Tuesday, July 31, 2007

An American in Singapore who disagrees with me. The correspondence here. You judge for yourself.

I am attaching below a letter from an American claiming to have lived in Singapore for the last 18 years. He obviously disagrees with my views. Still, they are his views and he is entitled to say them. You can decide which view is right.

Best Regards
Gopalan Nair
Fremont, California

From: David A. Kriner Sent: Monday, July 30, 2007 10:54 PMTo: gopalnair@us-immigrationlaw.comSubject: Singapore

As an American professional who has chosen to make Singapore my home for the last 18 years, after living in the US, Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong, UK and Belgium, I have a very hard time recognizing the Singapore you are trying to convince people exists.

I believe it is you who has been blinded to the truth, not all the others!

David Kriner

From: Gopalan Nair [mailto:gopalnair@us-immigrationlaw.com] Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 7:42 AMTo: 'David A. Kriner'Subject: RE: Singapore

Dear Mr. Kriner,

Thank you for your Email. I would very much like to publish your Email as a comment on the blog. After all what we are after is intelligent debate. You may disagree with me, but that does not mean that you have to shut up, unlike what the PAP of Singapore would demand of you.

You are aware, that the Singapore government is now resorting to using bogey commentors and ghost writers using false pretences in their desperation to stifle any criticism against them. For instance you may in fact not be an American at all but an Singaporean agent. If so, my publishing your comment on the blog would be deceiving my readers.

Before we go any further, please provide your telephone number, full and correct name, you address and the name as it appears in your passport. I will then use my sources in Singapore to check on you. If you are indeed Mr. David A Kriner, I will publish your letter.

As for any response to your comment, all I will have to say is that you are misinformed despite having lived in Singapore for 18 years as you claim.

But, you are of course entitled to your opinion.

A good day, sir.

Gopalan Nair
Fremont, California

Dear Mr. Nair,

I have never subscribed to the ‘Just because you’re not paranoid doesn’t mean they are not after you’ school of thought. For your information, I was born in Indiana in 1953, but have spent most of my life living in Europe (18 Years) and in Asia (the last 25). I am not easily deceived and believe in evaluating everything I come across with an open mind and based only on the results and evidence that I, and others around me, can see. I am not a follower of conspiracy theories, whether religious or political, and became a Christian some 4 years ago.

Please feel free to publish my comment if you like, but you do a disservice to your supposed country of birth, assuming of course that you are who you say you are! :>)

Best Regards, Dave Kriner


Anonymous said...

Dear David,

Sometimes, when you breathe air high up in your loft, you can't smell the stink down below. As a true-blooded Singaporean who has been living as a normal citizen, we don't like what is happening to our country. The main medias are controlled tightly and what you read is mainly one-sided & heavily censured. If you as an American has been side-tracked by the Singapore Government, what about the locals?

Jontst78 said...

One does makes me curious as to what Mr Kriner makes as a living, meaning, his monthly salary. My own beef against the Singapore Govt, the middle class are being left behind. The median income in Singapore is about 3,900 SGD.


Kevin Toh said...

Mr. Nair,

you could pose the following questions to Mr. Kriner

surely, a democracy must have at least the following three characteristics

1) all citizens get the chance to vote.
2) meaningful checks and balances
3) freedom of expression

Any other things are just details. (like minority rights, immigration policy, capital punishment, etc.)

1) do people in Singapore get a chance to vote?
Ask him how many people got a chance to vote in the last elections. does that count as all?
Ask him when was the last time Singaporeans had a chance to elect their president.
and if the same thing happened in USA would he be happy with it. (more than 10 years without a presidential election)

2) what checks and balances are in place in the government?
How many seats are controlled by one party?
Is there any balance of voices in parliament?
Ask him if the Repulicans (or democrats) controlled 99% of congress , would he be happy with it?
Ask him if President Bush managed to raise his salary to US$2.1million , would that be alright?

3) freedom of expression.
ask him to take a look at US newspapers. How people challenge the incumbent party freely because it is a democracy.
ask him what he thought of the fact that Columnist Lee Kin Mun (Mr Brown) was dismissed from Today because of an article (Singaporeans are fed, up with progress).
And ask him to take a look at youtube.com , how film makers and common US citizens dare to challenge their goverment's policies or to satirize them.
and when was the last time he saw such things in singapore.

finally, ask him if he liked singapore so much. why not just give up his citizenship. singapore openly welcomes expatriates.
If he had young sons, maybe he would understand when they have to spend two years of their youth in a peacetime draft.
What would he think if USA decided to activate the draft now?


Gopalan Nair said...

Dear Mr. Kriner,

Kevin Toh has asked pertinent questions. What have you to say to them?

Gopalan Nair
Fremont, CA

Gopalan Nair said...

Dear All,

Mr. Kriner has provided his Singapore contact particulars to me and I have verified them to be correct. He is indeed an American doing business in Singapore. However as his particulars were given to me only to verify his identity, it would not be correct on my part to post in on the Net.

However, he is who he claims to be, an American based in Singapore.

Gopalan Nair

Anonymous said...

By the way, i am ex-expat in Singapore and was living and working in Singapore for 7 years. But i was not blinded by the local propaganda machines. I opened my eyes, listened to and mixed with the common folks and have full appreciation on how injustice was done to everyday singaporean and your opposition. I wonder which world is Mr.Kriner live in. He must be blinded by the greed, just like Singapore government and its elites. No decent, American, Australian and in fact anyone who enjoy full democratic rights can accept the authoritarian government and its policies. Mr. Kriner, honestly, i think you have wasted 18 years of your life blinded by the greed. And for your age, i don't think you can afford to waste another 18 years. Please open up your eyes and ears.

michael said...

Mr Kriner,

I am a regular reader of this post and I relish the opportunity to reply to your post.Do you know why? Because I would not be able to if I was still a Singapore citizen. I may not be a citizen but I am Singaporean. You see, contrary to my fellow countrymen I don't have any fear of speaking my mind in this particular issue because just like Gopalan I live in a free country.

The fear in Singapore my Dear MR Kriner is covert and not overt. You may have lived in Singapore for 18 years but you are not Singaporean. You have not (then again you might have) gone to an opposition rally during an election to hear what is being said only to see police with their cameras making a record of who's present. Then the thought goes through your head, "will my child get school of choice during enrolment?" Will the tax department suddenly decide to audit me? Will I lose my job... These things arent commonly talked about.. they are covert forms of harassment. How would you be able to know the things that Gopal and many like him are talking about. You can run back to America "the land of the free and the home of the brave" anytime.. what about locals who may have no choice but to stay.

Is there any country in the world where politicians have the temerity
to pay themselves millions akin to CEO's of major corporations where there has been no real consultation or permission from the people and then have the gall to speak patronisingly to its citizens... treating them like children?? And their reasons... "so that we may not be enticed to go over to private companies or to retain the best in government".

Isn't this blatant admission that to be in government in Singapore is so that one can be rich. It is corruption wearing the veil of legitimacy. These people put to shame the word "Minister". I thought to be in politics is so that you could serve the country and not the other way around. Would you stand for it in your own country??? Yet you dare speak of things you do not know and have not experienced. Have you been persecuted for your political beliefs or shared the covert fears of many Singaporeans? I'm sorry Mr Kriner, but you seem to have been won over by the superficial in Singapore and not the deeper currents that run through its veins.

Michael N

KTeo said...

And, Mr Kriner,
Where else in the world - the United States or anywhere else can an opposition politian be bankrupted for being in a 4 person protest? And not just suffer bankruptcy, but whatever comes with bankruptcy, such as not being able to stand for election. Where else in the world can an oppostion politian be eliminated, just like that. Open your eyes Mr Kriner.

Kim T.