Ladies and Gentlemen,
In Egypt today it is commonly said that the "Deep State" is where real power lies. And the Deep State is the military and all the major pillars of government, including the newspapers and the courts. Together they control Egypt and everything else in it.
In Singapore too, you have the Deep State which consists of the Lee Family, with Lee Kuan Yew's son the Prime Minister. They control the government and the elections by destroying political opposition through filing defamation of character lawsuits. In this way they alone decide who is elected into Parliament and who is kept out.
The courts are an extension of the government, ever willing to bend the law to remove troublesome politicians. Examples of political action by the courts include the removal of the late JB Jeyaretnam and the destruction of Chee Soon Juan.
The newspapers are beholden to the government. They are all state controlled and report only what they are allowed to report. The Newspapers and Printing Presses Act ensures that no news media is allowed to exist without state permission.
The island's military is selected for absolute loyalty to the government and especially to the Lee family. To prevent the unlikely event of the military turning against them, Gurkha policemen mercenaries are employed to guard the Lee family in the belief that Gurkha loyalty is beyond question.
All major companies in the island are state owned and controlled by the Lee family, their relatives, both near and distant cousins. The Companies Registry in the island keeps these records secret but an examination if made would show them to be their large shareholders and directors. This is corruption on a massive scale, since these companies were created with taxpayers money who see no part of the profits.
Singapore school teachers are specially selected for their political loyalty. They are told to avoid teaching subjects such as government and politics so as not to empower their young and to keep out any ideas of a rebellion. As a result the children go through schools trained only for their vocation but incapable of any thought beyond that, as if they were a programmed robot.
There is a large network of secret police lurking among the people whose duty is to report on any sign of trouble. Anyone showing any inclination at opposition politics is closely monitored and appropriately dealt with if the need arises.
Realizing that more and more young people are voting against the government despite all their efforts, it has become necessary for the government to control the opposition parties. In this way, a vote for the opposition is not necessarily adverse to their interests.
The Workers Party, an opposition party has seven members in parliament. But the chief, Loh Thia Khiang and the others are in reality working in support of Lee Kuan Yew's party. Truly, they have nothing to do with opposition politics. This is evident by this fact alone; in spite of being in Parliament for the last two decades, democracy has not advanced in the island one inch. In fact it has become even more totalitarian!
Loh Thia Khiang's very convenient agenda is merely to give the illusion of being opposition, nothing more. He knows, with seven members in Parliament, there is nothing much he can do anyway. He also knows that the moment he manifests any tendency to becoming real opposition, Lee will have him removed. So why not make the best of it. So he talks in Parliament about the huge salaries of the Ministers, the high costs of housing and other similar grouses, which the government promptly ignores, and then he goes home.
A man who really wanted change would not just stop at making speeches in parliament. He would have done much more. He would organized protest marches outside Parliament and sworn not to let up unless his demands are met.
Issues such as freedom of speech, expression and assembly, guaranteed Constitutional rights are not matters which one compromises upon. These are not a matters to just speak in Parliament and go home.
But Low does not do any of it.
Lee Kuan Yew has literally co-opted the Workers Party into his ruling Peoples Action Party. This way you can vote for as many Workers Party candidates at the next election. It is not going to make a dent in the government machinery.
As for the average Singaporean, his job is merely to serve the Lee Kuan Yew government as a worker in one of the many state owned companies, government or elsewhere in the island. His role stops there.
All lawyers in large firms, doctors in major hospitals and other professionals toe the government line. In return they are left alone to live their quite elitist lives. Any educated professional, academic or otherwise discerning thinking individual showing any opposition tendencies is promptly removed from his post and marginalized for the rest of his life. Realizing such activity is suicidal almost all professionals academics and other educated citizens simply keep quiet or better still join the Lee bandwagon.
The Deep State in Singapore is simply too strongly entrenched. No election can unravel the grip which the Lee family has over the island. All pillars of government and repositories of power are firmly in the grip of the Lee family and his friends. The military, the law courts, the newspapers and the business community will continue to make sure of that.
What the island needs is massive protests by citizens who feel strongly enough that unless they take action to empower themselves, to reclaim their lost power, they are destined to live for an even longer time under the Lee family's totalitarian police state.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 491 8525