Monday, January 21, 2013

Singapore's demand that I obtain permission to visit the island hurts

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me be frank. I miss Singapore. Don't get me wrong. I did not mean I want to live in Singapore. But it is good to visit the island once in a while. I like to take a walk along Exeter Road where I was born and spent my childhood, Winstedt School (which no longer exists) in Newton next to Monks Hill School, Orchard Road from the junction of Grange Road and towards Tanglin where I spent my young days playing, fighting and doing things other boys do.

During the past years I had visited almost every year, sometimes twice a year. I still have friends who lived in Somerset Road just behind my house in Exeter Road, with whom I had fun visiting.

In my last visit in 2008 which undoubtedly angered the Singapore strongman Lee Kuan Yew, I was deported and now cannot enter even with my US passport unless I have a visa.

Requesting a visa is itself problematic. Even if they did give me one, there is no guarantee that I won't be arrested again in Singapore for having continued to write against the denial of the rule of law and fundamental freedoms in the island. Moreover I have not paid them the costs of my contempt of court case in Singapore and the costs of the disciplinary case against me for questioning the Attorney General of Singapore in 1998, all trumped up charges by a kangaroo court, no less.

But however long I am kept away from Singapore; I shall not stop writing this blog and shall not stop attacking the dictatorial one party police state of Singapore until it changes. If the price for my troubles is the inability to visit my country of birth because the island's tin pot tyrant doesn't like me, then so be it. It is a price I am willing to pay, although it hurts.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 4375


Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that Mr Nair, I hope emperor Lee lives long enough to see his political hierarchy crumble in the 2016 elections and the opposition lifts your ban. (^___^)

Anonymous said...

Gopalan, You are blessed to be living in USA. Beats the thousands of us here who are stuck with no hope of ever leaving. Lee is just one cowardly tyrant who shamelessly propagates singapore as a model of success. I am puzzled why he is so respected by world leaders. Even US presidents. Surely they know better.

Anonymous said...

Good spirit. Keep it up

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous Jan 22 0859,

Come on, if you want to leave, sure you can. Student visa, immigrating through marriage, investment, asylum application, etc etc etc.

Europe is wide open despite it's economic problems in the south countries, so are the Americas and elsewhere. The oppurtunity for you is always there. It is only a matter of going.

There are risks, trials and tribulations along the way in the adventure. That is why it is all the more exiting.

It is not an organized package tour. You are on your own on an adventure.

If men have traversed the oceans single handed, climbed mountains and conquered the wilderness alone, what is there to move to another country? A piece of cake.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous Jan 22 0859.

You don't know what you are missing until you leave SG. I felt the same way as you, 12 years ago, until I took the bold step. Frankly, anywhere outside of SG is better. Your thinking style, lifestyle will change and you will realise who much you have been indoctrinated over the years to stop thinking and only follow. Can't blame the system because SG is so small and can't offer much.This is the biggest problem. Yes, you can make money and pay less tax but it is a stifling lifestyle and policies are short time focused. Money is not everything, this is what I have learnt by leaving SG. I, once sent an email to my state premier to share my thoughts on a certain policy and I promptly got a reply for a meeting invite to discuss my concerns further. It is all so different. The best thing I got by leaving SG was that my kid have so much opportunity to develop and grow.

Anonymous said...

Leaving Singapore is a good way for me to re-discover human dignity, find respect for myself and to re-engage with nature.

Sure, it is not a bed of roses. I am responsible for life, my safety and my well-being.

Also, they are complaints. Eg
Australia is not efficient. Everytime we make something more efficient, we lost something important. So, efficiency is not always the best way forward.

I drag myself to visit Singapore. If not for family & friends, I do not want to step in there because I cannot afford stop to smell the flowers in Singapore without getting "knocked down" by the constant flow.

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous who said,

"Australia is not efficient".

Is it not ironical that the country which you say is not efficient, is magnet for the immigration from all over the world and your so called "efficient Singapore" is the tin pot tyrant's island from which everyone wants to escape, of all countries to the "inefficient" Australia!

I think there is something inherentley wrong your observation.

Anonymous said...

SG should either buy back christmas island from Australia or join forces with Malaysia.There is only so much SG can grow economically. This will be a good decision for SG to sustain itself. If I am wrong, because of my lack of foresight, I stand corrected.

Anonymous said...

Replying about Aussie inefficiency.

Singapore is a model of robotic squeaky clean efficiency, the type of efficiency that big corporations love.

Australia takes its time to do things humanely, with human dignity and compassion. CEOs call this system inefficient.

The Emergency Dept doctor treating me was caught telling his boss that he was breaking the 4-hour rule because he needed more time to observe and assess my medical condition. Seeing more patients is less important than getting his diagnosis right.

My mom in Singapore was put on a taxi home over a similar medical condition many years ago. The follow-up treatment was with a doctor of wrong speciality because the efficient booking system found him to be the only doctor available.

A lot of people love Singapore's efficiency, except the natives.

Putting people first, or putting costs first?

Anonymous said...

oh i really want to go out and explore! Moreover i want to study archaeology! but singapore doesn't offer courses like that...they only have boring old memorizing stuff jobs :( are there any schools in US that i can study archeology in? Currently looking for a junior college that has appropriate courses but i don't think they do...