Saturday, August 18, 2007

More Singapore lawyers are leaving the profession. Should anyone be suprised?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore. In the Singapore state controlled newspaper "The Straits Times", Aug 18, 2007, (just as all the other newspapers are equally owned and controlled by the state) in the article headed "Pay lawyers more to keep them: Chief Justice", the Chief Justice of Singapore, Mr. Chan Sek Keong, in his speech to Singapore UK Law Students Society, acknowledges that more and more young lawyers are leaving the legal profession. And in order to remedy the situation, he suggests that lawyers should be paid more, because, according to him, I quote "greed works most of the time" and therefore paying more money, will do the trick.

I would like to tell the Chief Justice that he should speak for himself. We already know that greed will work in his case; for him to do anything and everything, however unconscionable and disgusting in his capacity as the Chief Justice where he doubles as Lee Kuan Yew's political enforcer. But please, Mr. Chief Justice, speak for yourself. Not everyone can be bought with money.

We have ample evidence of the Chief Justice's willingness to do anything for money. As an example, you will recall his deciding a case, during the 1997 national elections; when PAP politicians were caught red-handed inside polling stations in clear violation of the Parliamentary Elections Act. His shocking decision in that case was that PAP MPs did no wrong because, believe it or not, it is an offense to loiter around an Elections polling station but not an offense if you are actually found inside it!

Good Heavens. The whole intent of this provision in the Parliamentary Elections Act was to prohibit any undue influence or coercion by politicians of polling officials to ensure impartiality. Therefor the provision in the law that politicians are prohibited from being found within or near the polling stations. As to whether which was a greater wrong, that is weather being found inside the polling station was a more serious violation than being seen seen near it; anyone with a working head on his shoulders would say, obviously that it was the former, namely being found inside. But his verdict came as no surprise to anyone, since after all the Chief Justice is a servant of Lee Kuan Yew, and since the politicians committing the violation were members of his political party.

From this decision, it is quite clear that the Singapore Chief Justice is either a bad lawyer, or he deliberately abused the law to favor Lee Kuan Yew and the Peoples Action Party. And not only these circumstances; he is paid US$ 2 million per year (not counting other money that he corruptly receives, which we will never know) as the Chief Justice. Looking at these circumstances, can you even doubt that Mr. Chief Justice is in the practice of law because it pays very well for him, therefore he willingly tailors his verdicts to suit Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and company.

It is unfortunate that he has a very low opinion of human kind. Unlike him, who prostitutes himself and his office of the Chief Justice of Singapore to serve not the law, but his master and benefactor Lee Kuan Yew, most other self respecting human beings have such a thing as honor and integrity. In other words, most people, especially those of good upbringing, an education and self confidence, will not permit themselves to be bought over to do dirty work, like he does. The best will not come just for money, regardless of how much. He should understand that.

The law is the one profession where these qualities of integrity and honor are mandatory; a person without these qualities will find it difficult to survive in this profession. Second, the law is a calling. One dedicates one's life to it, regardless of the monetary rewards. But then, if you are a good lawyer, monetary rewards will automatically follow. But the reason to go into the profession of law would be to serve the law, not worship money. Mr. Chief Justice of Singapore does not understand that.

Singaporeans aspiring to be lawyers, like anyone else in other countries is aware of the unique nature of the legal profession and it's calling. It is those with a desire to serve mankind and to spend a lifetime in it that go into this profession. If it was money, they would probably have gone into banking or stock brokering. I am surprised the Chief Justice does not appear to know this.

The Chief Justice claims that the reason for lawyers leaving the Singapore legal profession are long hours unrewarding pay and stress reasons. The Chief Justice should be told that none of this is the reason for lawyers retiring. In fact one reason why lawyers are leaving is the Chief Justice himself; the dishonesty and lack of integrity in himself.

Everyone knows that in Singapore, the Chief Justice and all the other judges are now thoroughly corrupt to the core. The legal profession in Singapore is beholden to Lee Kuan Yew and the PAP as is seen by the routine use of defamation actions and the bankrupting of opposition politicians, including the democracy activists Yap Keng Ho, Chee Siok Chin and Monica Ambalam yesterday.

Everyone knows that the law in Singapore is an instrument of repression wielded by Lee and his PAP, through judges like the Chief Justice, to destroy their political opponents. In other words, the Chief Justice, the legal profession and the judiciary have been thoroughly discredited. That is why lawyers leave the profession in Singapore and there are no takers from students into the profession.

Since the law in Singapore is thoroughly politicised, it makes no meaning to mechanically utter the words such as the rule of law, natural justice and so on, when the student knows it does not exist. The Singapore Judiciary is nothing more that a PAP government department used to silence dissent by distorting and abusing the law. Therefore any honest person would find it uncomfortable to claim he is lawyer, when he knows that he cannot get justice whenever the government is opposed to it.

Furthermore one cannot expect to advance in the profession through hard work and study, since it is not hard work and study that is rewarded but the willingness to comply with any demands of the government; to tow the government line; in other words the willingness to be a sycophantic running dog of the PAP. In Singapore, only these compliant dishonest opportunists, prepared to do the PAP's dirty work for money advance in their careers. One example is the turbaned Sikh lawyer who Lee Kuan Yew has retained as his permanent counsel to destroy political opponents thorough defamation actions. One the other hand, honest and upright legal hopefuls will have to contend with a meagre existence.

So we can tell this million dollar Chief Justice of Singapore who doubles as the political enforcer for Mr. Lee Kuan Yew in eliminating political opponents by bankrupting them, which has become now, a major component of his duties; that lawyers will continue to leave and throwing more money at them will not solve your problem. Those after money would have already become stock brokers, bankers and businessmen.

Mr. Chief Justice of Singapore can give as many speeches as he wants. The problem with him is that he has been thoroughly discredited. And building more law colleges will not solve the problem. Let me tell him this. He has a two fold insurmountable problem here. One the numbers will decline. Second the quality of those remaining will decline even further.

The only way he could stop the rot is to transform the legal profession into one that can be respected. Alas, I think it is too late. The damage done cannot be undone.

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


Anonymous said...

Very insightful analysis and commentary.

A breath of fresh air from the sterile and stunted Singapore mainstream media.

Anonymous said...

how unbecoming of a chief justice to even contemplate that; how incredulous for him to actually say that.

and how typical of singapore to throw money at the problem.

not enough interest in becoming a minister? increase the salary package? not enough civil servants? same thing. now, not enough lawyers, same thing.

money is god in spore. humanity is a non-existent notion.

Anonymous said...

From GCT's time, notice that in every rally including the recent one on 12.8.07,you can see the CJ sitting next to Emperor LKY. There is apparently a subtle visual reson for this seating arrangement.....LKY wants to warn all of us that he is on top of the law in S'pore.So don't try to use the law against him (e.g.the recent lawful assembly participants being bankrupted after they petitioned to the AG the gross over-reaction of the Police in dispersing them with 20 riot-squad officers armed to the teeth).LKY to us: "See who's sitting next to me at every rally? The top law-enforcer,so don't use the law on me...only I can use the law on you if you disobey/defy me!" This is the very pathetic situation here and the reason my son, an NUS 2ndupper LLB lawyer refused to practise here but left to study/work in NewYork 7 years ago. Damn LKY! I pray daily for him to drop dead which should
be soon after Howe Yoon Chong yesterday.