Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Singapore. The answer lies in civil disobedience

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A) In Singapore today, the government controls the media. You only get "news" the government wants you to hear. B) Judges are beholden to the government. The law abused to punish Lee's opponents. C) Civil servants serve Lee Kuan Yew and his political party. They are required to go out of their way to serve Lee and his supporters. Any dissenter gets no assistance from these thoroughly politicised civil servants. D) Workers who are Lee regime supporters advance in their careers. Opposition supporters are dissuaded from continuing. If not, they are demoted or dismissed from their jobs (e.g. Dr. Chee was dismissed from his professorship at the National University of Singapore). E) No able citizen with credible qualifications and a career would ever think of standing against Lee in elections. If they are stupid enough to do it, Lee's bully boys will finish them off with trumped up criminal charges, defamation charges and bankruptcy. Lee will unleash his instruments of repression, his police and his obedient judges to do the dirty work. Capable opposition candidates, will be successfully sued for defamation even before they stand for elections and driven out of the country! Remember Tang Liang Hong. On the odd chance if you win, which is most unlikely, like Jeyaretnam, false criminal charges will immediately surface, witnesses will give false testimony, you are promptly convicted and bankrupted and kicked him out of Parliament. On the other hand, if you are not a threat, that is if your highest level of education was Primary 6, you will be left alone by the Administration. Why? They know that you will lose and you will not be taken seriously anyway. And furthermore they can use it to their advantage. They will go to town and say opposition candidates have stood for elections, therefore they are a democracy!

Lee and Company brook no criticism at any cost. This is clear as daylight since the last 40 years. Fear permeates the entire island. Island wide intimidation is complete. Brainwashing is complete. Either one is recklessly courageous or one insane to challenge Lee. In his political grip, there is no hope of ever voting Lee out. Yet in this pervasive island-wide fear-afflicted atmosphere, Lee wants us to believe that we have elections, therefore we have the means to vote them out. Voting Lee out through elections in this hopeless atmosphere of libel actions, false criminal charges, corrupt judiciary, a government controlled press and island wide intimidation is impossible.

Civil disobedience is the answer for change in Singapore. The only answer. Lee has placed obstacles to every avenue for change through the ballot box. The system has to be forced to change through non-conventional means, through non-cooperation, through telling the government that their laws are morally repugnant and we will not obey them.

The problem lies in our thinking. We think it is impossible to bring them down. That we are up against a mountain. We fear failure and the dire consequences that will undoubtedly follow, we fear Lee's wrath and retribution. Truly, we are much stronger than we think we are. In a confrontation, truth always has the upper hand. This is the natural instinct of humans. It is easier to suffer when your cause is right.

There are fundamental injustices that cry out for change. The issue of freedom of speech is one. A fundamental right that is the basis for almost every other right. Without this freedom one cannot criticise. And if you cannot criticize, you are a slave. Therefore assemble and demand your right to your freedom. The right of an independent press. The right to be free to congregate and discuss. The government cannot morally use force to stop you. They may have the power, but they do not have the moral right. That belongs to you. Your righteousness must triumph. There is no other way.

In the National Kidney Foundation scandal, thousands of dollars of your money was lost. They were lost in the Thaksin scandal of Thailand, in the telephone investments in Indonesia. The Lee family administration refuses to disclose the real facts. You are ignored and kept in the dark. It is your money, not theirs. No one would begrudge you if your were to assemble in droves outside Parliament with placards demanding to know the truth. True people around the world will applaud you for doing it.

You will recall that Goh Chock Tong sued and bankrupted Dr. Chee for merely asking him where the money was!

Consider your CPF and Income Tax monies. Lee Kuan Yew, his son and their relatives, cronies, pay themselves as much of your money as they want. It is public knowledge that Lee Kuan Yew and his son pay themselves each much more than the President of the United States and Presidents and Prime Ministers of many European countries combined. This is unjust. This is criminal. In law they call this embezzlement. You have a right to force them to account for it. It is your money. Surely you have a right to know.

Public institutions used as instruments of repression have to be bought down. The courts should explain why they let themselves be abused at Lee's pleasure. The media has to explain why they spew only propaganda. The police have to explain why they harass Lee's opponents. The civil servants have to be told that they should be impartial.

You will find that when challenged, there is only this much Lee can do. If you were to persist, they must eventually break. They cannot continue to keep imprisoning Dr. Chee repeatedly for his just resistance. Laws that have been put in place for subjugation of their people. Both locally and internationally, Lee's injustice is now being exposed. They now have no choice. Either they will have to imprison their protesters indefinitely, kill them or leave them alone. Killing jailing peaceful protesters infinitely does not go well for Singapore's image as an international business hub. In this confrontation against falsity, the only victor is truth. Singapore's position as an international business city makes it even easier, being vulnerable to international opinion.

Dr. Chee and his supporters have staged protests. For that he has been arrested and imprisoned. But at the same time, you can see that Lee is hesitating. They are no longer so confident. Dr. Chee could have been given a long jail term for deliberately telling Judge Lai Siew Chew, in open court, in full view that she is corrupt. Surprisingly Dr. Chee's sentence was unbelievably lenient. A small fine, in default a week in jail. A very lenient sentence for a serious contempt. The people know the truth. There is no avoiding it. Is that the reason for the leniency?. Lee is beginning to look silly.

Dr. Chee and his supporters should not let up on the protests. Do it repeatedly. Challenge them to arrest you repeatedly. Send you to jail repeatedly. They will soon realize that their punishments are not having the desired effect. With world and public opinion squarely against them, they will have to come down from their high horse.

Singapore is a one party state. In a Parliament of 84 members, there are 2 miserable opposition members. These 2 have been thoroughly neutralized, thoroughly weakened, intimidated and silenced. They are afraid to demand change. Real change. They know what had happened to Mr. JB Jeyaretnam, who was an opposition politician in Parliament. He had dared to ask real questions, such as "where is my money". He had been promptly kicked out of Parliament, criminalized, imprisoned, bankrupted and recently retired from public life. The 2 Members of Parliament are fully aware, every moment of their waking lives, the terrible calamity that befall their predecessor. Therefore they do not ask real questions that matter, such as the people's fundamental rights. They have been asking inane questions such as why is the Parking Lot in their housing estates so small. This arrangement suits them and Lee the tyrant. They continue to warm their Parliamentary seats, and Lee Kuan Yew continues his rule by dictate.

I would hope that the elected opposition representatives in Parliament realize this. They can engage in Parliamentary debates as much as they want. Things will not change. In fact, this facade of political debate is what Lee wants. Just parliamentary debates, with the police, the judiciary, the courts, the press directly under his absolute control. These debates mean nothing, when the people have been terrified into submission, when the newspapers are not free, when the judiciary are political agents of Lee and not impartial judges. Nothing will change with Parliamentary debates.

The 2 elected Opposition Members of Parliament should realize the depressing truth. They are doing nothing for freedom They should join Dr. Chee in a joint effort for civil disobedience. Presently they are helping only themselves. Not the people.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, California 94538
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

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