Thursday, June 21, 2012

Singapore's Lee Ruling Family's attack dog, former Judge GP Selvam travels to the Maldives for more dirty work

Ladies and Gentlemen,

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

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
Fremont, California

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 Singapore 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.

2. Despite 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.

3. Today the opposition has 6 seats. However it is incorrect to describe Singapore'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.

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 Singapore 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.

7. Now coming to the Law courts, every single judge in Singapore 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?

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 England. It is not possible to say with any certainty, since Singapore’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.

10. He was given a job as a lawyer in the firm Drew and Napier which was then the largest law firm in Singapore and specialized in marine law. After some years he was selected to become a judge.

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 Singapore 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.

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 Singapore 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.

15. In London, 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.

16. Upon return to Singapore 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 London hearing although there was ample evidence that he was notified and decided not to appear.

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 Singapore 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.

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 Singapore, I should stop attacking the Lee Ruling family or their government.

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 Singapore. 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.

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 Malaysia. Today Tang is impoverished and lives in exile with his wife in Melbourne Australia. Selvam destroyed him to please his master.

24. As for Selvam, he shamelessly lives in Singapore driving around his expensive cars and flaunting his money.

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 Singapore, 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 Zimbabwe or the North Korean dictator.

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 Singapore press is state controlled and there is no investigative journalism.

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.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
Fremont, California


Anonymous said...

You missed out the fact that he was accused by lawyer Karpal Singh of the Malaysian Bar of lying.


Anonymous said...

Singapore’s legal system is considered "reputable" when it do not involved politics.

But even that is now shaky under the weight of elitism.

The most recent were two cases – one against a prominent doctor and the other a salesman – involving a similar offence, getting someone to take the rap for speeding offences.

The salesman, Charlie Lim was sentenced to six weeks’ jail for having “intentionally perverted the course of justice”.

However, well-known plastic surgeon Woffles Wu Tze Liang was charged under a different Act (“abetting” his employee to provide misleading information to the police – a less serious act) when he got his 75-year-old employee to take the rap for speeding – twice in two years. He drew only a $1000 fine.

Another recent incident – outside the court – showed how a doctor can get softer treatment when he breaks the law.

A staff nurse at a hospital who reported that a foreign doctor had touched her buttocks was reportedly “advised” not to lodge a police report.

At the same hospital last year, another foreign doctor was charged with molesting a woman in the toilet but was cleared of the charge after he paid S$5,000 to the victim. He continues to work there.

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous June 24, 1132,

It is not possible for a legal system to be "reputable" in non political cases but at the same time not reputable for political cases. Are you suggesting that a judge who abuses the law to destroy Lee's political opponents suddenly becomes impartial in a banking case? Is that what you want us to believe? Is that possible?

Aishath said...

Mr Gopalan Nair, thank you for bringing this information to us Maldivians. I would like to ask of you one question. The Vice President of the current coup Administration is a Mr Deen who has a business partner in Singapore, Mr.Ong Beng Seng of Hotel Properties Limited. Mr Ong has many investments in Maldives and was also a close friend of Fathuhulla Jameel, the long serving Foreign Minister during Maumoon's dictatorship. I think it is safe to assume Mr. Ong arranged for this corrupt Judge to be on this commission. Do you have any information on Mr. Ong regarding his involvement in politics? Thanks...

Gopalan Nair said...

To Aishath,
Thanks for your appreciation. Unfortunatley I have no information on this Mr. Ong. Perhaps he may have arranged the appointment of GP Selvam, but with the entire media in Singapore being state controlled, under a shroud of secrecy, we do not really know who is doing what as the state only tells you what they want you to know.

It may well be that the Lee ruling family may themselves have major business interests there. But if anyone openly enquired, you would be sued and bankrupted by judges like this former GP Selvam.

Anonymous said...

Hi Aishath and Gopalan,

Check out the below post on Ong Beng Seng and Hotel Property Ltd (HPL).


'Suffering and deprivation is good for the soul.'
- Mrs Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Suan Yew, brother of Lee Kuan Yew, was a director of the developer, Hotel Property Ltd (HPL), a public listed company.

Ong Beng Seng, the developer, was told that he may be charged for attempting to bribe Lee! Ong, a businessman, must have been very happy to sell 10+ properties at 20% discount costing him millions of dollars to Lee's extended family!

In Parliament:
- Mr. Lee Kuan Yew said he did no wrong, but he and his son would return the discount nevertheless.
- He also conveyed to Singaporeans that his angry wife had told him that Singaporeans were UNGRATEFUL to him.

Anyhow, Lee Suan Yew left the Board of Directors of the developer company quietly shortly thereafter.

Koh Seng Beng - the MAS manager who reported to Richard Hu that the public was getting discontented with the huge discount - was transferred out of MAS soon.

Richard Hu resigned and left politics.

Lai Kew Chai, high court judge and good friend of Lee Kuan Yew, also brought a 20% discounted property. He sentenced Tang Liang Hong - the man who exposed that the Hotel Property purchases were not limited to just Lee and his son, but involved the extended family on both sides- to bankruptcy. He died soon thereafter in his 60s.

Audrey said...

Hello. I do not think that you should mention GP Selvam's daughters. They have nothing to do with the case, and it is rather hypocritical to mention them when you have previously said GP Selvam himself "ordered the seizure of not only all [Tang's] bank assets, but also those of Tang's wife who had nothing to do with it". In the same way, GP Selvam's daughters have nothing to do with this case and by commenting about them you have brought innocent parties into the problem, the exact same way Selvam did.

Gopalan Nair said...

To Audrey,

Yes I think it is not only relevant but essential to mention his daughters as well. Why, because they by extension of his disgraceful career benefit from it. It is like Josef Goebbels, Hitler's sidekick, placing his children in important lucrative positions and when exposed, to say, they had nothing to with it.

His daughters could have publicly disowned their father or at least publicly disassociated themsleves from their father's actions. But they did not. And happily enjoy the privilages from their father's disgraced life. This is what I call shameful.

Anonymous said...


suny maldives said...

Dear Justice Selvam,

In 1965 today (August 31), your beloved country Singapore declared independence from the British. Felicitations to you and your countrymen for the remarkable strides your country has made since then. Truly an inspiration to the world.

The Maldives, a small nation, much like yours, had our first free and fair elections in 2008, and elected its first democratic leader, Mohamed Nasheed, who was ousted in a brutal coup in February of this year. As the chair of the inquiry commission who just yesterday flippantly ruled, amidst gifts of IPads and oranges, that it was not a coup but a legitimate resignation on the part of President Nasheed, despite his and half the public's cries for the most part of this year to the contrary, you must be very pleased that things went more or less smoothly and you could jet off to celebrate your independence.

Never mind that we had the same dreams as Singaporeans, to be a respected force in the region, to have a strong economy, a strong society, a fair and just country and people's. You have effectively, in a few poorly researched and analyzed strokes, shattered those dreams for us. You have tied a noose around the neck of one man, who cared enough, with his life, to make things better for us. You sentenced behind bars, an island nations hopes and dreams of a free nation - free from fear, and intimidation, free to live an honest, incorruptible, simple but respectful life. By declaring the brutal events that transpired on February 7/8 in broad daylight, on national and international television as not a coup, you've tainted democracy for us. You killed the poor man. Oh, I wish you a good day celebrating your independence all right, but I hope these truths never let's your mind or your heart rest. Our spirits will forever haunt you, honorable judge.