Ladies and Gentlemen,
Singapore state controlled news media Channel News Asia of March 08, 2012 has this surprising story, given the island is run by the Lee ruling family, it's Minister for Education claims that he wants to instill "character" in students, see article "Minister outlines MOE's plans for holistic education"
Given the fact that anyone with any character in the past have all gone to jail or branded as criminals, I mean men such as the late JB Jeyaretnam, Chee Soon Juan, exiled opposition politician Tang Liang Hong and Chia Tye Poh, it's longest standing political prisoner, one begins to wonder what this man means by "character".
Any objective observer would declare that Singapore's present role models are a bunch of rascals, devoid of even an iota of character by any reckoning. They have no character worth mentioning whatsoever.
Take Singapore's Chief Justice Chan Sek Kiong, someone ordinarily with some integrity, but in Lee's Singapore he is the complete reverse. He is a man who shamelessly abuses his office to further the interests not of the law but that of his boss the Lee ruling family. A complete yes man, no less.
Recall in 1997 his astonishing judgement where he declared Lee Kuan Yew and his friends innocent of any wrong doing under the Parliamentary Elections Act for being found within a polling station on voting day when even being found within 200 years of it would have already made them guilty. What he was saying is that Lee Kuan Yew is above the law.
If a man like this is supposed to have character under the Singaporean meaning, no mother who cares for her child should want any part of it.
Then you have role model citizen and lawyer Davinder Singh, Singapore's best civil lawyer, whose principle duty is to sue political opponents for defamation of character whom the Lee ruling family does not like and bankrupt them. This man disgraces himself and his profession. Is this the sort of character the Minister is trying to build?
Then we have the disgraced judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean who awarded damages of several hundreds of thousand dollars against Chee Soon Juan, jailing and bankrupting him through abusing her judicial office to please Lee Kuan Yew. Is this the sort of character he is looking for?
He makes these nonsensical statements in this report which indicates either that he does not know what Singapore is or he deliberately wants to insult our intelligence. He says "education must develop the whole person". True but what type of person have you in mind? Like the sort of the recently deceased Lee Kuan Yew yes man Attorney General Tan Boon Teik?
This statement about Singapore students is funny. He says students have to be able to "discern truths from untruths". What do you call Singapore's state controlled media such as this Channel News Asia? Is it true or propaganda? Should not the student be asking why there is no independent press throughout the island? Or will asking that question result in his being branded as lacking character?
He says developing the "whole child must begin with instilling the right character." But history has shown that in Singapore anyone who has actually shown any character has in fact not been appreciated but punished.
Take my own case in 2008. When I attended the Singapore High Court case of Lee Kuan Yew vs Chee Soon Juan, I found the judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean clearly abusing her office and denying Chee a fair trial. Since speaking out against injustice and dishonest judges such as this woman would ordinarily be the right action, I thought I was behaving honorably with "character" when I wrote that she was indeed a disgrace. Instead of being appreciated for character, I am in fact according to Singapore's Lee ruling family, nothing less than a criminal.
Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore Minister of Education should not be wasting his breath and insulting our intelligence about his project to do the impossible. It is like Hitler's Joseph Goebbels saying that he is going to make the Nazi youth have character. It is an impossible task.
I think Education Minister Heng Swee Keat should be honest at least once and say that "character" that Singapore is looking for is for one to forget one's principles altogether and think of enriching themselves any way they can. In order to do this they should join the Lee ruling family's political party and agree with everything they say regardless of what you personally felt.
If you spend sufficient time doing this, the Lee ruling family may recognize and appreciate your loyalty. And you may become another Ting Pei Ling, the youngest woman (more like a child really) who has recently got into Parliament and landed herself a very profitable career.
This is the Singaporean meaning of character. And this Minister would himself be showing character by not denying it.
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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