Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Singapore. A prison state.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singaporeans are in truth prisoners in their own country. The Chief Superintendent of this prison is Lee Kuan Yew, with his son, the Prime Minister together with his other ministers being senior prison wardens.

This category includes the High Court judges, senior civil servants, teachers and other senior government officials. The normal Joe Bloke is just a prisoner. The only difference between the regular prison and the Republic of Singapore is the fact that you cannot escape from a normal prison. You can from Singapore if you want. And that is exactly what many do by emigrating to reside permanently in other countries. Many are unable to escape because they either lack the skills that other countries need or because they are unwilling to accept the rigors inherent in moving.

I was just looking at the index of country democracy listings on Wikipedia. Please click on . You will see that Singapore is one step below Albania! It is 84th down on the list with Albania and Bolivia more democratic and Madagascar and Lebanon less democratic than Singapore. Despite Lee Kuan Yew, the strongman or the Chief Prison Warden, claiming Singapore to be first world country, it is truly much worse than the worst third world countries in the world, in spite of the skyscrapers at Raffles Place!

In a normal prison, prisoners cannot complain, since even if you did, it is not going to make a whole world of difference. Furthermore all reading material in prisons are monitored and censored. Exactly the same in Singapore. All newspapers and media are owned by Singapore Press Holdings which is fully owned and operated by Lee Kuan Yew and his government. Singaporeans have no access to independent news. They can purchase foreign newspapers but they usually do not cover domestic issues. You are left with government censored information, just as the prisoner in San Quentin, California serving a life sentence, is left with censored mail.

Most people in Singapore have jobs. In a normal prison, the prisoners are given jobs in the prison laundry, the prison bakery and other work that prisoners can do. This the prison administration ensures. But prisoners in a prison are unable to bargain for higher wages. Prisons do not have workers unions. A prisoner has no choice but to accept the work and the meager pay that is dished out. No difference at all for Singaporeans. Singaporeans have to work to feed their families. But just as the prisoners in San Quentin Penitentiary, they cannot negotiate their wages. On the surface, there are such things as unions in Singapore but they exist in name only. In fact the workers unions in Singapore represent the employers and the Singapore government; not the workers. Singaporean workers, just as any other normal prisoners, are powerless and unrepresented.

Prisons do not permit prisoners to exercise fundamental rights such as free speech and expression and the right to free assembly. If you protest or start making speeches that the prison wardens in San Quentin do not want to hear, you will probably be sent to solitary confinement and beaten up. Just like San Quentin, Singapore too does not permit the right to free speech and assembly. If you did you will be charged in court and a Singapore judge will fine you. If you do not pay, you will end up in prison. In fact this punishing activity is now happening as we speak. Dr. Chee Soon Juan of the Singapore Democratic Party has recently, once again been convicted for making a public speech. He will be sentenced on May 30, 2008 by Judge Jusvinder Kaur of the Subordinate Courts. He will be sent off to jail again.

In prison, if you criticize the chief warden, you will be meted out additional punishment which usually is solitary confinement. In Singapore if you criticize Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, you will be sued for defamation of character and a judge will order you to pay Lee Kuan Yew one million Singapore dollars and not being able to pay, you will be bankrupted. Which means you will have no money to feed yourself and neither will your family. You will starve.

As a prisoner in a normal prison, you will not be able to complain on how much the wardens receive in wages. If you did, you will be punished and you will be thrown into solitary. In Singapore just as if you were a prisoner in San Quentin, you are disallowed from complaining that Mr. Lee Kuan Yew pays himself $3.7 million a year, a bribe and corruption, which is a fact. If you criticized, you will be again sued and another one million dollars will be awarded against you, and failing to pay, you will be bankrupted multiple times. How one bankruptcy as opposed to multiple bankruptcies are different I am unable to tell. In any case, even if Hinduism were true and you will in fact be born again, it is unlikely that you will ever be able to pay Mr. Lee Kuan Yew these several millions.

In prison, wherever you go, you are watched. There are monitors and cameras all over the prison looking out at every action of yours. No difference in Singapore. Intelligence officers are all over the place keeping a lookout at whatever you do and keeping record of each movement. If you criticize, your ability to earn a living is immediately terminated.

In prison, it is best to keep a low profile. The less you are seen, it is better. Being an extrovert is not a good practice in prison. The best way to live in prison is to be friendly to everybody and do your work well. This will mean the prisoner receiving a certificate of good conduct and the jail time reduced for good behavior. Same in the Republic of Singapore. It is not a good idea to be conspicuous. A nail that is sticking out will be hammered in, is the correct aphorism. That is why you see most Singaporeans have nothing much to say about anything. They do their work and go home, unobtrusive and unnoticed. Just like the prisoner in San Quentin who just wants to be left alone.

In one sense, Singaporeans are even worse off than any normal prisoner. In a normal prison, the prison wardens are not permitted to keep all the profits from the wok done by their prisoners. In Singapore Lee Kuan Yew and his friends keep all the profits for themselves. And if any Singaporean complains, he will sue you and make you a bankrupt the next minute.

With more and more people demanding their normal humanity and refusing to live like prisoners, Singapore is suffering from a brain drain. As a result Singapore Airlines and other major companies are finding it increasingly difficult to operate efficiently. Worrying about his own future, Lee Kuan Yew has gone to other normal countries such as Australia trying to persuade Singaporeans to return to the prison island of Singapore. Obviously they are refusing to come back. It should be no surprise to anyone. Why should they return to Singapore, a prison, when they have successfully managed to escape?

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

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