Ladies and Gentlemen,
How does it feel for the ordinary Singaporean supposedly living in this high rise city, aware that his very neighbour, his fellow Singaporeans walking along the streets, in the coffee shops, everywhere, have undergone and suffered state sanctioned torture because they committed even petty crimes?
Singapore's laws today permit the state to beat you the prescribed number of strokes with a rattan cane, soaked previous night in brine or water to make it supple. Sentences for various offences, usually violent crimes (which includes even pickpocketing) but even minor ones like painting graffiti, carries this unimaginably brutal punishment, whose beating (caning) is in addition to the prison term the prisoner has to suffer.
The beater or the caner is a prison officer specially trained to beat people, the object being to inflict the maximum amount of pain on the prisoner. While strapped to a gurney, naked with his buttock exposed, the officer who carries out the torture, takes a couple of steps and swings his cane hard, very hard, with full force at the prisoners buttocks.
By reason of his training, the caning is so forceful and the velocity of the swing so great, that it is reported that on one beating alone, the cane digs deep into the flesh, and even pieces of bloodied flesh hang out. There is so much blood on the floor from these beatings that after one or 2 stokes, the beating is interrupted for the bloodied floor to be mopped and the blood removed, after which the beatings resume.
I think you get the picture. I don't wish to say more.
Even if you yourself has not yet been beaten, (the word used is caning) until your buttocks are bloodied and you scream in pain and beg for mercy, even if you yourself has not yet been tortured and screamed in agony so, how do you tolerate living in a society where this sort of state sanctioned torture is routine and lawfully carried out on your fellow citizen on a daily basis?
Does it not make you ashamed of yourself, to live in a country that has laws more suitable for the Middle Ages? Why stop at just torturing the man by beating him so until his buttocks bleed with each strike of the stick, why not tear his limbs apart if it will produce even better results?
With this sort of brutality happening, Singapore is in fact the least attractive city to live in for any self respecting human being firstly because it executes even teenagers for even petty drug offenses and it brutalizes it's people by flaying their backsides bloodied for even petty crimes; and secondly because as it is a dictatorship which does not allow criticism of any sort, with the decent people there, if there are any left, powerless to voice their disgust and condemnation of such brutality.
You could say, you have 2 classes of Singaporeans walking about the streets, one, those whose buttocks have not yet been scarred and permanently deformed by Lee Kuan Yew's thugs and those who have been beaten and bloodied.
It may gratify oneself to know that you belong to the section of the community not yet beaten but surely that gratification cannot be complete when you know that one third or half the other population of the island walking around have been put to excruciating pain in these state sanctioned beatings; all in the name of law and order, Singapore style.
First world country, not by any yardstick. Not even by a mile.
Singaporeans are by and large a weak powerless helpless people who believe they have no choice but to hang around and take any nonsense that Lee Kuan Yew and his sons dishes out at them, such as these beatings.
In America where I live, yes there are many who have gone to prison. Criminals guilty of serious murders have also been put to death. But we don't beat people as a form of lawful punishment. Americans understand, and so does the entire rest of the civilized world that this sort of thing is unacceptable.
In September 2008, I was imprisoned in Singapore's Queenstown Prison for 2 months for criticizing one of Lee's judges in this blog. My cell was on the 4th floor, which was the highest floor in the building. At times I could hear screams coming from the lower floors, terrible screams. Of course no jailer ever told me what they were were but I can guess. It was the screams from the beatings. Prisoners crying out in pain while the official beater beats the naked buttocks of the victim while Dr. Lim Jeng Min, the prison doctor looks on to make sure the man does not die.
I had written about this shameful doctor who disgraces his profession by willingly participating in this prison torture.
While Lee Kuan Yew jailers beat the hell out of a section of the Singapore community, leaving them permanently deformed both physically and mentally, Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew is himself stupidly shooting himself in the foot by this.
If Singapore is trying to attract quality immigrants to the island, I can assure you it is a total failure. No self respecting individual from the rest of the world who has any compassion, any humanity, any idea of human dignity or any sense of proportion would want to live in Singapore and call it home.
They usually come because they do not know Singapore. Within a year, the cat would be out of the bag. And they would be pinching themselves for the mistake and off they would go.
You would eventually have Chinese laborers, Bangladeshi laborers, and Indian coolies remaining. And that is not going to take Singapore any place worthwhile.
And while the best immigrants themselves pack up and do an about turn back to their countries, the brain drain of good Singaporeans continues unabated.
I can tell you what I feel. Even though Lee Kuan Yew has not had the pleasure of having me tortured by beatings, I would still feel very uncomfortable living in a country where my fellow citizen, no matter what he has done, has suffered so.
Put him in prison if you like. Throw away the key if you like. But please don't beat him. Not in this day and age. This is not the Third Reich.
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