Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have since about 1984 while a member of Singapore Workers Party in Singapore up till now in California, have been engaged in speaking for the rights of Singaporeans.
For this earlier in Singapore, I was fined twice and suspended from practicing law.
After coming to the US I continued my criticism of Singapore's government in this blog and in 2008 I was imprisoned in Singapore for 2 months.
Very soon they will be striking me off the Singapore's roll of lawyers.
The question is, has it done any good? And the answer has to be a resounding yes.
You see Lee's idea was to punish me publicly and identify me prominently in Singapore's state controlled press as a bad character and a menace to Singapore, in the hope that Singaporeans would believe it and they will be intimidated sufficiently not to ever challenge his government.
But there is a serious mistake in this belief. Yes, it is true that many Singaporeans would be intimidated and cowed into silence and obedience. But on the other hand, you also end up with vast numbers of able and capable Singaporeans being disgusted with this oppression and repression resulting in their either leaving Singapore permanently or refusing to co-operate with this regime.
You see, unjustly punishing political opponents is a double edged sword. Although it may hurt your victim, it has a bad habit of hurting you even more.
In fact during the many years I was in Singapore, the numerous politically motivated charges and punishments I faced caused numerous lawyers to either give up the practice of law or emigrate.
Every victim of Lee Kuan Yew's high handedness, such as JB Jeyaretnam, Dr. Chee Soon Juan, Tang Liang Hong and numerous others had the same effect on the people. Many were intimidated into silence. Many others left the island disgusted with Lee Kuan Yew and his corruption of power.
In 2008, when I was arrested in Singapore, once again there were those who were terrified and silenced. Others left the country. Many others came to the opposition political parties wanting to help.
Today, the Singapore legal profession has no more than 3500 or so lawyers. This number is completely inadequate for a island of 5 million people. In spite of every effort to increase the number of lawyers by the government, Singaporeans simply continue to shun the profession.
I take some credit for the lack of interest in lawyering in Singapore by my open criticism of the Singapore government publicising their injustice.
As well as the almost dead Singapore legal profession, every major organ of government is finding it hard to attract applicants and those in it are leaving in numbers which the government find impossible to replace.
The police force, the civil service, the government legal service all have this perennial problem of insufficient staff making them have to lower and lower their standards to scrape the barrel for applicants.
In order not to alarm the population, the state controlled newspapers do not publish this news but is a fact well known in the island.
Tody Singapore Dissident is being read not only by ordinary Singaporeans, it is read by foreign diplomatic posts in Singapore who report on Singapore affairs to their countries, by foreign universities, by readers all over the world who have an interest in Singapore.
My arrest and detention suddenly made this blog famous.
Very soon I will be disbarred from practicing law in Singapore. Any observer of Singapore, watching what has been happening will see that these proceedings as patently unjustified. No disciplinary proceedings should have been commenced, let alone disbarment.
My removal from Singapore's list of lawyers will give me another valuable opportunity to expose these abuses of due process in the island city state. And I am sure, it will cause yet again a disgust in the minds of the ordinary man, both in Singapore and abroad for this persecution.
Although I may be disbarred, Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore will have to pay a much higher price in the conscience of the world.
My work in this blog, just as others who write about this political repression in Singapore, help in increasing awareness among Singaporeans and the public at large that there is something patently wrong in the island and that something has to be done to bring about change.
To that view, one can only thank Lee Kuan Yew and his government for giving me this opportunity to expose them.
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