Despite the outward trappings of a modern city
Although it has a Constitution which when originally drafted in 1963 at the time of Independence with Malaysia and subsequently enacted on August 9, 1965 when Singapore became independent on it's own, had the usual guarantees of human rights in accordance with the Universal Declaration of the United Nations, the Lee government which has literally turned the island into a one party police state has whittled away every one of them leaving it's citizens no rights at all. Any privilege which they have is entirely by license or dictates. If they have any right, it is because the government allows it, not because any Constitution guarantees it.
Section 14 of the Constitution reads
"Every citizen of
But having said that, Section (2) of this section conveniently takes away every one of these rights. It reads "Parliament by law may impose on the rights conferred by Clause (1) (a) such restrictions as it considers necessary or expedient" "such restrictions as it considers necessary or expedient in the interests of security".
Now comes the laws that take away the rights in the Constitution.
Singapore’s Public Order Act Chapter 257A, 2009, an addition to Public Entertainment and Meetings Act Chapter 257, 1958 states in Section 5 (1), Subject to the provisions of this Act, that "A public procession or assembly shall not take place unless "the Commissioner is notified and a permit is granted" Section 6 reads "Notice shall be provided to the Commissioner even if "the demonstration is carried on by the person himself" and the meaning of the word assembly "a demonstration by a person alone"
In other words, even if you intended to stand alone by yourself somewhere and make a speech, you need a permit!
What this all means in Lee Kuan Yew's
To try to make itself look good,
No foreigner is allowed to speak or take part unless he had a permit. And under the Public Entertainments and meetings Act Chapter 257 Section 18, the Licensing officer can arrest anyone whom he suspects of committing or attempting to commit an offense.
And to make sure that the government can stop anyone, the police have a right to refuse permission for anyone to speak even at Speakers Corner just like that.
In addition, to make sure that they are completely shielded from public dissent, several areas such as the vicinity of Parliament House, the Presidential Palace, police stations, areas close to embassies are all declared "Gazetted Areas" which means no one is allowed to protest any where near them. Such restrictions are both redundant and an overkill since protests throughout the island are illegal anyway without permission (which by the way is never granted), because you need a permit to protest anywhere in the island.
The government allowing protests at the Speakers Corner, by the way of course subject to the government’s complete discretion to stop it, is in fact useless in reality. For instance, if workers wanted to protest their unjust dismissals at Sembawang Shipyard, they would expect to do it in the vicinity of the shipyard at Sembawang because that is where they will attract the attention of both their employers and the general public. There is no use at all for them to protest against Sembawang Shipyard at Hong Lim Park Speakers corner about 20 miles away where no one would know what on earth they are on about! Yet according to the Lee Kuan Yew government of
Singaporeans should realize that they are living under a virtual dictatorship without any rights to complain whatsoever. It is natural human nature to protest an injustice. In
The hope of democracy is to place as little restriction of people's right of expression and protest because of the belief that a country benefits through increased citizen participation of divergent views, philosophies and theories, and that a conflict of ideas is a good thing which should be encouraged, not suppressed.
The Singapore government police state on the other hand is determined to suppress divergent opinions allowing only those who comport with their thinking, presumably because they fear being over thrown if dissent is allowed.
And with Kangaroo courts that will make any judgment or any court order to satisfy the Lee government, the reality in the State of Singapore is that no one has any rights to speak in public, assemble in public or protest in public about anything.
The outside world reading this must realize that Singaporeans who live in their island have to be simply just dumb to accept a life such as this; there can be no other word for them. No one with any self respect would be prepared to live like this unless you are dumb.
Unfortunately the level of education of those remaining within the island is pretty low. Most have no idea of such things as human rights and go about their lives hoping to be left alone while they are happy in return to leave the government alone.
Educated Singaporeans and those who are prosperous would know that this is not the sort of life to live. As a result most of them have left the island for settlement abroad and many are leaving as we speak. Of course, you also have the hypocrites and unprincipled characters who know that they are actually living as slaves but are willing anyway for the high rewards the government pays them as collaborators.
Foreigners coming to Singapore should be told what they are coming to, an island which the Lee government, literally run by the 92 year old Lee Kuan Yew who has appointed his son as the Prime Minister and their cronies and close relatives in high places, as if it was their personal possession.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Tel: 510 491 4375