Saturday, February 22, 2014

Singapore's reputation for abusing the legal system to silence dissent has far reaching consequences

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore's international reputation of using the law courts to silence dissent has far reaching consequences.

Firstly, consider my disbarment in Singapore on August 22, 2011 about which I write in my earlier blog titled Lawyer Gopalan Nair makes a fool of Singapore's Kangaroo Courts. Disbarment from practicing law in North Korea (no Singapore) dated Feb 18, 2014.

In it I narrate Singapore's decision to disbar me in the island for among other things, writing a blog criticizing their judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean for blatant shameless bias in the case Lee Kuan Yew vs Chee Soon Juan, an opposition politician in May 2008. Their judgment and my comments thereto appear in that blog post.

After having stated that my actions were so outrageous as to warrant the most serious of punishments meted out to a lawyer, namely disbarment, the State Bar of California, although fully apprised of my actions have completely ignored their judgment and have taken no action against me whatsoever, although the rules of ethics for attorneys requires the discipline of a lawyer for misconduct not only in California but anywhere in the world.

Their total disregard of Singapore's judgment against me is clear indication that they just as every other respected legal jurisdiction are today fully appraised of the island's lack of rule of law and their awareness that Singapore uses it's law courts to silence and destroy opposition to their regime.

The consequence of this is of course their distrust of Singapore's legal system and their suspicion that Singapore's courts cannot be trusted to be impartial. This clearly results in American businesses being wary of trying their cases in the island and instead demand litigation or arbitration elsewhere.

Singapore, aware of their poor reputation for legal impartiality, in an attempt to improve that image, repeatedly report on an American millionaire Jim Rogers who has decided to move to Singapore. Another American who they repeatedly refer to is Edwardo Saverin, the millionaire Facebook owner who has also moved there as well as giving up his American citizenship.

I am not sure why these two gentlemen have done what they did but as the saying goes, one swallow does not make a spring. If I was to advice these two gentlemen, I would have strongly recommended that they not use Singapore due to the unreliability of their legal system.

The one most important thing, anyone deciding to park their assets in a foreign low tax jurisdiction is the question whether it has the rule of law, because in banana law jurisdictions such as Singapore where the judges routinely act to please the government rather than being impartial results in litigants not knowing which way the court will turn regardless of the merits even resulting in the possibility of your entire assets vanishing if the court so desires.

In this respect, I would like to remind you of Tang Liang Hong. Tang was a lawyer and a millionaire who had made the mistake of standing in elections against Lee Kuan Yew in 1997.

When he correctly mentioned at an public election rally that Lee and all his family members had received kick backs from the developer in their purchase of condominiums in a complex called Jade Mansions, Lee sued him for defamation resulting in his losing his entire fortune of millions which the court awarded in damages.

Literally at one stroke, Tang was transformed from multi millionaire to pauper and had to flee the island for Australia where he now resides.

I am sure that although Jim Rogers and Edwardo Saverin whom Singapore conveniently flaunt as  examples of the trustworthiness of their legal system, thousands of other Americans would probably have shunned Singapore and continue to do so, investing elsewhere instead.

I can give you several other instances where foreign jurisdictions have questioned Singapore's judgments.

One such case is Oakwell Engineering Limited v. Enernorth Industries Inc. 2005 CanLII 27149, Court File Nos. 04-CV-271121CM3 & 04-CV-274860CM2, (2005) 76 O.R. (3d) 528, Superior Ct. (Ontario).

The brief facts are the Plaintiffs and Defendants had agreed to build 2 power stations in Andhra Pradesh India which fell through resulting in the Plaintiffs demanding money from the Defendants.

As the Defendants had not paid and had no assets in Singapore, the Plaintiff tried to enforce the Singapore judgment in the Canadian court.

The Defendants had argued that the Singapore courts do not have the rule of law and their judges are mere puppets of the cabal of the few who run the island and therefore permitting enforcement of the judgment in Canada would be akin to the them collaborating with a banana legal system such as that of Singapore.

As evidence, Enernorth obtained the testimony of expert witnesses, including Ross Worthington, Adjunct Professor of Governance at the National Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance at Griffith University, Australia; and Francis Seow, former Solicitor-General of Singapore.

In his affidavit, Worthington stated that "all aspects of the governance of Singapore, including the judiciary, are carefully manipulated and ultimately controlled by a core executive of individuals who use their powers to maintain their own power and further their own political, economic, social and familial interests."[6]

Seow's affidavit claimed that the court proceedings in Singapore had not been heard by an independent judiciary due to the "consuming and controlling power of Singapore's ruling party over all facets of life in Singapore", and that defamation suits had been used by the Government of Singapore to suppress opposition politicians and non-compliant media, citing the example of the prosecution of J.B. Jeyaretnam.[7]

Although the Ontario Supreme Court found in favor of the Plaintiffs, they gave no reasons for their decision and simply upheld the Court of Appeals judgment.

As can be seen, the very fact that the attorneys canvassed the issue of the publicly known unreliability of Singapore's legal system and their lack of impartiality and rule of law, once again goes to show that it is well known internationally that Singapore legal system is controlled and manipulated by the ruling government and their judges are merely agents to carry out their wishes.  Please see Wikipedia report

Another case, also in Canada was the defamation lawsuit brought by Lee Kuan Yew against the late President of Singapore Devan Nair (no relation of mine) in Canada.

In March 1999, Devan Nair, now deceased, then living in Canada had told the Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper that he was unjustly dismissed as President by Lee Kuan Yew because he disagreed with the way the country was run.

Unhappy with the report, Lee Kuan Yew, as is his custom in Singapore, sued the paper as well as Devan Nair for defamation in the Canadian court. Devan Nair then filed a defense and counterclaim against Lee claiming that Lee abuses the Singapore legal system to silence critics

What he said was

"Mr. Lee is indifferent to his reputation among the readership of the Globe and Mail but has an established and well publicized record within the Republic of Singapore for suing his critics for defamation and using other measures which are contrary to established international rights in respect of freedom of expression with a view to silencing critics"

Unhappy with what Devan Nair had said, Lee then applied to strike out Nair's defense and counterclaim as showing no cause of action.

The court roundly dismissed Lee's application to strike after which Lee withdrew his defamation action presumably with costs.

This case clearly illustrates that the Canadian court was already fully aware of Lee's international notoriety of abuse of legal process in Singapore against his opponents and they had every intention to put Lee in his proper place.

They were clearly reminding him that Canada is a proud democracy with their cherished and jealously guarded tradition of the rule of law, not a banana republic where Lee can strut around bullying anyone he wants.

I think they were telling him that if he wants to try his monkey business, he should do it elsewhere. Please see the law firms report here and the case report here

Another case in which I was personally involved was

Diane Sahakian, a Single Woman
STATS ChipPAC . Inc a foreign corporation; Stats ChipPAC Ltd, a foreign corporation; Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd, a foreign corporation; Singapore Technologies Semiconducters Pte Ltd, a foreign Corporation,

US District Court, District of Arizona, Case No: CV08-241-PHX-HRH.

The case involves the Plaintiff claiming, among other things, that she was unfairly treated and harassed as the Defendant's employee and discriminated because she was a woman, a practice which the Plaintiff claims is common practice in Singapore.

Among other things she claimed her Singapore employer, the Defendants, were rude, discourteous and dismissive of her as an employee and as a human being and treated the way women are treated in Singapore.

My part in this case was to assist the Plaintiff's attorney as an expert witness to show that the Singapore courts abuse the legal system to silence dissent and therefore their impartiality is in doubt.

And that this reckless disregard of citizens rights has the effect of allowing Singapore employers to do anything willy nilly they want to their employees leaving no recourse for relief.

I also provided proof that Singapore uses cruel and unusual punishments such as beatings (caning) and generally bosses can push around their employees with impunity unlike in the United States.

I am no longer involved in this case and I do not know it's outcome.

I understand from the Plaintiff's attorney that the Defendant is a Singapore government linked company, owned by Temasek Holdings, which has a manufacturing business in Arizona.

For further information please contact plaintiff's attorney directly:

Peter Strojnik
3030 Niorth Central Avenue
Suite 1401
Phoenix, Arizona 85012
Tel: 602 524 6602
Fax: 602 296 0135

I am sure there are numerous other cases brought against Singaporean companies in the US, and I have no doubt that the moment Singapore is mentioned, anyone working for it has a good chance of filing a lawsuit for unethical work practices based on the well known notoriety and bad reputation they have for abusing the legal system and treating their employees and citizens no better than slaves.

In conclusion I have to say that abusing the law to silence critics results in Singaporeans themselves losing respect for their legal system resulting in many like me, leaving the country for good for settlement elsewhere.

It also results in foreign businesses not trusting Singapore's courts to settle disputes in an impartial manner, and instead demanding that contracts be litigated elsewhere such as in London.

It also results in foreign companies being wary of doing business within the island for fear that any dispute would invariably be settled in favor of the government or their government connected elites regardless of the merits.

The US State Department in their Country Reports, which is relied on by many outside Singapore, not only by Americans, repeatedly refers to Singapore's abuse of the rule of law and reports on instances almost every year of critics being sued for defamation or facing other legal action to silence them.

Recently the International Bar Association in their lengthy 58 page report pointed out Singapore's repeated abuse of the law to silence dissent and the invariable long reaching deleterious consequences this has on their legal and human rights reputation.

Coming to the low tax jurisdictions around the world, in fact, it has been said by many experts on the subject that the best jurisdictions to invest in are those with the rule of law, because of the great importance of the knowledge that your money is safe.

As a result the better jurisdictions would be Britain or it's outlying jurisdictions such as the Isle of Man, many US jurisdictions such as Florida or Delaware which has not only very low taxes but also give the guarantee that your money is safe because they have the rule of law.

This is why I have pointed out that the attempts of Singapore to become a legal hub for the region is doomed from the start.

It's bad reputation for legal impartiality immediately prevents it from being chosen by any discerning foreign businessman who knows what goes on in that island under Lee Kuan Yew and his son.

The fear must be even more at this time when there is rumor that the 90 year old gravely ill Lee Kuan Yew may not be alive much longer.

With the island totally lacking in any established system for a change of leadership, with the country being run entirely by the dictates of Lee Kuan Yew and now his son, there is no way that one can predict what happens after Lee's demise.

Whether it is total chaos or something else is anyone's guess.

This too is another very important factor that people everywhere have to be wary of a government such as this which abuses their people's rights as and when it appears convenient. 

Important Caveat: The only reason why I can write this blog without being arrested by the Singapore government is because I am now physically in Fremont, California, USA. If I wrote this from within Singapore, I would have been immediately arrested.

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

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Lawyer Gopalan Nair makes a fool of Singapore's Kangaroo Courts. Disbarment from practicing law in North Korea (no Singapore)


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I must say I had a lot of fun during my short stay in Singapore from May 2008 to late November 2008, fighting Lee Kuan Yew and his Kangaroo Courts. Predictably, lest anyone has any doubts about it, I was naturally disbarred.

But a hollow victory for them, it nevertheless was, since I was not even living in Singapore let alone practicing law there, although under Singapore law I still had a law practicing certificate from my earlier days of living there.

I am attaching below their court judgment and how they conveniently distort the facts to arrive at their desired verdict.

You can also see how bizarre, some of their allegations are, actions more for a madman, which I am glad to say, I am obviously not.

It is this sort of misuse of their legal system to destroy anyone with any guts to stand up to them, and to intimidate all others into submission, that their legal system is the pariah among legal jurisdictions, and any attempt on their part to make it a legal hub is like North Korea High Court trying to claim they are the US Supreme Court.

At the end of the report I have written how they have conveniently hidden the truth.
See report here

Law Society of Singapore v Gopalan Nair (alias Pallichadath Gopalan Nair)
[2011] SGHC 191

Suit No:   Originating Summons No 947 of 2009 (Summons No 1404 of 2011)
Decision Date:   22 August 2011
Court:   High Court
Coram:   Tan Lee Meng J, Tay Yong Kwang J, Lee Seiu Kin J
Counsel:   Peter Cuthbert Low and Han Lilin (Peter Low LLC) for the plaintiff; Defendant absent and unrepresented.

Subject Area / Catchwords   
Legal Profession – Disciplinary Proceedings

22 August 2011

Tan Lee Meng J (delivering the grounds of decision of the court):

1       The Law Society of Singapore (“the Law Society”) applied under s 82A(10) of the Legal Profession Act (Cap 161, 1990 Rev Ed) (“the LPA”) for an order that the defendant, Mr Gopalan Nair alias Pallichadath Gopalan Nair (“GN”), be “struck off the roll, prohibited from applying for a practising certificate, censured and/or otherwise punished” for misconduct unbefitting of an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession. We ordered that GN be struck off the roll and now give the reasons for our decision.
2       GN, who was admitted onto the roll on 10 August 1980, is a non-practising advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore. He is presently an American citizen residing in California, USA.
3       Although GN is a non-practising advocate and solicitor, he is still subject to the control of the Supreme Court as s 82(A)(2) of the LPA provides:
All Legal Service Officers and non-practising solicitors shall be subject to the control of the Supreme Court and shall be liable on due cause shown to be punished in accordance with this section.
4       Pursuant to ss 82A(4) and (5) of the LPA, the Law Society applied in ex parte Originating Summons No 947 of 2009 for leave from the Chief Justice for an investigation to be made into a number of complaints about GN’s misconduct. On 4 September 2009, the Chief Justice appointed a Disciplinary Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) comprising Mr Toh Kian Sing SC and Mr Tan Jee Ming, under s 90 of the LPA.
5       The following 5 charges of misconduct were preferred by the Law Society against GN:
1st charge
That you on the 4th day of July 2008, at or about 10.35 pm, near the junction of Bukit Timah Road and Race Course Road, Singapore, which is a public place, did use abusive words towards certain public servants, namely, police officers of the Singapore Police Force, in particular Senior Staff Sergeant Kang Wei Chain and Sergeant Noor Azhar, by shouting:
(a)“Fuck off you policeman, don’t waste my fucking time. You go and do your job properly and go catch thieves and I did nothing wrong. I am waiting for the fucking taxi”;
(b)“Fuck off, forget about my name, you fucking bastard.
(c)“You fucking Malay bastard”.
at the said police officers in the execution of their duties as such public servants, and you had thereby committed an offence punishable under section 13D(1)(a) of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act, Chapter 184, for which on 5 September 2008, you were convicted and sentenced to a fine of $2,000 in default two week imprisonment, and you are hereby guilty of conduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession which warrants disciplinary proceedings against you within the meaning of section 82A(3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Chapter 161).
2nd charge
That you on the 4th day of July 2008, at or about 10.35 pm, near the junction of Bukit Timah Road and Race Course Road, Singapore, which is a public place, did behave in a disorderly fashion to wit, by gesticulating with your hands and shouting loudly, and you had thereby committed an offence punishable under section 20 of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act, Chapter 184, for which on 5 September 2008, you were convicted and sentenced to a fine of $1,000 in default one week imprisonment, and you are hereby guilty of conduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession which warrants disciplinary proceedings against you within the meaning of section 82A(3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Chapter 161).
3rd charge
That you in your blog post at dated 29 May 2008 entitled “Singapore, Judge Belinda Ang’s Kangaroo Court”, did make the following offending statement insulting the judiciary of Singapore, namely, the Honourable Justice Belinda Ang:
“The judge Belinda Ang was throughout prostituting herself during the entire proceedings by being nothing more than an employee of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his son and carrying out their orders.”
and you had thereby committed an offence punishable under section 228 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, for which on 17 September 2008, you were convicted and sentenced to 3 months imprisonment, and you are hereby guilty of conduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession which warrants disciplinary proceedings against you within the meaning of section 82A(3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Chapter 161).
4th charge
That you in your blog post at dated 28 November 2008 entitled “Hello from Freemont, near San Francisco, California”, did make the following offending statement amounting to contempt of court:
“…. I am defying the undertaking that I gave in court on September 12, 2008 when I admitted being in contempt of court. .. I had also given an undertaking to remove the 2 blog posts, of Sept 1 2008 and Sept 6, 2008 which referred to my trial and conviction before Judge James Leong in the Subordinate Courts for disorderly behaviour and insulting a policeman, charges entirely made up by the police to discredit me. I will be re-posting those 2 blog posts and stand by every word that I had written in them …” (Sic).
and you are hereby guilty of conduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession which warrants disciplinary proceedings against you within the meaning of section 82A(3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Chapter 161).
5th charge
That you in your blog post at dated 30 November 2008 entitled “Justice Judith Prakash, Another Kangaroo Judge”, did make the following offending statement insulting the judiciary of Singapore, namely, the Honourable Justice Judith Prakash:
“Judge Judith Prakash of the Singapore High Court has prostituted herself in the hearing of the Kangaroo T shirt case on November 24, 2008 by being nothing more than an employee of Lee Kuan Yew and his son, whom he appointed Prime Minister. By her actions in sending these young men to prison and making them pay crippling court costs of $5,000 each, she has shamelessly disgraced herself, her office as a judge, disgraced the Singapore Constitution and disgraced Singapore.”
and you are hereby guilty of conduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession which warrants disciplinary proceedings against you within the meaning of section 82A(3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Chapter 161).
6       GN sent, by way of emails to the Disciplinary Tribunal Secretariat, his Defence and his Amended Defence on 1 December 2009. However, although he knew that his case was being heard by the Tribunal on 20 and 21 September 2010, he did not appear for the hearing.
7       The Tribunal found GN guilty of all 5 charges brought against him and determined that there was cause of sufficient gravity for disciplinary action to be taken against him. The Chief Justice then appointed Mr Peter Low, the plaintiff’s counsel, under s 82A(10) of the LPA to make the present application in Summons No 1404 of 2011.
Decision of the Court

8       GN did not attend and was not represented by counsel at the hearing before this Court on 25 July 2011.The Court was satisfied that he had been duly served the requisite papers and that he was fully aware of the hearing scheduled for 25 July 2011.
9       The issues before this Court were whether due cause for disciplinary action against GN under s 82A(3)(a) of the LPA had been shown and if so, the appropriate penalty to be imposed on him.
Due cause

10     As for what constitutes “due cause”, the relevant part of s 82A(3) provides:
Such due cause may be shown by proof that a Legal Service Officer or a non-practising solicitor, as the case may be —
(a)has been guilty in Singapore or elsewhere of such misconduct unbefitting a Legal Service Officer or an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession ...
11     The Law Society rightly submitted that for the purpose of considering whether there has been “misconduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession” under s 82(3)(a) LPA, the meaning accorded to the identical phrase in s 83(2)(h) LPA should be adopted. As such, both misconduct in the solicitor’s professional capacity as well as misconduct in the solicitor’s personal capacity are relevant to this inquiry (see Law Society of Singapore v Heng Guan Hong Geoffrey [1999] 3 SLR(R) 966 at [24]). The same standard applies to non-practising lawyers.
12     The Law Society relied on the findings of the Tribunal to support its assertion that “due cause”, as defined in s 82A(3)(a) of the LPA, had been shown.
13     The 1st and 2nd charges against GN concerned his conviction with respect to two offences under s 13D(1)(a) and s 20 of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act (Cap 184, 1997 Rev Ed) for uttering vulgarities when speaking to officers of the Singapore Police Force and for behaving in a disorderly manner towards the police officers who had enquired why he had knocked a number of times on a police vehicle bearing the registration number QX501H. The gravity of his use of abusive and obscene language was stressed by the Tribunal in its report at [28]-[29]:
28    It is clear beyond reasonable doubt … that the Respondent uttered vulgarities towards the two policemen after he was stopped by them.All this happened in a public place in the full glare of members of the public. [T]he Respondent behaved in a petulant manner and apparently took grave offence when he was stopped by the police. His reaction was entirely unprovoked. Even if the Respondent was unhappy about being questioned by the police, he should have acted with self-restraint and moderation. In the entire episode, he displayed neither virtue. If he had responded to the questions in a co-operative manner, his subsequent arrest could possibly have been avoided. In our view, these vulgarities which the Respondent spewed were not only profoundly offensive, but also had the effect of lowering the dignity and professionalism of law enforcement officers.
29    We further find the racist outburst directed at Sergeant Daud to be wholly reprehensible and deserving of condemnation in a multi-racial society like Singapore. It demonstrates a callous, unpardonable disregard for the sensitivities of the different races that make up our society. It is not behaviour that one would expect of a member of the legal profession.
[emphasis added]
14     In regard to his disorderly behaviour in the presence of the police, the Tribunal noted at para [39] of its report:
39    Creating a ruckus in a public place, gesticulating wildly (even if a non-threatening manner), spewing vulgarities towards public officers shows a very low level of restraint and self-control as well as a complete lack of respect for law enforcement officers. Simply put, the Respondent had made a complete nuisance of himself in public. The fine of $1000 (or one week imprisonment in default thereof) may be marginally less serious as compared with the Respondent’s offence in MAC 3211.Nevertheless, such unruly, petulant and disorderly conduct (in full view of the public) is unfitting of an advocate or solicitor as an officer of the Court and as a member of a honourable profession. After all, a solicitor is expected to exercise a high level of self restraint and a bad tempered solicitor can only bring disrepute to the legal profession.
15     As for the breach of the undertaking referred to in the 4th charge, the background for the undertaking given by GN is as follows. When the case regarding GN’s abuse of the policemen, as outlined in the 1st and 2nd charges pressed by the Law Society against him, was heard before District Judge James Leong (“DJ Leong”), GN made several offending statements in open court. For instance, on 25 August 2008, he said:
... I frankly do not have any faith or belief that I will get a fair trial in this Court. Any attempt on my part to recall these witnesses would only be a waste of my time since I believe the result will be the same in any event.
16     Subsequently, GN authored two blog posts dated 1 September 2008 and 6 September 2008 on These were entitled, “Another classic case of trying to use the courts to silence dissent” and “Convicted” respectively and were replete with statements which attacked DJ Leong. For instance, he stated:
As for Mr. James Leong, I have this to say. I have begun to know him pretty well since it took 18 days of trial. He is a good man at heart; there is no doubt about it. If he had his way, there is no doubt he would have acquitted me immediately. But alas he is weak. He cuts a pathetic figure. A man, because of his circumstances, having to do things that he does not really want to do. He knows that his employment as a judge in the Singapore courts depends on the patronage of Lee Kuan Yew and his friends. He also knows that Lee Kuan Yew demands his judges to punish political opponents of the government. And therefore to keep his job as a judge, he has no choice but to find me guilty....
17     GN’s statements prompted the Attorney-General to make an application under Originating Summons No 385 of 2008 for an order of committal for contempt. When the hearing commenced on 12 November 2008 before District Judge Leslie Chew (“DJ Chew”), GN admitted that he had made the offending statements, apologised for his behaviour and gave an undertaking to the Court not to make similar offending statements and to remove the blog posts dated 1 September 2008 and 6 September 2008. As such, DJ Chew only reprimanded him and ordered him to pay the costs of the proceedings. As soon as GN left Singapore and returned to California, he breached his undertaking to the Court.
18     What was truly unacceptable was that GN subsequently declared that he never had any intention of abiding by his undertaking and that he deliberately breached the undertaking at the first opportunity. The Tribunal stated as follows at [62]:
By flagrantly flouting his undertaking to the court in such a defiant manner, the Respondent displayed absolutely no remorse or contrition for what he had done prior to leaving Singapore for the United States. He was simply trying to make a mockery out of the entire affair. The apology he made and the undertaking he gave were both quickly withdrawn once he was safely out of Singapore. Clearly the apology and undertaking was an expedient way to a lighter sentence – the Respondent by his own admission, never intended or believed in either.
19     As for the offensive blog post regarding Belinda Ang J on 29 May 2008, which was the subject matter of the 3rd charge, that blog post was in the context of a defamation suit brought by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong against the Singapore Democratic Party. For this charge of contempt of court, GN was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment by Kan Ting Chiu J. The sentence meted out gave a clear indication of the seriousness of the contempt. Yet, in his blog post in relation to Judith Prakash J on 30 November 2008, who had, at the material time, found a number of persons in contempt of court for wearing T-shirts depicting a kangaroo in judges’ robes, GN continued to abuse the judiciary.
20     After taking all the circumstances into account, we found that the Law Society had shown that there was due cause for disciplinary action to be taken against GN. As such, we proceeded to consider the penalty that ought to be imposed.
The appropriate penalty

21     Disciplinary action is intended to punish the errant solicitor for his or her misconduct, deter others from misbehaving in the same manner, and protect public confidence in the administration of justice: see Law Society of Singapore v Tham Yu Xian Rick [1999] 3 SLR(R) 68 (at [18]) and Law Society of Singapore v Rasif David [2008] 2 SLR(R) 955 (at [28]).
22     Although GN had been convicted of a number of offences, which were referred to in the charges preferred against him by the Law Society, it should be borne in mind that in Law Society of Singapore v Wee Wei Fen [1999] 3 SLR(R) 559, the Court observed (at [25]) that it cannot be that every violation of the criminal law implies a defect of character which renders the offender unfit to be a member of the legal profession and that the nature of the offence is clearly material. Similarly in Law Society of Singapore v Wong Sin Yee [2003] 3 SLR(R) 209, the Court stated (at [12]):
We would, at the outset, make it quite clear that conviction of criminal offence does not per se imply a defect of character rendering an advocate and solicitor unfit for his profession. It is the nature of the offence, and the circumstances under which it was committed, and in turn the punishment imposed, which are likely to be determinative…. The offence must be of such a nature that it is expedient for the protection of the public and the preservation of the good name of the profession to remove the solicitor from the roll or from practice.
[emphasis added]
23     The offences in respect of which GN had been convicted and the circumstances under which they were committed lead to the conclusion that a serious penalty must be imposed. Apart from abusing the police with foul language in public and behaving in a disorderly manner in the presence of the police, GN was imprisoned for contempt of court in relation to his blog post regarding Belinda Ang J on 29 May 2008.Furthermore, he openly defied the undertaking he had given to the District Court shortly after he was convicted by Kan J for contempt of court. He then posted offensive statements in his blog about Prakash J on 30 November 2008.
24     When considering whether or not to strike an advocate and solicitor off the rolls, it is worth noting that in Law Society of Singapore v Amdad Hussein Lawrence [2000] 3 SLR(R) 23, the Court held at [11]:
The earlier decisions in Law Society of Singapore v Ravindra Samuel [1999] 1 SLR(R) 266 at [15]; Law Society of Singapore v Tham Yu Xian Rick (at [18]; Law Society of Singapore v Suresh Kumar Suppiah [1999] 2 SLR(R) 1203 at [18]; and Law Society of Singapore v Heng Guan Hong Geoffrey [1999] 3 SLR(R) 966 at [28]-[29] have consistently affirmed and applied the following principles on disciplinary sentencing:
(a)    where a solicitor has acted dishonestly, the court will almost invariably order that he be struck off the roll of solicitors;
(b)    if he has not acted dishonestly, but is shown to have fallen below the required standards of integrity, probity and trustworthiness, he will nonetheless be struck off the roll, as opposed to being suspended, if his lapse is such as to indicate that he lacks the qualities of character and trustworthiness which are the necessary attributes of a person entrusted with the responsibilities of a legal practitioner.
[emphasis added]
25     In the present case, the relevant question is whether or not GN should be struck off the roll on the basis that he lacked the necessary attributes of a person entrusted with the responsibilities of a legal practitioner. After taking all the charges into account, we were of the view that he lacked the said attributes. In particular, the facts in the 3rd, 4th and 5th charges disclosed a contemptuous disrespect on the part of GN towards the judges concerned. Such egregious misconduct is totally unacceptable. As there were no mitigating circumstances to persuade us that he merited a less severe penalty than striking off the roll, we ordered that he be struck off the roll of advocates and solicitors of the Supreme Court of Singapore and awarded costs to the Law Society.
My responses
In Paragraph 2 above, they conveniently refer to me as an American Citizen living in California. What they failed to mention is that I was born in Singapore, that I am a Singapore citizen by birth, lived in Singapore, practiced law in Singapore for 10 years from 1980 to 1991 (11 years), during this time I was officially a member of the opposition Workers Party with JB Jeyaretnam, was actively in opposition politics trying to bring a change to Singapore government, stood for parliamentary elections of 1988 and 1991 under the Workers Party ticket, was repeatedly harassed and victimized for daring to show myself publicly as an opposition member, was repeatedly faced with legal profession disciplinary charges to silence me, was charged for contempt of court in 1991 for making a speech at an election rally in Bukit Merah and made to pay a fine of $8,000.00, was suspended from practicing law for 2 years in Singapore in 1991 for writing a letter to the Singapore Attorney General Tan Boon Teik questioning him on his refusal to recommend a pardon for  JB Jeyaretnam after the Privy Council London exonerated him. At this time I left Singapore in disgust permanently for the United States. I did not enjoy practicing law in these Kangaroo Courts. As you can see, I am much more than merely an American Citizen residing in the USA as they would want you to believe.
1. In Charge 1, I am accused of having insulted the police with intemperate language. What happened was this. On 4th July 2008 along Race Course Road Little India Singapore, I walked past a police car with some policemen in it until I was at the junction of Bukit Timah Road, a distance of approximately 200 or 300 feet when I heard voices and shouts from behind me.
I was then accosted by several men, not in uniform, asking me numerous questions, such as why I had "knocked' at their police car. I denied ever doing it. They then became belligerent and threatening.
I naturally refused to be pushed around by these robotic minions running around arresting Lee Kuan Yew's opponents, and naturally I refused to co-operate. In any case I have absolutely no respect for these characters like attack dogs bullying me or anyone else.
Being angry, I may have used some strong language such as what has been described. The tribunal takes umbrage at my actions because they claim that " I had behaved in such manner "in full view of the public" therefore requires disbarment Item 14.39.
But they failed to mention how I could possibly have stopped a crowd from gathering, since after all the island is one of the most crowded places in the world and a crowd may gather even if I had done the hop skip and jump.
Therefore mentioning that because I had yelled at some people who claim to be police officers in the face of a crowd, over whom I had no control, is a strange form reasoning indeed.
Even accepting the argument that I had uttered "fuck you " to Lee Kuan Yew's policemen, surely this happens every day and if this is a ground for disbarment, there won't be any lawyers in the USA England or Australia! They would all have been disbarred.
True, a lawyer should try to be a gentleman whenever possible and a lawyer that has a habit of shouting vulgarities at policemen in public should be given a warning and if he repeats this unwholesome behavior, should be sent either to the mental institution or should be disbarred.
In my case, even if I said "Fuck you" to Lee Kuan Yew's prize policemen once, surely you don't disbar someone for having said that once! 
2. The second charge in incredulous. Let me tell you, I am not in the habit of "gesticulating", dancing around or doing the samba spontaneously in public.
But that is what they are suggesting. In relation to the first charge of my yelling at policemen on 4th July 2008, they say that I behaved in a disorderly manner, shouted loudly, and therefore I was guilty and should be disbarred.
I would like to remind the reader that I still have my wits about me, thank God, and have not gone off the rocker yet.
And there is no reason for me to "gesticulate" or "shout loudly". True, I may have told off Lee Kuan Yew's policemen but there is no reason for me to be doing the samba without provocation in public, because that is what they are suggesting.
In any case, even if I did the samba, for the sake of argument, what of it? It is is not a ground to disbar anyone. Not in the US, England, Europe or anywhere except probably in North Korea where Kim Jong An would make mincemeat of you.
3. I can fully agree that a lawyer who repeatedly goes about yelling at policemen and doing the samba without provocation should probably be sent to the mental hospital or disbarred, one or the other. But this was the first time I have ever been accused of this, and surely disbarment is completely over the top.
4. Now the 3rd charge. I wrote in my blog about the disgraceful performance of Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean in the case of Lee Kuan Yew vs Chee Soon Juan which was heard in Singapore from the 26th of May 2008 to the 28th of May 2008.
I was in court in Singapore. This judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean was a disgraceful woman. I had traveled to Singapore for the case and was in court to observe the disgrace.
I wrote about it in this blog on May 29, 2008 headed "Singapore. Judge Belinda Ang's Kangaroo Court". I want to repeat what I had said in this blog. This woman Belinda Ang Saw Ean was not behaving like a judge. She was literally part of the prosecution or plaintiff working with Lee Kuan Yew's lawyer Davinder Singh to deny every single advantage to Chee and allow Lee and his son to get away with anything.
In fact, I am not exaggerating to say that Chee could not get even a single question asked, it was either found irrelevant, redundant or denied because it was "previously asked". At one point I could not believe my ears when this woman addressed Lee Kuan Yew, the Plaintiff,  as "Your Honor"!
Anyway coming to the point of the charge the words that I used which were in issue in the blog were
"The following transpired during the last 3 days in court. The judge Belinda Ang was throughout prostituting herself during the entire proceedings, by being nothing more than an employee of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and his son and carrying out their orders."
These words were not offensive at all. The word "prostituting herself" , was what they took offense, in fact there was no offense at all.
Webster's dictionary defines the word as "devote to corrupt or unworthy purposes" , "to debase one's talent" "a person such as a painter or writer who debases herself for money". In fact every other dictionary also says this. And in fact this is exactly the shameful behavior exhibited by this disgraceful judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean, as you can see from my blog.
Anyone can see that in this context, no one will ever assume that I was suggesting that Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean was walking the streets in Singapore's red light area.
Yet despite my repeated attempts to explain this to Kan Ting Chiu, the Kangaroo judge who heard this case, he conveniently insisted that I had insulted the woman and therefore have to go to jail.
Let there be no misunderstanding here. It wasn't a mistake in my using the word. I deliberately intended to use it to show how base this woman was in shamelessly misusing her office to favor Lee Kuan Yew and son.
As you can see, no lawyer should be disbarred for criticizing this woman in these disgraceful circumstances, especially since it was a very high profile case. And what is more, no lawyer should be disbarred for that.
5. The 4th charge refers to my breach of an undertaking I had given in court for a separate charge of contempt of court. This is what happened. The chronology is important to take note.
First there was the blog charge, which was on May 2008. While waiting in Singapore for this case to come to court, I was arrested on the disorderly behavior charge on July 4th 2008 for which I paid a fine. Then finally the blog charge of May 2008 is heard in September 2008 and I go to jail. With one week left for my release, the police vist me in Queenstown Jail informing me that I have now been charged for contempt of court during the disorderly behavior case which was over.
During the July 4 2008 case, I had correctly informed the court that I had no respect whatsoever for the judge or their proceedings which is no better than the Alice in Wonderland case of the rabbit who stole the tart or words to that effect. When they came to visit me in Queenstown jail, they were charging me for having told the judge that.  
So, when I was brought to court in this contempt case, one week before my release date, I had 2 choices. One I could deny the charge and fight it, which would mean, I would not be released in a week's time and would have to spend much longer kicking around in Singapore waiting for a future trial date. On the other hand, if I apologized, I was told in court that they would drop these contempt charges. 
You can see the timing of this case, which was deliberately done. After I am jailed for the blog case, with just one week before my release from jail, after having had to stay nearly 4 months in Singapore, they spring this new charge of contempt, leaving me with the choice of either fighting it and spending even more time in Singapore with my US practice neglected, or to plead guilty and get out. Only a small time banana republic would spring a dirty trick like that.  
With my passport impounded since May 2008, unable to travel, at this point, I had already been in the island for nearly 6 months, my law practice in California was neglected, bills were not paid, my landlord of my office premises at Paseo Padre, Fremont, California, was threatening to evict me.
Staying any longer in the island would be suicidal. At this point I would have said anything they wanted to hear just to get out. I would have said Singapore had the best legal system in the world. I would have said Lee Kuan Yew was Mahatma Gandhi. I would have said Big Brother was right after all. I would have said anything at all.
So I apologized. The judge in this case Leslie Chew accepted the apology. I also had to make it look genuine by sufficiently contorting my face to look remorseful. Had I been observed by Hollywood at that time, I have no doubt of being given an Oscar for best acting. So I was returned to my jail cell and a week later was released as scheduled.
As a condition of their letting me off, I was also required to take down 2 blog posts referring to the abuse of process against me in the disorderly behaviour case. I agreed to do it. I would have agreed to do anything under the circumstances.
In charge 4, they take offense to my violating the undertaking I had given to Judge Leslie Chew by apologizing and agreeing to remove the blog posts.
However I had no intention of keeping my word to these Kangaroo Court judges. Truly, the moment I set foot on American soil, the first thing I did was to rescind the apologies given in court to Judge Leslie Chew and to re-post the 2 blog posts.
In item 18, they correctly state that "I flagrantly flouted my undertaking to the Singapore court and was defiant, and showed no remorse".  I am surprised that they expect me to show remorse! Remorse for what, for telling Lee Kuan Yew's judges that they are a bunch of Kangaroos?
The Singapore government for some strange inexplicable reason seem to think that they not only have a right to abuse the law to destroy political opponents, they also expect the victim to respect such legal abuse! Very twisted reasoning indeed!
6. In the 5th charge they take issue with the fact that I had used the same language that I had used in this blog which I used in the Belinda Ang Saw Ean case which was
"Judge Judith Prakash of the Supreme Court Singapore has prostituted herself in her capacity as a judge hearing the Kangaroo T shirt case on November 24, 2008 by being nothing more than an employee of Lee Kuan Yew and his son, whom he appointed Prime Minister."
My arguments for using the word "prostituting" was exactly what I had said in the Belinda Ang Saw Ean case. The word is proper under it's normal English meaning as shown by every English dictionary.
The case arose out of 3 activists who had worn T shirts with pictures of Kangaroos in judicial robes. Please see my blog post here "Justice Judith Prakash. Another Kangaroo Judge." of November 30, 2008.
7. None of these actions of mine deserve any disbarment. It is true that I have no respect whatsoever for Lee Kuan Yew's courts and no matter what they do, will not make me respect them. It is like Adolf Hitler after putting all his Jewish victims in concentration camp demanding that they respect him! It is simply not possible.
8. Two more things of interest. One would have thought that since they have taken so much objection to all that I had done, and in fact considered my actions the crime of the century, and passing a judgment striking me off the rolls, they would have taken some action to see to it that being such an incorrigible character, they should alert the State Bar of California of my unsuitability to practice law in California.
As they well know I am in active law practice in California. But until now, they have not done anything and neither has the State Bar of California after full disclosure by me done anything either.
On this very point, on Nov 20, 2013 at 2100 hours California time, I had telephoned Lok Vi Ming, the Singapore Law Society President at his number Tel 65 6885 3620, main number (65 6225 2626). His number appears on the Singapore Law firm Rodyk and Davidson website.
He practices at the Singapore law firm Rodyk and Davidson. I asked him if he knew whether I was practicing in California to which he said yes.
I then asked him why as President of the Law Society of Singapore which had me disbarred there, did he not do anything to protect his courts reputation by demanding that I be disciplined in California, to which he came up with a bizarre answer which went something like this, "Do you expect me to keep a track of every disbarred Singapore lawyer around the world and report their wrong doing to all global jurisdictions"!
I guess he wants to do nothing about me practicing in California.
Secondly, the judgment also orders me to pay costs to the Law Society of Singapore.
This is interesting. The final line of the judgment requires me to pay costs of these proceedings. To date, they have not even sent me a bill demanding payment. I would like to ask them whether in demanding costs did they really mean it or was it merely to fool the public into thinking that I have paid costs!
I don't have to tell you why they have not demanded any costs. They are unlikely to win in California.
Remember the contempt of court case before Judge Leslie Chew. As a condition of letting me off, they ordered me to pay costs to the Singapore Government of $5,000.00. For your information I never paid this either and I was allowed to leave Singapore without paying it. Up till now, they are short of $5,000.00. But they haven't demanded it either.
Finally the judgment here refers to a great many case law as authority to have me struck off the bar. If you took the trouble to do some research on these cases, you would find that none of them even remotely refers to a lawyer being struck off for yelling at policemen or writing blogs criticizing their crooked judges.
All of them refer to serious charges involving dishonesty. I haven't wasted my time reading any of them. For instance in the case of Law Society of Singapore vs David Rasif 2008 2SLR (R) 955,  which was well known, Rasif made off with several millions of dollars of Client's money and disappeared.  He is still at large.
They are making a fool of themselves.
Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Why Singapore's policies are leading to destruction

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The first obvious mistake that Singapore made, which any 7 year old child should know, is it's failure to realize that in order to rule, you need the respect of it's citizens. In the 1950s and 60s you simply could do what you want to a helpless people, respect or no respect.

But now in 2014 with the Internet and mass communication, it is no longer possible. The Lee Kuan Yew Singapore government has lost the respect of it's people for the following reasons.

Firstly they have lost faith in their legal system. Over decades the law has been repeatedly misused to destroy political opponents such as JB Jeyaretnam, Chee Soon Juan and myself. Singapore judges are seen, no better than prostitutes who sell their judicial office for money and career.

Secondly impartiality of parliamentary elections are brazenly compromised. Repeatedly in it's short history able capable and respected leaders such as Chee Soon Juan are disqualified from even standing for elections and persecuted. As a result loyal patriotic and able Singaporeans simply stay away, fearing retribution, leaving political office available to only those opportunists who lick the asses of the Lees. This results in the people losing respect for the entire political system.

Singaporeans therefore have no respect for any of these so called politician Ministers who are all simply handpicked by Lee and his friends and immediately thrust upon the people who are told to accept them as leaders. What is even more annoying is their habit of repeatedly giving lectures to Singaporeans as if they are supposed to know any better than anyone else.

One example is this Minister Chan Chun Sing, whom by the way we have never heard before telling us in this instance that we should be diplomatic with foreign countries and not be belligerent etc. etc.

Thanks for telling us, as if we did not this ourselves! Please see report in the state controlled Straits Times newspaper of Feb 15, 2014 titled "Put Values First, Honor the Elderly, Chan Chun Seng" . Please see report

Put values before material wealth, and appreciate the elderly in society, Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing (pictured) said at a symposium for students on Saturday, Feb 15, 2014. -- ST FILE PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
Because of island wide surveillance of the population by government through the secret police, local Residents Committees, Peoples Association and Consultative Committees, every citizen is intimidated and threatened to show support for the government.
And even if people wanted to vote against them, there is no one whom they could vote for.  The Workers Party which is the only so-called opposition party in Parliament has been effectively hijacked by the ruling PAP resulting in their actually working in the interests of the ruling party, and not against them.
As a result today, there is not a single real opposition politician in Parliament although on paper there are a dozen or so. All they do is merely make a few speeches and go home. Their only duty, it appears is to take care of their resident's daily needs, which by the way, the ruling party can do as well. It is not to advance democracy, and about which they have nothing to say.  
As a result the people have lost all faith in their government or their leaders. They are incapable of either deciding or acting independently for the interests of the electorate but only to obey the demands of the Lees and do as they are told.
Thirdly, even though it is obvious that by paying themselves millions each year, the people would obviously consider this outright corruption of the worst kind, which they do, every single Minister as well as Lee Kuan Yew and his son pay themselves no less than S$3.7 million each year, a figure I am told is five times the salary of President Obama.
This willingness to flagrantly disregard the rights and feelings of the electorate by their open public corruption, further alienates and even makes the people viscerally hate them.
Fourthly, despite the island's Constitution requiring a free and independent media, in total disregard and brazen violation thereof, Lee has through the Newspapers and Printing Presses Act, made the free press illegal.
Fifthly, despite all the human rights guaranteed under the Constitution, Lee has literally outlawed free speech, expression, assembly or any other fundamental right that one can normally expect anywhere else in the world except in the African Congo.
Sixthly, using these unjust laws, he will use his police goons and his judges who prostitute their offices to arrest impoverish, bankrupt and hound anyone who dares to question.
If they are still in power, it is only because they can use the violence of their police thugs and their Kangaroo judges to finish you off. Against them you are powerless.
As a result of these totally violent and illegal transgressions against their rights, the people have lost all respect for their government or their leadership against whom they are powerless and who feel destined to their fate. If they haven't overthrown them it is because they are terrified of their leaders and what they will do to them.  
This total disrespect and hatred for their leadership and their government results in the following unavoidable detrimental consequences to Lee Kuan Yew dictatorship.
Firstly, as people become more educated despite the impediments placed before them, not wanting to be hostage under this dictatorship, they increasingly emigrate to the West. As a result the already tiny population of no more than perhaps 1.5 Singapore born natives are increasing moving abroad for settlement to countries such as Australia. Their knowledge of the English language and tertiary qualifications make it easier for them to leave than most other people.
As more Singaporeans experience the freedoms abroad, they persuade even more to leave resulting in the almost emptying of the island of native born Singaporeans.
To make the population problem worse, the disrespect and intense hatred and mistrust that the people have for their rulers result in Singaporeans not getting married and not having children. This further exasperates the population problem and is worsened by the fact that the island has a large aging population.
What this means is that in a few years the island, except for Lee Kuan Yew and his family and a few of their corrupt friends at the top, the island would no longer have Singaporeans who are born and bred in Singapore. They would have either emigrated or disappeared through loss and attrition.
Secondly, they insisted on expanding the economy so large, by permitting an unlimited number of businesses into the island, that this meant the need for a huge labor force which they did not have. As a result they have to now continue bringing in large numbers of foreigners to run these businesses in the over sized economy. So as the numbers of Singaporeans continue to leave and the population declines further by the  almost zero birth rate, increasing numbers of foreigners come in resulting in the island having more foreigners than locals.
As a result of these huge numbers of locals who are brought in without any background checks, the quality of the population declines and all the effort and trouble spent in developing a good law abiding citizenry is all wasted because you have now an island populated by Chinese child molesters, Bangladeshi murderers, and Filipino tax cheats. The government will have no alternative but to give these people citizenship which will result in a population of child molesters, murderers and tax cheats while the good law abiding Singaporeans have all been driven away.

What this means of course is that the once law abiding island of Singaporeans is slowly transforming itself into the ways of these impoverished foreigners from Bangladesh, Communist China and the Philippines.

Realizing that usually it is those who are disadvantaged, many of them with criminal convictions are the ones who would emigrate to a country like Singapore with its low wages, the entire character stock of Singapore declines, just as you replace good pedigree dogs for pariah mongrel dogs.

This means, greater crime in the island, less stability and a constant ingress and egress of temporary migrants moving in and out of Singapore with no concern to their adopted country whatsoever.
It is in effect turning the island from a local born population to a foreign born second rate one.
And not to forget Gopalan Nair, myself, is also no longer in Singapore, if you have forgotten.
And lastly, I suppose we should not forget to mention that while Lee Kuan Yew went about his merry way thinking that he could get away with anything, he had clearly overlooked the fact that the Internet is going to come around and people like Gopalan Nair is going to continue writing this stuff to even further inflame the already angry Singaporeans.
I do not believe that Singapore has any chance of avoiding the disaster that will eventually creep up to them like a malignant fast spreading cancer. Even if they continue relying on their propaganda in their state controlled press such as the Straits Times, they simply cannot run from reality. The sooner they face it the better. 
And finally blogs like mine as well as the numerous others especially written from abroad, that do not have to fear the wrath of the Lees, in exposing the fragility and the disaster lurking before the greedy corrupt leaders of the island, which are read island wide in Singapore as well as the rest of the world, may not have an immediate effect of crippling the government immediately but no one can deny that slowly but surely it plays a large part in the downfall of the dictatorship.
Both wings have stalled and the aircraft SQ1 is in a tail spin and there is insufficient height to recover before crashing.
Caveat: I am writing this from Fremont, California USA which makes me safe from arrest.  
 Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525



Saturday, February 15, 2014

Singapore's angry poor. Hopelessness, despair and misery with no way out.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Among the midst of opulence and plenty with modern roads, classy hotels inhabited by the recently arrived Chinese millionaires who embezzled state owned China corporations and Indonesian millionaire bank thieves, a large percentage of ordinary Singapore can only afford to drool in envy.

As for them it is a daily struggle just to make ends meet.

The Guardian newspaper report of Feb 13, 2014 titled "Unaffordable Cities: Singapore workers tread on millionaire island" tells the story which is by no means uncommon, talks of a young woman Patricia who has to pay the bulk of her monthly income for rent for her tiny room where she lives with her partner Sam. Please see

Because she is unmarried, she is unable to receive a state owned one room apartment leaving her to rely on unscrupulous private landlords who take advantage of the property shortage in the overcrowded island by charging sky high rent for tiny cubicles.

Even a tiny 2 room apartment will require a rent of as much as S$5,000.00!  Patricia left with no choice has to rent a tiny room in an apartment for S$850.00 which is more than 2/3 of her salary of just $1250.00 per month as a nurses assistant.

One reason why nurses assistants are paid so low is because huge numbers of mainly Filipinas, known around the work for their work in the medical industry, are brought in and paid minimum wage to maximize profits for the hospitals. Although the Filipinas are happy since it is far more than they get in the Philippines, the miserably low wages are simply insufficient to survive for Singaporeans in a country which is said to have the fourth highest cost of living in the world!

The government justifies these miserable wages by claiming the need to be globally competitive,  never mind if people like Patricia, citizens of Singapore, have to eat grass. 

Lee and Son, the rulers of Singapore, using this reason as an excuse, refuse to even enact a minimum wage law, something any self respecting country should have, while allowing the "free market" to fleece unfortunate citizens such as Patricia, turning the island into a paradise for profiteers, racketeers and speculators and a nightmare for the ordinary Singaporean.

As a result, thanks to lee Kuan Yew's free market, prices in Singapore have gone way way ahead while wages, thanks to the government's  determination to be "competitive", like a horse in blinkers, is simply making life a nightmare for the ordinary folk .

And the hopelessness and despair that you see in the eyes of Singaporeans such as Patricia is because they have no chance to better themselves, once they have missed the boat.

What Singapore literally tells their citizens in lower paid jobs, as in Patricia's case is simply "It's your own fault if you don't have an education" while they refuse to those who ask.

Everyone is given one chance at getting an education when young. And education in Singapore's Asian context means becoming a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer; in other words safe professions where one can making a living all your life.

Those unable to get into these safe professions, are destined to a life of misery, because unlike the developed world, manual work is mainly done by imported cheap labor from other Asian countries and like them you too will get pittance.

In the case of Patricia her crime was not to have achieved good grades in school. Now she is older and it is too late to make amends. The island does not provide any meaningful opportunity for adult education.  In fact this lack of educational opportunity is deliberate because firstly, the island needs these manual workers and secondly, in an island where almost every child yearns for an education,  greater numbers of educated people may threaten the power base of the island dictatorship.

Most dictators of the world preferred dumb peasants. Remember Pol Pot. He murdered even people who wore spectacles. In Lee Kuan Yew's case it may not be possible to murder Singaporeans. But at least it helps if too many are not highly educated.

For instance, I, Gopalan Nair would not have been a constant irritant to the regime had I not received an education. I would probably be happily running around the island arresting innocent citizens at the orders of the Lee family as an ignorant low level policeman, God forbid.

The lower ranks of the Singapore Police Force has a disproportionally large number of Malays, who are the least educated among the races. Their lack of an education or an awareness of their rights makes them excellent goons for the Lee dictatorship, who willingly run around like obedient dogs,  to arrest and imprison citizens whom  the regime does not like. Had they had more education they would probably be less willing to do the dirty work.

For Patricia who, sadly did not do well in school, there are no government assistance or scholarships to  train to be a doctor, an engineer or a biologist.

For her, alas, it is simply too late. There is no such thing as a second chance. She has missed the boat. She could if she wanted to, train for another manual job with equally poor wages. But if she is thinking of something big, like being a doctor, it is not possible. There is no hope for people like Patricia in Singapore and that sadly is the long and short of it.

Patricia's sense of hopelessness becomes unbearable especially in an island where huge numbers of the tiny population are millionaires, the largest number in any city the size of Singapore, mostly recently arrived Chinese who go around flaunting their wealth in their Porches and Ferraris.

This unbearable sense of hopelessness among a large segment of the island population, I fear, will probably result in some catastrophe, not experienced in the island before.

This is the sort of people the Russian peasants were in 1917 who overthrew the Czar since according to Marx, "they had nothing to lose but their chains".

Or even if it does not result in a revolution, it is already manifesting itself in other ways, as for instance, the recent riots in Little India, a locality in Singapore; many instances of poorly paid maids attacking their bosses; serious gang violence; beheadings and serious crime at a level unheard of before.

In the US where I live, on the other hand, people are not reduced to this life of misery and hopelessness. People in any station in life, no matter how low, can still dream, and if you work hard enough, you may even make it work.

Even if you missed the chance at school, there are always limitless opportunities to advance. There are adult courses, fully funded by the state where at any age you can study further. And it is this realization and hope, that you can if you want, makes the life of anyone, no matter in what station you may be, far more hopeful and worthwhile. Life itself becomes worth living.

In life one has to have hope. Without hope there is no point in living. In America you have hope. In America, the 40 year old housewife one day can suddenly say she has decided to go to college and become the President. And why not. She may not become the President but at least she can still get her college degree in astronomy.

But Singapore's Patricia has no chance. She has no chance not because Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore can't afford it (they have billions, and each minister is paid millions) but because they deliberately want to make sure that Patricia does not climb the ladder, because she is needed to do that low paid low level job to satisfy the Lee family's social and economic plan to keep everyone in their right places.

They don't want Patricia turning out to be another troublesome Gopalan Nair and pointing out to them why they are violating their Constitution.   If she did, just imagine all the time and effort they would have to spend in charging her in court for writing a blog about their judges and disbarring her from practicing law in their island.

Oh no, it is far better for Patricia to remain a nurse's assistant with N level certificate, the slightly lower qualification school certificate than an O Level.

Caveat: By the way if anyone is wondering how despite the dangers inherent in criticizing the Lees, I can do it, it is only because I am physically in the USA while I write this. Had I been in Singapore now, I would, as you know be mincemeat.

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

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Are Singapore's money laundering days coming to an end with FATCA.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wonder whether the days of money laundering and lenient tax jurisdictions days for Singapore are coming to an end, thanks to Obama and his FATCA. It stands for Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act passed in the US in 2010.

It all started with the huge numbers of Americans banking in Swiss banks to avoid US tax under the fiction of banking secrecy and thereby conveniently avoiding the need to report on account holders. It was very good for Swiss banks but not so good for the US government. Billions of tax dollars being lost and it became time for Obama to put a stop to this.

Under this law, foreign financial institutions are required to report the names, account numbers and US social security numbers of Americans as well as their balances and transactions, failing which the financial institution was liable to a 30% tax withholding, which if they do, results in it no longer being competitive.

You have heard of the US government suing the Union Bank of Switzerland in Florida some years ago, where they reached a settlement. Now for Americans it no longer makes sense to think of Swiss bank and make a killing in tax dollars. It does not work.

And the idea of giving up American citizenship is not going to help you either. There is a hefty penalty for that too.

This pursuing of American tax cheats is not limited to Switzerland. They have the same reporting requirements for Singapore banks or any other foreign jurisdiction such as the Caymans. In fact many Swiss banks are now telling Americans that they simply don't want their business. They are telling them to take their money and go elsewhere. Too much trouble and expense in complying with all these American requirements, they say.

But have you thought about it? Are not the Chinese also unhappy with their citizens stealing their money and parking it in Singapore? Don't they want a share of their taxes too? Then what about the rich Russians, Indians and Indonesian crooks? What if China, whose nationals have the largest number and biggest accounts in the island, now tells Singapore that they too want a list of the names of Chinese account holders in Singapore banks?

I think the countries who are losing their wealth to money laundering centers like Singapore are wising up. They have seen what the US is doing and they can do it too. And the danger to Singapore is when every other country demands the same information on their nationals, this whole idea of money laundering tax havens like Singapore will come to an end. 

I think the writing is on the wall. I don't think dirty business such as money laundering and tax havens have any future under the Sun. Once everyone does what America is doing, which I think is going to happen, Singapore's days of laundering dirty money will come to an end. As they say the party does not last forever.

Which brings to my mind, the island of Nauru in the Pacific. They too were once a money laundering center which came to an end. I think they are now looking into the business of selling sea shells.

PS. By the way, I am writing this with a cursory reading of tax evasion laws of the US. I am not an authority on the subject, so please don't ask me details on this. I am not prepared to spend time researching it. You can do it yourself. Thank you.

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

Singapore's pipe dream of becoming a commerical law hub

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore state owned news agency has this report on Feb 12, 2014, "Singapore to re-make itself as Asia's legal hub with new commercial cases" Please see

Anyone who understands the one party police state island, absent the rule of law, would probably ask them, what are you smoking!

The raw painful facts about Singapore legal system is not flattering. For decades now, the profession has had a hard time both attracting anyone into the law, or stopping the huge drain of lawyers out of it. You see, no one who has any self respect or a modicum of conscience would be prepared to enter a career where you are literally prevented from representing your client because the judge is a Kangaroo.

The problem as you know is Lee Kuan Yew. He decided decades ago that lawyers are dangerous if left alone. They know how to ask difficult questions, one of which, is why is there no rule of law. Not wanting to hear any of this, he has literally cut the wings of lawyers.

Today you have Singapore lawyers, every single one of them afraid to ask why is the Constitution hijacked, why is there no independent press, why is there no right to speech, why has JB Jeyaretnam repeatedly sued jailed and bankrupted, why are you hounding Chee Soon Juan, why did you put Gopalan Nair in jail and disbar him from practicing law in Singapore because he criticized the Singapore judiciary in this blog.

You realize I hope that 3400 lawyers, the number presently practicing in the island,  in a so called commercial city state of 5 million is totally inadequate.

London has perhaps 20 times more and each year thousands of students take to the law. In California my bar number is 181423, meaning I am the 181, 423 lawyer in State of California, even though many have left the profession or no longer practicing; but still a huge mighty number.

Thousands and thousands of students each year take the bar exam in California aspiring to be lawyers. Their problem is how to control the number, the law being so attractive a profession, which they do by making the California Bar Exams as difficult as possible. Today the California bar exam is so difficult to pass, it is not possible to make it any harder. May I proudly say that I, Gopalan Nair is one of those who passed it.

To put it bluntly, Singapore lawyers are a castrated bunch of eunuchs who prostrate before Lee Kuan Yew and his government. They are not lawyers. They are a bunch of reptiles capable only of crawling. I have not seen as much crawling in Singapore since I was last at the reptile house.

An embarrassing manifestation of that is the fact that in an island of more than 5 million, they were only able to attract no more 3,400 lawyers, half of whom are foreigners. Singaporeans simply don't want to go into the profession unless you are willing to crawl and lick ass, I mean Lee Kuan Yew's ass.

In fact Singapore lawyers command so very little respect in the community, not so much because they are seen as sharks but more because they are seen as cowards, incapable of doing their duty of defending their client for fear of the Lees.

Let me give you a disgraceful denial of a defendant's rights. In Singapore a criminal defendant has no right to counsel unless, what they conveniently call "investigations" is complete. In other words you don't allow the defendant to see a lawyer until such time he is sufficiently tortured and threatened and a confession obtained. After that he is allowed a lawyer.

This is just one example of the shameful litany of denial of rights that any criminal defendant has to endure, indeed every citizen in the island endures.

You will be surprised to note that no Singapore lawyer has yet taken issue with any of these denials of defendant's basic rights; the only country in the whole world, other than perhaps North Korea which will tolerate this.

As you are aware, they had set up an arbitration center to attract foreign business. It was as you know a total failure, and expectedly so. Anyone having a case in Singapore would not know if he won or lost because of the merits of his case, or because the arbitrator did the politically correct thing by finding in favor of Singapore government or their connections.

If you read the above Business Times report, you would find their claim that the arbitration business has tripled. You note, no statistics have been quoted as authority. I have no doubt that the state owned news agency have taken it out of whole cloth. It is just humbug.

I know that the only cases they get are from China because the increasing numbers of Western companies who do business there are required to sign contracts which include a Singapore arbitration clause. As a result many of these foreign companies have no choice but to accept Singapore arbitration because if they don't they lose the business.

In the vast majority of cases, all these arbitration awards are found against the foreign company. As far as the Chinese are concerned, their Singapore connection is based on the adage,  you scratch my back and I scratch yours. There is no real independence in any court in Singapore because  the government and their friends always wins.

This report in the Singaporean Business Times is pure humbug. If they thought they are going to attract international legal business to Singapore, North Korea might as well start one of their own. They are on a pipe dream once again in their totalitarian one party state minus the rule of law.

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