Ladies and Gentlemen,
The standoff between the democracy activists and the Singapore Island dictatorship of Lee Kuan Yew continues. There are 19 human rights activists who are now on trial in Lee Kuan Yew's courts for staging a peaceful protest, the "Ta Boleh Tahan" (meaning we cannot take it anymore) in 2006 in front of Singapore's make believe Parliament. Except for 3 of the 19 who pleaded guilty for personal reasons, the rest remain defiant in their determination not to succumb and give this government a run for their money.
Lee Kuan Yew's ever willing Attorney General Walter Woon finds himself in a quandary. With the earlier trials against other peaceful protesters which had all backfired resulting in the government getting very bad publicity throughout the world for human rights violations for jailing peaceful protesters, they find the prospect of sending these 16 peaceful protesters to jail in this case would tarnish their already damaged reputation even further. Lee Kuan Yew's enforcer, Walter Woon would rather let all these protesters go for damage control if they would only plead guilty, but they are simply refusing to budge.
In the meantime, with this government not knowing what to do, they keep postponing the case, as if they rather keep the day of reckoning as far away as possible. As for these brave young men and women, they on their part refuse to let up, no matter how long the government keeps postponing the case. And the one that actually suffers the most are the island's taxpayers, as their money is being wasted in this totally unnecessary court case which simply refuses to end.
The message from this case should be very clear. This dictatorship has finally realized that there is a very high price to pay in the damage to their international image if they are seen repeatedly to throw peaceful protesters in jail. Each time they do it, it is picked up by the international press who relish the opportunity to paint this government in as bad a light as they can; not surprisingly since Lee Kuan Yew repeatedly sues them in his courts for no rime or reason.
In this standoff between Singapore's human rights activists and Lee Kuan Yew, Mr. Lee appears now to be suffering from prosecution fatigue. He is now beginning to realize that abusing the law to jail peaceful protesters does not appear to deliver the desired results. Too many of these prosecutions against these innocent men and women tends to be counter productive, it angers the general public which see the government as bullies who go about punishing innocent victims.
One example is the recent arrest of human rights activist Seelan Pallay and Kai Xiong who had demonstrated in front of the ministry of Manpower about 4 months ago, in support of Burmese nationals who were being deported. It appears that until today, the police have not taken any action against them, since nothing has been reported in the press. So finally, this government has seen the light, it seems. Prosecuting them and sending them to jail would only tend to show this government even further as the ruthless intolerant fascist government that it is.
At the present moment, this government finds itself hard put to charge anyone for any new peaceful protest incidents. They appear to have learnt their lesson finally which is, it hurts their image more to abuse the law repeatedly. There comes a point where fear turns to hate, and that is the point which this dictatorship has reached.
So with the standoff now ongoing with these human rights activists and this dictatorship which relies on fear to stay in power, I feel that from this point on, Singapore's freedom fighters have the upper hand in peaceful protests. This government has finally become powerless. So seize the moment. I think you have the upper hand now.
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