Ladies and Gentlemen,
Anyone who does not understand Singapore would probably say that my title to this post is simply outrageous; far fetched; that I should be out of my mind. If you knew how Singapore works you would know that it is not so outrageous as you may think.
Singapore today as you see it, replete with skyscrapers and modern amenities is simply a Lee Kuan Yew creation. It is not based on laws or any established system of government. Although it has a Constitution which requires representative government, free and fair elections, human rights and the rule of law, none of this exists. Lee had thought better of this.
And what is Singapore today? It is literally one man one party dictatorship, where Lee Kuan Yew previously and now his son chooses men and women of his choice and appoints them Ministers to rule over the population. The people on their part are expected simply to accept these men and women as their leaders without question, even though they had no say in really choosing any one of them.
Elections every 5 years are just a farce; a forgone conclusion. It is impossible for anyone to become a true leader in the island unless he is compliant with Lee Kuan Yew's policies. If not, the Internal Security Department, Singapore's version of the Soviet KGB will identify him and finish him off even before he has any chance at politics.
In recent elections it appears Singaporeans want an opposition. To overcome this problem and to ensure that Singapore would be forever governed by Lee's ruling PAP party, the opposition Workers Party is deputized to give the impression that they are in fact opposition.
The Workers Party on their part are actually working in the interests of the PAP. This way, a vote for the Workers Party does not upset the PAP's purpose of continuing their grip on power. My charge against the Workers Party is clearly evident from the 20 years or so they have been in Parliament. They have not furthered democracy one bit. In fact the PAP have become even more repressive, thanks to the Workers Party.
As for the country's judiciary, the requirement of the rule of law is ignored. The Singapore judiciary's role is to destroy anyone who advocates the overthrow of the ruling PAP. They do this by abusing the law. Today it can be categorically said that no one in the island has any respect whatsoever for the island judiciary.
Every single constitutional human right is denied. The people are not allowed to protest, speak in public or peacefully demonstrate in public. Any attempt to do any of this results in arrest and imprisonment.
The entire media is state controlled, just as it was in the Soviet Union. The people are fed propaganda and claims of greatness and imaginary achievements on a daily basis. Not a single day passes without the claim that the government has achieved this or other success.
The purpose of this is to constantly keep the people in high spirits and think that the island is functioning after all. If the media was independent, the people would know the other side of the story, which they are not told.
With increasing education and widespread Internet use, the people are day by day becoming disillusioned. They question the need to respect any of these handpicked instant Ministers who have been thrust upon them, and who they had never really elected.
They are angry at the misuse of the law to cow them into submission by Kangaroo judges for whom they have no respect. They question to need to control the press and yearn to read real news which they are denied.
They question why Lee Kuan Yew , his son and the entire senior Ministers should be paid 5 times the salary of President Obama amounting to no less than $3.7 million a year each. This is outright corruption in their eyes.
The problem with Lee Kuan Yew is his failure to realize that for any country to survive and succeed, it has first of all the need to have a system of government based on law and which the people respect. You simply cannot expect to govern a people through dictate.
You simply cannot govern a people based on an individuals idea of what a government should be; in this case Lee Kuan Yew's idea of forming a government with him at the top, (now his son) and some handpicked people of his choice and expect everyone to obey them; just like that. Otherwise you are sued and persecuted.
For a country to survive, it has to have a system of government which the people respect. Leaders have to be elected at free and fair elections, not simply choosing some people of your choice and thrusting down the throats of the people.
This type of government lacks legitimacy under law. And lacking legitimacy it also fails to be respected. And without respect you can govern only by force and progressively even more force to cow the people into submission. History has shown us that a government which exists through the use of force to extract obedience has never lasted.
Today Lee's Singapore exists entirely though the use of force and punishment; not through the respect of the people. If you criticize the leaders, the Kangaroo courts are used to sue and destroy you.
Another such case is happening right now, with private citizen Roy Ngerng being sued for defamation of character, once again, for suggesting that the Prime Minister's figures in the state run retirement fund doesn't make sense.
Ngerng is being sued not just to punish him alone, but also to send a warning yet again to the population that they should never criticize the Prime Minister or the government. Another way of saying it is, the prime minister and his government is simply above the law. This is the practice of the chicken and the monkeys. Ngerng the chicken is being slaughtered while the monkeys who are Singaporeans are terrified into submission, watching the chicken.
As I have said when a country has a citizenry that has lost all respect for their government or their legal system; when they have no longer any trust in their state controlled newspapers, the only way to continue to govern is through force as they do now. Only a government aware that they need to hold the trust and respect of their citizens can hope to remain in control.
You can see the damage to the entire island now. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Singaporeans are deciding that they no longer wish to live in their country of birth. They are leaving for settlement in the West.
As a result the CPF state run retirement fund is losing money at an alarming rate, as the law allows those who leave to withdraw their retirement funds. This fact is expectedly not reported in their state controlled press, but Singaporeans know that their retirement funds are being severely depleted. Some even fear there is no money left.
The huge and mounting brain drain is severely damaging the island's very survival. As it is always the most highly educated and skilled who are able to leave, Singapore is losing it's talent, something which is most important to an island with no resources, at an alarming rate.
At this rate Singapore would soon be bereft of it's own skilled and educated people. In the past Lee Kuan Yew himself and other senior ministers used to visit the capitals of the world to plead with the growing Singaporean diaspora to return, appealing to their sense of patriotism and their responsibility to Singapore.
Unfortunately it has landed on deaf ears. Only 2 years ago, I understand Liu Teck Yew, one of Lee's ministers came to San Francisco, where I am, to plead to Singaporeans to return. I am told that many came for the free food provided at Singapore taxpayers expense and left. Since about 2 years now, it appears Lee Kuan Yew or his son or anyone else have stopped doing this. It seems no Singaporean wants to return.
Singapore's national service system I am told is totally broken. There are hardly anyone wanting to do national service and given the chance to escape, they either fail to return for service or if already in service simply desert.
In fact I am at present helping some young men who have decided to abscond from service and refuse to serve. They are now in San Francisco. These men would be telling their other friends how they did it and it is likely that more would follow suit.
To overcome this manpower shortage in the service, the Singapore government has resorted to some comical measures to attract people into the armed services.
In the last few days, it has been reported that national service has now been opened to anyone including permanent residents and women. If they used their head, they would know that if force is insufficient to persuade anyone to join, why would they imagine that people would voluntarily serve! This new policy is surely no more than a propaganda attempt which is not going to go anywhere.
Lee appears to forget the principle that every action results in an opposite reaction. What did Lee Kuan Yew think when he repeatedly sued and destroyed JB Jeyaretnam, Chee Soon Juan, Chia Thye Poh, Lim Chin Siong and a litany of other brave patriots to keep himself in power?
Did he not realize that Singaporeans too are human beings? Did he not realize that Singaporeans sense of justice would be offended? Did he not realize that this would cause many to leave the country in disgust? Did he not realize that he would antagonize thousands and hundreds of thousands to bitterly oppose him?
I left Singapore for the States in 1991 December. From 1980 to 1990, for having joined the Workers Party under JB Jeyaretnam, I was repeatedly harassed, charged with law society disciplinary charges, charged with contempt of court and my life and career was made miserable and survival became impossible.
But when they began doing this to me, Singaporeans being human beings too could see the injustice. In fact I am told that during those 10 years, a large portion of the legal profession simply left, mainly for Australia. I suppose they thought they did not want to practice in a jurisdiction that would do this to a fellow lawyer.
Today the legal profession is acutely short of lawyers, and they have resorted to take in foreign lawyers to make up the numbers. And mind you, this is the legal profession we are talking about; a highly attractive profession no only in Singapore but throughout the world.
Despite the outward appearance of prosperity and gleaming glass skyscrapers, Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore is simply broken. It is on the slide downwards to oblivion.
Even more Singaporeans would leave. The birth rate which is already the lowest in the world would become even less. The people are getting older and older with no babies being born. Lee is trying to remedy the lack of people by bringing in foreigners.
But this is not a measure that can save the island. Today half the island is made up of foreigners. Should not Lee be wondering why, if his island is so good, why are people leaving, and not having any children.
Lee Kuan Yew's son unfortunately lacks any independent thinking. All he was capable of doing was simply to follow exactly what his father did. After all, his super sized ego father thought that he knew everything and others knew nothing. And his son, with no mind of his own also thought so too.
He, the son, has been in control for almost 2 decades if not more. And throughout this time, other than simply copying the polices of his father wholesale, which is a listen-to-me-or-else style of government, has not been able to come up with anything original.
If Lee's son the prime minister had asked himself whether his father's repressive policies are likely to work over the long run, he may have realized it's weakness. But he never did.
The only way that Lee's son could arrest the slide into decline is to realize that you need a truly representative government. You need the rule of law. You need to do away with the Kangaroo courts. You need to restore democracy. But alas such a course of action is a double edged sword. It may save Singapore, but it will surely destroy Lee Kuan Yew, his son and his entire government. What, God forbid, if they are held to account!
In the state controlled papers we read of the government's attempts to remedy some of the errors. For instance we read that the government has limited the number of immigrants into Singapore. We read of the government increasing university places for Singaporeans.
We read of their paying more money to national servicemen. I hate to tell the Prime Minister that none of this is going to work. It is simply too little too late. The Singaporean beast has been mortally injured and you are not going to save him by these band aids.
I suppose Lee Kuan Yew's son would continue making grandiose speeches and his handpicked minion Ministers would be telling us how to brush our teeth next, but no one is paying any attention.
And by the way, I have repeatedly told Lee Kuan Yew's son to be fair and treat everyone equally. That is, if he is suing Roy Ngerng for having said much less than what I have, should he not be suing me as well. But alas, he will not. I think he knows that suing me in America is a very uncertain proposition. Here we don't have the Kangaroo courts which he has in Singapore.
Here lies the litmus test of his credibility. There is nothing to stop him from suing me in California federal courts. It has jurisdiction. This blog is read in the US as well as Singapore. If Roy Ngerng has defamed him, so have I, multifold. But his failure to sue me here simply shows that he does not have the courage to do what is right. While Singaporeans in Singapore laugh at him reading this blogpost.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525