Ladies and Gentlemen,
I was in prison in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore from Sept 20, 2008 to Nov 20, 2008 for writing a blog post criticizing Singapore's Judge Belinda Ang for acting no better than an agent of Lee Kuan Yew and his son while presiding over the assessment of damages hearing from May 26, to May 28, 2008 in the case of Lee Kuan Yew against Dr. Chee Soon Juan.
While in prison, I read the book, "All the Shah's Men" by Kinzer. An excellent book which I strongly recommend. It describes how in 1953, the British and Americans conspired to depose a lawfully elected Prime Minister of Iran, Mohammad Mossadeq because he nationalized the prize of the British in Iran, the Anglo Iranian Oil company, with the excuse that if he was not deposed and replaced with the pro West Mohammed Reza Shah, the Russians will occupy Iran.
The methods used by the American CIA are almost identical to those of Lee Kuan Yew. For instance, the Americans discredited Mossadeq by printing and publishing articles discrediting him in Iran, calling him an unbeliever, a communist and even a Jew. Then they used corrupt judges to convict anyone with sympathies for Mossadeq with false charges. People who were sympathetic to Mossadeq were dismissed from their posts. They managed to get almost everyone in the Parliament to support their policies and to condemn Mossadeq. Finally they managed to get the Shah to sign fermans, a sort of edict, ordering Mossadeq to step down, which he did, and promptly replaced by the British and American puppet, the Shah of Iran.
These tactics of 1953 Iran are almost identical to those of Lee in 2008 except that it varies in degree only. But it should be clear to anyone that such dirty tactics of 1953 Iran cannot work in modern day Singapore of 2008, for the simple reason that today, we have the Internet. In 1953, when newspapers containing these falsities against Mossadeq, that were in fact written in Washington and London appeared the next day in Tehran, appearing as if they were written there, the people had no way of knowing otherwise. Without the Internet, they believed every lie put out to them in these smear sheets. The people being illiterate and ignorant had no way to disbelieve the false convictions by the false courts convicting Mossadeq's supporters.
But Lee today still uses these same dirty tactics to stay in power. He uses his courts as a weapon to destroy his political opponents from Jeyaretnam in the 60s to Dr. Chee in 2008. Yet he demands that everyone respect the legal system under pain of imprisonment and impoverishment. This is an untenable situation for him. Every Singaporean today, unless he is blind, is well aware through the series of well publicized political cases that there is no rule of law in Singapore. Yet he demands that people not say it as it is. What is left for Lee is one thing and one thing alone. Fear. His only tool is to instill fear throughout the people to silence them.
As for the state controlled media and the press, it is exactly the same as 1953 Iran. The papers on a daily basis call Dr. Chee a liar, a cheat and what not. But today, nobody believes a thing written in the Singapore press about Lee's critics. Today they have access to he Internet. They can read outside publications which tell a completely different story about Lee's critics. At they end of the day, no one believes the state controlled press of Singapore which demonizes Lee's opponents on a daily basis. In desperation to continue singing the same tune, Lee takes the foreign press to court to shut them up. But whether they are shut up or not, in the end, the effect on Singaporeans is just the opposite. All the more they disbelieve Lee and believe that the truth lies in his victims, not with Lee.
What is left is one thing and one thing alone. Fear. Fear to criticize. Fear to complain. Fear to speak your mind. You end up being a skilled exponent of "doublespeak" of Orwell's 1984. That is to say something when you believe something else. To say that Singapore has the rule of law, when you know it does not. To say that Dr. Chee is a crook, when you know he isn't.
I cannot see how this place can go on like this for long. The educated have already seen the dishonesty in this whole thing. So they pack up and leave for the west, particularly for Australia. They can afford to leave. They are English educated with tertiary education. They can go anywhere they want, so they leave.
The average man without a tertiary education may not see this, and so he may stay. But such citizens are not the essential workforce that Singapore needs. What they need is the brains for leadership. But alas, the brains know the truth and the truth is not conducive to Lee Kuan Yew.
I do not believe that Singapore can be governed this day and age by fear alone. As you can see, the government comes down very hard on critics by imprisoning them, impoverishing them and bankrupting them. Yet all this punishment is failing to deter more and more young men from coming out and openly condemning this dictatorial regime.
What will happen is this. As Lee finds that his critics increase in number, he will increase the punishments meted out to them. But I cannot see this working for him. In the end he will alienate even more Singaporeans to a point where they will not take this lying down and then there must be change. It is inevitable.
He has to know that 1953 colonial tactics cannot work in 2008 Singapore. The good news is, he does not appear to know this.
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