Sunday, May 13, 2012

Singapore island. Another lesson for Singaporeans. The Hougang case.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore island's state controlled newspaper Straits Times of May 14, 2012 has the story, "Hougang woman pulls offer to withdraw case". Not too long ago, Hougang, one of a handful of constituencies held by the opposition (actually only half opposition because the Lee ruling family will not allow any real opposition) in almost a one party island state, had its representative sacked because of his infidelity to his wife. As the constituency remained unrepresented for nearly 2 months with no indication from the government that they intend to hold by elections, M Ravi, a rather controversial Singapore island lawyer decided to bring suit on behalf of his Hougang client to force the government's hand.

A few days ago, events having overtaken this lawsuit, as the government had declared by elections to be held on May 16, 2012, M Ravi on behalf of his client understandably applied to withdraw the lawsuit  only to change his mind and insist on proceeding a few days later.

It appears that his change of mind was because the government was rescinding it's earlier promise to Ravi not to demand costs, which by the way would run into tens of thousands of dollars, which would naturally bankrupt the poor client because, as the government newspapers repeatedly say, she is nothing more than a poor "part time HDB (government housing agency) cleaner".

Ravi now wants to resurrect his demand for a trial even though the Lee ruling family (Singapore island government) has agreed to hold by elections, because I suppose he feels that if his client is made to pay costs even for withdrawing this lawsuit, she might as well pay after giving them a fight.

But what you see is not what meets the eye. Underneath all this, Singapore island is engaging in it's usual work of "educating" Singaporeans. The Lee ruling family that govern Singapore island has all along felt that no opportunity should be lost if it can be turned to political advantage, even if it involves a poor "cleaner woman".

In the eyes of the Lee ruling family, this sort of law suit in Singapore island is not only unwelcome but unprecedented. In the past history of Singapore island, there has not been another case such as this where a Singaporean, and especially a mere "cleaner woman" challenging the all powerful Lee ruling family. They don’t like this sort of behavior from it's citizens. Singaporean islanders according to Lee Kuan Yew are no better than "digits" which was a term he has used in the past. He has also said that he is what he is, because people fear him, and if not he is "nothing".

So the need to send an appropriate signal to this woman and other Singaporean that this sort of behavior, (taking out lawsuits against the island government) cannot and will not be tolerated. So how better to teach this and every other Singaporean out there, than to award costs as a form of punishment; to deter anyone else out there who may have second thoughts on suing the all mighty Lee ruling family.

But even the claim of costs may be a charade. Even though the island government may say that costs of $50,000.00 are awarded against this poor woman, they may not take any steps to recover the money. This is no more than a political opportunity for them. All they are trying to do is to silence and cow the rest of Singaporeans. It really doesn’t matter whether this woman pays the money.  You see, it is an exercise in “education”. This case is an education to everyone else out there not to get out of line. It is the same old Chinese tactic of "killing a chicken to frighten all the monkeys".

This is exactly what they did to me. In 2008 in Singapore island , when they charged me for contempt of court after they had already sent me to prison for writing a blog critical of Singapore island judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean for her abuse of the legal system, they had imposed costs of $5,000.00 against me. I had never paid this, and was allowed to leave the island without paying. In fact Jeffrey Chan, the government lawyer for the Attorney General had in fact openly stated in court when this penalty was imposed that it was not going to be enforced. The plan was to just have this fact of $5,000.00 costs to be published in their newspapers so that Singaporeans would be told that this penalty was imposed. The plan was never to recover the amount. Up till now I have not paid and neither has Singapore’s Lee ruling family done anything about it.

The Lee ruling family's Singapore island is a joke. In the past without the Internet we would not have known. But now we do.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
Fremont, California, USA
(510) 657 6107


Anonymous said...

Agreed. This is the method of choice for them to silence dissent. It had worked very well pre-Internet. I'm not sure how effective it is in the age of Internet and social media. It's highly likely that there will be an organized fund raising via the Internet to pay for the cost levied against the woman.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is gone if Greece go!

>60% of its GDP wealth is held in European banks