Ladies and Gentlemen,
Of course I wish Kenneth Jeyaretnam every success for his Reform Party, the successor to JB Jeyaretnam's Workers Party of which I was part of for nearly a decade in Singapore, in 1980s. Every single person wishing for freedom in Singapore would wish Kenneth Jeyaretnam well.
It bode well for the future of democracy of Singapore to see him come out as another voice for freedom some months ago.
But my question is this. What is his plan? And does he have one?
So far we have heard speeches by him which have all been reported with the invariable description of "Cambridge educated economist and son of former opposition politician JB Jeyaretnam". Of course it is an advantage for one to be "Cambridge educated" and the "son of former opposition politician JB Jeyaretnam" but is that alone enough?
I fear simply making speeches and writing excellent learned treatise on Singapore's economics simply will not do for political leadership in Singapore. No, sadly, that alone is not enough.
I had worked with his late father for nearly a decade where he did just that, making speeches and contesting parliamentary elections. Of course the late JB Jeyaretnam meant well. Of course I went around selling the Hammer, the WP newspaper with him in public every Sunday and did everything else that one would have normally done in any other normal country. But in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore, which by the way is not a normal democracy, all that simply did not work, and if that is as much what Kenneth Jeyaretnam plans to do for the reminder of his political career, then he too is, sadly, is not going any places either.
Unless he is willing to level the playing field by public protests, peaceful assembly, publicly proclaiming and demanding justice and provoking this Fascist regime to see the light, speeches and writings however intelligent, even coming from a "Cambridge educated economist" still will not do.
The only way to make Lee Kuan Yew see the light is to literally exercise your rights under the Constitution by demanding free speech and expression and assembly and taking the bull by the horns; in the streets of Singapore; real physical action, not just speeches and not pretending as if the Constitution did not exist.
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