Ladies and Gentlemen,
An entire island of 5.1 million people in Singapore live, literally speaking, double lives. They have to behave one way when they know the reality is another.
You have an island which in reality is a one party fascist state. The Lee ruling family of Singapore literally control everything, own everything and run everything through their Peoples Action Party which has been continually running the island since 1959. They pay themselves each $5.7 million a year each. This is simply theft and corruption.
They control all the newspapers and media. Any information about the island and official matters are strictly controlled. The people get to hear what they want them to hear. What you get is propaganda, no different from what you would get in North Korea.
The judges are personally appointed by the Lee family who willingly, as part of their duties punish and destroy political opponents through the misuse of the law. There is no rule of law with the legal system completely politicized. Government cronies and rich foreign bankers receive preferential treatment; ordinary people without any connections are dealt with more harshly while government opponents and critics receive the blunt end of the stick. The people have lost faith in the law.
Workers are denied the right to freely organize. Union leaders are appointed by the government to protect employers and any attempt to strike or go slow will result in imprisonment.
Singapore’s Lee ruling family prohibits constitutional rights including free speech, expression and assembly and any attempt to do this will result in arrest, imprisonment and permanent harassment and victimization in the future in all walks of life. You will lose your job, you will be falsely charged with criminal offenses and until such time as you repent and submit, your life would be Hell.
I am one such victim of the Lee ruling family's wrath. Since 1984, after openly joining the former Workers Party and contesting elections and continuing to be a government critic ever since, my picture has been repeatedly published in their state controlled press, media and television. That was a signal that henceforth I should be denied any privileges whatsoever. In 2008 after I had criticized one of Lee's judges Belinda Ang Saw Ean while in Singapore, for shamelessly abusing the law against Lee's political opponent Chee Soon Juan in court, I was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment and subsequently disbarred from practicing law in Singapore. For the rest of my life Lee’s Singapore will deny any privileges to me which others might be allowed.
Thanks very much but I have no intention to stop my criticism,
Everyone in Singapore with eyes can see these injustices. Yet Singaporeans go along and pretend as if there is nothing wrong.
Take a Singapore Air Force pilot who flies for his country, a country which he knows has no rule of law, a country which denies him a right to free speech and expression, a country that would sue him for defamation of character if he ever criticized the Lee family and where they pay themselves 5 times the salary of the President of the United States, which is theft.
How does a pilot risk his life and fight for a country such as this? An American pilot when he files for the USA knows that he is defending America, which despite all its faults has the rule of law, a respect for the Constitution and place where he has rights. A Singapore pilot who knows as much as I do about his country may want to drop a bomb over Lee Kuan Yew's house instead of defending them.
Consider any Singapore lawyer. He knows that the courts before which he appears is nothing other than Lee Kuan Yew's tools to silence the opposition and any attempt to challenge them; whereas an American lawyer knows when he steps into that courtroom that he can expect justice regardless of who he is, rich or poor, connected or not. An American lawyer has no problem practicing his profession with his conscience intact. How does a Singapore lawyer do it?
A teacher in Singapore’s schools knows the importance of her students speaking the truth, the importance of such qualities as integrity, honesty and courage. What good is an education if you do not have integrity?
Yet she knows that if she told her students to speak the truth, she would lose her job. She has no choice but to lie about the greatness of Lee Kuan Yew just as a North Korean teacher would have to lie about the greatness of Kim Jong An. She cannot tell her students that Singapore strongman Lee is actually a dictator even though it is true. Poor woman. She does it because she needs a job and not so confident of going it alone in Australia.
It is not a very pleasant existence, not for the teacher and neither for the student.
And the same applies to every single human being in the island from the civil servant to the taxi driver. They all know as much as I do. Yet they have to go along with their lives as if Singapore was a democracy. They have to pretend that its judges are independent. They have to pretend as if their courts are independent and they have to pretend as if they have freedom.
This sort of a double life could have gone on perfectly well 20 years ago, but it is simply not possible now. In 1982 Hafiz al Assad could have murdered several thousands of Syrians and be none the worse for it, but not his son in 2012 with the Internet.
Although the Lee ruling family can crack down with brutal force against his detractors now, the ease with which people can cross borders today and the fact that news cannot be stopped from spreading via the Internet makes their attempts to continue by doing one thing and pretending something else more and more difficult.
True, with a state controlled media, you can say anything you want but when the people don't believe it anymore, it becomes increasingly difficult to enforce your rule. In this distasteful lifestyle, people with the luxury of leaving will leave, and building better roads and water canals to beautify the island as they do now, cannot compensate for the distaste of living double lives.
I am not sure whether a Singapore Air Force pilot in one of his sorties carrying live bomb payload will decide to change course one fine day from his live firing target to turn Lee Kuan Yew's house into one, a target.
Neither am I sure when or if any army officer would decide to drive his tanks to that same house and discharge a volley of shells and finish off the Lee family once and for all.
I am not sure if any of this would happen and if it does when. But one thing I am sure which is this. The rot continues. Singaporeans continue to emigrate in droves to Australia and the West. The rate of childbirth continues to be the lowest in the world and the increasing older generation is simply dying off. In their place are brought in recent Communist Chinese looking for work and some from the West to work as off shore lawyers and bankers. None of them care a wink for the interests of the island.
Since being dedicated and loyal to a corrupt regime by anyone is impossible, Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore has completely lost anyone with a real passion or love for their country.
On the other hand it is not hard for an American to love and respect his country. It has a constitution and laws which are respected. It is not run by any family such as Singapore’s Lee ruling family, telling them what can and cannot be done, or what is permitted and what forbidden.
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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