Wednesday, December 11, 2013

In Singapore, arrested criminal defendants have no right to lawyer.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There are several blatant shameful violations of human rights in Singapore island. A shocking one, for a so called modern city state is the denial of right to counsel for criminal defendants.

Singapore law states that the Defendant has the right to counsel but only after investigations are completed. Repeat "only after investigations are completed"

This means that once arrested, the police detain and interrogate him without a lawyer. If he asks for one, he is refused.

Once arrested and locked up in in the police cell, the Defendant is assaulted, threatened and intimidated or promises made to him to confess. For a  poorly educated simple person, which most people who allegedly commit crimes generally are, he has no idea what all these threats and bullying will mean to him; he is totally ignorant of his rights and almost invariably, after a while, he confesses to anything the police demand.

Once he has signed the confession, conveniently, this is "the end of their investigation" when the defendant is graciously allowed to see a lawyer. But the lawyer at this stage is of little use to him for obvious reasons since he has already confessed!

You can see the blatant violation of the rule of law here. The crucial time a defendant needs a lawyer, as we all know, is at the time of his arrest and that is also precisely the time when he is denied one.

In the US, Australia and throughout the civilized world, unlike Singapore, the criminal Defendant has the right to a lawyer as soon as he is arrested. In the US the police are obliged by law to read him his rights (also known as the Miranda warning, named after the case Arizona vs Miranda) : "you have the right to remain silent etc".

And the law specifically provides that a failure to give the Miranda warning is by itself a ground for acquittal. The law is the same in in all civilized countries including the UK, Europe, Canada, Australia and throughout the free world. This does not mean the police do not secure convictions, they do all the time. The fact that an accused is given a right to counsel from the time of arrest in no way impairs the administration of justice or the prosecution of criminal defendants. Singapore is among one of the few backward countries in the world who is afraid to give their citizens the right to counsel at arrest.

You can see why the bunch of criminal lawyers of Singapore  are no better than impostors. They simply cannot do anything for their client, in almost all cases, since their clients have all already confessed.

The only few who can resist the threats, intimidation and false promises of the police are the educated ones who know their rights. But the truth is that most criminal defendants are not educated because if they were, there is no need to resort to crime.

The problem is Singapore lawyers are a bunch of castrated eunuchs. In any other country in the world if such a denial of rights exist, they would have kicked up such a stink sky high to paralyze the whole legal system until justice is done. But in Singapore no one has the balls to do that, and ironically the ones who are most afraid of the authorities, even more than the ordinary citizen, are the lawyers.

So whenever you read stories of criminal lawyers in Singapore reported to have "defended" their clients, the truth is they have done no such thing. In truth all the laws and procedures written in the books there are just a bunch of baloney. There are no juries in criminal cases.

Moreover, all cases are decided by judge alone, who by the way are handpicked sycophants and ass lickers to obey the government unconditionally anytime. So even though you see the legal system being put through the motion, of lawyers dressed in black with judges using legalese, in Singapore it is simply one big farce.

Lee Kuan Yew and son rule the island and they rule the courts. It is as disgusting as that.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525


Anonymous said...

From today's NY Times.

Last year, just as Yale was starting a liberal arts college in partnership with the National University of Singapore, the Yale faculty, despite the university president’s objections, passed a resolution expressing concern about Singapore’s “recent history of lack of respect for civil and political rights.”

“There’s a million unanswered questions about Yale and Singapore,” Christopher Miller, a Yale professor, said. “We don’t know how much of the Singapore specialty of self-censorship has taken place. I continue to think the whole setup is inappropriate, and deeply regret that this was set up where it was and the way it was.”

Anonymous said...

Absolutely to the point.
The greatest disgrace of Singapore are its lawyers who have to date never ever challenged any of the constitutional rights of the accused.
I mean is the point of even engaging a lawyer after a confession when its a done deal.

Charles Liong said...

Obedience and subservience are beaten and deeply ingrained into Singaporeans since childhood, through the education system, military service, and eventually working life. Anyone who dares ask about constitutional rights will be branded a lunatic(do you not trust in our benevolent and generous rulers?), ungrateful(fingers pointed in the direction of other foreign oppressive regimes) or a troublemaker(you're asking questions because you wish to challenge authority).

Anonymous said...

These arrested Indian Citizens will be abused by Singapore's Police.

I ask the Indian Press to pay attention and protect the rights of their fellow citizens who were arrested in Singapore's Little India Riot.

The local lawyers are useless.

Irene Puah Siew Hoon said...

In Singapore, we do not have the rule of law, but the rule of the Lee clique. However, there are cracks showing - witness the recent riots. With some luck, dismantling of the Lee dictatorship has already kicked in.

Anonymous said...

Time for Chinese-led Singapore to review how it treats foreign workers?

Anonymous said...

Emperor Lee has thumbed down the rioters. It will be a show trial. The fate of the rioters are sealed.

Anyone who tarnished The Lee Family reputation, embarrass Lee Kuan Yew legacy, will be met with the full force of the "law" and that law is none other like the said old man.

No one gets away from a red-faced Lee. Mr Gopalan had experienced this first hand.

Anonymous said...

> It will be a show trial. The fate of the rioters are sealed.

I can see the headlines in foreign newspapers - Chinese Singapore canes Indian rioters.

Start talking to the foreign press, including those from India, and tell them about LKY's courts, lawyers and capital punishment.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what you said except what you have sign off as "A singaporean in exile". Since you have given up your singapore citizenship, you should be an Ex-Singaporean instead

Anonymous said...

I agree with what you said except what you have sign off as "A singaporean in exile". Since you have given up your singapore citizenship, you should be an Ex-Singaporean instead