Sunday, December 24, 2006

Singaporean's Lack of Conviction Must damage Singapore's advancement.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Anyone who has lived long enough in Singapore will see a unique general characteristic which runs across the spectrum of the population. That is indifference. Except when it affects their personal interests. In which case, they have tremendous enthusiasm. Otherwise, no matter whether their actions are morally right or wrong, they carry out their functions in a mechanical routine.

Let me explain with a few examples without identifying individuals in some cases. One individual at the official Assignee's Office deals with Dr. Chee Soon Juan's bankruptcy, individual "A". That individual is a government employee. I had pointed out to that individual, that even though the Government has asked A to demand that Dr. Chee pay Lee Kuan Yew large sums of money in court judgements, A should know that the judgment itself against Dr. Chee was clearly unjust, being politically motivated, and therefore A should refuse to do the dirty work of Lee Kuan Yew, and refuse to persecute Dr. Chee. I had informed A that there were various other honorable ways to make a living and that A should not prostitute himself or herself by acting as a PAP politician. My entreaties to A has fallen on deaf ears. "A" continues to punish an innocent Dr. Chee knowing he did no wrong. Another civil servant in perhaps the UK, USA or Australia or other democracy would have perhaps told Lee Kuan Yew that he /she is a civil servant and not a politician, and if indeed Lee Kuan Yew wants to silence others by intimidation, he should do it himself! In Singapore "A" will do anything as long as it is in his or her self interest. Never mind how disgusting that action may be.

This indifference to one's moral responsibility runs across the board. Justice Kang Teng Chiu who was not so long ago appointed High court Judge was well aware that Lee's defamation actions against Dr. Chee are politically motivated. There is no basis for finding against Dr. Chee for defamation and damages, as he was doing no more than exercising his right to free speech and expression. In no other country would a tribunal found against Dr. Chee except of course North Korea and Turkmenistan! Why then does Judge Kang carry out such as despicable order from Lee Kuan Yew, since we can assume that it was done at Lee's pleasure. Has not Judge Kang, any sense of moral conviction, a sense of justice and fair play. Judger Kang too must have been a boy once. Did not his father tell him that it is important to tell the truth?

This "dishonesty", I understand it is a strong word but apt nevertheless, this dishonesty, this indifference to the fellow man runs across the board in Singapore. The willingness to do harm and injustice to his fellow man, for the preservation of one's own interest. One can see this unfortunate trait throughout the Signapore government, throughout the civil service, throughout the population, throughout the private sector. Names of men and women who were prepared to harm others to preserve their own interests come to mind. Judge Belinda Ang who recently ordered summary judgement for defamation action by Lee and Son against Dr. Chee. The late Judge Lai Kew Chai who convicted and sentenced JB Jeyaretnam ensuring that he will lose his seat as MP to please Lee Kuan Yew. The Registrar of the High Court and subsequently the former Judge MH Rubin, who found in favor of Lee Kuan Yew for defamation, in summary judgement, without a trial and dismissing Chee's appeal. Former Judge MH Rubin is now the Singapore High Commissioner to South Africa in Pretoria. I had asked this "judge" whether he had any pangs of conscience now for what he did. He had no answer. Former Judge Sinnathuray who had sent Tan Wah Piow into jail and exile for exercising his democratic right of lawful civil unrest. This willingness to hurt and ruin his fellow man to please their superiors is prevalent throughout the entire country. Coupled with the complete indifference to the welfare of Singapore. The Indian interpreter had no interest in knowing what the judgement against Dr. Chee. He told me that he was very busy. The taxi driver had no interest in organizing a protest against the crippling fees payable to his company to maintain his taxi. His answer was that he was afraid to lose his taxi licence.

All these people either do not realize or do not care that they are hurting Singapore. The entire population are not prepared to question their orders, but merely carry them out. And yes, they are hurting Singapore. All these robotic complaint yes-men are ruining the country. And others who have made deliberate decisions to fight and stay, men such as Dr. Chee, stand up to them. Others who refuse to be led by these political agents of the government, who refuse to live in a place where the rulers and the Administrative Service have lost all sense of justice, feel unsafe of their future and pack up and leave. Many men and women, capable and outstanding in their fields, pack up and leave because their conscience does not permit having to live their lives in total submission to Lee and his Son's cruel and unjust dictates.

What then is left is almost universally, the compliant dishonest men and women such as A, the individual in the Official Assignee's Office, the few men of courage and conviction such as Dr. Chee and company. A large proportion of good honest men and women are no longer in Singapore, and no amount of cajoling and enticement will make them return. In a population of 4 1/2 million with 1/3 of them being foreigners, one cannot see much prospect there. The silver lining is of course men such as Dr. Chee and his courageous supporters who are standing up as upright men and women. With more and more emboldened, things are changing for the better.

As for A at the Bankruptcy Office who is daily hurting and punishing Dr. Chee to please A's superiors, we can only leave it to his/ her own conscience to punish him/her. As Dostoevsky had said, the "living Hell is much worse than any hell after Death".

This attitude of indifference among Singaporean's cannot be of any good for the future of Singapore.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, California 94538
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

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