Sunday, May 25, 2014

Why Lee Kuan Yew's son, the Singapore Prime Minister is a fool to give an ultimatum to critic blogger Roy Ngerng.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The state controlled Singapore newspapers, are abuzz with the news that he has given a dateline of 5 pm Singapore time Monday for Roy Ngerng, some heretofore unknown blogger to hand him a proposal of damages to pay for defamation of character lawsuit or else he will file a lawsuit against him, which means, if history is anything to go by, several hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages and bankruptcy.

The brief facts are that Roy Ngerng, a 33 year old Singaporean health care worker had written in his blog that it is suspicious where the citizens CPF moneys have gone (Singaporeans state managed retirement funds) as the interest rates supposed to accrue and actually given do not tally.

As expected in the trigger happy, defamation regime, Lee Kuan Yew's son, the Prime Minister, as was his father, they have immediately threatened to sue the poor blogger in the their Kangaroo courts, which always with clockwork precision decide in favor of the Lees and their government never mind the evidence. In Singapore when the Lees sue it is like the trial of the rabbit who stole the tart in Alice in Wonderland. The sentence comes first and then the evidence!

In the present tense political atmosphere of Singapore, Lee's son is a fool to threaten Roy Ngerng. It appears he has given till 5 pm on Monday for Ngerng to come up with an offer, otherwise he is going to sue.

Unfortunately for Lee's son, Singapore is not the same as it was before. This week alone 5 teenagers had climbed to a government housing block in Toa Payoh a suberb of Singapore and written the words "Fuck you PAP", "Wake up SG" and "Singapore government cannot give us democracy". They were arrested under wide publicity in the state controlled press with threats that they would be dealt with severely with long prison sentences and would be beaten (caned). To make matters worse, just after Roy Ngerng's receipt of Lee's son's threats of defamation lawsuit, 6 bus stations in Clark Quay were sprayed with slogans in support of him.

In any other country, anti government graffiti would be simply ignored. But not in Singapore. In fact in the island, since the last 50 years, there have hardly been even a single instance of anti government slogans on walls. This is because the government is mortally afraid of anti government agitation as any small instance of this is likely to spread across the island and literally topple the government.

The Singapore government's fear of any anti government protest is understandable. The Lee Kuan Yew government is simply a fraud. It is not based on law. In spite of there being a real Constitution, it is completely ignored. Instead you have self proclaimed leader, the father Lee Kuan Yew and his son who have usurped power which they control with some had picked ministers to do their bidding. The elections are a fraud and it is literally a one party one man dictatorship.

And the only way you can continue to govern such an illegitimate, illegal system is through force and fear. Which is why the government of Singapore instills extreme fear in their subjects to ensure obedience. But lately with the advent of the Internet and universal education, Singaporeans, it appears, are not prepared to be silenced despite the harsh punishment.

In Roy Ngerang's case Lee's son has made the mistake of giving him an ultimatum to comply with his demands. What if he doesn't ? Will he sue? The entire island's overwhelming sympathy is with Roy Ngerng. After all he is only an ordinary citizen who spoke his mind. What is so criminal about that? And we see Lee's son as the bully and thug that he is; going after a helpless private citizen merely because he spoke his mind.

But the idiot that Lee Kuan Yew's son is, he will probably have to go ahead and sue. After all he has threatened it, and in the Chinese way of thinking, he cannot lose face, or else no one would respect him. All the more so, should he sue, because only yesterday other protesters have shown public support for Ngerng's actions by defacing bus stops with slogans in his support.

Lee Kuan Yew's son's folly is tragically reminiscent of the Syrian uprising. In March 2011, some 17 schoolchildren had writing anti Assad slogans on their school walls in Derra a former railway town on the south of Syria bordering Jordan.  Assad could have simply ignored it and that would have been the end of it. But no, he didn't ignore it. He had the school children arrested, tortured and some killed, after which his Secret Police (the Singapore equivalent of the ISD) sent abusive obscene messages to their parents. This Deraa incident was the beginning of the Syrian revolution of today.

Assad was stupid and on reflection so is Lee Kuan Yew's son, equally stupid. In his challenging Roy Ngerng, I fear he is starting a revolution in Singapore island. He has disturbed the hornet's nest. If he does what he has threatened, which he has, it would enflame and bitterly antagonize the entire Singapore population. And this would mean more political anti government agitation, not less.

And perhaps another Syrian revolution.

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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans are unsophisticated people who don't care about rights, press freedoms, the Constitution, etc.

They care about money. Hence their concerns about CPF, ie retirement money.

LHL might just have barked up the wrong tree this time.