why until and unless the state appreciates that democracy is a good thing and actively works to towards creating a free society, there is no real hope that people would ever know what it is to be free. For instance you cannot expect Syria, Egypt the  Congo and all the hundreds of countries around the world to have true freedom if the basics for it, unless created and championed by their rulers, do not exist.

One will clearly see why an American thinks very differently from a man from Singapore. Its because  he is taught and is aware that he has a right to the rule of law, freedom of speech expression and assembly. Which is why an American would be outraged and aghast if you told him that judges would use their office to eliminate opponents of the ruling party like they do in Singapore; or if they were told that they have no right to freedom of expression as is the case in Singapore. On the other hand in Singapore the government routinely uses their judges to abuse their judicial office to eliminate political opponents but yet most Singaporeans have no complaints whatsoever to this abuse going on. Neither does the average Singaporean complain about the fact that he has no rights at all.

In the end, it is the state itself that has to take the effort to promote democracy. If they don't, like what we have in Singapore, it will never be free and its people can never live free and independent lives. They will always be at the mercy of the Lee family and their dictatorship. You are creating in Singapore a robotic society whose only goal in life to be able to work and go about their own business with the blessing of the all embracing ever watchful Big Brother.

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