Ladies and Gentlemen,
This blog Singapore Dissident has been in existence for more than a year. During this time, its readership has increased exponentially. You will recall that Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, when asked what he thought about blogs had dismissed them as ineffective. I still remember his exact words. Blogs he said "had a readership of one! The author". An arrogant man and an arrogant statement. Just as his other PAP arrogance.
Well, Mr. Balakrishnan, you could not have been further from the truth. This blog has up till now, over 5,000 hits only on my profile in just one year. In other words, people who read the blog for the first time, may look at the profile. At this rate, the regular readers who do not have the need to look at the profile may be perhaps 50,000. I have no means to know the exact number since only profile views are published. This figure is indeed encouraging. Singapore Dissident is indeed widely and regularly read. Thank you.
And when I began this blog, I told myself that I cannot be incognito, under a disguise. If a man wishes to say something, he should have the courage to show his face. What sort of a man is that if he makes speeches hiding his face in a mask!
So it is as you see. I am Gopalan Nair. My face, my address and contact is fully disclosed. And I will say what is in my mind. It gives me great pleasure and satisfaction to do it this way.
There are thousands of other bloggers who share my views about Singapore. Like me, they are disgusted at this dictatorial regime of Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore. They consider him, like me, no better than a thief who steals $3.7 million each year for each person. They are angry at the lack of human rights. At the persecution of political dissenters. So like me, they write, but with one difference. Out of fear, they prefer to remain in disguise. They use names such as Robin Hood or Botakbotak for their blogs. It is sad to see this. I am sure deep in their hearts, they deeply wish if only they could identify themselves. But alas, they are in a grip of fear. Since I am not a doctor or psychiatrist, I cannot say this with certainty, but personally I think this all consuming pent up fear is not only bad for them mentally but also physically.
I think this blog, like others who try to expose the tomfoolery of Lee Kuan Yew is doing a tremendous amount of good for Singapore. For one thing, they tend to educate Singaporeans when the government tries to keep them in ignorance. I have been writing a lot about the fundamental human rights that people have, but which is denied to Singaporeans. I have been writing about the need for a free press. The right to free speech and expression. Telling people that the first thing needed for your advancement is your liberty. Without it, you have no future.
It is true that I am now an American Citizen. But that does not prevent me from writing about Singapore. I was born there. My birthright remains. No one can stop me from writing.
Secondly simply because I write from California does not mean I am entirely safe. As you know the Russian recently who had criticized Yeltzin from London had been murdered in London by poisoning. In 1979, while I was in London, the Bulgarian correspondent at the BBC English language section was murdered while crossing London Bridge by someone who stuck an umbrella into him, tipped with poison. Well Lee Kuan Yew may one day decide enough is enough and finish me off in California. Furthermore, I come to Singapore almost twice a year travelling on an American passport. They could stop me in Changi, arrest me and do whatever they want. These are dangers that I face by criticizing Lee Kuan Yew. But none of this scares me. There is a saying in Gurkhali which goes like this "A brave man dies only once. A coward dies many times over".
I believe my blog is doing a tremendous amount of good. For one thing, the educated who have been reading my blog has resulted in increased rates of emigration among them, particularly to Australia. They can see that Singapore is nothing more than a tiny island with a dictator and his son strutting around as if they own the place. This is not the first world country they want to live in, so they leave. My blog helps them in their decision to leave. My blog has been instrumental for the increase in brain drain. This is hurting the Lee Regime. There is not enough people to run the place.
My readership of my blog has increased in monumental numbers thereby spreading the message that the Lee Administration is bad for Singapore. The government is aware of the danger of such mass dissemination of critical information. As you know in the past, as soon as any person wrote anything critical, the government pounced on them with full force with defamation action, criminal charges, the works. The reason is quite obvious. Just one piece of critical writing against the government can result in serious damage to the government, as news tends to spread like wild fire. But now the tables have turned. Lee Kuan Yew has not sued me. He cannot because he knows he will lose. The truth is on my side, not his.
Blogging is indeed a very powerful tool. I am glad I have been able to use it.
So this is my message to all. If you are not yet a blogger, become one. Keep writing so that your message spreads long and wide. The more it spreads, the more Lee Kuan Yew is in trouble. And if possible, identify yourselves. Tell them who you are and where you are. This will send an even stronger message to these tyrants by showing you are not afraid.
If you are within Singapore and afraid to show your face, it is understandable. But there are thousands of Singaporeans in Australia New Zealand UK and all over the world who left Singapore for the very reasons why I left. Their positions are no different than mine. They too can show this dictatorship a piece of their mind. They are better able like myself to blog with their identities public. Yes they may be killed by a Singapore hit man but as far as I know, Francis Seow is still alive and kicking. So is Tang Liang Hong.
So if you are not yet a blogger, join the family. And tell this Lee Kuan Yew that he may be able to silence his citizens within that island, but he cannot silence everyone.
Such blogging causes massive emigration from Singapore, warns foreigners about the true political state of Singapore thus preventing good immigrants making Singapore their home, adversely affects Singapore's international trade by revealing the lack of rule of law in Singapore, makes Singaporeans willing to publicly protest and demonstrate against this regime, discourages many European companies from investing in Singapore because of the lack of human rights. Blogs such as this reveals to foreigners in Singapore the truth about Singapore which they take back with them to their countries where the reputation of Singapore is ruined at their places.
Blogging is hurting the Lee Administration. Please join me in hurting them further. Become a blogger. A public one at that.
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