Ladies and Gentlemen,
In the past in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore city state there was nothing short of a thriving extortion racket by the island Ministers suing anyone who criticized them for defamation of character and literally extorting hundreds of thousands, even millions through their Kangaroo courts, examples of course were political opponents such as the late JB Jeyaretnam who would have probably paid in excess of a million dollars and Chee Soon Juan for perhaps a slightly smaller amount.
Of course there were countless other victims including Tang Liang Hong who actually had to pay millions and forced into exile. It seems as if each time someone criticizes them or their courts, they lick their chops and wait for a windfall once the Kangaroo courts have finished with them.
As a result of these repeated abuse of legal process to silence dissent, the Singapore courts, expectedly, lost all credibility whatsoever which is now seen literally as a enforcement arm of the ruling party to destroy the opposition.
Now they have embarked on another extortion racket, a quick way to make a fast buck, by awarding state funded scholarships to study abroad and blackmailing their parents to sue them for millions if they did not return to Singapore island.
This is how it works. Singaporean state agencies such as A Star, a scholarship provider, solicits science students who have done well academically in high school through scholarship awards, principally to attend college at government expense in UK or America.
Once selected, their parents or relatives are required to sign one sided performance bonds requiring the student to return and serve the government for a specified number of years. If the student either fails to complete his studies or refuses to return, their parents or relatives who had signed these contracts, although not arrested, are required to pay astronomical sums of money through Singaporean court judgments. If they fail to pay, they are impoverished, their properties sold and thrown to the streets.
From looking at the millions they demand from the hapless victims, I am not exaggerating when I say millions, it seems uncertain whether these crippling court awards are truly an attempt to force the student to return or whether it is simply a disguised government extortion racket to make large amounts of easy money, just as they do by defamation awards against Lee Kuan Yew's opponents .
I understand from anecdotal evidence that many of these students simply don't want to return once they have tasted life in the West. For one thing, they see the freedom here which they are denied in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.
Besides the fact that America and UK being far more technically advanced than Singapore, there are infinitely more career opportunities here, not to mention the ability to earn far more as well.
Other than this, the countries itself are far better. America is a large country, far more beautiful scenically and otherwise than stifling overcrowded equatorial boiling Singapore island, not to mention the people in the West being far more civilized and cultured.
Under these circumstances can anyone fault them for not wanting to return to an island which does not have a free press, no freedom of speech expression or assembly and no rule of law. A place where you can't even read the truth but instead have to rely on censored half truths from state owned news agencies.
And the thing that is most distasteful of it all is the fact that they are penalizing these innocent victims by demanding millions for something they did not even do; since it is the student who is at fault, not the poor parents.
In fact these contracts which are being used to terrorize these parents are not even legal in many jurisdictions in the world including many in the US. They come within the class of contracts which are frowned upon by the courts, as one to enforce involuntary servitude where the student is being forced to work for Singapore when he does not want to anymore. Courts in the US consider this akin to slavery and will not enforce them. But of course you will not be sued in the US but in Lee Kuan Yew's Kangaroo courts where you are totally at their mercy.
What these parents don't realize is that they are being fooled to accept these scholarships since science based students who do well at their bachelors degrees in the US are usually awarded scholarships anyway.
As a result of an ongoing serious shortage of students pursuing science based degrees, American colleges have no choice but to offer generous scholarships to avoid being left far behind China and India which produces far more science students. In fact the majority of science based students in US colleges at Masters or PhD level are mostly from abroad.
Since students in the US can obtain scholarships here anyway there is simply no need for them to be fooled into these Singapore government scholarships. One reason why they place such astronomical damages clauses in their contracts maybe because they are already aware of the danger that many will not want to return and therefore what better way to force them than by blackmailing their hapless parents.
My advice to Singapore students is not to accept these one sided crippling blackmailing performance bonds.
You should send your child to the US for an education with your own funds which is really not really much, because students here are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week anyway.
And once they graduate with good grades, they will invariably get scholarships which will take care of them from then on. After that they will be financially far better off in their career here in the West than they will ever be in Lee Kuan Yew's authoritarian one party state island, where the slightest criticism will land you in jail or bankrupt you.
Especially with a good education, you don't have to live like that.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525