Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today Singapore's Parliament is comprised entirely of Lee Kuan Yew party members, with 6 helpless toothless and powerless opposition members as against his 81, and with a majority like this, Singapore is in fact non other than a pure one party state, just as the Soviet Union was, which means he can pass any law he wants, repeal any law he wants and do literally anything he wants anytime with noone to question whatsoever.
Which is why in Singapore, there is no individual freedoms to speak of. Freedom of speech is criminalized, protests are criminalized and any form of criticism readers the person to arrest imprisonment and bankruptcy under his laws as they stand.
As for the courts, there are no jury trials and ever single judge is singularly handpicked for his willingness to abuse the laws to send any of his critics and opponents to jail anytime he wants he wants for any length of time Lee desires, under Lee's laws.
So in truth Singaporeans are totally helpless to question his authority. It is possible for someone to live in Singapore but it comes with the proviso that this is possible only as long as you are willing to be completely and entirely subservient obedient and compliant.
These are the facts.
However, if this is in fact known to the world, he and his Singapore are not going to look very nice at all. He wants to attract foreign investment, he wants to attract foreign students to study in Singapore and he wants skilled foreigners to work and live in Singapore. If indeed these dire secrets are known publicly, it is going to be an impediment to his grandiose plans of a global city, one that has all manner of foreigners but at the same time, one that is under his iron grip.
Therefore he desperately needs to spin a yarn and keep the charade going. He has to convince people that Singapore is something which it is not. He has to try to make people believe that his Singapore is a democracy, where it's citizens can live as they live in London, Paris or Rome as a free people.
And to pursue this plan, he uses his state controlled newspapers to regularly spin a yarn about the island being a free and liberal society, which if you looked more carefully, will realize it is nothing but so much drivel, or horse dung.
Remember, in addition to Singapore being a one party state, his judges are all there to do as he wants. Now if you add another organ of power to his total control, which is the press and media, Lee Kuan Yew finally has everything he needs to keep his people eternally under his grip, unless of course there is a revolution.
As if controlling Parliament and the judiciary is not enough, Singapore's press media and the entire mass communication system is state owned. Every newspaper, every TV and radio station, every magazine has to print exactly what he wants and nothing else. If they did not obey, their licenses would be revoked and their owners sent to jail.
As far as the press is concerned, every single newspaper is owned and controlled by Singapore Press Holdings, a government owned company, whose daily activities are supervised and directed by government ministers. Every TV and radio station is directly owned and operated by the government. Every private magazine needs a permit and if something that Lee does not like appears in them, the publications are banned and their editors prosecuted.
With all this control Singapore is in fact no better or no worse that North Korea. So the need to paint a picture of independence and freedom in these propaganda sheets, so as to make the law look better than what it is.
The reader should also remember that under Singapore's Singapore's criminal law, any criminal accused has no chance at all, once arrested. Please read my earlier blog on its shameful state. After arrest a criminal accused is denied counsel for several days while the police interrogate and torture him. Once they get the confession, which they always do sooner or later, they then hand him over to his lawyer who by that time can do nothing for him since he has already confessed.
Under these ridiculous Alice in Wonderland legal system, Lee and his government regularly put out "news" or more correctly described as propaganda stories in praise of their legal profession. Take this case. The State controlled newspaper the Straits times online edition of Jan 15, 2012 has the story "Young lawyers starting early on pro bono legal work". It talks of Singapore's lawyers increasing doing more pro bono work.
Ms June Lim, a lawyer is stated as saying "doing pro bono work is the reason why I am a lawyer". Really? The report says "Students and young lawyers like Ms Lim 25 whose focus is juvenile and family law work, help those in need of legal aid for free". All very nice indeed. But someone should ask, what for? What can any of these lawyers do anyway, as eventually the cases have to come before Singapore's judges who are there only to make sure that noone gets away and Lee Kuan Yew is pleased.
Take this story in Lee's state controlled press. The Straits Times of Jan 15, 2012 online edition has the story, "Panel of advisers gives law firm market perspective". The story is written by the 61 year old veteran propaganda agent (Singapore's definition of journalist) KC Vijayan. He was formerly a prison officer and with the mass resignations over the years from Lee's generally disgraced newspapers, they were looking for anyone to fill the vacancies which was when men such as him got hired. Since then, for the past 20 years or so, he has obediently written these reports which were nothing more than regular attempts to make Lee's newspapers look as if they were something they were not.
In this report, it is mentioned that a Law firm called Law Asia has set up office in Singapore and employed a panel of advisers who are non lawyers to help their services. It seems the job of these advisers are to report to the lawyers what the public thinks of them so as to improve their performance. It goes on to talk of their network of important people and connections abroad including universities and banks and engineering companies. It also states that it has connections with important people in South Africa and other far flung places and a whole lot of other self praise or in essence advertising.
Frankly anyone who can think logically would have probably asked the question as to why Lee Kuan Yew's state controlled press is giving free advertising to this particular law firm and secondly even if all that was said about them was true, how is this story even remotely newsworthy?
Why in Heavens should I be interested to know that Law Asia has a whole panel of advisers? They should be practicing law, not going around engaging advisers; at least that is what I thought a lawyer was supposed to do. This story is simply rubbish, there is no other word for it. In any case, have you ever asked yourself since Lee's judges can do anything with the law anytime they want in pleasing the Singapore government, what can any fancy lawyer do about anything anyway?
Then we have this story in the same state controlled newspaper of Jan 13, 2012 headed "Good if Attorney General explains charge decisions lawyers say". This is a story by the same propaganda purveyor KC Vijayan who reports on the right of the Attorney General to exercise prosecutorial discretion.
The story reports lawyers and academics have suggested it as a good thing for the Attorney General to state his reasons which arose from a case involving Singapore's intent to execute a petty drug mule (Singapore has the highest execution rate in the world given it's size) while reprieving his accomplice.
All this talk about law and procedure is a total waste of time in Singapore if anyone knew it's legal system, which is not accountable to law but to Lee Kuan Yew. This is another attempt to give the impression that there is a whole lot of dialogue and discussion about Singapore's laws, as one would expect in a democratic country, when in actual fact, in the end, it is what the judge decides whichever way he wants in Lee Kuan Yew's island according to Lee Kuan Yew's wishes, simple as that.
I only hope that the readers would be more aware of the game this fellow is playing in his state controlled press with this sort of drivel which he hopes will be believed by gullible foreigners who may not know what the real Singapore is.
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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