The editor in chief of the Times of The Maldives, Mr. MA Adam had written to me yesterday for my views on the Maldivian dictatorship appointing former Singapore Judge GP Selvam in a national inquiry to look into the recent military coup in that island.
GP Selvam spent his entire career disgracefully, using the law to destory, impoverish and silence Lee Kuan Yew's political opponents. The question to me was whether he can expect to be impartial.
I have written about him in my earlier blogs here. I have pointed out that Mr. Selvam is a thoroughly unscrupulous man who has no regard for anyone else and would do anything, however despicable he is orderd to do to further his career.
Below are my asnwers to Mr. Adam's questions
Attorney at Law
Dear MA Adam, Editor,
Thanks very much for your inquiry. It is a pleasure to respond.
1. Question: Do you think Selvam is the best person for such inquiry? If not, why not?
The answer is as follows.
1. A background on
is necessary. Despite it's attempts to paint the island as a democratic country, the truth is completely otherwise. Since 1959 Singapore is effectively a dictatorship. Lee Kuan Yew, 89 years old is effectively still the supreme ruler. In order not to look like one, some years ago, he stepped down and appointed his son as the Prime Minister and gave himself the title of Minister Mentor. Singapore
being tiny, 16 miles north to south, 26 miles east to west, the government has created 87 electoral divisions. The reason for the large number is that even if a handful of seats fell to the opposition, it will still literally be a one party state which it is. Singapore
3. Today the opposition has 6 seats. However it is incorrect to describe
's present opposition as really so. In fact they are a diluted version of opposition. They fear to confront the Lee government on real live issues because they will be removed if they did. The very fact that they were even allowed to contest the elections is because they are not the real thing. If they were even before contesting the elections, they would have been sued for defamation of character, charged with imaginary crimes and disqualified from office. They have allowed the 6 to go in so as to hoodwink the world into believing that Singapore is a multi party democracy. In any case 6 can do nothing in the face of 81 government members in Parliament. Singapore
4. As an example of this, JB Jeyaretnam, a lawyer who had challenged Lee Kuan Yew at elections was jailed, impoverished, bankrupted and disqualified from Parliament. He has since died. Another example of this repression is Dr. Chee Soon Juan. He was a university professor. He was dismissed from his job, sued for defamation of character for millions of US dollars which he cannot pay, bankrupted, disqualified from politics and refused permission to travel abroad. You can contact him through his political party The Singapore Democratic Party.
5. Lee's principle tool for repression is using the courts to sue for defamation of character, bankrupt the opponent, disqualify him from politics and jail him if necessary. In fact such misuse of the law courts is so rampant and systematic so much so that there is not one opposition politician who has not been victimized this way.
6. As a result the entire population is so afraid to question authority that no one in his right mind dares to participate in opposition politics. Why ruin your career and allow yourself and your family to be impoverished for life? On the other hand, the path to success in
is to join Lee's bandwagon and do anything he wants. If you are educated and prepared to embark on this disgraceful path, you not only can enjoy a very secure life, you will also become a millionaire if Lee likes you. Singapore
7. Now coming to the Law courts, every single judge in
is prepared to sacrifice the law in order to please their master Lee Kuan Yew. And Lee's pleasure is that the judges bend the law and destroy those victims which Lee orders destroyed. For example it is easy for these judges to say that even the slightest criticism is serious defamation of character which requires the payment of a million dollars in damages. Who is to say otherwise? Singapore
8. Now I come to GP Selvam. He is a Singapore Tamil, in a predominantly Chinese island. Tamils today form only 8 % of the population. Especially so, for an Indian to succeed like Selvam, you have to be completely ruthless in what you do to please the Lee ruling family.
9. Selvam went to
Singapore University unlike many others including myself who were educated in . It is not possible to say with any certainty, since England ’s state controlled press, absent investigative journalism, will not tell you such things, it is believed that since a young age, he became a member of the People’s Action Party and shown himself to be a loyal supporter of the Lee family dictatorship. You can imagine him in similar vein to Rudolf Hess or Goebbels, Hitler's supporters. I am only comparing the 2 simply to stress the point. Singapore
10. He was given a job as a lawyer in the firm Drew and Napier which was then the largest law firm in
and specialized in marine law. After some years he was selected to become a judge. Singapore
11. I am sure in his position as judge he has abused the law routinely to carry out the orders of the Lee Ruling family. 2 cases that come to mind are as follows.
12a. In 1984 I became an active member of the opposition Workers Party of which JB Jeyaretnam was it's secretary general. We were trying to topple the Lee Kuan Yew government. I had contested the 1988 and 1991 national elections against the ruling Lee's Peoples Action Party. Having joined the opposition, I naturally became a target for persecution and victimization by the government. I lost all my cases in court, I lost all my clients and every aspect of my daily life was thwarted whenever possible.
12. I was practicing law in
from 1981 to 1991. Approximately around 1988, I had written a letter to the Singapore Attorney General to explain why he refused to advice the president to grant a pardon to the late opposition politician JB Jeyaretnam when London's Privy Council, Singapore’s then highest court (Singapore has since abolished appeals to the Privy Council) had declared him totally innocent of all criminal charges. Singapore
13. A short background to my 1988 case. Lee Kuan Yew had ordered the Attorney General of Singapore to file trumped up criminal charges against Jeyaretnam so as to destroy him politically. He was found guilty of 2 charges of check fraud and 1 charge of filing a false affidavit. He was found guilty of all 3 charges.
14. Jeyaretnam appealed. On appeal the
court affirmed the convictions. Under Singapore law there was no further appeal. Since he was a lawyer, the Singapore Legal profession commenced disciplinary proceedings to have him disbarred. They did so. But for lawyer disciplinary proceedings, there was an appeal to the Privy Council London. Jeyaretnam appealed. Singapore
, the judges categorically declared that all these charges were all wrong, Jeyartnam suffered serious injustice and that he should be reinstated to the Bar. However since they did not have jurisdiction to reverse the criminal finding, they recommended that Jeyaretnam apply for a pardon. London
16. Upon return to
triumphant, Jeyaretnam did apply for a pardon. Lee Kuan Yew's Attorney General, Tan Boon Teik advised the President not to pardon Jeyartnam. His letter which was published in the Straits Times, stated that as he had not shown "remorse contrition and repentance for his crimes" pardon was impossible. He also said that the Privy Council's judgment was wrong because he was not given an opportunity to be heard at the Singapore hearing although there was ample evidence that he was notified and decided not to appear. London
17. Since what he claims is factually wrong, I wrote him a letter to explain why he said what he did. Just for writing this letter, the Attorney General demanded the Law Society of Singapore to commence disciplinary proceedings to have me disbarred.
18. I think the Attorney General was taken aback by my reaction to the threat of disciplinary proceedings. In almost every case, when a
lawyer is threatened with discipline for having the courage to stand up to this dictatorship, he almost always withdraws, apologizes and is silenced. What else could one do? However I refused. I disputed the charges. In 1991, the Singapore Law Society as expected found me guilty of unethical conduct. The charge was that I had "threatened" the Attorney General and had "falsely accused" him. In fact I only wrote a very polite letter. Singapore
19. The next stage in my case was a hearing before a 3 judge court for the necessary discipline to be imposed. At this point I was completely disgusted with
Singapore’s legal system and left Singapore permanently for the . USA
20. After I had left, the case came before the 3 judge court. One of the judges was this man GP Selvam. He ordered that just for writing a very polite letter to the Attorney General of Singapore, I was ordered suspended from practice for 2 years. What he was trying to do was to send a message to me that if I wanted a peaceful successful life in
, I should stop attacking the Lee Ruling family or their government. Singapore
21. Now the second instance of misusing the law by this judge. In 1997, there was an election in Cheng San GRC (Group Representation Constituency) in
. One of the opposition candidates was a lawyer Tang Liang Hong who ran under the opposition ticket of Workers Party. He openly declared at a rally that the Lee family members had dishonestly profited from the purchase of million dollar homes by receiving millions of dollars in kickbacks. This was a fact. Singapore
22. After he said this, Lee Kuan Yew and the then Prime Minister Goh Chock Tong, whom he had appointed Prime Minister, published articles in the local state controlled newspapers that Tang was a Chinese chauvinist, a racist and a thorough rascal. Since these statements about him were not true, Tang filed a police report against the Lees.
23. The very next day Lee commenced libel actions against Tang in his courts. One of the judges appointed for this case by Lee was GP Selvam. Doing his dirty work to please his master Lee, Selvam completely went flat out to finish him off. He ordered Tang to pay in total, no less than $8.075 million dollars in all (about $6 million in US dollars). In order that he actually pay this, Selvam ordered the seizure of not only all his bank assets, but also those of Tang's wife who had nothing to do with it. The properties which were seized to pay the Lees were both in
Singapore and in . Today Tang is impoverished and lives in exile with his wife in Malaysia Melbourne . Selvam destroyed him to please his master. Australia
24. As for Selvam, he shamelessly lives in
driving around his expensive cars and flaunting his money. Singapore
Question: Is Selvam a suitable person for such an inquiry?
25. He is clearly not a suitable person. In his entire life both as a lawyer and as a judge he has had no concern for
, but to enrich himself by doing anything that his master desires. Had he been living in Nazi Germany, he would have extolled the virtues of Hitler, or Mussolini or Franco. In today’s age, he would have been very comfortable serving Mugabe in Singapore or the North Korean dictator. Zimbabwe
26. He has 2 daughters, both of whom live comfortably from the rewards of his dirty work. One daughter just sits at home while her husband works as a lawyer in the firm he set up. Another daughter is a veterinary doctor. Both live quietly and away from the public eye.
27. A person such as Selvam who is prepared to destroy his fellow human beings to further his own career I believe has to be someone who lacks self confidence, is completely ruthless and thoroughly unconscionable and someone who is incapable of realizing the misery that he causes to others. One has to be sick in the mind to be a person like that.
28. Question: Is he trying to cover up some scandal?
29. This is a question I am unable to answer because I do not have any facts. The
press is state controlled and there is no investigative journalism. Singapore
Please proceed to publish this interview and kindly attach a picture of myself which is available on the Internet. Also please notify me and send me a copy of your article. I was happy to be of assistance. Please let me know if I could be of any further help.
Also if you need me there for an interview I would be pleased to come subject to my expenses being paid.
Attorney at Law