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 of March 7, 2009 has this article "S'pore backs anti tax-evasion". Again as with all the other state controlled newspapers such as in North Korea, we must take this with a boulder of salt.
Singapore it says has agreed to endorse the OECD standard for exchange of information through avoidance of double taxation agreements. This must come as a relief to all the other countries that practice democracy and the rule of law, if only what they say is true.
Anyone who has followed Singaporean news must have heard that the favorite country for Burmese drug lords to launder and hide their loot is Singapore. Burmese military general Than Swe, its ruthless dictator has recently been to Singapore for medical treatment because no western country will give him a visa. My Singapore friends tell me that you find scores of Burmese families shopping for luxury items and driving around Singapore roads in Ferraris and Lamborghinis. These millionaires live with their families in luxury condominiums in Orchard Road, Singapore. Are we to believe that Singapore now will investigate this illegal money in Singapore from which it profits, and disclose and deport these criminals?
The most disgusting statement in the article is this. "The decision to endorse the OECD standards is in keeping with Singapore’s role as a trusted center for finance and a responsible jurisdiction, with strong and consistent regulatory policies and a firm commitment to the rule of Law". Hearing this, for anyone who knows the real Singapore, will be forgiven if he had a sudden impulse to puke!
Singapore, a trusted center for finance? Is not a respect for the rule of law a mandatory requirement for a trusted center for finance? Singapore, a responsible jurisdiction? Does a responsible jurisdiction put a Singapore citizen Dr. Chee Soon Juan and others repeatedly in jail merely for peacefully protesting unjust laws, such as Singapore’s laws against free speech? Singapore has a firm commitment to the rule of law? How does Singapore define the rule of law, or its peculiar version of it? Is sending young men to jail for merely wearing T shirts with pictures of kangaroos in judicial clothes, the exercise of the rule of law? How do they claim rule of law when only recently the International Bar Association in their detailed 72 page report in Singapore stated very clearly that Singapore has no rule of law at all!
Singapore it says is trying to develop its financial sector because it is losing manufacturing. What it says about losing its manufacturing is true. The mismanagement of the PAP all these years thinking they know best at the exclusion of the entire Singapore population has shown results. Singapore has out priced itself to the extent that it is no longer competitive. If Western countries had to pay wages to workers as high as what they pay at home, why should they come to Singapore?
For Singapore to develop its financial sector is simply impossible. The cat is out of the bag. Singapore is a one party state, with a state controlled press, without the rule of law that denies its people the basic human rights. This is not a system conducive to international banking. The bedrock of any banking system is a trusted and respected legal system, respecting and complying with the rule of law. Without it, no banking system can flourish. That is why; you do not see Pyongyang as an international banking center.
The article admits that the Obama Administration in the US is targeting Singapore in their quest to punish tax havens and money laundering centers. President Obama particularly is personally interested to go after countries such as Singapore which shelters Americans who avoid tax in the US. Let’s hope that he does go after countries run by dictators such as Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore and take them to task. It can be easily done by going after credit card companies and American banks who deal with these offenders to bring them to their knees.
As I have said, if you have a state controlled press, they can be made to say anything however preposterous, and that is what is being done here, when the article says "Singapore does not shelter criminals". Tell me, if they are not criminals what are they? The Indonesian government has been trying very hard for decades to make Singapore sign an extradition treaty with Singapore for the return of Indonesian white collar criminals who are parking their loot in Singapore banks. If Singapore is not sheltering these criminals, why is Singapore refusing to sign an extradition treaty for their return? And if they are not criminals, why are they driving around in Rolls Royce’s along Orchard Road and buying luxury Rolexes and Gucci handbags? And why is Singapore teeming with these multi millionaires? Did they all earn their wealth by working in the Jakarta Post Office as government employees?
Countries like those in the former Soviet Union which were run by state planning have all come to the same fate. And Singapore is one of them. They simply run out of ideas in the end. The lack of civil liberties chases educated and the best out of the country, leaving compliant spineless souls such as the Minster for Law K Shanmugam to parrot whatever Lee wants him to say. No country with such mediocre politicians can hope to succeed.
Someone just told me that the Singapore dollar has sunk even further against the US dollar. With manufacturing gone and the legal system a laughing stock of the world, how much more can Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore go? We watch with interest as even more educated Singaporeans make a bee line to Changi Airport for Sydney or Melbourne never to return.
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