Saturday, August 5, 2017

Singapore one party state is foolish to charge Li Shengwu with contempt of court

Ladies and Gentlemen,

         It is widely reported that the one party state authoritarian government of Singapore run by Lee Kuan Yew's son Lee Hsien Loong has commenced contempt of court proceedings against Lee Kuan Yew's grandson Li Shengwu, who is the son of the Prime Minister's brother.

         This is a spill over from the recent disagreement between the 2 siblings of the Prime Minister and him over the will of the late Lee Kuan Yew as to what to do with his house 38 Oxley Road Singapore where Lee Senior lived for half a century.

         And now it is quite evident by this action of contempt of court against the son of his adversary, his brother Lee Hsien Yang that the Prime Minister is escalating the controversy, which is going to hurt the Prime Minister and his one party state government much more than anyone else.

         The contempt charges against the Prime Minister's brother's son who happens to be permanently living and working in Harvard University Boston Massachusetts USA arises out of a Facebook post which he wrote in which he said that the Singapore courts are compliant and that the foreign media tends to self-censor their reports on the country because of a fear of being sued.

         Although anyone who knows Singapore's one party authoritarian dictatorship knows that Li could not have been more correct, regardless of whether or not his statement was true, the Singapore government can do nothing to him and they are simply wasting their time with this court action in the island of Singapore.

         Li Shenwu has stated clearly that he has no intention of returning to Singapore. And if he does not return to Singapore, Singapore's contempt of court judgement, which we are quite sure they will obtain, is no better than a piece of scrap paper. Contempt of court order is not an extraditable offense and the Singapore government cannot apply to have Li return to Singapore if he does not wish to do so. Even if they attempt to do it, they would have to do it through US courts who we know will never send him back to Singapore against his will to a banana pariah island such as this. After all we have the right of freedom of speech in America which we cherish to death.

         The consequences of charging Li while he is in the US will not only result in failure for the one party regime in the island, it will have far wider repercussions against the regime. Firstly this episode will reiterate to the world what the island is, a one party state with no rule of law and no freedoms. Secondly it would mean that Li would never be able to return to the island as long as the Prime Minister his uncle remains in power because if he ever returns, the Prime Minister will throw the book at him. This will help to entrench the hated and animosity between the family members of the Prime Minister and himself. Second it would mean that Li's father Lee Hsien Yang, the Prime Minster's brother and his family will leave the island forever to avoid victimizations at the hands of the Prime Minister, thereby becoming enemies for life. And with the ongoing steadily entrenched feud, the brother would try to do whatever he can to destroy the Prime Minister and vice versa. And the beauty of it all is that as long as Li's parents and himself remain outside the island, there is simply nothing the Prime Minister can do to hurt them. The Prime Minster can take his inevitable contempt order and shove it up, you know where.

       And what he appears not to understand is the obvious, or at least he pretends not to know. Just because you sue someone for contempt of court for criticizing your judiciary does not make it independent. In fact your need to constantly sue people each time one criticizes in fact shows the contrary, that you indeed have a "compliant" judiciary which takes orders from the Prime Minister and his government. Because if you really had an independent judiciary, you have no need to sue people each time they criticize. A judiciary which asks how high when told to jump.

        Li already knows that all this theatrics carried on against him is a total waste of time. The Prime Minister can stand on his head if he wants in Singapore and still nothing is going to happen to Li Shengwu. So my advice to the Singapore Prime Minister is to stop this theatrics of commencing contempt of court proceedings against Li when he is not physically within your Orwellian island. For Heavens sake, get that into your head. Being in America Li is free. And you cannot touch him, ever. So don't waste your time. You are not fooling anyone. You are only making a fool of yourself.

         Just as you can't do anything to me for writing these blogs because I live in a country, USA that respects freedom of speech and they will not demand that I be returned to your one party state Singapore for any trumped up contempt charges.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at law
Fremont San Francisco California
Tel: 510 491 8525
Email: nair.gopalan@yahoo.com