Friday, February 20, 2009

The middle finger

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,

Except to my friends, I have not publicly mentioned this. Now I will say it. It is about my middle finger.

The trial which I attended in Singapore which got me into trouble, Lee Kuan Yew vs Dr. Chee Soon Juan before Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean took place in the Singapore High Court from May 26, 2008 to May 28, 2008. The courtroom is relatively small. The well of the court is separated from the public gallery by a full glass panel extending from the ground to the ceiling. There were about 5 rows of benches in it. On the 2nd day, May 27, 2008, I was seated on the 2nd row, slightly towards the end. The first row was reserved for newspapermen.

On May 27, 2008, about midday, Lee Kuan Yew strolled into the well of the court through the door, accompanied by about 15 men in civilian clothes each with a badge or identification hanging from his neck. The judge made no attempt to ask who the men accompanying Lee Kuan Yew were, which we later found out were bodyguards. The judge, as I had said earlier was behaving as if Lee Kuan Yew owned that courtroom and her as well. For the shameful manner in which this judge conducted the proceedings, please refer to my earlier blog Singapore. Judge Belinda Ang's Kangaroo Court of May 29, 2008.

Naturally Dr. Chee Soon Juan rose to protest at the judge's total neglect to question who all these 15 men accompanying Singapore's strongman, Lee Kuan Yew were, and what business they had in court, when only yesterday, this same judge took serious issue with Dr. Chee Soon Juan's assistants being present in court, namely Violet Netto a lawyer, Gandhi Ambalam, Chairman of SDP and John Tan, Assistant Secretary General of the SDP. Only after a prolonged questioning of Dr. Chee Soon Juan did the judge finally permit these assistants to be present for the purpose of taking notes and carrying out other errands.

Since Lee Kuan Yew's son was still being cross examined by Dr. Chee Soon Juan, Mr. Davinder Singh, his counsel asked permission for Lee Kuan Yew to remain in court while his son was testifying. This was wrong since these are separate plaintiffs; if one can listen to the testimony of the other, it is easy to tailor one's evidence to suit oneself. Common sense would tell you that the other plaintiff should not not be in court listening to the other's evidence. Dr. Chee objected of course, but you rightly guessed what this judge decided. Of course she permitted Lee Kuan Yew to remain and listen to his son's testimony, before he himself testified.

Now I come to my middle finger. When Lee Kuan Yew came in, he was directed to sit at the back, with these 15 men seated behind him. Sometime during the proceedings there was a break, when the 86 year old Lee Kuan Yew got up and turned around to look at the people in the gallery. When he looked at me, I stuck up my right middle finger at him. For a moment, he appeared unsure of my action, but I kept my middle finger up at him, clearly mocking him. I am sure he saw it, but after a fleeting moment, pretended as if he never did.

True, lawyers, or anyone else for that matter, should not be going around sticking up their middle fingers at others. But that was an occasion when I had an irresistible impulse to do exactly that. I had to show the man what I thought of him.

Was I arrested because I wrote a blog post criticizing this Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean or was was it because I stuck up my middle finger at him? We will never know would we, in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.

You see, in Australia, if I had passed Kevin Rudd on the street and stuck my little finger at him, he probably would have done the same to me, and we would perhaps have had a drink of 4x beer together, or whatever else they drink in Australia. No big deal sticking the finger at anyone. But of course that is a democracy. In Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore, you are almost expected to prostrate and crawl at his feet if he sets eyes on you, which is not very often these days.

Well, I am a human being and I have my rights, and I will stick my finger when I want.

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/

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15 comments:

Wiki pee'd here said...

Hahaha, well done, Gopalan. An awful lot of people would love to give him a lot more than the finger which is why he's surrounded by a phalanx of goons wherever he goes. That's the high price he pays every single day for choosing that citizens fear rather than love him. After the incident of the MP being set ablaze by a disgruntled taxi-driver, the boot is probably now on the other foot as far as fear goes. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.

Making an obscene gesture might easily lead to arrest and a fine on some pretext or other in this paradise of a police state. However, unhappy Singaporeans could do worse than take a leaf from the book of protestors in other countries where legitimate peaceful protest is also suppressed.

That is, by deliberately and ostentatiously turning their backs on their great leaders, en masse, whenever they appear in public, an unmistakeable insult will be delivered which is not easy to prosecute in law. Hopefully, bolder ones would take the chance to drop their trousers while pretending to be picking up a pencil at the same time.

I wonder if the PAP would then risk ridicule and have the nerve to pass a law making it an offence to have your back to a minister?

Anonymous said...

Beyond doubt, you were arrested solely for showing LKY your middle finger.

Just hope that I have the same opportunity myself.

Anonymous said...

In free countries where personal opinions & expressions are a right and can create sentiments requiring one to constantly stand up to scrutiny. For those who pass the scrutiny test, they are often endeared to the people. It's a battle well fought and won. That's freedom. That's integrity. That's substance. In Singapore, however, the elected leaders choose not to be put up to scrutiny or criticisms of any sort. In the eyes of the public, they adopt the position and stature similar to that of the king of Thailand whom no ill words or gestures can be hurled at. To the common law abiding Singaporean, these leaders while claiming to be under the law are above the law as evidences have shown. If there's any revelation that have come out of the Chee Soon Juan cross examinations with LKY, it has exposed the truth on the supposed impartiality and independence of the Singapore judiciary and nailed the truth on who really owns Singapore. How frighteningly telling. Shanmugam can bark on upholding the integrity of his judiciary. But we all know that's a load of hypocritical crap. The people have seen already. Keep up the good work Gopalan. Kep revealing. Keep reminding. Keep hammering. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

another beacon of hope....in a sea of opression terrorized by the pirate "lee conned you".....and his butch of scurvy "Pompous Ass-licking Pigs"........


thank you Gopalan Nair.....for opening my eyes and helping me vomit those blue pills that I have been tricked into swallowing.....

the red pill that is your blog was bitter.....but it helped me wake up.....

Anonymous said...

I think we need more bloggers who will belittle Harry Lee for what it is. If a man jail you for sticking up your middle finger, he should be very angry at the blogs against him. And if it helps to send him to his grave earlier, we should be relieved.

Aussie politicans have nothing to worry about voters sticking their middle fingers at them, it comes with the job and the action is a form of feedback on what those voters are thinking about their policies and decisions.

Gopalan Nair said...

Just to be fair, I do not know whether I was arrested because of what I wrote or because I stuck my finger at Lee Kuan Yew. And we will never know.

Anonymous said...

hahah... i think you were arrested becos that damned Lee can't cope with you. You are his nightmare. Now i really wish he gets nightmares everynight.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you send a picture of your middle finger to LKY and see whether he will arrest you? Then you'll really know.

Anonymous said...

haha i am glad you showed him the finger. i'm sure there are plenty of other ppl out there who wanna do the same

Anonymous said...

At least you gave him the finger.
Other disgruntled Singaporeans have punched and torched our elected officials. What does that tell you?

Anonymous said...

Mr Nair, the truth is now out: you were definitely arrested for showing that pice of shit your middle finger.

After that incident, they had to scramble for a pretext that may look legitimate to arrest you.

Anonymous said...

I luv tis.....well done my friend! May be next time...someone...will do the shoe throwing.....for all of us......

Renaldi said...

Perhaps next time we all could show him and his famiLEE LEEgime our middle finger with both hands.

Anonymous said...

HAHAHA! You did what a whole lot of Singaporeans would have wanted to, on their behalf.. thank you Gopalan!

Anonymous said...

LOL gopal, ur post make my day. I hope I have the opportunity to stuck BOTH my middle finger at the old man!

U really got the damn balls to do that man, keep up and continue mocking this overdue old man.