Thursday, February 1, 2007

Singapore. If you want freedom, then you must have civil unrest now.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is gratifying to see the leaders of political opposition in Singapore periodically holding seminars on democracy being attended each time by a handful of people, hundreds, even thousands of bloggers both identified, like myself, and anonymous, writing blogs critical of Lee and his dictatorship daily being read and distributed widely, people having heard about and experienced Lee's repression criticizing privately among themselves on how bad the political situation has really become and all manner of complaints and remonstrances hurled at Lee Kuan Yew and his family of dictators. Yes, it is gratifying and encouraging to see such widespread disaffection against the dictatorship of Lee Kuan Yew.

But unfortunately, this is not enough. History has shown that it is not disaffection and dissatisfaction against dictators that has toppled them. You need more drastic measures. You need civil unrest. Without civil unrest, without the people telling the dictator that this will not do, and we will not comply, dictators have continued to rule with or without law. This unfortunately is the stark reality. And the sooner that the people of Singapore, the sooner Dr. Chee Soon Juan, Mr. Low Thia Khiang and Mr. Chiam See Thong realize this, the better.

I understand very soon that Miss Sylvia Lim of the Workers Party and other legal luminaries are going to bless us with their profound wisdom on why the law is wrong and how and in what manner it must be changed, in a seminar which I believe will be attended by the usual handful. I understand also that Dr. Chee Soon Juan is similarly going to do the same where he will discuss the why and wherefore and why the whole political thing in Singapore is wrong. My dear Dr. Chee and Miss Sylvia Lim. Please understand I agree with you wholeheartedly. You are absolutely right. But what good will that do? Yes, I may become a little wiser after listening to your lecture and so will others. But we are not looking for wisdom here. We are looking for change in Singapore. You can speak and lecture until Hell freezes over, and it will do no good for the present. I say for the present. Perhaps all this talking and lecturing may, in the far distant future bring about change, which may happen in any case. But we are not prepared to wait that long. We want it now.

Dr. Chee has quoted Freedom House, the international organization reporting on democracies, that Singaporeans cannot bring about democracy through parliamentary elections. This is the dire miserable truth anyway you look.

History has also shown us that foreign investors care two hoots on whether democracy exists or not in investment decisions. Communist China will continue to receive the largest portion of foreign investment from the free world who know very well that China is a ruthless dictatorship intolerant of any dissent. They have invested in the dictator Marcos's Philippines. In Pakistan's military government, in various cruel and ruthless dictatorships in Africa, all the time knowing full well that these were countries that ruthlessly oppressed their own people, denying them even the basics of human rights.

The same in Singapore. The rich developed countries are very aware that Singapore is a dictatorship ruled by Lee Kuan Yew intolerant of dissent, prohibiting free speech and expression , imprisoning peaceful activists demanding political change, abusing the law with defamation suits to silence any criticism. Yet despite knowing all this, they have not reduced their trade or investment one bit. In fact their investments keep progressively increasing.

If you want change, you have to demand it, making it clear that you will not take no for an answer. And for this, you have to have civil unrest. You have to grab it.

I have no doubt in my mind that Lee Kuan Yew will continue with the illegalities unashamed for as long as he wants to remain in power. He will print propaganda in the state controlled press. He will use judges to make illegal judgements to destroy his opponents. He will use civil servants to hamper inconvenience his opponents. And yes, he will stuff ballot boxes to win elections. He is doing all this, and he will continue doing them. And while he abuses his own citizens this way, the international community will do nothing to stem the flow of money flowing in. Please understand this.

History has ample examples. From 1933 to 1939, Nazi Germany was the greatest economic and military power in Europe. Not that the free world did not know the atrocities being committed by Hitler against his people. They knew very well. Yet they were dying to invest and trade with the Third Reich. Had it not been for his invasion of Poland in 1939, perhaps there would have been no war, and we would perhaps be referring now to the Fifth Reich of Germany in Berlin.

I have read Dr. Chee's proposition that civil unrest is the way for change and I think he is right. The present opposition leaders should deliberately provoke the government by civil disobedience by handing out leaflets, by organizing sit ins, by silent protest in various malls and government offices, in other words by doing things which should have ordinarily been lawful except for Lee's unjust laws. The plan as I said is to provoke the Lees.

This will result in arrests. Hopefully others who are friends and family members of those arrested will be outraged by the treatment of Lee and company and carry out further civil disobedience, causing others to join those arrested in retaliation. Action causes a reaction, the simple law of physics. This in turn will cause further action by the government. The idea is to provoke this dictatorship into taking action. In the end, if the government finds no other way, they may have no choice but to detain these peaceful activists for longer periods, causing in its turn a counter action from activists by further action. This should be the hope and plan, to reach a stage where the people become so politicized that the government finds it impossible to deny the demands of the people. Then you will see change.

And the good thing is that initially you don't need too many people for this. Just a few protesting will be the catalyst for further action and vitalizing of the population, slowly but the numbers will increase.

If this is not done, Lee will continue to brainwash his youth into submission, pay himself millions of dollars of your money to himself, continue telling you a truck load of propaganda each day, and you will continue your measly lives as "digits" as he has referred to you before.

If you want political change, you have to grab it. Take it. Giving speeches and organizing seminars are good. Don't get me wrong. But it will not bring about democracy in Singapore. That much I know.

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

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