Saturday, November 26, 2011

Singapore. Punishing critics and hurting the country

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The one hallmark of Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore is this. It is the relentless pursuit of their critics by every means possible, both legal and otherwise to ensure that they or their views simply will not see the light of day. This has been so ever since Lee Kuan Yew's PAP came to power in 1959.

JB Jeyaretnam, his erstwhile bete noir, was harassed intimidated punished and pursued to his death with repeated defamation actions, the abuse of the law courts and bankruptcy, thwarting his law practice and denying him a livelihood till the very end, till death.

Today we have Chee Soon Juan also repeatedly sued, bankrupted and jailed not because he is any criminal, but only because his political views are in variance with that of the Lee family who run the country.

And this disgraceful history of Lee's PAP regime in the island has countless other cases of JB Jeyaretnams and Chee Soon Juan's all destroyed just because they were not prepared to tow the line.

In my own case, I had been deported from Singapore following my arrest and imprisonment for criticizing Singapore Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean for her misuse of the law in 2008 in the Lee Kuan Yew vs Chee Soon Juan defamation case. Consequent on my deportation, I will be refused entry to Singapore without a visa, and it is unlikely they would ever grant me one if I applied. In other words I am banished from Lee Kuan Yew's island. By the way I am no criminal if that is what you think. I simply don't agree with Lee Kuan Yew on how he runs the island.

Just like me, there are many Singaporeans or former Singaporeans living in exile overseas and denied the right to enter the country of their birth, all because Lee Kuan Yew is unhappy with them.

It is one thing to act in such a vindictive and revengeful manner against his opponents, but has he ever considered the harm he is doing Singapore by such petty mindedness or rather childishness?

Consider the case of Chee Soon Juan, presently living in Singapore and the target of the relentless punishment he receives at the hands of the Lee government only because he is a political opponent. From his writings and his actions, he is undoubtedly a vary able person, and Singapore would benefit tremendously if he is allowed to participate in local politics in the island. Yet, the Lee regime ensures that nothing he says ever sees the light of day in the state controlled press, nothing he says is ever publicised or allowed any publicity and for all intents and purposes, his wisdom and intellect is lost for Singapore.

When Jeyaretnam was around (he died in 2008), he suffered a similar fate. Everything he said was blacked out, and it was as if, anything you heard of him , if you ever did was just bad news. It did not matter what anyone thought of him, as far as Lee was concerned Jeyaretnam was a thief and that was that.

As for me, I have been in Lee Kuan Yew's state controlled press several times in the past, but they were all to paint me as the most evil person that ever walked the terrain in Singapore. Never mind what anyone thought of me, as far as they were concerned I was all bad.

In fact the Lee Kuan Yew doctrine is simply this. You first target your opponents, such as JB Jeyaretnam, Chee Soon Juan and Gopalan Nair. Once that is done, use every possible means, both fair and foul to tarnish their image, and deny them every single opportunity, place every hurdle possible to obstruct and prejudice them so that they will not be able to live in any meaningful manner possible.

Lee's hope of course is that his opponents, suffering under this unbearable persecution, repression and suffering, would at some point or other give up their beliefs, apologize and prostrate before him and promise never to criticize him. Once this is done, to use the government's own words during my trial for contempt of court, the subject is "purged" of his offenses, he is then successfully rehabilitated (as if we were criminals) and would then be treated leniently once again. But as long as the subject remains defiant and refuses to submit, the punishment goes on unabated permanently.

So according to this Lee Kuan Yew doctrine, it would appear, all Chee Soon Juan has to do now is to simply apologize to Lee Kuan Yew, give an undertaking never to criticize him again and even better still, state his willingness to serve his Peoples Action Party. Although such a scenario is as impossible as the Sun rising in the West, knowing Chee Soon Juan, if indeed he is willing to do this, I bet on it, his fortunes would change overnight. He would be given his professorship at Singapore University back, which Lee had taken away, he would very likely get all the money he paid so far in fines and court damages and perhaps even made the Singapore Ambassador to London at one stroke.

In my case I am not sure if any such thing will happen had I apologized but perhaps I would be allowed to travel to Singapore again at least.

But these are the totally unacceptable harebrained terms that he has for his critics, which is either kowtow or else. But the problem is, most of us who have had the willingness and the courage to stand against this man have done so because we truly believe in what we have done. As for me, I truly believe that fighting this dictatorship in Singapore is an honorable cause which I shall continue doing no matter what. And I am sure it is the same with Chee Soon Juan and everyone else who have suffered under the repression of the Lee Kuan Yew government, for having stood up to him.

I am sure by now that Lee Kuan Yew is himself aware that Chee soon Juan is going to be a thorn on his side permanently and no amount of punishment is going to make him budge. And I will continue criticizing him or doing anything else in my capacity regardless of whether or not he allows me into the country.

In these circumstances, with the impossible stalemate as it is, if Lee Kuan Yew is going to use his brains, it would make more sense for him to stop this relentless pointless vindictiveness against his political critics and instead try some appeasement instead. Being stubborn the way he is, is not only silly, it is seriously damaging Singapore.

Remember Chee Soon Juan, Gopalan Nair and countless others who are being persecuted or in exile can contribute to the betterment of Singapore, even though it may not be to the betterment of the Lee Kuan Yew family. Every one of us wish Singapore well although we also want to see the back of the dictatorship.

Gopalan Nair
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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Anonymous said...

A tribute to Francis Khoo Kah Siang

Anonymous said...

What he has done he will get his dues. If not him his children and grandchildren. We have patience.

Anonymous said...

This extraordinary despot is invulnerable and invincible.

Only Almighty God or a madman can bring him down to his knees.

SG facts said...

PAP will not want you to know

Singaporeans work the most number of hours per week in the world.

Most Singaporeans will never own a car.

The Average home size has fallen from 1660 sq ft to about 1000 sq ft.

Fertility rate in Singapore is among the lowest in the world.

Less than half the Singaporeans can meet the minimum sum for CPF retirement accounts. Meaning many will never retire.

17% of Singaporeans do not have medical insurance; one of the highest in the developed world.

Singapore has the fastest growing foreigner population per capita in the world. Within a decade, the majority of people in Singapore will be foreign born.

Singapore has the highest paid political leaders in the world….

Singapore has the highest income gap of all developed countries.

More than one person kills himself/herself every day.

Singaporeans have the highest savings rate in the world due to CPF but many still can’t retire.

Singapore bans chewing gum but legalise casinos. Casinos are legalised in only 2 US states.

Singapore hangs the most people per capita in the world. Even more than China.

Singapore cars are the most expensive in the world.

Singaporeans have the lowest purchasing power among all developed countries. Even Malaysians in KL have higher purchasing power.

Singapore govt has the highest sovereign wealth fund per capita, and among the top few in absolute terms.

Singapore spends more on defence than Malaysia and Indonesia combined.

Singapore has only 1 newspaper company. Down from 5 a few decades ago.

Singaporeans serve NS for 2-2.5 years, this is the longest in the world after Israel.

Singapore has the world’s oldest politician. His name is Lee Kuan Yew.

Singapore has the most expensive public housing in the world.

mycroft said...

Lee Kuan Yew cares for naught but Lee Kuan Yew - that much should be blindingly obvious to a blind man. Why people continue to hunt for shards of goodness or mercy in this vindictive character is puzzling when even as early as his teens, his collaboration with the Japanese during the Occupation showed him to possess a streak of ruthlessness mixed with cowardice and lack of scruple which is simply terrifying. Lee's subsequent conduct after seizing power in 1959, the spiteful cruelty learned from observing his Kempetai masters and meted out to his opponents, simply rams home the point that he is the very last person who should ever be given the power of life and death over others.

There's no doubt whatever that he would not blink at sacrificing the nation if his personal survival was in jeopardy. The Singapore we used to know is already hollowing out as our best and brightest flee thanks to this person's despicable persona. Except for donning cleverer sheep's clothing he is in truth little different from history's other villains like Pinochet, Gadaffi, Mugabe, Mao and the rest. And unfortunately that implies Singapore can only rid itself of its curse the same way those other nations finally shook off their own leeches.

Anonymous said...

lee kuan yew thinks he is a god. he thinks himself above criticism.

Anonymous said...

Have you notice the big BONUS for the government servant equating their service to the public.Is more of pay themselves Minister.The overall million they receive but the poor old guy in rental HDB with arrear @$34 monthly rental were lock up in the cubicle for 26hours.How can this happen to a rich country like SG.What happen to the net up that link all dept to serve public that cost million.....

Anonymous said...

In August 2010, Zhang Junyi applied to Hongkong Department of Immigration to restore his Chinese citizenship. Although the Department accepted his application, it was conditional that he relinquishes his Singapore citizenship. 4 months later, Zhang Junyi notified the ICA of his intention to renouce his Singapore citizenship.

However. the ICA rejected his application, citing Section 1, Article 128 of the Singapore Constitution that a citizen can only give up his citizenship when he is above 21 years old and that parents may not make such a decision for the child.

What is your take on the rights of parents re a minor.

You can read the rest of Zhang Junyi dilemma here:

Anonymous said...

Longest-Serving Political Prisoner Chia Thye Poh Receives Award

But not from Lee Kuan Yew.

Anonymous said...

you have nothing in sincity;your life belongs to the state