Ladies and Gentlemen,
All dictatorships in the world sooner or later reach a point of reckoning. They have to decide either to continue their dictatorial rule and antagonize their entire population or face reality and liberalize. Unfortunately either path leads to their destruction.
Singapore's short history had known only one man, Lee Kuan Yew who is now 91 and bed-ridden. Since 1959, he strutted around as the superman, on a sustained programme of building state owned high rise apartments, no bigger than a cubicle, and housing almost the entire population, almost 90%.
He provided cheap labor for foreign companies who set up manufacturing and assembly line workshops where the island housewives worked for pennies. In order to facilitate the foreign investors, he criminalized strikes, dismantled trade unions, silenced free speech and expression, destroyed the free press and abolished the rule of law.
Singaporeans it appears went along with it. After all he was making things better for them. There were no more riots, civil unrest, and everyone was cowed into submission and obedience. He said listen to me, for I alone have all the answers.
So did Hitler who managed to endear almost the entire German population before the war. He said, I will make you great again. And true to his promise, he improved the economy, destroyed the communists and made life for the industrialists profitable.
Just like Lee Kuan Yew, he told the Germans that he alone had all the answers. There is no need for Cabinet meetings, discussions and debate. And for a time he delivered what he promised. He occupied Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland and the whole of Western Europe. Like Lee Kuan Yew, he appeared invincible and the people simply loved it.
But history doesn't stay the same. Things change. Today Lee Kuan Yew and by extension his son, have no more accomplishments to trumpet. There are no more Communists to fight, no more anarchists, no more trouble makers on the streets, no more opportunity to say that I alone am the superman.
At the same time Singaporeans are becoming more educated, the Internet enables the citizens to know at anytime what is happening in the Middle East or Ukraine. It has pictures of young students in Hong Kong and Europe demanding rights, freedoms and justice, while they are not allowed to do any of this.
For the first time, Singaporeans are no longer satisfied with their lot. They don't have to live like this anymore. The island wide quiet of the cemetery has become suddenly boring. They need some zest in life. They want to have their say. They demand representation for taxation.
This is where the problem lies. Dictators survive by always having some enemy or other. If there is none, they have to create one. Only by funneling the anger at the enemy can dictators hope to retain their people's support. But the time has no come, where there are no longer enemies, seen on unseen; and it is difficult to create one.
Rationally Singapore today does not have a legitimate government that any people would respect. It has literally abolished the Constitution. Rights of free speech and expression, assembly, peaceful protest or the rule of law are all openly abrogated. It is rationally and logically impossible for any society to show respect and loyalty to an administration that does this, absent any emergent reason. Today if they are arguing that they have to do this, because otherwise foreign capital would flee and they would all be unemployed, it is an untenable one. Foreign capital is attracted not by making slaves of its citizens. It is an argument that simply does not fly.
Over decades now the Internet is awash with anti government writings. It is almost impossible to find even one that favors the government and if you do, it is very probably put up by paid government agents writing under false identities.
Over the entire history of Singapore under Lee Kuan Yew and now his son, the principle has always been, either you are with me or against me. There has never been any room in the island for those who thought otherwise than the ideas and policies of Lee Kuan Yew.
In Germany under Hitler, it was Eine Reich, Eine Volk, Eine Fuhrer, or one country, one people one leader as it was in Lee's Singapore. The plan today is to make the whole of the island following one political philosophy, that is Lee Kuan Yew.
If you complied and did the dance, you stand to live unmolested, your career advanced and a life without trouble. Although unlike Hitler, Lee doesn't shoot his opponents, he will make your life miserable. You literally become an outcast if unwilling to play his tune. You stand to lose your job, sometimes even arrested and bankrupted. For anyone not wanting to live a life of penury, it makes sense to join the bandwagon.
Although you are not arrested and targeted for punishment if you complained on the Internet incognito, no one who has dared to proclaim his opposition openly has ever been left unscathed. From the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, it was JB Jeyaretnam who was the target for destruction. After that it was Chee Soon Juan who suffered a similar fate. Other than these 2 citizens, there has really been no one else who has dared to stand up and be counted. The entire population have simply accepted their fate and have accepted the reality that is Singapore.
As a result of the almost universal anger towards their tormentors, they refuse to have children bringing down the fertility rate in the island to the lowest in the world, they refuse to marry, they leave for settlement abroad, leaving the already declining population to no more than perhaps just mere 1.5 million of local born citizens, not counting the million or so recently born citizens who are the children of recent immigrants. This dictatorial intolerant rule has completely destroyed the way of life in the island for their citizens, who are today mostly from somewhere else brought in to replenish the local population which s literally going extinct.
You don't see any numbers of citizens daring to stand up to this one man one party rule but occasionally there are exceptions. Today the targets for Lee Kuan Yew and son marked for destruction is a blogger Roy Ngerng and a 22 year old blogger and activist Han Hui Hui. Recently Ngerng had claimed in his blog that Lee Kuan Yew's son, the Prime Minister was responsible as head of the state run retirement fund CPF's inability to account for citizen's funds. The son, brooking no disrespect, commenced a court action against him for damages for defamation. Please see the state controlled newspaper article here. http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/pm-lee-commences-suit-against-blogger-roy-ngerng-20140529
Recently the court heard his case on a motion by the Lees for summary judgment but instead of giving judgment immediately, they reserved judgment for an unspecified date in the future. The only reason for their adjournment has to be fear that if they went ahead and found against him, the already intense dislike for them would only become worse. They think that by postponing it, they may be able to contain the growing anger island wide.
As for Han Hui Hui, she spoke on many occasions criticizing the government for the same. Although she has not been sued like Ngerng, she has been ordered to appear at the police station for long periods of interrogation, no doubt to intimidate her into silence but also to discover the identities of others who were involved for similar harassment.
An Internet search lately for the names Roy Ngerng and Han Hui Hui suddenly discloses numerous writers criticizing their actions. This is what happened. Recently at the Speakers Corner, they had approached a Minister who happened to be there, Teo Ser Luck to confront him on the government's repressive measures.
Unbeknownst to them, some mentally backward children were performing some show on a stage whom the government claims were stressed as a result of the encounter. Although both Ngerng and Han stated that they were not aware of the children's incapacity since they appeared normal and capable of performing on stage, Lee's 5th Column, or his cyber brigade went into full gear to write of their insensitivity and irresponsibility for deliberately harming mentally handicapped children.
Even though Ngerng and Han had apologized, it still wasn't enough to satisfy these supporters of the dictatorship, determined to vilify and defame these unwholesome critics of Singapore's great leader Lee Kuan Yew and Son.
Their hope of course is to throw as much mud as possible at them in the hope that they not only would give up, no one else would dare to do what they did.
Of course such sustained persecution and prosecution of critics who have done nothing more than challenge the policies of the dictatorship is a double edged sword. On the one hand they may manage to silence these 2 brave individuals. On the other the island wide anger against this establishment can only get worse.
Singapore's dictatorship today has reached a fork in the road. Do you take the road that continues the repression and persecution and continue to rule through fear, and thereby antagonize every single Singaporean? Or do you take the road of restoring democracy and the peoples freedoms. Either way the Singapore dictators don't stand a chance. By cracking the whip even more, you sow the seeds for an overthrow. And if you allow their freedoms, you do the same. It is a no win situation for these tyrants as it is everywhere. It is a hard rock or a hard place and nothing in between.
Singapore's state controlled newspapers can go on as if nothing is amiss. But we know that there is a great deal amiss in that tiny island with a tiny population.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525