Updated Nov 22, 2010, "recently returned" changed to "visiting Australian permanent resident"
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In my last post of the same title, I said why I felt Parliamentary Elections in today's Lee Kuan Yew dictatorship will do the Singapore political oppostion no good. What they need is public and open resistance, non violent peaceful but defiant civil disobedience.
This is why I say it.
We see on the Internet at Lee Kuan Yew's Hong Lim Park, a sort of London's speakers corner, where Lee has grudgingly allowed public speaking, where both new and old opposition politicians are making their usual speeches about this and that, as they have done for the last 50 years.
James Gomez has begun speaking just as he did the last time in 2006 under the Worker's Party ticket and lost, talking once again about great things, how poor some Singaporeans are and how heartless and cruel Lee Kuan Yew and his friends are taking home several millions in salaries. So do the others, Jufrie Mahmood my old friend, Dr. Chee and everyone else who is expected to speak has spoken and will continue to speak. But it will only be speeches, nothing more, as has gone on for election after election for the last 50 years. The question really is whether anything is going to come of it, and in the remotest eventuality of any of them being returned, will they be able to do anything about it anyway.
Let us consider the most unlikely scenario, that James Gomez, the visiting Australian permanent resident, who has come out from the cold and won in Singapore's elections. Next day he walks into Lee Kuan Yew's Parliament and makes a completely justifiable demand that Lee Kuan Yew's salary be reduced to $60,000 a year instead of the several million he steals. And let us assume that Lee Kuan Yew just ignores him and does nothing.
In any other democracy, James Gomez would take his demand to the streets if Lee does nothing. He would agitate, organize and have his supporters protesting all over the island. That is what a true democracy is and that is what will happen in Australia, Gomez's new found home. But if Gomez cannot enforce his just demands or at least demand it until the cows come home, he is in effect completely ineffective, just as the present 2 half cooked opposition members of Parliament are.
And secondly, what is the opposition trying to achieve by making these speeches? Are they trying to convince the electorate that they should vote them in because they say good things? Have you asked yourself where they live, they live in HDB flats; government owned housing. Have you asked yourself where they work, probably in government or government liked organizations. The people live, work and play all in government organizations in circumstances where the police have free reign to arrest anyone and the courts carry out Lee's orders to the letter.
And even despite these circumstances as in Anson where Jeyaretnam (not to be confused with his son Kenneth) won, how long did he last anyway?
Let me give you some bad news, which you already know anyway. None in the SDP including the new entrant Gomez is going to win. It is not how the electorate vote that decides who wins or loses but who does Lee Kuan Yew want, and he wants noone in the SDP. That, I am proud to say, is the only opposition party that is determined to fight for freedom and democracy and Lee Kuan Yew does not want any of it. As I have said, if all else fails Lee Kuan Yew will fix the ballot papers to keep them out.
The other parties have a chance like the Workers Party and many other equally helpless minuscule ones that have sprouted out like mushrooms from the woodwork. Lee may see to it that some like the fraud opposition politicians Low and Chiam are allowed in. Lee is always looking for opposition politicians who are not a threat to his power and if you are one, your chances are good. It seems to me Kenneth Jeyaretnam stands a good chance. So far he appears to be a Chiam or Low Thia Khiang double. He has not ruffled any feathers, he has not criticized Lee for his outrageous salary and he has kept completely out of the people's human rights, all areas Lee Kuan Yew demands obedience.
A victory for Kenneth is good for Lee in more ways than one. He will have another opposition member in Parliament to boast as proof of a multi party Singapore, as just two members is hardly there; he will be able to boast of being truly fair by giving the son of his late arch enemy a chance; and as for Kenneth, it will be a lifetime job and political office, as Lee will make sure he wins each time. A win win situation you can say.
You notice Kenneth has kept at arms length from Gomez and from the Singapore Democratic Party, not suprising how badly he wants to get into Parliament.
It is not with pleasure that I write this. I wish with all my heart that Dr. Chee Soon Juan and members of his party will enter Parliament. But if contesting elections is all they are going to do, I see no better prospects.
I don't want to sound like a broken record, but with a man such as Lee Kuan Yew, the dictator of Singapore, I truly see no chance at all in ousting him unless you are willing to take him on on the streets, with the world watching. And you know, history is on my side when I say this.
Let there be no mistake, I am not suggesting a violent struggle such as the the ANC of South Africa, Sendero Luminoso or the Tupac Amaru of Peru. I am suggesting Mahatma Gandhi's non violent struggle as the only solution in dealing with tyrants like Lee Kuan Yew.
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