Sunday, March 15, 2015

Singapore uses fake ranking to boost legal image

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore's state controlled newspaper Straits Times of March 15, 2015 has the article " Singapore law firm named regional best for second consecutive year". Please see article here

Very impressive but a more careful look raises serious doubts. The article is based on a finding by an organization called International Financial Review. An Internet check on this organization reveals no physical address. Only their editors and officers phone and Email addresses are revealed. For instance their editor is Mathew Davies with an phone number and Email in England. Nothing more about him is known.

The Deputy Editor is Stephen Lacey once again with an English  phone number and Email. Nothing more is provided. Some of them have English phone numbers and Emails while others have Hong Kong contact numbers. Other than this nothing more is revealed.

In their "About" section, they praise themselves in glowing terms as a highly respected economics and business monitor for the Asian region. Other than themselves praising themselves there is nothing else. And then looking at their awards list you have the usual suspects, such as Morgan Stanley for Bank of the Year, and HSBC for the Bond House of the year, by the way the same HSBC that has confessed to money laundering and tax evasion and made to pay millions to the European Union only last week. Not much to speak of.

Well I suppose you get the picture as to what types of characters these International Financial Review are. They are probably paid handsomely by these equally fraudulent financial institutions for great profits for their investors to write glowing reports on their ranking. You know what I mean, you scratch my back and I scratch yours. Please see their website here Looking at their faces they appear to be better located at the top security prison rather than be running around writing fake reports.

And it is this same nebulous organization that has declared Allen and Gledhill, a law firm that practices in the island of Singapore which is well known for not having any freedom of speech because you could be sued for defamation and bankrupted, no freedom of assembly or protest, no rule of law because of Kangaroo Courts and generally a very unsafe island to live in unless you are prepared to live like an obedient slave under the Lee's Peoples Action Party whose continued rule appears to be very much in doubt with the 91 year old dictator in hospital under life support.

Let me give you some facts here. In 2008 the International Bar Association in their 2008 report headed "Prosperity versus Individual  Rights. Democracy Human Rights and Rule of Law in Singapore" had very little good to say about Singapore.

The IBA other than stating the obvious that the island has economically prospered, has only total condemnation for the island as far as human rights and democracy and rule of law are concerned. The report itself is 72 pages long and is highly detailed with abundant footnotes. You can see the report here

Briefly the report states the following, that they use criminal defamation laws to silence dissent which the IBA (International Bar Association ) recommends should be abolished.

A further point is the use of other laws such as the Miscellaneous Provisions Act to silence critics such as myself when I was jailed for 2 months in 2008 for criticizing a corrupt judge in this blog. The charge against me was in fact contempt of court.

But because they did not want to be internationally embarrassed by such an untenable charge against me, they disguised it by a charge under this Act which literally was that I insulted a civil servant. In my case I had only written a blog, therefore making the charge against me totally irrelevant.

A reading of the section would clearly show the total inapplicability in my case since this section only relates to cases where the defendant was actually physically in court and hurled abuses at the judge. See my earlier articles in this blog for 2008 on my case. 

The IBA states that Singapore uses defamation laws to destroy political opposition by requiring that anyone fined $2,000.00, is an undischarged bankrupt or anyone imprisoned for 1 year  is disqualified from contesting elections. With this law they can effectively keep any opposition politician out simply by using fake charges brought in their Kangaroo Courts and thereafter simply find them guilty and disqualify them.

The IBA found that these defamation laws effectively led to self censorship leaving most people unwilling to challenge Lee and his PAP for fear of defamation lawsuits. Of course there is Low Thia Khiang and his Workers party in the opposition but through his own admission, he is not opposed to Lee's PAP and his role is simply there as a check on their excesses; a unique opposition indeed.

The IBA also found that there is a total lack of freedom of the press. In fact Reporters Without Borders have ranked Singapore 150th among the list of countries on press freedom which today is actually below Somalia. In fact Somalia has more press freedom than Singapore! Check the ranking yourself.

And then they commented on the Singapore Legal profession among which is the subject of this award, Allen and Gledhill, the largest and most acclaimed, that is by Singapore authorities, law firm in the island.

The IBA found that the Law Society have allowed themselves to be muzzled and are unable to comment on legislation under the Legal profession Act. Can you imagine a Law Society of a country being forbidden to comment on laws!

In other words the Law Society has lost its balls and have completely succumbed to Lee Kuan Yew and Sons intimidation. Effectively they have voluntarily castrated themselves and can no longer defend their clients or protect their best interests, if their client happens to be a Lee critic.

Today if you are being sued or prosecuted by the government, except for one lawyer who is mentally deranged suffering permanently from severe bipolar disorder who is liable instantly without notice to dress himself in outlandish costumes and break into Indian classical dance without any provocation,  you will not find any real lawyer to represent you.

Other than this lawyer who is sadly off his rocker, even if you did find one, he will very probably have to severely moderate himself lest he himself be prosecuted jailed and bankrupted by the Kangaroo Courts. By doing so effectively he will not be representing you but the government.

The IBA also found that although Lee's island stood high on business and anti corruption ranking, it stood very low on freedom of expression. I take issue with the finding that Singapore is not corrupt. It depends on how you define it. Lee his son and his entire extended family are in fact the most corrupt bunch of politicians in the world. This, a fact which is well known, is because they pay themselves no less than $3.7 million a year and an equally large amount each year as bonuses and kickbacks. They claim they are not corrupt because they have disclosed this fact as their salary. Simply calling it a salary does not make it any less corruption. This is simply legitimized corruption, which makes it much worse than the clandestine sort you see in Africa.

The IBA notes, no backbencher MP can ever question the PAP because if you are expelled from your party you automatically lose your parliamentary seat. This measure effectively prevents anyone from questioning them.

The World Conference on Human Rights of 1993 declared that democracy and freedom of speech and assembly is not just a Western concept but a universal concept that applies to every human being, even if you happen to be Asian. So far the Singapore government has been using the indefensible argument that freedom of speech etc are Western values and not Asian and therefore, as they are Asian, they are entitled to restrict your right to freedoms. A very convenient argument that dictators use to keep themselves in power to justify repressive measures against their own citizens. This has been roundly rejected not only by respected international bodies but also by any human being who has the slightest of grey matter in his head.

The IBA also pointed out that the Alliance for Reform and Democracy in Asia (ARDA) rankings of 2005 placed the island of Singapore last for democracy  and human rights, just one notch above Burma.

So who would you believe, the International Bar Association in their detailed 72 page report which describes Singapore island as nothing more than an intolerant dictatorship under father Lee Kuan Yew and his son by arguing that Western values are inapplicable to the island of Singapore or the likes of International Financial Review which awards the title of best bank to Morgan Stanley and the best Bond House to HSBC which has, by the way been convicted only last week for tax evasion by the European Union?

And coming to the glowing award to Allen and Gledhill. What sort of a law firm are they, very happy to practice in a jurisdiction, without the slightest of compunction, which has no rule of law, no freedom of speech, no freedom of assembly or no freedoms whatsoever. It is a grave injustice to the word to call these characters lawyers. They are simply characterless, ideal-less, unprincipled bunch of imposters in black clothes, out to make a quick buck. I bet if Kim Jong An of North Korea paid them a few more bucks they would be happy to be members of the North Korean Bar and serve as Honorable Members of the Legal Profession of North Korea. Disgusting.

It is primarily because of lawyers such as these that Lee and Company dictatorship has managed to continue in power for the last 50 years or so in that tiny island. It is because they have no opposition. Not even from the lawyers.

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


Old Money Savoir Faire said...

Excellent point. Without these sorts of totally unprincipled money-grubbers, dictators like Lee would never exist for very long.

Jacelyn Richards said...

Obviously Mr. Nair there is a saying I heard truth alone triumphs so such usage of faking rankings can't last too long. It is really touching to see your bold views and thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Rumors are now spreading that LKY's health has worsen and will most likely passed away latest by next week.

Apo Thecary said...

Indeed legalized corruption and through temasek holdings even more underhand deals... where is the justice and equality I pledged as a kid.