Ladies and Gentlemen,
Singapore Lee Kuan Yew's state controlled newspaper the Straits Times of Aug 21, 2011has this story "Singapore needs to maintain a vibrant law market". In it, Lee Kuan Yew's handpicked Minister for Law, another veteran bootlicker, who would say anything that pleases the master, claims that unless Singapore does not maintain a "vibrant" law market, it will lose out to China and India.
I am not sure if he realises that Singapore's legal profession is already comatose, if not already dead. In a country of 5 million people, despite all attempts to increase the number of lawyers, there are no more than 3,000 practicing lawyers!
Most people in Singapore forgo the legal system entirely since it is very clear that Lee Kuan Yew's government and not the judges decide who wins and who loses. If you are not connected to the Lee Kuan Yew family one way or another, don't bother even filing the case, you will lose.
As for Lee Kuan Yew himself, Singapore is the only country in the world where he already not only knows he has won but also the exact amount of damages his poor victim in the defamation lawsuit will have to pay, before he even steps into the courtroom! The trial that follows is an entirely stage managed theater, with even the script probably supplied by Lee Kuan Yew's office!
As for criminal cases, once you are arrested and charged it is a forgone conclusion that Lee Kuan Yew's judges will punish you, never mind the Constitution nor the Criminal Procedure Code. They are only pieces of paper as far as he is concerned.
So most criminal defendants don't bother even engaging any lawyer, and even if they do, they get a cheap lawyer and throw a few dollars at him just to avoid the inconvenience of defending yourself, not that it will make any difference one way or the other.
In fact not surprisingly 10 years ago there were more lawyers in Singapore than there are today.
You know that Gopalan Nair had practiced law in Singapore for 10 years until he left for America.
Had someone told me that Singapore law was Lee Kuan Yew's personal plaything, I would not have applied to practice there at all.
It is not just me saying this, it is the respected International Bar Association saying this as well in their 72 page unusually damning report that Singapore judges merely carry out the wishes of the Lee Kuan Yew family in Singapore.
Not surprising therefore in the light of these hopeless circumstances, senior lawyers are not renewing their law licenses and it has become almost impossible to get any smart lawyer to practice in that island.
Of course there are a few weak characters who either do not know the law or are willing to play second fiddle to Lee Kuan Yew's dictates who enter the profession. These are lawyers weak not only in the law but also in character, people who can easily be discounted when talking about real lawyers.
At the rate the profession is shrinking, thanks to Lee Kuan Yew's brilliant efforts to enslave and weaken the profession, I don't think there would be many lawyers left in Singapore, let alone "vibrant" ones.
And I must confess Gopalan Nair is greatly responsible for the sad state of Lee Kuan Yew's law in Singapore. My contribution to exposing the Singaporean legal profession started in the 1980s when they decided to suspended me from practicing law in Singapore for 2 years merely for writing a letter to the then Attorney General on a matter of public interest.
As the Internet was not available then, not many knew of the disgraceful injustice in this case. It contributed in chasing away a fair proportion of lawyers practicing then.
In 1991, in Singapore, I was convicted of contempt of court and made to pay a fine of $8,000 merely for questioning the method of appointing Subordinate Court judges in an election rally speech at Bukit Merah, Singapore.
Another swath of lawyers left the profession in disgust.
Only a month ago, they disbarred Gopalan Nair merely for criticizing Lee's judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean for shamelessly abusing the law to punish Lee's critic Chee Soon Juan. Lee's Singapore legal profession took another hit to it's credibility.
Gopalan Nair's disbarment in Singapore has been reported by him to the State Bar of California as required by law. Gopalan Nair is waiting the outcome of their decision. If he is vindicated, Gopalan Nair will publish this fact, which would be another slap in the face of Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore legal profession. The Bar of England and Wales has not taken any action against him and he continues in good standing there.
A lawyer is someone who has the courage to defend the rights of his client fearlessly, to protect his rights under the Constitution, and to defend vigorously every single right which he has, to the best of his ability, regardless of any threats or intimidation from Lee Kuan Yew's government. Unfortunately there is not a single lawyer in Singapore who is prepared to do this.
Frankly I don't think the legal profession is going to be "vibrant". It would be a miracle indeed if they had any lawyers left practicing. They would have to make do with mercenary expatriate foreign lawyers who come in on a temporary basis for, as they say, an "Asian experience" who leave after a short stint.
Attorney at Law
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914
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