Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Singapore. Why the present ways lead nowhere.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This letter is to show the need for a change in approach in challenging the PAP. I have said before that opposition parties merely making speeches periodically on the Penal Laws and other legal matters, in hotel conference rooms and contesting elections every 4 years will not bring about any change in government. The public must insist by civil disobedience against unjust laws that things must change. Only in this way will Singapore ever be a democracy.

I understand that the main opposition parties are reluctant to openly confront the government by pubic protests as they feel the Singapore public would fear that such protests will adversely affect Singapore's stability and therefore would alienate them against opposition parties at national elections, thereby causing them to lose votes.

I think the opposition parties are wrong in their assumption of what the public want. In any case, the decision whether to confront the government against unjust laws should not be dependant on whether or not such action will alienate the public from them. The decision should be based simply on whether such action is right and secondly, whether in the long run, such action would be beneficial to Singapore's interests. On both these counts, directly confronting the government on these unjust laws is clearly necessary.

First, because there are educated and discerning people in Singapore who must be able to see that direct confrontation against the government is the morally correct action to take. Second, the politicizing of the population, by these protests, is beneficial to the country as a whole in the long run. By this, civil institutions become stronger with more public participation, thus ensuring the continued viability of the country, with or without any dictator, with or without Lee Kuan Yew. By the opposition parties not taking any real measures for change, when knowing that the Lee Administration will never permit a peaceful and lawful transition or change of government, the inaction by the opposition parties to force change, will result in the end of a prolonged and continued de-politicized politically indifferent population, which will not be able to manage themselves with the demise of the strongman, since the public, over long years of subjugation, have no idea of what or when to do anything for themselves.

I say this in earnest. Breaking unjust laws is a good thing by itself. That alone is ample justification for civil disobedience. The opposition parties make a mistake when they constantly tailor their actions by second guessing what the people may or may not want. And the Lee Administration successfully spread these fears among the people, which the opposition parties are prepared to accept, thereby perpetrating the continued repression by the Lee Administration of it's people. The opposition should think independently. They should ask what is good for the country in the long run. And they should act according to it.

Otherwise you will continue with the motions of elections every 4 years and receive the expected result of the opposition winning Hougang and Potong Pasir with the Lee administration winning everything else, with the PAP again securing 66% of the votes cast.

It is becoming boring. Will Syvia Lim of the Workers Party please give another erudite speech soonest possible at the Asia Hotel near Orchard Road and make us all a little wiser.

Dr. Chee has gone to prison repeatedly for breaking unjust laws. He is highly respected for his actions. But just suffering alone will not bring about any measurable change. He must take the others with him. Only then will he see any real benefit for his admirable and courageous work up to date.

Alas, if we are not going to be a democracy, at least we can be a little wiser with our cerebral capacities having increased a little at least, with a little more wisdom of Singapore's penal laws in it, having listened attentively and assiduously to Sylvia Lim's brilliant lectures.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914
EMail: mailto:gopalnair@us-immigrationlaw.com

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