Ladies and Gentlemen,
The cardinal issues surrounding Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore government's demand that Silviu Ionescu, the former Romanian diplomat accused by Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore of a fatal hit and run accident in Lee's island is not only whether he was guilty of the accident; it is equally important whether he will get a fair trial in Singapore.
In democracies the cardinal rule is whether a defendant will get a fair trial; not whether you believe he committed the crime.
In countries that uphold the rule of law, the admirable time honored rule had always been that even Adolf Hitler is entitled to a fair trial. If that is impossible, then he deserves to go free.
The rule has always been, in democracies, that a million guilty men should go scott free lest one innocent person is denied justice. That is British jurisprudence, American jurisprudence, European jurisprudence. That is the bedrock upon which freedom itself rests.
Consider Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore. It is known throughout the world as a country that uses the law to demolish political opponents of Lee Kuan Yew. JB Jeyaretnam, Tang Liang Hong, Dr. Chee Soon Juan and myself has experienced this first hand. Singapore law is what Lee Kuan Yew instructs his judges to do at any particular moment of time. Singapore law is Lee Kuan yew's plaything. It is his tool to silence anyone he does not like. His judiciary is corrupt and will do anyting he says. Singapore to quote Silviu Ionescu himself has a "human rights problem". And that is something the world is already aware; and is the major problem in this case.
In the case of Ionescu, we have heard the Singapore Coroner has found him guilty. But the question is not whether the verdict of the Singapore Coroner is just; but whether anyone in the present disgraceful position that the Singapore government and it's courts find themselves in; the question is whether anyone will believe the judgment of the Singapore Coroner. That is the million dollar question. And that is where Singapore fails miserably. And that is where the advantage lies for Ionescu and Romania.
Dr. Silviu Ionescu may well have been guilty of the fatal hit and run accident, as Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore claims. But the bigger question is not whether he is guilty, it is whether he will get a fair trial in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.
Singapore's shameful history has shown that Lee Kuan Yew and his minions in government would be prepared to tailor any evidence they want anytime to finish off anyone they want. Do you recall the late President of Singapore Devan Nair? Lee Kuan Yew claimed that Nair was drunk, fondled Dayak women in Sarawak and other unimaginably crude and preposterous accusations against him. On the other hand there was universal condemnation of Lee Kuan Yew by the free world who did not believe one word of what Lee Kuan Yew has said. It was the same with JB Jeyaretnam and even myself.
The question is this. If Lee Kuan Yew who has been running Singapore as he pleases for the last 50 years including the judiciary has so been thoroughly discredited as he is, what guarantee is there that in this case, the entire case against Dr. Ionescu has not been stage managed? What guarantee is there that every single witness brought forth to the Coroners Inquiry was not doing it at the behest of Lee Kuan Yew. What guarantee is there that Lee Kuan Yew himself did not give orders to the Singapore Coroner to come up with the guilty verdict?
What guarantee that none of this shameful nefarious activity in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore had never occurred, but is entirely a product of Lee Kuan Yew's orders? What guarantee is there that Lee Kuan Yew had a personal vendetta against this former diplomat because he was reporting badly on Singapore's human rights record as he claims? What guarantee is there?
The Romanian government is trying hard to keep cordial relations with Singapore naturally. But very politely the Romanian government should tell Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore that it's reputation has been tarnished beyond help by Lee Kuan Yew's abuses in his island, that there is no guaranteed that Dr. Ionescu will ever get a fair trial and Lee Kuan Yew and his son should simply bugger off.
Please do not mistake my stand here as showing indifference to the dead man's family. No my sympathies cries out for them. But here, Lee Kuan Yew has shot himself in the foot. His judiciary has been discredited in the eyes of the world. And neither Romania nor Dr. Ionescu should be expected to have anything to do with them.
It would have been different if it was the UK or Australia. But Singapore is not like the UK or Australia. It's courts are like those of North Korea. Had this happened in North Korea, Romania would not have handed him over to Kim Jong Il. Neither should they hand him to Lee Kuan Yew.
These are not democracies. These are dictatorships whose courts do anything the dictator wants.
It is the height of ironies for Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore to tell the Romanian government that Dr. Silviu Ionescu had tarnished it's reputation! Let me ask what about the reputation of Singapore? Is it not a case of the pot calling the kettle black?
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