Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Singapore. What do we have now?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today in Singapore, we have a great deal of distaste of the Lee Administration on the Internet. We have hundreds and thousands of bloggers, both identified and incognito, criticising the Lee Administration on a daily basis as to how bad they are. We have Dr. Chee and his website the Singapore Democrat giving us the latest locally and worldwide on the extent of feeling against the Singapore government and how much they are hated. We have individuals locally and abroad who privately tell each other how very bad and repressive Singapore's Lee Administration is.

And while all this is happening, on the other hand, we have the Straits Times, the state controlled paper which totally ignores whatever these dissenters say. The government carries on as if no criticism against them ever existed. The courts continue to punish Singaporeans on unjust laws such as the prohibition against free speech without a licence. The courts send Dr. Chee repeatedly to jail on these illegal laws.

The government carries on as if nothing is wrong. The Straits Times continues to publish their papers and the public continues to buy them. The television continues to say whatever they want to say, true or false, and the people happily listen to them.

Dignitaries from other countries visit Singapore. Singapore dignitaries visit other countries. They compliment each other as great and free nations. George Bush comes to Singapore and praises it sky high as a model for aspiring nations.

Tomorrow, Dr. Chee will write some more articles critical of the Lee Administration. I will write some more on how bad it all is. Next week Dr. Chee will perhaps go to jail once more on trumped up charges based on laws that are all illegal. Both before he goes to jail and after he gets out, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch will write how repressive it all is and what an evil regime Singapore is.

And after that Dr. Chee will go to jail once more. And people will privately curse the Singapore Administration for being cruel brutes and bullies. And after saying it, they will promptly go on with their lives. They will go to the market, to their jobs and play with their children and life will go on. And Lee will remain comfortably ensconced in the Istana, collecting his million dollar salary. And once in a while, President SR Nathan with his charming wife beside him, will come out for a walk in his palatial lawns, to thank his people for being such nice and loyal citizens.

And Dr. Chee will write some more brilliant articles. He will quote Mahatma Gandhi on the virtues of civil disobedience. He will remind his readers of what Lee had said in 1959 and how now, how shamelessly does Lee betray his people's trust by doing just the opposite. And after that, he will go to jail once more. And the same old cycle will repeat itself.

And it will go on till we drop dead.

I am impatient. My impatience is not unreasonable. We have waited long enough. Dr. Chee has to do something else. Not good enough to write these letters critical of the government and nothing more. Not good enough for the WP and the SDA to carry on the same old way. Things must change. This is getting tiresome. If all that the SDP, the WP and the SDA will do is for Dr. Chee to engage in activism and go to jail and write articles, if the WP will hold seminars on the Singapore Penal Code and talk intelligently, and if the SDA, only makes speeches in Parliament once in a while, then the political opposition should say so. They should say that we are not prepared to do anything else in Singapore. If all that the Opposition will do is to hold seminars on the Singapore Penal Code, write criticism on the Internet, make speeches in Parliament and wait another 4 years for the next elections, they may as well stop now. They will never be able to bring about any change in Singapore. They might as well confess to that much.

Let me tell you that while Dr. Chee and the other opposition people are going through the same motions that they have gone through the last 20 years, people are emigrating in droves, in disgust, children are not being born and the country is being flooded by foreigners. Singapore is being thoroughly damaged, its very foundations of civil society destroyed, until in a little while there is no viable Signapore to speak of.

Dr. Chee, the WP and the SDA should act now. Not just the same old routine. They have a responsibility, as the opposition to protect Singapore from damage being caused to it daily by the Lee Administration. Damage to the foundations of civil society. They can see it before their very eyes. It is not sufficient for them to say that Singaporeans are different, therefore nothing more should be done, because otherwise the stability of the nation will be affected. I am afraid this is no longer the time for inaction. Doing nothing more than writing critical articles will produce nothing.

So please, and I say please, do something for a change. Going on in the same old style is not producing any results. And it never will.

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

No comments: