Saturday, November 20, 2010

Singapore opposition's wasted election fever

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We read of election fever today in Singapore's minuscule helpless opposition parties, speech making at Hong Lim Park, the one place Lee Kuan Yew has allowed the public to speak; increased traffic in political news, more Internet postings on how bad Lee Kuan Yew and his party are, and ad infinitum. As is always the case every 4 years or thereabouts at Singapore's election time.

And at each election time, we have seen the same enthusiasm, hurried preparations by the same opposition parties every 4 years since 1959, but they have not made any headway at all. And yet today even after 50 years the opposition has still not realized what should have been obvious to anyone with open eyes, that they simply cannot win; why, because Lee Kuan Yew is not prepared to let them win, as simple as that.

I am sure they are not completely naive or overly optimistic, but why they go through this utterly futile exercise every four years, I simply do not know. But one thing they should know is this; they simply cannot win through the ballot box.

Let me say that again, the political opposition in Singapore simply cannot beat Lee Kuan Yew and his PAP at the polls because Lee Kuan Yew does not want any real political opposition; second because he controls the courts he will destroy any real opposition through the law and third, as he controls the newspapers he will tell any lie he wants about them and finally if all else fails, he will simply stuff the ballot boxes.

Lee Kuan Yew has long ago decided that only his family and his party are capable of ruling Singapore, noone else.

At the same time, he is not happy about being called a one party state, so he conveniently permits at his pleasure 2 men, Chaim See tong and Low Thia Khaing who pretend to be opposition, but who really in truth support the PAP. This way he can hoodwink the world into thinking he is a democracy.

Since 1959, there was only one real opposition member of Parliament, none other than the late JB Jeyaretnam who Lee Kuan Yew naturally booted out of Parliament at the first opportunity. Since then there has been none.

A clear proof of election rigging is the fact that these 2 half opposition men, if I could call them that; Low and Chiam have consistently kept their seats for decades, even though their housing estates are just next door to other wards, just 10 feet away, which were all invariably won by Lee Kuan Yew's party. In a crowded island city like this, why is it that men who live 3 feet away from another consistently vote one way in one and the other way in the other!

Singapore's political opposition parties should realize once and for all, even after 50 years, that they simply will not win any election playing to the rules of Lee Kuan Yew and his government. Unless they do something else, at every election, Lee Kuan Yew will win and if he did not he will engineer a win, as simple as that. With this in mind, the opposition should not be spending time and effort contesting an election where all the reins are in Lee Kuan Yew's hands.

But it is not all gloomy. As I have always said, Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore will collapse very soon, regardless of whether any opposition member contests elections. Various factors are all working together which will cause this demise, which are, the mounting brain drain of the educated out of Singapore, the falling birth rate, Singapore's inability to attract educated English speaking workers and the huge influx of Mandarin speaking immigrants from China who are of no use to modern Singapore.

As for the opposition, instead of playing along with these unjust rules which permit only Lee Kuan Yew and his party to win, they should take to the streets in peaceful protest. They may not get many to come forward but it does not matter. Peaceful protests attract great public attention and when they arrest the activists, great political profit can be made by both local Singaporeans and foreign countries against a repressive regime. Such dramatic events, I believe would cause others to join and thereby become a mass civil disobedience movement. Even if it did not and all the activists were arrested, it would still be worth it, since a mass movement being born is almost certain.

The question in my mind should not be whether civil disobedience would create massive support, it should be whether such action is right or is it wrong. And the answer can only be that it is the right thing to do.

To look on it from the darkest side, it may well be that any political leader choosing this path may lose all support. But even if that was so, still that is better than repeating again and again something that he already knows beforehand is a waste of every one's time.

That is why when I listen and watch the spirited and burning speeches of the opposition on rostrums set up in Lee Kuan Yew's Hong Lim Park to the same handful of stragglers, I feel sorry, because I know that their spirits going to be dampened yet again, because they simply cannot win.

Only if they see what I see.

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

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The Geeky Prince said...

I've read a lot of your articles for a long time. I am not politically savvy and have not much tendency to get into it. I read politics just to understand a little of what's going on. Basically, I'm just a bystander watching what is going on, but never to comment on anything.

Geeky Prince said...

I've read a lot of your articles for a long time. I am not politically savvy and have not much tendency to get into it. I read politics just to understand a little of what's going on. Basically, I'm just a bystander watching what is going on, but never to comment on anything.

I respect your words and the work, effort, torture that you have been through. However, of the many posts you have made, this one is one I must reply to.

Us humans have been born with the ability to be self-aware of our actions and thus, we are the creators of our own consequences both good and bad. I have known before your posts the great amount of disadvantage our opposition has against the ruling government.

But your words in this post has made you stoop really low, as low as Lee Kuan Yew. What you have said is probably what LKY is planning and thinking.

However, what strikes me is the fact that you would say such things despite being called Singapore Dissident.

I respect the Opposition's work and even though sometimes I know that their loss is a higher chance even in this elections, I will still give my silent support that they will turn things around.

GN, the opposition are humans. They are staying in a tough battle field fighting for a cause greater then their ambition. They are dissidents just like you, they know the disadvantage they are in, they know probably the facts you have mentioned but that doesn't stop them from fighting. As Chee has been sued countless times as you mentioned, and that also you respect him a lot for the effort he has made, and now all of a sudden, you make this statements in your posts on how no matter how hard they try, the opposition will lose. Is this the words any of the oppositions have ever said?

They never sat and cried or whine about the position they are in. They don't go around acting like they are the victims. They took beating after beating and it's not how hard they hit, but how hard they can get hit but keep moving forward. No crying, no whining, no cowering. Their efforts have made a larger impact to the citizens of Singapore this year, and win or lose, it'll only get larger and larger the impact of their voice that will reach us Singaporeans as each year go by.

Isn't it ironic? I'm not a lawyer nor am I brilliant in any way. I am merely a citizen with an ambition larger then myself. But even I can be human enough to be touched by their efforts of fighting in enemy territory for their cause and principles.

Geeky Prince said...

I like what you write, but again, you write, and that's all you do. You are the Singapore Dissident, but you have one thing others don't, and that the oppositions have a cause larger then their fear. Rather then to see the loss at the end of the tunnel, they focus on getting their voices heard and losing is nothing to them. They grow, and eventually, they will strive.

Your post speaks one thing to me, and that you are no longer a respecting dissident because you now focus mainly in the fact that the enemy will always win, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. This words are not the words, beliefs and principles of a dissident of Singapore. It's lines of a quitter. If you think the opposition should come up with something to turn the tide, then why don't you step in and give a helping hand rather then merely just posting facts?

You know what's the major difference between you and the oppositions? Our oppositions are principle centered individuals. The are focusing to become the light, not a judge, a model, not a critic, a solution, not part of a problem.

And here you are, you state the problem, but you never come up with a solution and here you degrade the and disrespect your fellow dissident's abilities to make true change to Singapore and here you put no faith in their abilities.

Despite the overwhelming odds for my opposition, they still have my support. Because I would put faith in people who would think for the sake of others and continue giving that faith them then to even come close to ever doubting them.

US Reader said...

You failed to mention the following statement by LKY:

“Without the elected president and if there is a freak result, within two or three years, the army would have to come in and stop it”

The arrest of young activists in the 80's did not cause significant problems for the regime. The suppression of protest has done little damage so far.

IMHO, the best way to force the issue head on is for both Low and Chiam to contest in two biggest and most important GRCs to PAP. Then either Singapore is a one-party state, or it will plant the seed for a real democracy!

Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

The Singapore Axiom:

"Lee Kuan Yew has long ago decided that only his family and his party are capable of ruling Singapore, no one else."

Gopalan Nair said...

To Geeky Prince,
You are not understanding what I write. Even someone with basic understanding should know what I am saying is not what you write.

Let me summarise what I am saying to make it easy. I am not saying that I do not respect Dr. Chee Soon Juan or any of the others standing for freedom. What I am saying is that as matters stand in Singapore, they are not going to win through parliamentary elections. What is needed is to confront the Lee Government to demand a change to the fundamentals necessary for a free and fair elections, which is a free press, an independant judiciary, free and fair elections, a free press, a stop to defamation actions and so on. These are fundamentals necessary to contest elections, and without it you are simply wasting your time.

These changes will not be brought about through contesting elections, they are brought about through peaceful public open defient and confrontational peaceful non violent civil disobedinece. Sustained peaceful civil disobedience. That means holding a placard in public demanding this right, getting arrested and making these fundamental issues matters of public controversy. This is a long term method of action which the opposition should be willing to endure. This means a willinnessness to be arrested, again and again until this dictatorship folds and backs down.

The ground is already there for this. Singaporeans already know the dirty tactics of this government and would, in my opinion be willing to come out now and demand change or resist if necessary. That is what I am saying.

Such prolonged civil disobedience in the present circumstances in Singapore may take some time, but it will still be faster than what the present Singapore oppostion is doing by contesting elections.

Read my lips. The cows will eventually come home many moons away but by merely contesting elections, change will never come, I can assure you that much.

Change will only come about from the streets, through peaceful resistence. Not by talking and making fine speeches but by non violent resistence on the streets, along Orchard Road, along Exeter Road, along Killiney Road and along Oxley Rise.

Change will eventually come about by holding a placard reading "We want freedom now" and "Down with Lee Kuan Yew" outside Lee Kuan Yew's house in Oxley Rise before Corporal Ram Bahadur Gurung of the Gurkha Contingent in his sentry post armed with a loaded AR15 0.05 mm Colt Assualt Rife pointed at you.

As for your claim that I merely write and do nothing else, my writings are hurting the Lee Kuan Yew boys far more than you can imagine. This is my tool which I intend to fight this regime as of now. In the future I have other plans for them which as time progresses will be used.

As for your complaint that I only write, I am not longer a Singapore citizen and unable to contest any elections in Singapore. Moreover I cannot step foot in Singapore without being arrested after what happened there in 2008. The USA had offered me hope which Singapore never gave me. They have given me a new home and a means to earn a livelihood at the law. I owe more loyalty to them than I would for Singapore which denied every right I had and persecuted me throughout my working life.

But I can do some good for Singapore through what I know and which is what I am doing.

In any case, if I was not of any consequence, I am sure you will not be writing such long blog comments at the Singapore taxpayers expense. Of course we know who you are working for.

Anonymous said...

Another successful investment by Ho Ching.

Temasek's Aussie investment goes under

A Temasek Holdings investment Down Under has gone under - a victim not just of the credit crunch but also dubious management.

Temasek Holdings is ABC's second-largest shareholder. In May last year, the Singapore investment company spent A$401.5 million or A$7.30 a share on a 12 per cent stake. Then early this year - as the stock sank - Temasek increased its stake to 14.7 per cent. This has since been pared to 12.68 per cent, after ABC completed an A$82 million equity placement in June.

In February, Temasek raised its stake to about 14.7 per cent from an initial 12.3 per cent bought in May last year for A$402 million or A$7.30 per share. The Singapore investment firm had justified pumping in millions of dollars more, amid a sharp fall in ABC Learning’s half-year earnings, by saying its decision was based on “commercial considerations”.

A strong and free press will have held this woman's feet to the fire, and force her husband, LHL, and her father-in-law, LKY, to answer tough questions.

Anonymous said...

Giving people 2.7 months bonus helps too..

Anonymous said...

SM Lee turned Singapore from a no-hope situation to where it is today. That's a very big service.... so I guess Singaporeans are not going to see a parliament with lots of non-PAP (prefer to use this term rather than opposition party MP believing that non-PAP winning politicians campaign to progress Singapore rather than to oppose PAP) MPs until end of his current human term. We are currently two MPs away from a communist society. To what extend a democratic society we would be would depend on the calibre of Singaporeans who are interested enough in progressing Singapore as non-PAP shadow cabinet (with the way above average $13k per month incentive)... Singaporeans in general would only vote (to office) for non-PAP candidate if that fellow is really a man with substance and possess a good enough character and personality. Otherwise PAP candidate would win (they only field above average candidates).

Sometimes I feel that it is the person that Singaporeans vote for rather than the party that Singaporeans vote for.