Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Singapore. The case of Dr. Tan Bin Seng. Was it justice or was it persecution?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore's on line edition of the state controlled paper (by the way, the entire media is state controlled)the Straits Times of April 22, 2009 has the article "GP struck off 2nd time". It is the case of a Singapore doctor who was struck off the role of medical practitioners for among other things, over prescribing the drug benzodiazepines, a hypnotic drug.

Normally this story should not be of much interest to anyone. A doctor who had misbehaved had his licence revoked. But this case is not so cut and dry, because of one twist; one very very big twist. And that is, Dr. Tan Bin Seng, it so happens, was a prominent opposition politician, a senior member of the Worker's Party, in fact it's former president, who had contested against Lee Kuan Yew's Peoples Action Party over several elections!

And immediately the case of JB Jeyaretnam, the case of Tan Liang Hong, and all the other series of cases where the law courts of Singapore have been used by the Singapore strongman Lee Kuan Yew as a political tool to destroy his opponents, comes to mind. And from these cases, one can come to one conclusion and one conclusion alone, that is, the Singapore judicial system is not independent and works at the behest of Lee Kuan Yew and his government to destroy political opponents.

And therefore the question that now arises is obviously this. Was Dr. Tan Bin Seng's licence to practice medicine revoked because he improperly dispensed the hypnotic drug, or was the accusations entirely made up to punish him for opposing Lee Kuan Yew and his government.

I do not know the answer. In Singapore you cannot expect to know the truth, without an independent press, since the media is state controlled. Perhaps he did after all improperly dispense the drug. Perhaps he did not. But knowing Singapore, a more intelligent guess, knowing the state of the legal system under Lee Kuan Yew's orders, is this. In all probability, he is entirely innocent. And Lee Kuan Yew is once again at his dirty tactics of abusing the law to punish another political opponent.

And that is why I believe Singapore has no chance at all to achieve greatness, once the law has been discredited, just as Lee Kuan Yew, single handedly, has so successfully done. You see, everything in a country depends on the the people's faith in the rule of law and the administration of justice. The morale of a people depend entirely on their knowledge that they will get justice in their courts. Once a government such as this, publicly abuses the legal system, everything else begins to suffer. They fear to speak openly. They fear to think independently. They fear to protest. They fear to question authority. They fear to do or say anything unconventional lest Lee Kuan Yew is displeased and turns the law against you.

In a situation such as this, trade suffers, because one is not sure if the courts will independently uphold contracts. One is certain that the government supporter will invariably win a lawsuit against his opposition opponent. If Lee's police arrest you for anything, you are almost certain to receive the harshest punishment if you were the opposition.

Educated and capable people don't like it. They take their families and leave Singapore. Foreigners begin to lose confidence in a state where there is no rule of law.

With the Singapore judiciary being so discredited as it is, I think we can all give Dr. Tan Bin Seng the full benefit of the doubt. I do not think he did anything wrong. His only crime was to be living in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore and the temerity to stand for elections against Lee Kuan Yew and his dictatorship when it was truly an opposition party under the leadership of the late JB Jeyaretnam.

Dr. Tan Bin Seng, you have my full support. I know you are innocent and so do a great many Singaporeans.

The most egregious of the abuses was in 2008 at the Lee Kuan Yew vs Dr. Chee Soon Juan, defamation case. In it, Lee Kuan Yew's judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean was so shamelessly biased that I had correctly described in this blog that "she had prostituted her position as a judge to become nothing more than an employee of Lee Kuan Yew and his son". For saying that in this blog, a statement which was in every respect correct, I was sent to jail for 3 months using a Penal code Section which had nothing to do in a situation such as this.

Since we are now more than sure that the Singapore Law Courts under the orders of Lee Kuan Yew routinely abuses the law to destroy his opponents, can any reasonable right thinking human being be able to accuse Dr. Tan Bin Seng of any wrongdoing? Surely that is impossible. Surely this is sufficient to absolve Dr. Tan Bin Seng of all blame.

And what is more, during the 1980s while I was an opposition Workers Party politician in Singapore, I personally knew Dr. Tan Bin Seng. He was a brave and honest man, a man of high integrity and an excellent doctor dedicated to his calling. It is impossible for him to have done the things Lee Kuan Yew and his government accuse him of.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

Your letters are welcome. We reserve the right to publish your letters. Please Email your letters to 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.


mycroft said...

How do you teach an old dog new tricks? Declassified British documents show that Lord Selkirk, British Commissioner to Singapore (1961), wrote to his superiors in London about Lee's use of the law to persecute of his political opponents:

"Lee is probably very much attracted to the idea of destroying his political opponents. It should be remembered that there is behind all this a very personal aspect…"He's been at it for the past 40 years and there is good reason to believe pigs will fly before he ceases abusing the rule of law.

Another grim reminder of the dire state of justice in Singapore is the current outrage over the laughable(?) slap on the wrist given Shin Min executive editor Ms. Lim Hong Eng who ran a red light in her SUV, badly injuring a motorcyclist and killing his pillion rider. Eye-witnesses reported no attempt by her to take evasive action and allegedly using her mobile phone at the time. She was handed a one-and-a-half year jail term by a lower court for causing death by dangerous driving against which she appealed.

Justice Choo Han Teck in setting aside the verdict found that her mistake lay in her failure to keep a proper lookout, which did not merit a harsh jail term. Justice Choo said Lim’s conduct was more negligent than rash (please explain the subtlety here Gopalan!), so he amended the charge, as suggested by the prosecution, to one of dangerous driving, saying: ‘In the circumstances, it will not be right to increase the custodial sentence to the detriment of the accused.’ Thus he reduced it to: --- ONE day!

He made it clear, however, that this was a one-off case and was not to be used as a sentencing precedent. (And why not, one might be tempted to ask?). Inexplicably, no attempt was made to subpoena her mobile phone records at the time of the offence as far as we know.

So for causing injury and death, Justice Choo in his infinite wisdom decided the Shin Min editor deserved just a single day's jail and a $2000 fine. A jaw-dropping get-out-of-jail card for the well-connected government-linked SPH publication editor Ms. Lim. The deceased pillion rider must be spinning in her grave.

Regrettably, no such good fortune for opposition politician Dr. Tan Bin Seng, not with the vindictive great helmsman at the wheel.

Anonymous said...

Some people should never be made judges or if unable to judge wisely never accept the appointment.

Gopalan Nair said...

To anonymous,
It is already understood of any applicant to the Singapore Legal Service that he should do unconscionable things to please Lee Kuan Yew as part of his daily duties. These men are nothing more than dishonest oppurtunists. All of them.

That is why most Singaporeans have no respect for these government minions who run around doing Lee's dirty work. Of course they do it just for the money. And also because they have no way of succeeding in Singapore in any walk of life unless they are seen to be prepared to do dirty work, like Lee's judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean, that put away Dr. Chee Soon Juan, that I wrote about. It is a shameful place with shameful cowardly people. Not someone one could look up to, with principles.

And if Lee thought even for a moment that he could make Singapore a great country worth anything, with people such as these, he has obviously lost his marbles.

QuitterInChina said...

Judges in Sinkapore are called "ROO"s, not Judges. LOL