Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am not sure whether Singapore strongman Lee Kuan Yew or his son, the anointed Prime Minister had ever said the words "If you live in glass houses, don't throw stones" but the metaphorical warning has been made very clear by their actions to their helpless subjects for the last 52 years! By referring to the glass house, I mean of course Singapore island.
For a former native born citizen and a victim of his repression, I can make this painful revelation unequivocally; the only way to live happily in Singapore is to be a card carrying supporter of Lee Kuan Yew and his Peoples Action Party.
It is in reality no different from Nazi Germany minus the murders, Franco's Spain, Mussolini's Italy or Stalin's Soviet Union. Without exception, every single instrument of control is directly answerable to Lee Kuan Yew, and since he is 90 years old and about to die, today vicariously his son.
The Constitution has no longer any meaning. Every single right of the citizen including freedom of speech, expression and assembly is denied. The courts publicly and openly make comical judgments to punish political opponents who are naïve enough to think otherwise.
The entire Media is state controlled under the island's Newspapers and Printing Presses Act, TV and radio included. Elections every 5 years are stage managed and Lee Kuan Yew's handpicked candidates invariably win. If any naïve individual is dumb enough to think these proceedings are real and goes ahead to challenge the Supremo, he will face defamation action, contempt of court charges, bankrupted and even jailed.
As a result of this total control, you can imagine the type of people who inhabit that island.
The ordinary Singaporean is a person who, out of necessity keeps his thoughts to himself for the sake of a living. Then you have those looking for much greater rewards like the judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean, who shamelessly in full sight of the public prostitutes her judicial office to please her master. For the dirty work she does, she is rewarded handsomely, I mean in the millions. I was in her court in 2008 in Singapore watching the shameful spectacle of her making short shrift of the law against Lee Kuan Yew's political opponent Chee Soon Juan.
I am not exaggerating when I say this, now that I am a well publicized Lee Kuan Yew opponent.
Since I criticized the Singapore government, even though I was born there, I have been deported.
To return I need a visa which they will not give. Even if I could get one, no hotel will give me accommodation. Even if some hotel did in the unlikely event not knowing who I was, the moment they discover my identity, they would refuse accommodation.
Assuming I never left Singapore and remained a citizen, I would never be given a job. Even if I found one somehow, I would probably be fired the next week. I probably would not be served in restaurants.
In other words life would become so miserable that sooner or later, I would just have to stop being Gopalan Nair and subscribe to the ideas of Lee Kuan Yew and his political party.
The reason why no one would give me service is not necessarily because there is a directive from the Prime Minister's office but because the ordinary citizen is afraid of government reprisals for assisting a known political opponent.
Yes, it is as bad as that. And anyone who has read history would have known that this was how it was in Nazi Germany, Franco's Spain, Mussolini's Italia or Soviet Union under Stalin.
No developed democracy in the world behaves like this. I can be an Obama opponent and still succeed in America.
Question is, whether any nation can progress if it's people are forced to keep their thoughts of government to themselves like they do in Singapore.
Any country especially one like Singapore island in the 21st Century which depends on free trade and international traffic has to have a thinking people with new ideas, as it is ideas that advance any society. But because allowing people to think openly may threaten their monopoly of power, father and son simply silences them.
Beside the fact that this sort of suppression impedes progress, it is also a life that any thinking person would find abhorrent. And this explains why increasingly greater numbers of local talented Singaporeans continue to emigrate since the only way to live in peace and succeed requires you to submit.
Singapore is a glass house and you are well advised not to throw stones while in it. Or else Big Brother will get you.
In the end, do I have any regrets? None at all. The punishment that the tin pot tyrant has dished out has been my ammunition to continue writing to the world the dire situation there. And not being able to return is a small price to pay, and well worth paying.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in exile
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 491 8525