Sunday, October 24, 2010

Singapore's problem, what to do with Alan Shadrake

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The case of Alan Shadrake the author of Once a Jolly Hangman, which described Singapore's legal system and their judiciary in rather unflattering terms, is scheduled to have a verdict on his contempt of court charges tomorrow, Tuesday the 26th of October 2010 in the High Court before the recently handpicked toady of Singapore strongman Lee Kuan Yew, Judge Loh Sze Onn, Quentin.

In the one party state of Singapore run by the dictator Lee Kuan Yew, we all know, there is no rule of law but rather the law of Lee Kuan Yew.

In a case like this, we all know the one who is the judge is Lee himself, and Loh Sze Onn, Quentin's job is merely to relay that order in the courtroom settings, that's all.

It is just a make believe court court, rather like that in Alice in Wonderland in the case of the rabbit who stole the tarts.

In Singapore cases like this, where someone criticizes the government or the legal system, it is truly a political decision.

By now, unfortunately for the one party state, the cat has got out which is why the International Bar Association pulled no punches in their detailed 72 page report on Singapore plainly stating without mercy that Singapore judges are not independent, period.

With the already tattered reputation of Singapore internationally as a place that uses the law to silence criticism, there are several scenarios that are open to Lee Kuan Yew in his island.

First, he can let Shadrake go with a small fine and no jail time, claiming they are showing sympathy for a man who is 75, a weak heart and ailing health, but this comes at a price.

Singaporeans who have been routinely accustomed to harsh penalties and punishments even for seemingly minor criticism, would think Singapore has gone soft, it has seen the folly of it's ways and become, thankfully a more tolerant society.

Foreign newspapers and organizations who were punished harshly for a tenth of what Shadrake had said in his book would feel unfairly treated if Shadrake is to be let off lightly.

And then there is the floodgates argument, with every Tom Dick and Harry criticizing Lee Kuan Yew and his judiciary thinking it is now OK.

On the other hand they can, as is expected, deliver a harsh punishing verdict, with several months in jail and a stiff fine.

If they did this, they would be maintaining their uniformly standards by punishing all critics harshly as they have always done, and argued they are fair and do not show favors to anyone.

But if they took this course, Singapore would again be condemned worldwide as an intolerant one party Stalinist city state which only confirms what everyone thought of it, resulting perhaps in even fewer tourists, fewer investment, fewer commercial transactions and the eventual slide into another pariah North Korea.

Which ever way Singapore decides to go on this, Alan Shadrake is a hero for those fighting for democracy in Singapore, because Singapore will be hurt and hurt very badly in either case.

It is one more nail in Singapore's reputation as an "open democracy" as Lee Kuan Yew's handpicked Minister for Law, K Shanmugam, who is clearly making a fool of himself, claimed yesterday on one of his visits to another government owned housing estate.

We see the same scenario in the fall of every dictatorship around the world. In the end they themselves turn out to be their own enemies. The rule to be learnt is, repression results in an inability to stop it even if they wanted. And being unable to stop it, that same repression, which they themselves created, turns out to be their own greatest enemy, causing their inevitable demise.

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

Your letters are welcome. We reserve the right to publish your letters. Please Email your letters to And if you like what I write, please tell your friends. You will be helping democracy by distributing this widely. This blog not only gives information, it dispels government propaganda put out by this dictatorial regime.


Anonymous said...

Lets all nominate Mr Nair and CSJ for the Nobel peace prize!

Anonymous said...

The PAP regime may arrest Alan, but they cannot stop the internet.

China govt has to resort to a 20000 strong Great Firewall of China staff and its 50cents workers to muddle the internet forums with half lies, but Chinese web users can smell the govt internet brigade from far. What chance Singapore has?

See the BBC documentary, The Virtual Revolution.

Time to move from virtual to physical votes. Be part of something big. Time to return power to the main street Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

Chickens coming home to roost.

Australia-SGX Deal Faces Mounting Opposition

Singapore "is a state that tramples all over freedom of speech, democracy, the rights of oppositions, the ability for public discourse," said Bob Brown, leader of the Greens party. "The proposal here is that effectively the Australian Stock Exchange in Sydney be subjugated to Singapore and we'll see it wither on the vine," he said.

Anonymous said...

From the Wall Street Journal

Wesley Phua wrote:

Singapore has a bad record of trampling on freedom of speech with the government having full right to convict anyone who displeases them.

It also has one of the world's highest execution rates.

These values oppose the Australian lifestyle.

So if Australia does not want a country as appaling as Singapore influence its economy, she should reject the deal.

Anonymous said...

Singapore's Values (obedience to Emperor Lee) and Laws (detention with trial, compliant judiciary, ..) are not compatible with Australia's cherished values and culture. (To the naysayers from the PAP, people from Singapore are emigrating to Australia - so they must like the place.)

All decent people should write to the Prime Minister of Australia to express your opposition to SGX takeover of the Australian stock exchange.

The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Prime Minister
Parliament House

(Better yet, email)

You should also write to other ministers and members of the Australia parliament, especially the Green Party.

As a person who has first hand experience with the LEEgal system in Singapore, you must write, immediately.

Australians will be tickled to hear about a judge who jails people for wearing a picture of the kangaroo on their shirt.

Time is of the essence.

The SGX-ASX deal cannot happen without the approval of Australia's parliament.

Anonymous said...

Senator Brown linked his party's opposition to the transaction with the Singapore government's human rights record, including the execution of Australian drug trafficker Nguyen Tuong Van in 2005 and repression of opposition figures.

"This is a state that tramples all over freedom of speech, democracy, the rights of oppositions, the ability for public discourse," the Greens leader said yesterday.

"It is a classic rule by the oligarchs of Singapore."

Anonymous said...

Last time your big mouth LKY called Johor "City of Car Jacking" and ended up having to perform a public apology to Malaysia for his stupid comments.

Now that big mouth LKY again repeat another stupid comment by calling Australian as "poor white trash of Asia" thus destroying any chance of SGX to take over ASX.

Why your big mouth LKY not learn from his shameful Johor public apology lesson.

Anonymous said...

Once a Jolly Hangman.

Buying Shandrake's book, and sending it to every major newspaper editor in Australia.

Then let's see how they feel about SGX trying to buy the ASX.

The title of the book will resonate in Australia.

For the department store dummies, here is a clue:

Once a jolly swagman sat beside the billabong,
Under the shade of a coulibah tree,
And he sang as he sat and waited till his billy boiled:

Who'll come a waltzing matilda with me
Waltzing matilda, waltzing matilda
Who'll come a waltzing matilda with me
And he sang as he sat and waited by the billabong
Who'll come a waltzing matilda with me.

Not LKY or LHL or SGX.

Come to think of it, why should these people be allowed to own Optus.

Time to organise a boycott.

Anonymous said...

The "poor white trash of Asia" are laughing at the little Chinaman, LKY, whose money is not welcome in Australia, or Thailand, or Indonesia, or ...

But, wait, it can find a home in the PRC. Onward, the PLA and Chairman Mao.

Anonymous said...

to anon Tue Oct 26, 02:57:00 PM PDT; The big mouth has also criticised taiwan and usa before.

Anonymous said...

Do you expect this from the leader who have received your support all this while?

Over time, the MM says, Singaporeans have become "less hard-driving and hard-striving." This is why it is a good thing, the MM says, that the nation has welcomed so many Chinese immigrants (25 percent of the population is now foreign-born). He is aware that many Singaporeans are unhappy with the influx of immigrants, especially those educated newcomers prepared to fight for higher paying jobs. But taking a typically Darwinian stance, the MM describes the country's new subjects as "hungry," with parents who "pushed the children very hard." If native Singaporeans are falling behind because "the spurs are not stuck into the hide," that is their problem.

Taken from national geographic

(go to page 3 of 7)

Anonymous said...

worth adding as a friend on facebook...

please surf

Support the rights of yourself and your fellow Singaporeans!

Anonymous said...

This may be of great interest to you Mr Nair.

Anonymous said...

lessons to be learnt from the French Revolution

Anonymous said...

Hi, Gopalan,

First and foremost, I would like commend you for your determination and love for your country.

My name is Ray Z. Not until July was I living in Singapore after taking a job there that provided me with an "expat" package. The salary was great but the perks were even better. For anyone, I must have been living their "dream".

However, after less than two years, I knew I had to leave. I was sick of all the materialistic and superficial things that have engulfed the country and its people. Everyone (a generalization I know, so sue me) there were working their behinds off only to blow it off on some branded luxury good that they'll never use. It seemed like the whole country was trying to buy happiness with a Louis Vuitton emblem stamped all over it. And so when I couldn't take it anymore, I packed my bags and left the country without any notice -- I was too sick to wait for one to end.

I don't know how that behavior started or what caused it but I hope people there realize that there's more to life than material possessions. I wish they come to see that hugging one's mum is more fulfilling and worthwhile than lining up for a chance to buy the latest gadget.

I really wish people come to see these things before it's too late. There's still hope in this world and, of course, in Singapore.

Lastly, I wish you all the best and I believe that if all Singaporeans had even just a small dose of your faith and love for their country, it will be a much better place in no time.


JT said...

I just hope we will not see a Lee Kuan Yew in the next Singapore election.

Those rally platform steps are not made for a frail man. Neither is the damp night air of Singapore good for his lungs.

It will be nice to see Lee sidelined as MM and lonely without his Mrs pillar of hope.

It will even be nicer to see a pitiful old Lee still fighting an election, without his Mrs pillar of strength to return home to.

He is practically bankrupt in his political life and should exile himself to a lonely existence, perhaps in JB, so that he will not be tormented by the breakup of what he has built. ha!

It will be a fair reminder that his enemies' bloods are still on his hands. He is not afraid to go after them, but they are now returning to haunt him in his nightmares.

Anonymous said...

The Singapore Exchange’s $8.4 billion takeover of ASX Ltd is certain to be stymied in federal parliament after independent MPs rejected the deal on Thursday, adding to doubts expressed by the Coalition and the Greens.

LKY, LHK and HC lose!

Anonymous said...

I don’t like the Singapore Govt because they have a reputation for laundering the dirty money of the Burmese dictatorship:

If this is true then Singapore Inc/Govt are at risk of political interference from the cat connected to the Burmese cats paw, and that cat is the Chinese dictatorship govt, through the Burmese corrupt generals:

It might all seem a little loose as far as cause and effect goes but Singapore is in effect another dictatorship with a weak rule of law and not to be trusted.

Some hints here of what to expect:

A different dimension to the same Singapore problem in their relations with Burma is their PR postures on harsh penalties on drug couriers, while reportedly laundering the money of the same drug racketeers in the Burmese regime. Talk about executions as a side show to the main dirty financial game.

This level of corruption and opaque governance means that these wrongdoers in Singapore are also vulnerable to blackmail. Not a good recipe for control of the umpire’s whistle at the ASX.

JT said...

There are many comments about ASX-SGX merger.

I think Singapore stock exchange takeover of Australia stock exchange is a mistake. I do not think Aussies will stand idly by if they find their rights trampled on, even if SGX is paying a huge premium to ASX shareholders.

Singapore Power has already a taste of what it is like to be under the scrutiny of Aussie investigators into the cover up and lies of the Black Saturday's tragedy in Victoria state.

I have written to my MP not to vote to lift the 15% foreign ownership limit, because of the 25% Singapore govt ownership of SGX and the bullshits about SGX being a backdoor into China stockmarket.

We can argue that China and Singapore are one-party rule countries. BUT
China's history is different from Singapore. China did not inherit the British Parliamentary System, and even allowed HongKong some form of Basic Law under the One Country Two System ideal.

Anonymous said...

Can you shed some light on this miscarriage of justice.

On 30 November 2006, the Singapore Subordinate Court sentenced 2 of my friends guilty of “harassment (just call them Ng and EBT). They were sentenced to fines of S$1,500 and S$1,000 or, alternatively, jail terms of 15 days and 10 days respectively. They refused to accept the result and decided to appeal. Normally, the verdict is carried out only after the court determines the outcome of the appeal, but in this case, the judge ruled that the appeal could only be made after the defendants served their prison terms.

Anonymous said...

Send this to Bob Brown and Julia Gillard. Let's see if they still want to do business with Singapore Inc (Temasek, GIC, ...)

Singapore Police Arrest Falun Gong Practitioners While Meditating, Displaying Posters

Police are still holding the passports of the practitioners, who are Chinese nationals. Falun Gong, a spiritual practice, is currently persecuted in China by the Chinese regime, and if the practitioners were deported to China, it is likely they would face torture.

A spokesperson for the U.S.-based Falun Dafa Information Center, Levi Browde, said there is a real concern that the practitioners could get deported to China.

“If they are deported they are at risk of severe persecution,” he said. “We will reach out to the Singapore government to make sure they are safe, and to explain the exact facts of the persecution in China to make sure they understand the stakes of an action such as deportation.”

Anonymous said...

I fled Singapore in 2009 and am now Canadian. Best decision I ever made. GO CANADA!

While I'm not averse to an army career, I refuse to enlist in the army if I have to serve a corrupt dictatorship like the PAP (and get paid less than a janitor in Canada).

As a result I get to live my life the way I want to instead of going through the National service bullshit.

Gopalan Nair, your blog rocks. You're now my comrade! Down with Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Anon Thu Oct 28, 03:40:00 PM PDT

Gopalan Nair, your blog rocks. You're now my comrade! Down with Singapore.

I disagree. It's not down with Singapore, but down with the LEE Dynasty.

Anonymous said...

This is brilliant!

October 29, 2010 at 12:41 am

PAP is a party we hate,
Because of its ministers’ rate,
Our money it has greedily ate,
With foreigners it found mate,
Anyway its not late,
We wait for election date,
Then we”ll seal their fate,
And show them the gate.

From the Temasek Review

Anonymous said...

Another brilliant one from Deen.

October 29, 2010 at 1:04 am
The PAP seems to be in fear,
They sense the end is near,
To voters they never gave ear,
This should be their last year,
We Singaporeans shed no tear,
For us they are no more dear,
Oppositions go charge at full gear,
And put them to the rear.

Anonymous said...

More from the Sydney Morning Herald

We are all familiar with the shoddy human rights record of Singapore. Australia's is not perfect, either, as Lee Kwan Yew delights in pointing out. But we have yet to get to the stage of government ministers suing opposition leaders for defamation and driving them out of parliament with petitions for bankruptcy. Newspapers and magazines have also had expensive verdicts against them for criticising the government.

The Lees say they have brought these actions to protect ''democracy''.

Anonymous said...

In Australia, Ho Ching would have been fired. But because this vagina sleeps with Lee Kuan Yew's son, she keeps her job.


Ho was responsible for a few disastrous investment decisions for Temasek. She plunged heavily into Shin Corp, which was partly owned by the family of former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. In Bangkok, protesters burned effigies of Lee and Ho and the deal was a factor in bringing on the political crisis that led to Thaksin's ouster and an investigation of the legality of the transaction.

Anonymous said...

to Anonymous Thu Oct 28, 09:21:00 PM PDT ;

Ho was responsible for a few disastrous investment decisions for Temasek. She plunged heavily into Shin Corp, which was partly owned by the family of former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. In Bangkok, protesters burned effigies of Lee and Ho and the deal was a factor in bringing on the political crisis that led to Thaksin's ouster and an investigation of the legality of the transaction.

Thu Oct 28, 09:21:00 PM PDT

Are'nt you afraid of being sued for defamation for saying this? He might sue you til you become bankrupt or even jail you , you know...

Anonymous said...

Aren't you afraid of being sued for defamation for saying this? He might sue you til you become bankrupt or even jail you , you know...

That's their modus operandi

This article was written in the Sydney Morning Herald. Do you think they have the courage to bring their case in an Australian court?

They saw what happened when Devan Nair took them on in Canadian courts. They cowards lost!

Anyway, as part of the discovery process, they will have to disclose facts to the lawyers and courts, which might show the true performance (or lack of) of funds under their management.

And, because it involves Thailand and it's former prime minister (who supporters continue to agitate), the case will open up a big can of worms.

After this, no one, will want to accept money from this lot of oligarchs.

Anonymous said...

May like to point out that the Shin Corp deal actually has some clannish connections as Thaksin is also a Dapo Hakka same as Ho Jinx and the old fart's family. They have previously operated in similar ways such as the Su Chou project when Deng Sou Peng another Dapo Hakka was in charge.