Ladies and Gentlemen,
For any country, it's success has to depend on it's rule of law; the moment you lose that respect, you lose everything.
Today, Singapore legal system and it's judiciary stand thoroughly disgraced. Routinely you find the courts treating some preferentially and others harshly.
Foreigners from Western countries and locals in positions of importance or connected to the ruling party are free to commit almost any crime they want and get away with it either without any punishment at all or a mere slap on the wrist.
Ordinary Singaporeans on the other hand face the brunt of the law, many years of imprisonment and brutally beaten (caned) if not also killed by hanging.
Although they won't admit it of course, the reasoning behind this double standards by this cowardly government of Singapore is this; important Westerners and locals in high authority are especially needed in Singapore whereas an ordinary Malay bus driver is of no consequence one way or the other. So you treat these foreigners and elites one way while the local humble Singapore is punished so hard that he will never again dare to misbehave.
The Singapore state controlled newspaper, The New Paper of Dec 21, 2011 has the story "NZ man jumps bail, warrant of arrest issued". It talks about 3 foreign men, a New Zealander, an Australian and an Englishman who got drunk at Suntec City in Singapore, beat up a taxi driver, broke his head and nose and hijacked his taxi and totalled it. This is an offence which carries a jail term of 10 years as well as the beating (caning). Yet, in the case of the New Zealander Robert Stephen Dalberg, 34, the police not only let him go, but even gave him back his passport with a wink and a nod whereupon he promptly headed to Singapore's Changi Airport and took the first flight home!
He has never returned and when his father was contacted about him, he quite rightly said his son won't return and went even further by saying "He was at the wrong place at the wrong time". Quite right indeed.
You can see the special treatment for this man, a New Zealand working as a stockbroker in Singapore. What he did carried a jail term of 10 years and a thorough beating as well but they not only gave him bail, they even returned him his passport and even though Singapore airport is normally alerted in cases such as this, I suppose they even ordered them to let him leave.
On the other hand, Dr. Chee Soon Juan, Singapore Opposition politician, who has a family and his home in Singapore is refused permission to travel because not only that he is not a Western stockbroker, he is also a pain in the neck for the Lee Kuan Yew ruling family in Singapore for his opposition politics.
In my case, you recall, in 2008 I was arrested just for writing a blog post critical of Lee Kuan Yew's judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean for prostituting her judicial office by unjustly punishing Chee, bankrupting him and sending him to jail. While on bail, I had applied twice to court for permission to leave for California to attend to my law practice and return for the trial. True to form, my applications were denied, my passport confiscated and I was forced to remain in the island for a full 6 months without an income while my law practice in California almost folded up due to neglect. What else could I have expected of this morally corrupt regime? Afterall I was a former Singaporean and a known critic of the Lee administration, making me a perfect victim of their law abuse.
Lee Kuan Yew is shooting himself in the foot continuing his policy of treating some one way and some another. Today Singapore law stands disgraced around the world, and this makes it more difficult to attract good people to Singapore and drives Singaporeans embarrassed and outraged by this for settlement abroad. And more importantly, with such a disgraced reputation for the law around the world, it facilitates foreign criminals in Singapore to avoid extradition from their home countries because they can easily argue that they will never get a fair trial in Singapore's Kangaroo legal system.
I wish I was Robert Stephen Dahlberg, 34, this New Zealander's lawyer. I can assure you it would be very easy to argue against extradition to Singapore. All I would have to argue is to produce the disgraceful litany of cases where the law is routinely abused, the unpredictably of their laws and the use of cruel and unusual punishment such as brutal beatings (caning) and unacceptably frequent killings (hanging) even for the most minor offenses. No New Zealand judge would ever order an extradition request by a government such as this. They would, had it been a respectable country such as England, Canada or Germany.
Silviu Ionescu, the Romanian diplomat last year on a drunken driving spree killed a Singaporean and injured several others. In his case too, because he was a foreigner in a top position, he was allowed to leave the country and when Singapore tried to extradite him, he managed to successfully argue against it by raising the defense that Singapore's legal system is disgraced and nothing but a Kangaroo court. And he was right.
Attorney at Law
Disbarred from practicing law in Lee's Singapore, imprisoned and refused entry to the island for criticizing Singapore's judiciary in this blog (see blogpost May 29, 2008 Singapore. Judge Belinda Ang's Kangaroo Court)
Actively practicing law in California and in good standing at the California Bar.
Member in good standing as a lawyer in England and Wales (Barrister).
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