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.
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