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,
Singapore's state controlled newspaper the Straits Times has a report "New Detention Center" dated Feb 04, 2009. Mr. Wong Kan Seng, Singapore's fumbling Minister for Home Affairs under whose watch, Mas Salamat Kastari, a detainee limping with a broken leg, escaped in broad daylight from the Whitley Detention Center, now says he is going to build a new facility in Changi to detain the others who have not managed to do so! Not that I am saying Mas Salamat Kastari should not have escaped. He had every right to do it. He was after all detained for more than a year allegedly under suspicion of this or that, and nothing else. Mr. Wong Kan Seng should have either charged him if he had any evidence or shut his mouth and released him a long time ago. Since he didn't do it, Mas Salamat Kastari helped himself to freedom. And I say, good for him.
Any self respecting Minister with any shame would have done the right thing and resigned forthwith. Imagine, a man escaping in broad daylight, and what is worse, with a limp, from a top security detention center surrounded by supposedly crack Gurkha troops! Unthinkable. But you see, Singapore is not any other country. In Singapore, Ministers are not accountable to anyone. They do what they want, as they please. What else do you expect from a one party oligarchical dictatorship with Lee Kuan Yew strutting around like a prize rooster in the chicken compound!
But that is not my point. It is this. The detaining of these men and women without charge for indefinite periods is both morally and in every other way wrong. And you, citizens have to speak up against it.
The government claims that they are a threat to national security, they are terrorists, they are a danger to the country, blah blah blah. But yet, we are not told anything about them. We are not told what they did or what they were suspected of. The people know nothing about them except that this dictatorship which controls everything in the country, the law courts, the newspapers, the civil service, in fact everything, comes up with a blank statement that they, whoever they are, are a danger to society. And we are not even told their names, imagine that.
This is a very dangerous country, a very dangerous place to live in. Anyone, including the local Tan Ah Meng round the corner lives at the mercy of this government because Tan Ah Meng may disappear the next moment into the confines of the new detention facility to be kept there for the next 20 years or longer, and all we would know is that one more person has been detained under the Internal Security Act because this fumbling Minster has decided that he is a threat.
No one is safe in Singapore. Had I remained in Singapore and not left for America, perhaps I too would be counting the bars because Mr. Wong believes that I intended to blow up the whole of Singapore, not just Changi Airport!
Truly, the Internal Security Act has no place in Singapore, or any other country. It is a law that enables Lee Kuan Yew to keep behind bars indefinitely anyone that he does not like. There is no accountability. No due process. Just secrecy and the denial of a man's most important right, his liberty.
That is why living in Singapore for anyone who has shown any dissent to Mr. Lee Kuan Yew's rule has to live in fear, not knowing when the man, just for the fun of it may decide that so and so must lose his liberty.
Many of those being illegally detained under the pleasure of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew are Malay Muslims. It is their brothers whose liberty is so cruelly denied. Both the Malay Muslims and everyone in Singapore should demand of this failed Minister of Home Affairs that he should either charge them in court, even though it will be a Kangaroo trial, or let them go. And as for Mr. Wong Kan Seng, perhaps he should be locked in there for a while to have a taste of his own medicine.
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