Saturday, January 5, 2008

Singapore's precarious political future.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On the question of Singapore’s future, after Mr. Lee Kuan Yew's death, are we to expect things to continue as they do now? Or are we heading into uncharted territory? Political upheaval? Mass unrest? Turmoil? I shudder to think. Anything is possible. The present is the following.

Singapore was meant to be a parliamentary democracy. At least that is what I thought. Most people thought the same.

But from 1966 to 1981, Singapore had one party rule. Every Member of Parliament was PAP. This was not because all opposition politicians were bad. It was because by all manner of dirty tricks Lee Kuan Yew ensured that only they could form the government. Lee Kuan Yew did it by befriending every organ, pillar of government. The press, the police, the judges, the civil service; all were playing the PAP tune.

But although Lee's purpose all along was to perpetuate one party rule, he managed to hoodwink the world; when the Internet and mass communication is not what it is today; that he won all elections freely and fairly. A complete lie of course, but the world bought it, because they did not know any better.

In 1981, there was of course Jeyaretnam who entered Parliament for the first time. An opposition MP. Since Jeyaretnam was the genuine product, that is a true politician wanting to better the people's interests, he had to be removed. It went against Lee's plan of a one party state. So the same dirty tricks again. Illegal court judgments and awards for defamation of character and promptly removed.

In more recent years, we have Workers Party Low Thia Khiang and SDA Chiam See Tong, with Sylvia Lim an NMP. But these 3 are still in Parliament. Lee has not and will not remove them. Reason being that this one party state Singapore is beginning to be an embarrassment. With the Internet and global information passing at lightning speed, the world has slowly come to know what Singapore really is! A one party dictatorship!

So to reduce the impact of this glaring embarrassment, they would like some opposition in Parliament. But mind you, not the real opposition in the character of Jeyaretnam. But a more docile and reluctant kind. The kind that will just ask questions in Parliament and go home. Lee Kuan Yew is comfortable with these sort of pseudo PAP Members of Parliament such as Low Thia Khiang. In fact, I have heard from reliable sources that Lee is hoping that more like Low Thia Khiang will stand for Parliament. These in fact further the PAP cause by giving a veneer of legitimacy to Lee Kuan Yew's one party state.

So what is the Lee Administration anyway? How do we classify it? The Chinese Communist government comes to mind. In China, there is only one party. The Communist Party. Political aspirants will contest elections under this party. They then enter the Chinese Parliament, or whatever it is called. The Chinese Parliament in intervals of 4 or 5 years decide among themselves who is going to hold office. And these chosen men and women then legislate and govern the country. And the people obey.

Singapore is no different under Lee Kuan Yew's 40 years of rule. Political aspirants do well in school and join the Peoples Action Party. They are fielded in elections. But one difference from the Chinese is that Lee Kuan Yew is dishonest. Unlike the Chinese who confess that they are a one party state, Lee lies. He tells Singaporeans that there is going to be free and fair elections. But nothing of the sort. By hook or crook, the political opposition loses. The PAP candidate wins and his political career begins. Entirely the same as Communist China.

During the last 40 years of his rule, Lee deliberately destroyed the pillars of government. Destroyed their credibility and respect. Courts politicized. Civil Service politicized. Every organ of government politicized, discredited and their reputations tarnished. No right minded citizen will ever believe that he is going to get justice if the government is the opponent. Singaporeans only have scorn and derision for their courts, the civil service and everything else in the government. These government organs have been over the years to today, become the subject of odium ridicule and contempt.

The people of Singapore are totally unlike China. Firstly, they have English. Secondly, even if they were duped with a one party state, at least they were told they had democracy. Children in Singapore are made to say the pledge which states it is a democratic society. So it is difficult, now to tell them that they should forever live under a dictatorship.

The question is, when Lee Kuan Yew dies, what will happen. Are the people going to simply accept Lee junior as the inevitable replacement for his father; and obey him henceforth until he dies? Or will someone else like Dr. Balakrishnan come along and say that we should worship him henceforth. Lee Kuan Yew had a colorful, although despised history. He was the man at the helm since independence. No matter what any critics may say, he cannot be simply dismissed. So, Singaporeans may have tolerated him till today, under the circumstances.

But what about his son, on his death? Are they going to loyally and obediently kneel and accept all his orders? What right has he got to be king? He was not there in 1959 when Singapore was given partial independence from the Crown? There lies the problem.

And what about Francis Seow? What about Tang Liang Hong? Well, what about JB Jeyaretnam? Were these people not unjustly kept away from parliament? Will they be permitted to return and challenge elections anew?

And if elections are held again, and if JB Jeyaretnam wins and forms the government, or if Dr. Chee wins and forms the government, will they demand that all illegal court judgments be reversed. Meaning the return of the millions of dollars that Jeyaretnam paid in unjust court awards. The return of the millions taken from Tang Liang Hong when he was thrown out of Singapore? And what are the present ministers, including Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan to do? Will they be made to return the millions which they have unjustly paid themselves in salaries, or rather, theft?

And what about the foreign interests in Singapore. The American interests? The European interests? If there is upheaval, will their investments be ruined?

If the American CIA and the Europeans are reading this, this is what I see. Singapore was built in a short time. Relatively 40 years. It will take much less time for it to collapse. It may be almost overnight. Other than tourism banking and oil refining, there is nothing else. This by the way reminds me of the Pacific Island of Nauru. When the phosphate ran out, there was nothing much left. Today it's only industry is the running of the refugee camp in Nauru for Australia. In the 80s, Nauru had the highest per capita income in the world. Today it hit rock bottom. Nauru should be a lesson to Singaporeans.

The Americans are backing the wrong horse with the Lee Kuan Yew Administration. Singapore does not have a system in place for smooth political transition. So far, it was just obeying one man. But this is not the system laid in law. In law it is supposed to be democratic. In reality, it is dictatorship. So there is confusion. How will power transfer smoothly and peacefully to another government? Or will it be to another person? And if so, are the people going to accept it?

I fear for the future, with Lee Kuan Yew in his 84th year. The ground is not conducive for the Lee Kuan Yew. The people now are dead against this government. With their million dollar salaries. With taxi drivers suffering. With one third of the people in poverty. With no retirement savings or money. It is going to be hard for the people just to accept another and go on as before.

There is no established political system for any smooth transition of power. This is because the constitution says one thing and Lee Kuan Yew does another. The foundations of the edifice are fragile. It is rotten down below. It cannot last.

The Americans should now back another horse. And by this, I mean democracy. The Americans and the Europeans should back democracy. If they want their assets in Singapore to remain secure. And if they want Singapore to remain in the American and European interest.

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

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the Godfather movies? When Marlon Brando, the first Mafia Godfather died, his youngest son portrayed by Al Pacino took over immediately and then all the cronies lined up to kiss his hands to vow loyalty to the new Godfather.Similarly when old LKY dies, the PAP Ministers will line up and bow to LHL to show their loyalty.Provided of course cancer-stricken LHL does not kaput first.If he does, then LKY may call upon LHY (2nd son)to take over via a rigged GE. It will happen, mark my words!Bloody Lees think they own S'pore!SOBs!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Nair,

Congratulations to you for your courage and integrity for telling the world the truth of what is happening in Singapore. The truth of this 'paradise' island is grim and the future unclear. Cost of living is rising rapidly but the wages remain stagnant. I have made up my mind to migrate with my young family. I am going to be a father soon and I have no intention for my son to waste 2 years of my life serving a meaningless 'NS' like I did. If there is a war, God forbid that he should bleed for the kleptocratic Lee regime. I am migrating to USA and when I reach there, I believe I can discard this feeling of servitude and fear and raise my son to be a good man, a thinking man who believes that nothing is more important than freedom.

I would also need your advice on how to apply for US citizenships for my family and I. What are the required criteria and time-line for it. How can I get my hard earned CPF before it is squandered by Lees and cronies?
Warmest Regards,

Orang Kampung said...

Dear Mr. Nair,

I simply love everything you made here. Keep up the good work. Hopefully more people will realize this and bring real democracy to Singapore - a homeland i'm starting to get disgusted with. Sigh...

Bethengoh said...

anon 2:37,
why should they kiss the ass of LHL who are so useless and incompetent. The story of Godfather is the story of life and death where gun and violence is the game, and that is the reason why the gangster dynasty can survive through fear. But time has changed, violence is no longer the game in many developed country.

Singapore ? Not unless, they resort to violence that the ministers will bow and lick the ass of the useless LHL and his family.

I will tell you what happened.
When suddenly LKY dies, all the GLC companies will gradually go fully privatised to prevent been scrutinized by the public. Each ministers will probably quit their post and manage the company instead if the whole government get audit, and most will take the chance to migrate to prevent been investigate and our president will just be the first to do so.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nair

Just now i read a lettter from you to Our chairman Robert Chandran. Rob chandran is no more with us now. He passed away on Jan 7th 2008 from injuries sustained when a helicopter he was traveling in crashed in the Riau Province of Indonesia.. he was really a great person.
Let us pray for his family so that they have the strength to deal with the loss.

Gopalan Nair said...

I am sorry to hear of the death of Mr. Robert Chandran. May he rest in peace.

Gopalan Nair