Friday, July 30, 2010

Singapore held by the neck

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The defiant British author, Alan Shadrake, whose passport is being held in Singapore and waiting for his trial for contempt of court has got Singapore in his grip, and there is nothing they can do.

This time, unlike always in the past, the proverbial shoe is on the other foot. Singapore will have to explain themselves whether it likes it or not, because Shadrake demands an explanation.

As was what Singapore has all along been accustomed to, whenever they went against anyone for contempt of court, especially newspapers, such as Wall Street Journal, they all invariably cringed, crawled, and groveled at Singapore's feet, apologized, and paid up whatever they wanted and got out.

Being accustomed always of getting their way, I suppose they thought this time with Shadrake was going to be no different. But this time, what they got was not an apology but a painful shock. Shadrake, was not going to apologize after all, no matter what. And whether they liked it or not, Shadrake is going to force them to explain every accusation they made against him. And that is not going to be a pretty sight.

As with all bullies, Singapore will go after you mercilessly, when they know you are helpless. But when you are willing to face up to them, Singapore just like all bullies, tries to run away. And this is exactly what Singapore is doing here.

The press reports indicate that after being aware that Shadrake is not going to buckle under their pressure, the Singapore Attorney General, just as all cowards who make a living in that island licking the boots of the dictator, has offered to drop the contempt of court charge against him if he apologized. The excuse for this sudden turn around from their precious bravado was that Shadrake is 75 and has a heart problem.

Anyone with eyes can see that they making this offer only because of their fear of having to face Shadrake in open court to justify their baseless politically motivated charges of contempt of court. They know, no matter what they do, that these charges are indefensible. They are going to look very small no matter what they do to Shadrake.

This is what Shadrake should do, and I believe he is going to do. Challenge every one of these groundless charges tooth and nail. Resulting from the immense international interest in the case which is completely against the Singaporean dictatorship, they may offer only to fine him instead of a prison sentence. Shadrake should refuse to pay the fine, since paying the fine would be tantamount to accepting their judgement. Instead he should go to jail, at which time the whole free world would be in uproar against this puny tin pot dictatorship.

Result. Singapore's ranking, rock bottom.

Shadrake, we love you.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

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Anonymous said...

Very very good article, Gopal. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

From the Guardian.

F*ck you Lee Kuan Yew and your son, Lee Hsien Loong. The Internet wins, you lose! Ha! Ha!

Singapore's reputation on the line as British author fights on

Shadrake rejected an offer of mitigation in exchange for an apology at today's contempt of court hearing and said he would fight on. This means more reputation damage is in store for the People's Action Party administration in the weeks ahead.

Local groups and international human rights NGOs such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Reporters without Borders have criticised the decision to prosecute the author.

News agencies, websites, blogs and social network sites are carrying news about the case around the globe and putting a sharp focus on censorship in Singapore.

In keeping with tradition, one strategy used at today's court hearings was to threaten legal action against the media for publicising the alleged contemptuous remarks in Shadrake's book. That was a lost cause, given the information already circulating on the internet.

Anonymous said...

Ex-political prisoner speaks out in Singapore (Banned in Singapore)

After watching this, one gets the sense that LKY is a coward. Without his son in power, all of this could result in legal action at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Anonymous said...

Our friend here is wating for such thing to happen. Only Ang Moh, not ordinary angmoh but POMMies ang moh would Play God and fight for others. POMies got guts and once you make them angry they will come and smash you first, then wait for you to take them to court (meet you at cul de sca). Now one yellow (not original POM) POM is meeting the real POM at cul de sac, with hatchet of course.

Recommended reading

mycroft said...

The nasty little police state that likes to pretend it is democracy is really in a cleft stick here. Refer to Gopalan's archive for a graphic description of the sort of tender loving torture meted out to prisoners of the regime. 'Not a tea party', declared deputy prime minister Mah Bow Tan smugly.

Given his age and ill health, if Shadrake should perish in custody then the fat really will be in the fire. If he survives, he will have all the material he needs for a best-selling sequel to Once A Jolly Hangman. Might make for a rather good documentary or film like the disturbing Oliver Stone movie, Midnight Express. All-in-all, a lose-lose situation for the PAP government.

Anonymous said...

Yes I too love this author. Perhaps foreigners are good to have like him. I welcome more of such foreigners not those PRC prostitutes undercover as students.

Anonymous said...

Wee said Gopal. I think you are absolutely right to say that Shadrake must never give in to this tin pot dictator and his cronies.

mycroft said...

Here is a letter by Mr M Ravi, counsel for Alan Shadrake, to Singapore's CID protesting their brutality towards his elderly client who is already hardly in the best of health. Says it all, really.

Criminal Investigation Department
391 New Bridge Road
Police Cantonment Complex
Block C
Singapore 088762
23th July 2010


Dear Sir,

We are instructed on behalf of our client to request that you allow our client to rest for 48 hours prior to taking instructions to defend him in the forthcoming proceedings.
We are further instructed to place on record serious concerns regarding the impact on the physical health and mental well-being which your unrelenting interrogation appears to be having upon him.
Our client is 75 years old.
He suffers from serious medical conditions which are made worse by stress.
You arrested him on 17th July 2010 and began interrogating him and now although he is on bail, you have subjected him to several hours of questioning for the past 3 days continuously.
You will agree that this is not a case where it is essential in the interests of the security of the State that evidence be gathered urgently before members of the public are injured or before another offence is committed by accomplices. It is not a case where evidence must be gathered immediately in order to prevent evidence being destroyed. Indeed, insofar as the alleged offence consists of a publication, all the facts are already there in front of you. In these circumstances relentless and continued interrogation appears as a form of harassment. As such we are instructed it is unnecessary, inappropriate and ill-befitting Singapore and on his behalf we formally request that it stop immediately.
It appears to us that in a civilised society in which the conduct of the Police and other Prosecutorial Officials is an important measure of the strength of moral and civic virtue, it is unbecoming for those who have the power over individuals who are subject to their custody and subject to their command to act in a manner which results in physical or mental harm or causes undue stress. We therefore must ask you to consider the age and condition of our client and to ensure that he is not subject to untoward stress and alarm.
We reserve the right to bring to the attention of the Court (and to file official complaints in appropriate national and international tribunals) should an independent medical examination indicate that our client's health has been and is being placed in jeopardy by the conduct of officials under your command.

Yours faithfully,

M. Ravi
cc. client
cc. British High Commission

Anonymous said...

Hey Gopalan,
You are a lawyer.

Why don't you file a lawsuit at International Court of Justice in The Hague against Harry Lee Kuan Yew for detaining and torturing citizens of Singapore.

Come on. Let's see some action.

Anonymous said...

Hey Gopalan,

I admire your stamina in cursing LKY for so many years without a break.

Could you also write for publish articles to NYT & Guardian?

New legislation prevents LKY & gang to enforce kangaroo defamation suits in USA now.

Dr. Gomez recently wrote to Guardian.

We need more men of circumstances to bring attention to LKY, LHL & their tyranny through PAP mechanics.

mycroft said...

Why don't you file a lawsuit at International Court of Justice. (ICJ)...Come on. Let's see some action.

[1] The ICJ is an organ of the UN which rules on legal disputes submitted to it by states and gives advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by duly authorized international organs, agencies, and the UN General Assembly. Last time I looked Gopalan wasn't any of these.

[2] Do you mean the International Criminal Court (ICC) by any chance? You have to be a sovereign state and a signatory of the Rome Statute to participate here too. Thailand has signed and ratified the treaty. Guess whether The Republic of Singapore signed up or refused?

Anonymous said...

Shadrake has the guts to stick to his principles and scrupples and not be intimidated by the interrogations and the courts if S'pore. Many of our European foreign talents just take the high salaries and stay mum as they see the injustices happening in this country.