Ladies and Gentlemen,
George W Bush went to war in Iraq in 2003 under false pretences, claiming it had weapons of mass destruction which turned out to be completely untrue. Not only that he deliberately side stepped the UN which specifically forbade military action. Beside the great loss of life and destruction resulting from his abuse of power, the US military suddenly found that their efforts at recruitment for the Army began to decline drastically. At one point, the Generals were so alarmed at the falling numbers of new recruits that they feared the security of United States itself may be threatened. Americans who all along took pride in serving in their armed forces were suddenly not wanting to have anything to do with it. George W Bush managed at one stroke to discredit the US Armed Forces by his subterfuge. The result was a discredited military shunned by his own people.
Take Lee Kuan Yew. Since the 1970s, he systematically and routinely abused the legal system by appointing corrupt judges to eliminate his political opposition. Over the years we have had a series of politically motivated cases where the opposition has been disgraced, imprisoned and bankrupted for nothing more than criticizing him and his government. His victims were as you know, JB Jeyaretnam and a series of others including myself and Dr. Chee Soon Juan who as we speak is being subjected to the same punishment now.
What this is done is to thoroughly discredit the legal system in Singapore. To the last man, every Singaporean has completely lost faith in the administration of justice in their country. And we see the same consequence in Singapore as America finds itself in. From my last communication with the Law Society in Singapore a couple of months ago, I understand there are no more than 3,000 lawyers in active practice in Singapore with a population of 4.5 million!
Imagine that. Singapore has a population of 4.5 million but it has only 3,000 lawyers! I had written about this in an earlier post. It is something like 1 lawyer for a about 1700 people! If indeed Singapore is a financial hub and various other hubs it claims to be, it has to have 10 times that number of lawyers.
The reason for the lack of lawyers is this. Lee Kuan Yew has managed single handedly to thoroughly disgrace and discredit the judiciary and Singapore police by openly using it as an instrument for suppressing dissent. Each time a political dissident is hauled to court on trumped up legal charges, the state controlled media gives it full publicity, thereby sending a signal to everyone the dire consequences of exercising one's civil rights.
Singaporeans I believe also have human values. And having values, they dislike having anything to do with the legal profession, let alone being a lawyer. So lawyers already practicing there are leaving the profession and there are no takers to join it.
What is worse, it is not just that the present lawyer population is small, in fact it is actually shrinking. In fact 10 years ago, there were more lawyers in Singapore than there are now.
Lee Kuan Yew may or may not have learnt his lesson which is this. Abusing the law has it's consequences. And one of which is this. You are not going to get young people to become lawyers. And without lawyers, any ideas of greatness is nothing more than a pipe dream.
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