Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Singaporeans have no rights

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The abruptness of what I am about to say will perhaps take you somewhat aback. Singaporeans have no rights. Lee Kuan Yew and his family controls every Singaporean. Your lives and livelihoods depend on whether he is prepared to allow you that.

You will recall many years ago, Lee made a speech when he referred to his fellow citizens as "digits". Shows the derision and contempt with which he held his population. But at least despite this very insulting remark describing his fellow human beings, there was then, at least some degree of human rights. You will recall in those days, the highest court of appeal was the British Privy Council, which could act as a check on Lee Kuan Yew's excesses. Over the years even that was whittled away.

Over the years Lee began to assault systematically the citadel of democracy which once was, until today, it is laid threadbare, with the people having no rights at all, with the country now being run by nothing more than Lee's dictate.

A people can call themselves free men only if they know that they have certain rights and these rights will be protected by the institutions that are required to protect them. These rights are usually enshrined in a document called the Constitution which is treated as the supreme law of the land. Such fundamental human rights include the right to free speech, the right to free expression, the right to freely assemble, the right to form independent unions, the right to have an independent media. In Singapore the average Singaporean does not have any of these rights. And not having any rights, he is no longer free. He lives at the pleasure of the Lee family. If one were to anger Lee, he is liable to arrest you anytime, successfully sue you and do all manner and harm to you. This is because there is no independent institution such as the courts which will protect you even if you happened to be right. This is because the courts in Singapore are no longer independent and work at the behest of the Lee family. The best way to put it is that you live under a revocable licence from Lee Kuan Yew and his family. That licence can be revoked anytime by Lee without cause.

The Constitution must be the foundation for any free people. That document emboldens people when they know that they have certain rights as stated within it. And it emboldens people when they know that no matter what, no one can punish them unfairly, because there is an independent judge with the authority and the will to enforce this man's rights. When an individual knows this, he is free man. Free because he fears only the law and God.

As I said, not so in Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew and his family have compromised the integrity of the Constitution to such an extent that they it no longer gives him any rights, due to Lee meddling with it to whittle it down to nothing. Take the right to free speech. This is in the constitution. But there is also the provision requiring a licence to be obtained before you can speak. In reality therefore, the necessity of a permit effectively removes your fundamental right to free speech. In any case, you can be sure that even if you applied for it, as an opponent of Lee Kuan Yew, your permit will be denied. Effectively therefore, you no longer have free speech.

The same with the freedom to assemble. Yes, it is in the constitution. But you require a permit. And if you are an opponent, your permit application will be denied. Conclusion, you have no right to assemble.

Again with the right of a free press. Constitutionally you have that right. But Lee and his family control the paper by saying that they have to be "responsible", another way of saying propaganda. Therefore you read propaganda. You are again denied your constitutional right.

The constitution requires an independent judiciary. Lee makes sure that all judges punish and destroy political opponents. End result, you have no independent judiciary.

I can go on.

And by the way, constitutional law makes it very clear that the constitution is sacrosanct. It cannot be changed and modified as and when the government pleases. But in Singapore, that is what Lee and his family do. End result is that Singapore does not have a Constitution. With the rubber stamp Parliament of a one party state, laws can be changed, amended any which way Lee wants.

And what is equally more important other than the constitution is the people who are supposed to uphold it. I have been told that the constitution of the People's Republic of China is a great document on paper because it contains all manner of human rights. However in reality, the subjects of Communist China have no rights at all. This is because the people in positions of authority in China are beholden, not to the constitution but to the Communist Chinese dictators. It is the same with Singapore. Singapore does not give their people any rights in the constitution. But even if the document did give any rights, these are not enforced by the organs of state, because they are all beholden to Lee Kuan Yew and family through fear. Fear for their jobs. Fear for their livelihood. Fear for their children.

With no rights under the constitution and with all the institutions of state, all beholden not to the law, but to Lee Kuan Yew, the prospect is indeed very bleak. The final analysis is that you have no rights at all. You are not free. You live entirely at the pleasure of Lee Kuan Yew and his family who rule you. And if you have not realized this sad state that you are in at present, you should understand it now.

It is indeed unfortunate that in a country of 4 million people, there is only one man, just one man who realizes this and who stands up as a man. That is Dr. Chee. There is no one else. No one in an entire population of 4 million. Dr. Chee has said it before and I will say it again. Until and unless you confront Lee Kuan Yew head on and say enough is enough. I am not going to take this anymore. I demand my rights. I will speak when I want to, assemble when I want to, protest when I want to whether you, Lee, like it or not. Unless you are prepared to do this, you will be forever living under the revocable licence of your master Lee Kuan Yew.

For me at least, it is shameful to live under these circumstances. As for what you will do, it is up to you.

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

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