Ladies and Gentlemen,
Winston Churchill the illustrious Prime Minister of England once wrote "Dictators ride to and fro on tigers from which they dare not dismount." Quotation from his book "While England Slept" 1938.
The dictatorship in Singapore is a classic example of Winston Churchill's quote.
Although on the surface, thanks to the state controlled propaganda media, nothing seems amiss in the minuscule tiny island of Singapore of calm and quiet with just 2 million or less of native citizens and the majority being foreigners who have been recently granted citizenship to compensate the abysmally tiny and declining population, there are serious faults in the system which cause one to seriously doubt whether it will last beyond the 91 year old dictator Lee Kuan Yew's fast impending demise.
If Singapore island, a tiny speck with a tiny population continues to function normally today, it is only through brute force of the police and the state controlled courts which will punish any detractor causing any trouble.
But for any country to survive, it has to have the respect and support of their people.
This the Lee family government simply do not have.
Every pillar of society and government has been thoroughly discredited and the people have no respect at all in their government.
The Singapore government openly abuses the law courts for their political purposes, through defamation actions intended not to compensate the victim but to destroy and intimidate political opposition.
The repeated use of these defamation actions over the entire 50 years of Singapore's existence under the Lees has effectively destroyed any respect for their legal system.
People do not challenge authority because they are simply afraid.
Singapore lawyers have been so intimidated that they are afraid even to represent any political opponent.
Some years ago, when Chee Soon Juan was targeted for destruction as a political opponent, he could not find a single lawyer in the entire island to represent him.
When he complained to the judges and requested a foreign attorney, his request was denied, leaving him in the end to have to represent himself!
As for the media in that minuscule island for 2 million locals, it is entirely state controlled.
You need a government permit to print and publish any newspaper, run a radio or TV station and only government supporters are granted licenses.
The only media now free is the Internet leaving this the only avenue for the islanders who want to read independent news.
The police are free to do literally whatever they want.
No universally accepted fair and impartial police procedure applies.
Anyone can be questioned anytime at their fancy, and especially government critics are totally at their mercy and liable to any amount of trumped up charges and put away.
On 4th of July 2008, I was arrested in Singapore initially because they claimed I had knocked on a police car in a street, which I obviously didn't. Since the car didn't have any damage or my fingerprints, they dropped that accusation.
When I denied it, they came up with a charge that I was disorderly and had shouted obscenities at them.
Eventually no charge of ever knocking on a police car in Little India, a Singapore district, was ever brought and after an 18 day trial when I enjoyed myself cross examining every one of their witnesses who carefully orchestrated their evidence, I was naturally found guilty and fined $3,000.00.
I was surprised why they didn't send me to jail for this, but I subsequently knew why.
They had already planned to send me to jail for writing a blog criticizing their judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean who had sent the aforementioned Chee Soon Juan to jail and fined him several thousand dollars for criticizing Lee Kuan Yew and his son, a trial which was scheduled to be heard some months ahead. So there was no need to send me to jail just yet!
You see, I was a critic of their government.
The law had to bend to punish me harshly.
And this entire travesty of justice was daily splashed across their state controlled press and media.
I wonder who benefited more from the exercise and that wide publicity.
On the one hand, they may have succeeded in instilling fear once again in the population not to ever challenge their authority.
But on the other hand, it gave an excellent opportunity for me once again to expose the Kangaroo courts in the island, thereby destroying any little respect anyone may still have in their judicial system.
In order to make sure there is no possibility whatever for any challenge to their authority, laws have been enacted to literally abolish the Constitution.
There is no freedom of speech, expression, assembly or the right to even peacefully protest.
Singaporeans are not fools.
They are an English educated tiny population.
They are fully aware that they are living under slavery and at the complete mercy of the dictatorship.
This is why the island is suffering from a threat of existential proportions from which they have no solution, their disappearing citizens.
Even from this tiny local population of perhaps just 2 million, it has one of the highest rates of emigration in the world, mostly to Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
It has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world where there are insufficient children born to even replace their parents.
As if this was not bad enough, it has a fast ageing population.
Some years ago, in order to desperately stem the abysmally falling birth rate, this government even went to extent of showing soft porn on their state controlled TV stations at late night in the hope that couples would watch and immediately engage in sex and make babies thereafter. That too failed.
Then Lee Kuan Yew, his son and several of their ministers who are corruptly paid multi millions of dollars went out hat in hand to the capitals of the world's Singapore diaspora to plead for them to return playing on their loyalty to the country of their birth.
That too failed, as no one returned. Today they are resigned to the fact that the population will simply continue to decline and disappear and there is nothing they can do about it.
This dictatorial rule has also completely destroyed their state security apparatus which they rely upon through conscription.
The vast number of young men who have to do national service are simply against it.
As a result they find every way possible way to avoid it and if they can leave the island, do so and never return.
In fact the numbers in the armed forces have diminished so much, the government recently announced in an desperate attempt that even permanent residents and women, hitherto not liable, can if they wish voluntarily join the army.
Once again that too is a complete flop as no one has come forward. The barracks are literally empty.
You can see why this government is a total disconnect with their tiny population.
Any government expecting their people to play their part in society has to be respectable.
If you lose every single iota of respect, how can you expect them to feel a sense of belonging and patriotism to their home and country.
You don't need to be particularly bright to know that a denial of free speech, expression, assembly or the rule of law will not endear any people to their government.
If they manage to rule today, it is not because they have good governance, it is despite it.
It is a society which is governed entirely by fear, a society which runs on the rule of "you listen to me or else".
This is a government which like Winston Churchill said, is riding a tiger and they are afraid to dismount because it will devour them if they did.
Lee Kuan Yew is now 91 years old.
So far he has run his country on this principle and fear.
It does not have free and fair elections and every single minister and government official is not freely elected but appointed through rigged elections under a climate of fear.
There are no leaders in Singapore, only followers who parrot the Lee Kuan Yew doctrine.
When he dies, the question is what next.
Will his son, who presently is in power entirely because of his father continue to argue that free speech is bad, free and fair elections are bad, an independent judiciary is bad and the rule of law is bad and expect his people to go along with it?
The tiny population of Singaporeans simply do not have a sense of belonging to their society, a patriotism or feel that they have a stake in their country. They feel it is not they who own Singapore, the Lee family who pay themselves and their cronies millions, do.
There are no strong civic institutions in the island that is essential to stability and seamless succession from one government to another.
No one has any respectability or legitimacy to galvanize any society in Singapore for action, since no one can claim to be a leader in that society. There is only one leader. Lee Kuan Yew himself.
If they claim to be leaders as is printed in the sate controlled press, it is only because of Lee Kuan Yew and what he will do to you if you disobey.
This lack of strong and stable civic institutions will be the very cause of instability and collapse in a society especially as tiny as this.
Upon the demise of the 91 year old Singapore dictator, I can envisage an even greater flood of Singaporeans leaving the shores of the tiny island with just perhaps a miniscule 2 million locals.
As for the recent arrivals who have been given instant citizenship to boost the numbers, they would be the first to leave as they, just as any economic migrant wouldn't really care if they lived in Singapore or some other place, as long as it is stable and money is made.
And with it you will also see an outflow of capital of both locals and foreigners and with that you can say goodbye to Singapore.
You can see this sort of a disastrous scenario is bad enough for any country.
It is devastating for a tiny miniscule island with just 2 million or so native population with the ability to pack up and vote with their feet if they want.
As for the Singapore dictators, they are behaving as if nothing is amiss.
Reading the Singapore state controlled press, you wouldn't think anything is wrong.
Singapore's handpicked leaders and their 91 year old dictator are simply living in denial.
I suppose they think if there is nothing you can do about it, it serves no purpose to talk about it.
As Churchill said, the Lee family who run Singapore are riding a tiger. They are afraid to dismount lest the tiger devours them.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Tel: 510 491 8525