Ladies and Gentlemen,
Lee Kuan Yew once said "If you don't fear me, I am nothing", which is the coward's rule by which he has governed Singapore since 1959.
Until very recently, it was impossible to openly criticize Lee Kuan Yew, his family or any of his party members in Singapore without being punished, targeted and marked for harassment for life.
The newspapers under his orders only said nice things of him, and so did everybody else, no matter what you thought of him privately. In Singapore he struts around, and still does, like a God. His family including his son and his extended family live above the law, paying themselves anything they want, which today happens to be five times the salary of the American President and much more unofficially. It is called corruption. In other words, Lee and his family were really feared, which is why they have lasted up till now.
But it all appears changing. The political horizon itself is changing, no longer what it was in the past. In my most recent blog "Singapore Dictatorship Under Siege", I wrote things are beginning to look quite different.
Consider Dr. Chee Soon Juan and his Singapore Democratic Party. He has been openly criticizing Lee Kuan Yew now for years in his blog, challenging him both inside and outside the courtroom and on the whole calling him nothing better than a downright cowardly dictator. Had he said this 10 years ago, things would have turned out very different. Dr. Chee would be in jail and for a long time. But today, he speaks openly and fearlessly, and Lee Kuan Yew, the man who claims to be feared by every living thing in the island appears almost helpless to do anything.
No action is taken over his writings in his blog, even if he calls Lee Kuan Yew an gutter rat, which in fact he is. True, he gets punished for his peaceful protests, but not in the way we thought he would; all he gets is a week at a time, when in the past he could have expected 10 years and the key thrown away.
It is impossible to tell why Lee Kuan Yew, the man who must be feared, is not making sure of that in Dr. Chee's case. From the fearsome tiger that we thought he was, and indeed he was in the past, he is becoming not so fearsome after all. The question is why. Has he finally seen the stupidity of his ways and realised that repression of his people is simply ineffective and does not produce results, or has begun to realize that the more he suppresses the rights of his people, the more they would retaliate and the sooner his collapse.
When I was in Singapore last in 2008, I was arrested for writing a blog post criticizing his Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean for her shameless bias and the total abdication of her duty as a judge in Lee Kuan Yew's defamation case against Dr. Chee Soon Juan, for which I was arrested and sent to jail for 3 months.
The reason why I was punished was I presume, was to stop stop me for writing anymore so that Singaporeans will not read anything I write. Granted, while there they silenced me in the end, and I stopped writing. But today I am still writing from the safety of the United States and Singaporeans are still reading it there. So what they wanted to stop, has not stopped and worse, the readership in Singapore has increased many fold.
And up till now at least, Lee Kuan Yew and his bullies from Singapore are unable to silence me at all. Can anyone tell me what was the point of sending me to jail then when on reflection it has done no good to them at all.
And each time they cane a foreigner in Singapore for trivial violations, each time they convict and bankrupt local dissidents for merely exercising their civil rights, each time they grant massive court awards to Lee Kuan Yew against foreign newspapers, each time they abuse the law to disbar critics such as me who want to see peaceful change in Singapore, they hurt themselves, not any of us, because these punishments mean nothing at all.
In China 2 years ago they imprisoned Liu Xiaopo for 11 years for merely writing an article critical of the Chinese government. The news in China is so controlled that most people there never heard of him let alone that he was awarded the Nobel Prize. In Singapore on the other hand where news is freely available for anyone who cares for it, all these repressions against Singaporeans is simply counter productive, and therein lies the damage it causes to the dictatorship. Lee Kuan Yew cannot, would not and dare not send Dr. Chee to jail for 11 years or even a fraction of it because he simply cannot in the Singaporean of today.
That is why if Lee Kuan Yew is a tiger, he is a castrated toothless one, because I and everyone else who cares to do so is just going to call him a rat whenever and wherever we want and today there is simply nothing that he or his son can do about it. So it is true that he is nothing if no one fears him, because many and a growing number simply don't.
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