Saturday, January 17, 2009

Singapore. The right to live normal lives.

Readers of this blog who are unfamiliar with the goings on in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore, may think reading the comments that there are many who think Singapore is a democracy based on the rule of law. The reader is warned that they may be Singapore government employees whose job is to discredit those who criticize Lee Kuan Yew's authoritarian rule. Please use your discretion as to how much weight you will give these comments.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Unlike normal people all over the world, Singaporeans are unable to express themselves openly. The Lee Kuan Yew government have laws in place to prevent anyone ever openly challenging them. Laws prohibit public speaking and public assembly. With the one party state, the government can enact any legislation, any law, any policy they want. Regardless how you may feel, how much you suffer, you have to suffer in silence.

This sort of a life is fit only for caged animals. Not human beings. How could you, as human beings, accept to live such lives? Why do you do it? Why do you suffer in silence?

Public Entertainments Act, an odd name for activities totally unrelated to entertainment, requires those wishing to speak in public or assemble in public to obtain prior permission from the Singapore Police. In the application, you have to state your reasons, and if it happens to be relating to criticism of government policies or laws, it is automatically denied. What this means is that regardless of what Lee Kuan Yew's government does to you, with his one party rule, there is no avenue available to you to publicly express your dissatisfaction. No avenue open to you to try to persuade them to change their policies.

There are 2 opposition members out of 82 government members in Parliament. These 2 opposition members have been bought over by Lee Kuan Yew and therefore they are just like the other 82 members who only sing Lee Kuan Yew's song. They cannot help the people.

Lee Kuan Yew's one party state has citizen consultation sessions every week in housing estates for people to consult their members of Parliament with their issues. But these elected representatives are not truly representative of their constituents. The parliamentary elections are rigged in such a way that no one truly representative of their people can ever win political office. They are immediately sued, charged in court with trumped up charges and eliminated, leaving only Lee Kuan Yew's agents as political candidates. They are not responsible to the people. Their job is only to please Lee Kuan Yew and his government. In return these government lackeys, pretending to be politicians are rewarded handsomely.

When you cannot seek redress from your elected representatives, and when you have no other means to express your opposition to government laws and policies, there is nothing you can do but to suffer in silence.

With Singapore press entirely owned and controlled by the state, the true grievances of the people are kept under wraps; with the people not knowing what suffering their fellow citizens endure. The papers which serve Lee Kuan Yew and his government do not serve the people. The people are kept unaware of the dire reality on the ground.

The police are used to arrest and prosecute anyone who dares challenge these unjust laws. The police have turned out to be the enemy of the people. The people both fear and hate the police, who see them as instruments of Lee Kuan Yew to suppress their fundamental human rights.

Recently Lee Kuan Yew has stepped up his repression. His Attorney General whose job is to protect and preserve Lee Kuan Yew's rule has arrested more and more people who have challenged these unjust laws. They have been convicted and sent to jail for speaking or assembling in public. Yesterday, the Minister for Home Affairs has announced that the laws against civil disobedience are going to be tightened even further. One such new law will permit the police to arrest possible peaceful protesters even before they begin their protest. Exactly how this will be done is not explained but a guess would be for the police to enter people's homes or to arrest them en route to the protest location, when intelligence of a possible protest is received. In tandem, I expect the punishments to become harsher with lengthy jail terms and possible caning for protesters.

These unjust laws have permitted the Lee Kuan Yew administration to continue so far through fear. For instance Singapore law requires a person to be caned, a very cruel and excruciatingly painful punishment, for those who put up posters or slogans on walls or other surfaces. The idea is to prevent citizens from venting their anger by writing slogans such as "Down with Lee Kuan Yew". That is why, unlike any other normal country, a visitor never sees any anti government signs or posters in Singapore. Whereas, the government posters and signs are all over the country. Lee Kuan Yew and his government are allowed to do it. Whereas you as a private citizen cannot. It is one law for Lee and his government. Another law for you.

It is like Lee Kuan Yew, saying to you, "You shut up and do your work, or else".

Have you ever thought to yourself that you are taxpayers? Don't you realize that it is your money that goes to pay this man Lee Kuan Yew and all his minions the outrageous salary, or theft, of $3.7 million each a year. And since it is your money that pays them, are they not accountable to you? Why is it then, that you are not allowed to peacefully protest your grievances?

The people are suffering in many ways. Jobs are being lost, yet the government does not help those in need, but at the same time, these ministers continue to pay themselves these outrageous salaries, which I call call theft. People are not being permitted to draw on their retirement savings, because they have none. Astronomical rents for government housing has depleted their savings from the fund. The government refuses to say how much money they have as assets. The people are not told how of the assets is being siphoned off and stolen by these ministers. Old people in their 80s are forced to work at food stalls cleaning tables when they should be given help to retire in dignity. Ang Pao's, or money handouts are being given only to selected friends and relatives of those in power and the truly needy do not get help if they are not politically connected.

And to top it all, if you print or publish anything against these injustices, Lee Kuan Yew's corrupt judges find you guilty of defaming his character, resulting in your having to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to him, and not being able to pay, you are bankrupted.

Never mind the country for a moment. Just being humans, you should not tolerate this. Not for yourselves and not for your children. These laws are wrong. They prevent you from living normal lives. There is no pleasure in living lives this way. It is not good for your soul.

Singapore is now effectively a police state. Anyone can be arrested anytime for any reason. The police are permitted to get away with anything, as long as it is on the orders of Lee Kuan Yew and his government. This situation is no different from Burma where the police are permitted to arrest anyone suspected of opposition to the military junta. The police remain immune from prosecution for their actions as along as it is done at the behest of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.

I ask Singapore policemen and women to stop hurting their fellow citizens by obeying these unjust laws and orders. Refuse to obey. Tell Lee Kuan Yew that as a human being and a police officer, you are not prepared to victimize your fellow citizens. Singaporeans who have friends in the dreaded Singapore Police Force should tell them they are doing wrong. It is wrong to unjustly hurt your fellow citizen merely because he holds contrary opinions.

If you have friends who are judges, tell them the same thing. Stop abusing the law to please Lee
Kuan Yew.

And as for the people, stand up and say no to these unjust laws. Stand your ground. Break these unjust laws. They have no legal basis and are unconstitutional. You cannot allow Lee to get away with this anymore.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914
Email: nair.gopalan@yahoo.com
Blog: http://singaporedissident.blogspot.com/

Your letters are welcome. We reserve the right to publish your letters. Please Email your letters to nair.gopalan@yahoo.com And if you like what I write, please tell your friends. You will be helping democracy by distributing this widely. This blog not only gives information, it dispels government propaganda put out by this dictatorial regime.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Gopalan,

Hope you have recovered from your Singapore nightmare.

This year 2009, we have hope.

Because Wall Street finally bought themselves to their knees.

Because US will have a new president in a few days - and this president is not afraid to say that he will make a few mistakes.

Because the US is going through tough time it has brought itself into - But I trust the Americans will get out of the economic crisis.

But I am less hopeful for Singapore. Same irrelevant leaders, same draconic laws, same fear-mongering shitty times newspapers, a lot more propaganda and desperate people needing help but not getting them.

You hsve to be away from Singapore to see just how bleak Singapore's future is under this PAP regime.

Anonymous said...

Talking about the newspapers being controlled, I came back from a flight today from Hong Kong and overheard an English woman who was sitting behind me talking to another passenger seated next to her saying that The Straits Times' reporting is a propaganda and it is moving backwards. She said that all the articles in there are a joke. She used to work in an advertising firm in South Africa as well as in a bank in Hong Kong. Hearing such a comment from a foreigner really tells us something? Could there be any truths in it?

Siddharth Nair said...

What is your take on the progress-at-the-cost-of-civil-liberties argument?

It is something we hear a lot about here...

Anonymous said...

I think it is true that you've to be away from Singapore to see the bigger and clearer picture of the whole government and how it is run. On many many occasions when I took a taxi, almost all the drivers always had nothing good to say about our government. There must be certain truths in it or else its citizens won't be so unhappy over the many issues. Just like today when an Indian-Muslim SMART taxi driver told me that his brother who worked for SIA as a senior traffic controller for 35 years decided to quit and work in Dubai. He said the promotion was hard to come by and the pay was low there. Of course when an offer came from Dubai he couldn't resist and he has been working there for the last 5 years. Then once, our dear MM and his entourage visited Dubai and he happened to be questioned by him. The driver went on to say that his brother told him that the MM's way of questioning was like instilling fear in him. He asked questions in a stern manner like, "you've been working in SIA for the last 35 years, why did you quit?!" and "you're living in a HDB maisonette, left for Dubai to work and brought your family along, rented your flat and make money? Why?!". His brother was dumb-founded for awhile before answering that he was looking for a greener pasture! I can imagine his fear at that moment. Well I thought our government has always asked us to upgrade ourselves isn't it? Just because the driver's brother was working in a government-owned SIA before, he had to be questioned this way or he has no right to decided on his own career? *shrug*

Honestly I have been reading all your blogs and many articles sounded so familiar and they are really eye-openers for me. I hesitated to read everything at first but when I compared what were written in here and the comment about The Straits Times being a propaganda made by the passenger who seated behind me on a recent flight, it really shed some lights about our government's way of handling the many situations. Luckily for me, I am single and I have decided to work in China now because I find that it is meaningless to continue working and staying here as a citizen.

I like what our SM Goh commented recently about dipping into our national reserves, "And we've always said, the reserves are for a rainy day. So if this is not a rainy day, I don't know what is a rainy day..."

Lotus Blossom said...

I'll read more and post more in a few days, but I just wanted to add my 2 cents for now: What the people are saying on this blog is true and fully correct. I have experienced it myself. I am an American who just escaped Singapore, and I will never return there. My book regarding the matter is titled The Great Escape and I will demonstrate how careful you better be if you are traveling through that country. You need not commit a crime to end up in a position where you are fighting for your life while your embassy and every person in and outside of Singapore is begging the question: On what grounds are you attempting to detain this person? What grounds? What cause? What law? They can and will avoid answering those questions and don't think you might have one single logical right.