Monday, May 28, 2007

Another letter from Australia.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I append below a letter from Australia by Tom Thekatyil, a former Singaporean living in Australia. His EMail is He is a former classmate of the Million Dollar Minister Mr. Wong Kan Seng. I have his permission to post this EMail he sent to me as well as his contact particulars.

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

Re: Singapore. Why the blame lies on the Opposition Politicians for Singaporeans having to live as slaves.


This is a gross distortion of the truth, and you know that.

Half century ago Singaporeans were seduced into giving up their essential liberties for the distant promise of a chook in the pot.

After all LKY was once the prole's champion (key speaker at some Socialist International do sometime in late 60's?). What they were not told was that the chooks would not necessarily be in their pots.

From the time the opposition was decimated with incarceration of key Barisan Socialis members there has been no effective opposition in Singapore. Many who saw the handwriting on the wall emigrated. Of the remainder many of the most able were co-opted into serving the government and dissenters were sidelined if not ruthlessly suppressed, as your own blogs demonstrate.
Half century in government is a long time to rewrite the laws to reflect the interests of the governing as opposed to that of civil society. Add to this a subservient judiciary and ... bingo!

If Singaporeans have been enslaved, they choose to do so with open eyes, and are no less culpable than the opposition claiming to act in their interests. Don't ask JBJ what he has done for the people - more useful to ask what the people have done for themselves. They are free to demonstrate their feelings at the next election, if only to see the tiger's stripes. In short you cannot vote to be enslaved, then ask another man to explain why you are a slave.

You and I choose to walk away; those who stayed to fight and pay the price have my respect regardless of their effectiveness. They are no less worthy of yours.

Tom Thekathyil
836 Main St., Lottah, TAS. 7216, Australia - Ph: 61 3 6373 6191 GPG Key at

Singapore, a Lion City? Please don't insult lions.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please do not insult lions, by calling Singapore a Lion City. Lions are courageous noble creatures in the face of danger or any bully for that matter. If by calling Singapore a lion city, meaning Singaporeans are lions, you defamed all lions in Africa and India. If the lions could sue, they would have engaged the best lawyers and sued you for defaming their character!

A City of Sheep would be a correct name for those who people in that Island Republic of Singapore. Sheep as we know, have an inbuilt tendency to comply, turn here or that way, this direction of that and willingly permit themselves to be sheared for their wool or slaughtered without complaint.

This describes correctly describes all Singaporeans including their opposition leaders, even JB Jeyaretnam or Dr. Chee. Of course we can forget completely about the other opposition politicians such as Loh Thia Khiang and Chiam See Tong and the new entrant to the club, Sylvia Lim who doubles as a Penal Code Law Professor by going around the city giving law lectures free of charge.

More to follow. Watch this page. Have to rush home to study Gleim on "Airplane performance and Weight and Balance" for my forthcoming exam.

A very good Memorial Day Greetings to you. Today May 28, 2007, is Memorial Day holiday, where Bush remembers all the soldiers that died in Iraq and Afghanistan, wars that he himself started! What a hypocrite!

By the way, if you didn't know, I am a sailor. I first learnt sailing at Changi Sailing Club, received my skippers license and again obtained my Skippers license at Berkeley Sailing Club. I can sail any sailboat with a sail on it at sea.

The only thing I have not completed is to fly. Now I have already done my first solo on a Cessna at Hayward Airport, which was just 3 takeoffs and 3 landings at a left traffic pattern. My instructor was worried as always to let me fly alone. On my solo flight date, he sat with me in the aircraft up till the Hold Short line at Runway 28 Left, finally telling me just before he got off the aircraft that I will either land safely or he will read about me in the newspaper! He had a sense of humor. His name is Ikko Fukutake. He has since left California and is flying for Air Asia stationed at Kota Kinabalu. I believe he flies Boeing 737. Before he left California, he went to Florida to get a type rating on a 737.

On the day of my first solo, I had to radio the control tower stating "Hayward Tower, Student Pilot, First Solo, Cessna 767 Victor XRay with Charlie at Runway 28 Left. Request Take off for touch and go". Followed by Tower telling me "767 Victor Xray, taxi into position and hold" followed by "767 victor Xray, you are cleared for touch and go, follow left traffic pattern, stay below one thousand." (feet)

Strangely enough, once I was in the air, I discovered that there was hardly any other aircraft in sight. I then discovered that as a precaution, the tower radioed all other aircraft off the area until the student pilot had, that is me, hopefully safely landed, to give as much space as possible to the student, in case something unexpected happened!

As they do always, the tower called me on safely landing with "Well done, good landing". I believe they always say that to a student pilot on his first solo.

I expect to get my wings, Private Pilot VFR, this summer. This is the first step of flying where you are limited to fly when visibility is at least 3 statute miles and cloud ceiling not below 1,000 feet. After that, there is Instrument Rating, followed by Commercial and Certified Flight Instructor. For the moment, that is as far I wish to go.

Of course, after that one can get a multi engine rating, ATP (Air Transport Pilot) rating, followed by other type ratings for each particular aircraft. But since I am a lawyer by profession, and not intending to earn a living a a pilot, I need not get these additional licenses.

There is a small single engined prop aircraft Cherokee Bonanza which is reasonably cheap to purchase and which has exceptionally large fuel tanks. Although it cannot cross the Pacific Ocean, it is possible to fly from California to Asia by making small stops along the way, up to New York, New Foundland, Baffin Island, Iceland, Faroe Island and to Norway. From there there are enough small airfields for small hops across Europe to Asia.

If you recall, some years ago a Spaniard who happened to be disabled, flew from Europe to Singapore with the India Singapore leg by making a stop in Maldives, since India Singapore direct was beyond the fuel capacity for that Cherokee Bonanza. He was flying a Cherokee Bonanza. It was a great adventure.

I have a long way to go before I reach the skills of that Spaniard. But I have made a start. Like the good Chinese saying goes " A journey of a thousand li, starts with the first step."

I have begun. And I also have digressed. I got carried away. If I had bored you, I apologize. This is what I tell myself and to you. Achievement is easier than you think it is. All you have to do is get started.

Then what are you waiting for? Go on. Get cracking.

I know how to sail. Sailing is like riding a bicycle. Once you learn it, you will never forget it. Now I must get my pilots license.

I sometimes look back at my life sometimes in disbelief, wondering whether all this really happened. I had grown up in Singapore attended schools there, spent half my time dreaming of great adventurers such as Alexander the Great and so on. But to be fair to my parents, it was they who got me interested in adventure by telling me adventure stories like Sinbad the Sailor and Alladin and the Magic Lamb. As a boy, these stories had a great effect on me, and the saying that nothing is impossible was hammered into me. My father used to always tell me that I was the best. And I took that literally. And it is that feeling that made me do almost reckless things. Looking back, I was always a second timer. I never passed almost any exam the first time. I always had to do it again, although the 2nd time round, I always pass much better than those who managed to pass the first time.

I had to go to Europe for an education because I did not pass the A levels in Singapore and the government was not prepared to give me a second chance. In fact not passing the A levels in Singapore turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because then I would not have gone to Europe, I would not have become a lawyer, and I would not have managed to keep my spirit of adventure up till now.

And mind you, I did not go to Europe because I had rich parents who paid for my education in Europe. My parents were not rich and at that time, my father had died. I paid for my education myself by working at a Greek Restaurant while studying at Bradford College, Yorkshire, England. After I passed and got admission to University at Hull, I got a UK education grant which paid for my University and Bar education. And you wouldn't believe this. After I passed the Bar, I did not have money to buy an air ticket to return to Singapore. I went to my local Bank Manager at Midland Bank in Bradford to ask for a loan to by an air ticket!

The Bank Manager was an old Englishman. He said he had served in the British Army in Aden but had never been to Singapore. When he heard that I had come to him to ask for money to go back to Singapore, he nearly fell off his chair laughing! He asked me me to repeat the question, just to make sure! I confirmed that I was there in fact to ask him money to buy an air ticket to return to Singapore permanently! I told him that I had spent almost 7 years in England, banking with his bank, even though I was not such a great customer (lack of money), that I had passed the Bar, and was now going back to Singapore to make my fortune as the greatest lawyer, that I will become rich, and that the moment I begin to start earning money in Singapore, I will send him the money that he lent me, for sure, swearing by all the Gods in Heaven.

I think as an old man, he had sympathy for me, all the more so, perhaps because of my courage and even audacity to ask him such an improbable question! For that alone, perhaps, he lent me the money, threatening that he will not hesitate one bit, to personally fly to Singapore to locate me if I failed in my promise. True enough, when I returned to Singapore, within a few months I repaid him. He was a kind good old man. I can never forget him.

My life was quite an adventure. Singapore, Europe for 7 years, Singapore again for 10 years, opposition politics, coming to the US in frustration and protest, obtaining asylum in the US, passing the Bar, reinventing the wheel, and running my law practice Gopalan Nair Attorneys at Law in Fremont California successfully for the last 11 years.

This was a life. It was an adventure. And mind you, the adventure has only just begun!

All the very best.

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

Friday, May 25, 2007

Singapore. Why the blame lies on the Opposition Politicians for Singaporeans having to live as slaves.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The blame for the present politically hapless state of the average Singaporean lies on the opposition politicians. By claiming to be opposition politicians fighting for the cause of democracy, they owed a responsibility to the people to act in whatever manner necessary to prevent Lee and his PAP from destroying all vestiges of democracy and replacing it with absolute dictatorial rule.

Today Singapore is a complete dictatorship. There is no longer rule of law. The courts are beholden only to Lee and his PAP. The media is nothing more than a government propaganda sheet. The Civil Service is no longer independent having been completely politicised and act only to protect and further the interests, not of the people, but Lee and his Party members and supporters. One cannot expect fairness from the Singapore government. Only those who are PAP supporters can expect to receive any measure of success in any endeavour. In sum total, Singapore which once had a free people, today has only slaves. Slaves of the Lee Administration, who live daily in fear. All these people in authority have sold their souls and their labor to Lee for money. Dirty money for dirty work.

But Lee did not manage to destroy civil society in Singapore in one day. Since 1965, with Singapore's Independence, Lee slowly but surely, over this relatively short period of time, has today managed to subjugate every pillar of civil society, such as the courts and the civil service, by paying astronomically high salaries and bribes, for them to tow his line and obey his every command.

And while Lee was slowly but surely destroying his people's rights, the opposition politicians did nothing to stop Lee from this destruction. JB Jeyaretnam of the Workers Party had joined opposition politics around 1974. In 1981, he won a by-election and entered Parliament. However he was subsequently illegally removed from Parliament by trumped up charges, disbarred and bankrupted. Recently he has managed to discharge himself from bankruptcy and is expected to contest the elections again.

But the fact is, for nearly 30 years, JB Jeyaretnam knew that Lee uses illegal means such as bribery and corruption to remain in power. He abuses the courts to silence his critics. It was not that JBJ did not know. He knew all along. Yet he did nothing. JBJ knew it was not possible for him, merely to contest elections and win, like in other free countries. Lee may even rig the elections to remain in power. I knew this. JB Jeayretnam knew this. Everyone knew this. Yet JB Jeyaretnam did nothing other than merely contesting elections despite the fact that he knew all along that just doing this cannot secure victory either for him or for the cause of freedom.

More than 30 years have passed with JB Jeyaretnam's politics. During this time, JB Jeyaretnam has suffered a lot at the hands of Lee and his government. We admire JB Jeyaretnma's courage. But what is the point of just having courage? Surely his objective as an opposition politician was to bring about change for the better for his people. To bring about democracy. The sad fact is he has completely failed to halt the destruction of free society in Singapore by Lee, which was happening before his very eyes. It is JB Jeyaretnam who entered politics claiming that he will stop the onslaught of Lee on his people's freedoms. The bottom line is that JBJ has failed, completely failed to deliver on his promise. And he must take responsibility for this.

And it is not only JB Jeyaretnam who is responsible for this pathetic state of affairs in Singapore. All the other opposition politicians are equally responsible. Since being elected to Parliament, Loh Thia Khiang, Chiam See Tong and Sylvia Lim have all made the required noises in Parliament. They have made their speeches in protest of the increase in salaries and all the other evils that are inflicted upon the people. But other than making speeches, they do nothing more, knowing full well that Lee Kuan Yew cares 2 hoots for all their speeches combined. The sad thing is that just like JB Jeyaretnam, these so called opposition politicians were fully aware, all the time, that their speeches in Parliament will make no difference to the slavish lives that Singaporeans presently live. They knew that their speeches in Parliament would not improve the miserable lives of their people one bit. Yet they do nothing more than just make these totally ineffective unnecessary speeches and nothing more. By doing nothing else to improve the lot of their people, to whom they owe a responsibility, the blame lies clearly upon them.

Dr. Chee Soon Juan is presently doing a little more than those above. He has done a great deal to alert the rest of the world to the plight of the average Singaporean. He is aware that merely contesting elections will never bring about any change in Lee's Singapore. Therefore he has defied the unjust laws of Singapore, and rightly so, by such acts as speaking in public without a government permit. For this Dr. Chee must be commended. But I tell Dr. Chee that what he has done is still not enough. If he really believes that change is necessary for the people of Singapore, then he must take whatever steps necessary, short of violence, to bring about that change. Dr. Chee has to do more. And he has to do it now.

If I understand Dr. Chee correctly, he believes that Singapore can never change merely through the ballot box. That for change to happen the fundamentals have to be changed. And that takes civil disobedience, public protests and disruption. But we all know that since the last time, many months ago when he held a public gathering, nothing else has happened over several months. And while Dr. Chee does nothing more than writing his blog and sending his representatives throughout the world on public speaking exercises, Lee's grip on his people's freedoms continue unabated. I ask Dr. Chee to explain himself. I say to him that by doing nothing more tangible, he is letting down his people, just as JBJ and the other oppositions have done, and continue to do.

There seems to be a strange warped twisted admiration for people in Singapore for such as JBJ who has, no doubt, suffered unjust punishment at the hands of Lee Kuan Yew. The more someone suffers it appears, the more the admiration and respect. Today JBJ is, one could safely safely say, the most revered and respected man in Singapore, because he has suffered punishment like a Jesus Christ. But wait a minute. Can I be permitted to ask, if I were a Singaporean, how does JBJ's suffering benefit me in any way. What I want is my freedom. By JBJ suffering at the hands of Lee, I am not getting any freedom. So I as a Singaporean would ask JBJ this question, "What have you done for me?" I am a citizen. I trusted you to give me freedom. But you failed.

And I would say the same thing to every opposition politician in Singapore. Please do not give me a whole load of hogwash, speeches upon speeches and excuses upon excuses. You are in politics to better my life. If you can do it, then do it. Otherwise don't tell me you are an opposition politician and presumably defending my interests.

As a Singaporean, albeit an American Singaporean, let me tell these opposition politicians this. Please do not give me any excuses. Do not tell me things such as, it is harder to move things in Singapore, and so on and so forth ad nausium. I tell them this. It has been, if one takes the watershed mark as 1959, for Heaven's sake, it has been 50 years! And nothing! The Singapore opposition politicians including the almighty and revered JB Jeyaretnam should be ashamed of themselves. We, the people do not get any pleasure in seeking JB Jeyaretnam going to jail. But we will get pleasure in having a little freedom. And if these so called opposition politicians cannot deliver, they should admit it and resign from politics, and let someone else who really can deliver, enter the fray, take the bull (in this case the Devil Lee) by the horns and send him packing.

Please do not misunderstand me. It is not that I do not appreciate the work of Dr. Chee and Mr. JB Jeyaretnam. If this letter was hard hitting, it was intended to wake them from their stupor, reverie, to come alive and change the nation.

If the French could have done it in the Revolution, what is this tiny puny Lee Kuan Yew, who is nothing more that hot air.

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

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Mr. Chew writes on why he is fed up with Lee Kuan Yew

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I received this nice letter from Mr. Chew about why he is disillusioned with Lee Kuan Yew and his PAP government. I have his consent to post his letter.

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

Hi Gopalan,

I enjoyed reading your blogs and totally enjoy your perspectives in
the no bullshit way that you write. Too bad not many people dare to
write this way for fear of lawsuits from that FamiLEE. I was never
interested in politics but the recent events really left a bitter
taste in my mouth so I started a blog at

If you don't mind, I hope you can tell me a little about seeking
political asylum in US. I want to do something for Singapore but I
will like to find a way to protect my family too.

Hope to hear from you. Thank you.

Best regards,

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Nice letter from a Singaporean in Belgium

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I append below a nice letter from a Singaporean lawyer who has left Singapore permanently because, like thousands of other educated and capable Singaporeans, Reynold too has had enough of Lee's "paradise" of the island of Singapore. It is my reckoning that the legal profession has suffered and continues to suffer the highest rate of attrition to emigration than any other profession in Singapore. Should anyone be surprised, since by their very training, lawyers have to THINK. I have the consent of Mr. Reynold Pereira to post his letter.

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

Hi Gopalan,

Greetings from Brussels. My name is Reynold Pereira.

I came across your blog today and have actually been reading your articles in between my work. I relish reading 'real' articles about Singapore and its system. Are you still in the legal world?

Like you, I also practised law in Singapore until I decided I move to Europe with my wife back in 1998. We were first in Paris for about three years before moving to Brussels. We have now been in Brussels for almost six years and I'm currently contemplating applying for either French or Belgian citizenship. My wife is French and to save my skin I guess I'll apply for French citizenship!!

The plan had always been to move to Europe to find a better life. I guess I became disillusioned with practice after a while. I had all these high ideals about defending the underprivileged but after going through some trials and being on the wrong end of some strange decisions by the courts, I decided that I had enough.

In a way, I'm glad that I left Singapore. I do miss my family and friends and some of the old haunts like Adam Road hawker centre and Komala Vilas. But in terms of quality of life, I think Singapore is way down the list. We are quite happy in Brussels and strangely enough there are some old caf├ęs here which reminds me of the old 'kopitiams' in Singapore. My kids are happy and my first kid who will be going to primary one next year seems okay.

I do keep up with the developments that are taking place in Singapore with regards to the political field and sadly, nothing has changed. It's still the privileged few who 'kowtow' to the Lees that get things their way.

I've seen some of your blogs where you have asked people not to attend functions organised by the ruling party. I must confess that while I was in Paris, I used to attend these functions with another dissident Singaporean Indian lawyer (who is currently doing very well in practice in Paris) because for us, the invitation card was a coupon for getting 'free good food'!!! But I think, for most Singaporeans who have migrated overseas, their mind has already been made up and these 'makan' sessions would never be able to make them change their minds about returning to Singapore. It's the PAP and the media who have to change their ways but judging by the way things are going, it's unlikely to happen in the near future.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Singapore. My humble opinion on what Jeyaretnam should do.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have been a member of the Workers Party from 1984 to 1991. During that time, I rose to become a Council Member and Cadre Member of the party. I contested 2 national elections, in 1988 in Tiong Bahru and in 1991 in Bukit Merah representing the Workers Party. I was very active in the Party, selling the Hammer throughout Singapore, speaking at every political rally during that period. I am personally aware of Jeyaretnam's political activities. I think therefore you will agree that I am qualified to make a judgment on Jeyaretnam's politics.

Jeyaretnam is an honest man, a man of high principles, a man who is genuinely concerned about the welfare of Singaporeans. A devout Christian and a man of conscience. A good and honest man in every sense of the word for whom I have the greatest of admiration and respect.

Jeyaretnam has stated he will form a new political party called the reform party and will contest elections and practice law. But in what manner and how he is going to bring about reform, Jeya has not explained. But one thing is certain. If he is going to go on in his merry way, like he has done for 30 years, making speeches, defending defamation lawsuits against him and contesting elections every 5 years, this much is certain. Nothing will change. Singapore will not change. Lee's repression will continue as usual.

Let me explain what I say. I have heard the speech of Jeyaretnam at the press conference a few days ago. His main point was his intention to completely reform the present system in Singapore because he does not accept it. But, did he not say the very same thing in 1981 when he was elected to Anson? He himself admitted that he has been saying this all along! And after having said this same thing throughout from 1981 up till now, 2007, that is, his desire to change the system, has he managed to change the system even an iota? Well then what is the point of his saying it again now? Are we to expect anything different?

Mr. Jeyaretnam wears the T Shirt with the words "the Truth will set you free". Words of God. I am sure God wishes Jeyaretnam well but I know God well too, as well as Jeyaretnam. I can tell Jeyaretnam one thing here. God will not come down from Heaven and help reform Singapore for Jeyaretnam. Jeyaretnam has to do it himself. God has told me that much.

During the many years that Jeyaretnam has been in politics, this is what we have seen. He has been sued numerous times and bankrupted. Jeyaretnam had tried each time to defend himself in Lee's courts and each time Lee has won and Jeya has lost. Jeya has scrupulously obeyed all of Lee's laws, all his unjust laws. Jeyaretnam has not broken any law. He has applied for permits to speak in public and when they were refused, as expected, Jeya has not defied the law. Each time Jeya had applied for anything form the government, they were all turned down. Jeya has obediently followed the law to the letter. In the end, we have seen Jeya being deliberately and illegally punished by Lee without let up. And Jeya has always taken the punishment obediently. And while all this has happened over the years, the cause of democracy has not moved forward one bit. In fact Lee Kuan Yew has gone even further to tighten his illegal grip on power.

Jeyaretnam has to understand Lee Kuan Yew and his PAP are determined to hold on to power no matter what. They will resort to any illegality without hesitation. Lee has the judiciary, the civil service, the press and all organs of power at his disposal, ready to do all manner of dirty work at Lee's nod, anytime any place. This is not a place of rule of law. Jeyaretnam should forget trying to fight Lee in the courts, because law no longer applies. What matters is what Lee says.

In the present political climate with Lee's son as the Prime Minister, Lee must ensure that Jeyaretnam is never elected to office because that will cause his son problems as the Prime Minister. We all know the level of ability of Lee's son as Prime Minister. Jeyaretnam is and remains an unacceptable threat not only to Lee's son but the entire government if Jeyaretnam is allowed to contest the elections, let alone permitting him to win.

Furthermore, we are not even sure whether Jeyaretnam will win at elections even if permitted to run. The Singapore population is changed very much over the years. The capable educated and independent thinking Singaporeans have mostly emigrated to other countries, being not prepared to live under Lee as slaves. Those remaining behind, because of a lack of an education, would not mind voting for Lee because all they care is their bread and butter, not political freedoms. Then there are the many foreigners who have been grated citizenship. These again are likely to vote for the PAP out of gratitude for making them citizens. After all they too are only concerned for their personal interests in Singapore, and not the future of Singapore.

Lee, just as he has done at every elections in the past will ensure that Jeyaretnam is discredited, person of dubious character, incapable and so on, not be given any publicity. In other words, with or without another bankruptcy, Lee will ensure that he loses. Lee's son himself has said openly that he has to "fix" the opposition.

What I am trying to say all along here, is that the playing field is not level. Lee will ensure that is so. In this uneven playing field, Jeyaretnam cannot win. Jeya must understand that, Reform Party or no Reform Party.

If Jeyaretnam is really sincere in changing the political climate in Singapore, as he claims, then he has to play the game differently. I am not suggesting doing illegal things like Lee does. I am suggesting civil disobedience. I am suggesting the openly breaking of laws in Singapore that are clearly seen to be unjust. JB Jeyaretnam has to use unconventional means to capture power.

Civil disobedience is the answer. No other way will work to change the system in Singapore. In any case, civil disobedience is justified in Singapore. Paying ministers millions of dollars is unjust. This is corruption. The people have a legal right to protest against corruption. Peaceful assembly is an internationally accepted fundamental right of all human beings.

Lee's biggest fear is the day that the people of Singapore will engage in peaceful protests. And Jeyaretnam now has the greatest chance in his life to bring about change. I believe there is sufficiently large support for him on the ground in Singapore. He should use it to his advantage. Strike while the iron is hot. Now is the moment. He should call on the people to protest with him, openly against these obscene raise in Ministerial salaries to millions of dollars. Jeya should apply for a permit to engage in this peaceful assembly. When the permit is refused, he should do it without a permit, because permits are never given even if applied for. This is what Lee is afraid of. This is the very thing Jeyaretnam should do. There are of course other issues which require protests. But this is the most important single issue that is crying for action. And then other protests for the other ills, such as CPF can follow. I truly believe that if Jeya should deliberately flout these unjust laws, Singaporeans will become politicized. And this is the very thing we need.

Jeyaretnam should of course expect and in fact should look foreword to arrest. But arrest is the very thing that Lee fears, since the more he arrests, the more he alienates his people. We should try to intentionally provoke the government to act. The more they act with arrests and imprisoning people, the more the people begin to sympathize with the opposition. What Jeyaretnam should realize is that in this battle for power, the opposition have the high moral ground. Justice is on the side of the opposition. That by itself gives the opposition now an excellent chance to shake the very foundations of Lee and his PAP.

As I said, the moral high ground is squarely and firmly on the side of the opposition. The vast majority of Singaporeans hate Lee and the Ministers, whom the people see as greedy money grabbers, not as honest political representatives caring for their interests. Every organ of the government is despised by the people. The judiciary has lost it's respect. So is the civil service. So has every organ of government.

All Singaporeans now need is a man of the stature and respect of JB Jeyaretnam to give the word, for them to rally and come around. There should be no difficulty for Jeya to get, say, 200 people at least to peacefully protest the goings on in the country. With 200 hundred now, next round more will come. This is the only way to change.

Singaporeans are not as cowardly as some label them. All they need is a leader, strong enough to lead them, and they will follow. And there is no shame in standing up to Lee this way, since peaceful protests is an honorable duty of each man when he is under the yoke. It is man's duty to be free of the yoke.

Let me give you one parallel. The Rivona Trial of Nelson Mandela in 1960s. Mandela explained that he was prepared to use violence against the apartheid system of South Africa because as the laws then stood, it would have been impossible to change South Africa by peaceful means. Therefore he had no choice but to resort to violence.

I am not suggesting for a moment that the opposition should use violence. I am suggesting that as the laws and government of Singapore now stand, Jeyaretnam will not be able to change the system of Singapore using the present laws of Singapore. These laws do not permit any real opposition to ever take root. What I am suggesting is that if Jeya is serious in wanting to bring about a better Singapore, then he has to do whatever it takes to bring about that change, short of violence. And that at present is civil unrest, leading up to major disruptions on the day to day running of Singapore. Yes, this will cause disruptions. Yes, this will cause a disruption in production, even perhaps a loss of capital from Singapore temporarily. But, still, I believe the pain of such consequences is a pain worth taking, because in time, Singapore will be transformed into a democracy, where the rights of individuals are respected.

When Russia changed overnight under Yeltsin, from Communism to Capitalism, there was widespread chaos and disruption of the running of the country. But yet, it was a change worth making as today, Russia is hopefully on the way to becoming a vibrant democracy.

And secondly, I think Jeya, instead of going his own way with a new party, should instead join forces with Dr. Chee and the SDP. This is a time to concentrate your forces, not dissipate. Dr. Chee has all along espoused the fact that for any change, one cannot rely on the present institutions of Singapore set up by Lee. One has to go against them, not by their rules but by ours. Furthermore the stature and respect that Jeya has in public will help Dr. Chee and together, you will be a much stronger force than being alone under the Reform Party.

Dr. Chee has over the past years contributed much to the advancement of democracy, more than anyone else in Singapore during the recent past. Dr. Chee has also managed to give greater global exposure to the plight of the Singaporeans by his extensive writings travels speeches and conferences. Thanks to Dr. Chee, the European Union, Canada and Scandinavia in particular are particularly aware of the bleak prospect of the average Singaporean.

With the help of Dr. Chee, Jeyaretnam will be able to show not only Singaporeans but the world over that change must come about, whether Lee likes it or not. This is not a time to worry about the names of political parties. This is not a time to worry about personal egos. This is a time to consolidate together. I am perfectly clear in my mind the following. Jeyaretnam will help the cause of Singaporeans by joining Dr. Chee and fighting together. The fight must on the terms of Dr. Chee and Jeyaretnam, not that of Lee.

By this frontal attack on the government, Jeyaretnam will perhaps be bankrupted one more time. Perhaps disbarred again. But he should be prepared for it and willingly accept it. When he adopts this attitude, it is then that Lee and his PAP will begin to fear. At this moment, there is only one man that Lee really fears. That is Dr. Chee. If Jeyaretnam adopts Dr. Chee's style of resistance, then Lee will have to contend with one other formidable opponent against him.

With Dr. Chee and Jeya together demanding change publicly and openly, in public civil disobedience, and with sufficient strength in numbers, Lee will begin to come around. He will have no choice. I say to Jeyaretnam now. This is your chance. Take it. It is your last.

JB Jeyaretnam is 81 years old. If he is going to change Singapore for the better he has to do it now. There is not much time left for him. He has to look back at his career and ask himself whether his style of politics in Singapore has done any good. The answer is obvious. We are politically worse today than we were in 1959!

I am absolutely sure that if all that Jeyaretnam is going to do is to form his reform party, make speeches, practice law and contest the next elections, he may win a seat or lose, I am not certain. But it makes no difference anyway, since there won't be any more opposition politicians elected. That way, he would have done no good for Singapore.

If he is serious in bringing about real change, he should shake the tree by its very roots. Unrelenting massive civil disobedience demanding the people's rights. I believe Dr. Chee is ready for it. Together with Jeyaretnam, perhaps I will really see a change in Singapore.

I say Freedom now. I am not preapred to wait.

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

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Singapore. All that glitters is not necessarily gold!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Surely something must be wrong. Lee Kuan Yew says Singapore has become first world country. Surely that must be good news, since it was not first world before. The state controlled papers are full of good economic news. That so and so multinational has set up shop in Singapore, that Singapore has bought so and so company overseas, that all the world have admiration for Singapore, that Singapore's overseas trade has increased to unprecedented levels and not to forget, Formula I, world circuit has come to Singapore. Surely if all this is true, Singapore has never had it so good. Should we not rejoice?

That Singapore is now the Zurich of Asia!

But wait a minute. The signs appear to be going the other way round. That is backward, not forward.

It appears that the majority of young people in Singapore wish to emigrate! People are refusing to have children! Australian High Commission in Singapore have lines of people waiting to fill up migration papers! They all wish to leave! Singaporean engineers, Singaporean hairdressers, Singaporean teachers, Singaporean diesel mechanics and so on and so forth, almost the entire native Singapore population, except card carrying Lee Kuan Yew supporters, all wish to leave permanently!

In order to try to stem the unstoppable tide of emigration of Singaporeans en mass, Wong Kan Seng, Lee Kuan Yew and the Rear Admiral Liu, Minister of Education have all come to the US to persuade Singaporeans to go home to Singapore, with lavish dinners and shows, but Singaporeans continue to boycott these government organised dinners, leaving the hosts to eat the dinners themselves! And most importantly, Singaporeans flatly refuse to go back!

As we speak, the original population of Singapore continue to decline with people leaving that country for good, never to return and compounded by the fact that women refuse to have any children in that island!

Singapore is therefore suffering a net loss of population, no matter how much good news is purveyed daily in the state controlled press and media. The fact is, no one believes any of the stuff being put out.

Lee attempts to lure talented foreigners to Singapore has failed miserably and continues to fail. To say that there are there are any "talented" foreigners living permanently in Singapore is itself a lie. A contradiction in terms. In fact a total oxymoron! There are none. There are no talented people living permanently in Singapore, period! It is quite obvious that anyone with any talent, need not live in a sterile authoritarian society where basic freedoms are lacking. Why should any person with any talent even pretend to tolerate the dictates of Lee Kuan Yew everyday through his state controlled press and media when he very well can have a much better living for him his family and children in the respected nations of the world such as Europe Canada Australia or the US? I say "respected" because Singapore has lost all respect among the nations of the world!

The foreign talent that Lee speaks about in his state controlled press is that which cannot find admission to the better countries of the world, such as Australia and Canada. Therefore Singapore being better than living in economically backward India, China or the Philippines, they are forced to accept the 2nd best by coming to Singapore, temporarily. I say temporarily because even while they are in Singapore, they are constantly looking out for Australia to which they will emigrate the moment they have opportunity.

Of course there are the thousands of workers from 3rd world countries who work in Singapore, but for them, all that matters is the better standard of living in Singapore than their home in Burma. These cannot be "talent", no matter how much you bend that word.

In the meantime, you have people who come in to work in Singapore. These again are those who either are unable to go to the better parts of the world, or who are not aware of the real repressive regime in Singapore. Once they find out the truth, they again will begin to leave.

It is not entirely inaccurate to compare Singapore with say Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi too has a majority foreign population that work and man the industry there, mostly Indian and Pakistani workers. But none of them have their families with them in Abu Dhabi. This is because they really do not treat Abu Dhabi as home. They are there just for the money, temporarily. When they have enough of it, they will go home to India. Singapore is in a way, no different. The fact that Singapore is not a democracy, that it denies fundamental freedoms for it's people is already well known throughout the world, thanks to Dr. Chee and others who have managed to expose the true Singapore. This knowledge therefore impedes all the efforts of Lee and his son to tell the world otherwise. The fact that Singapore is nothing more than a dictatorship which Lee runs with the help of his corrupt millionaire Ministers and Judges is well known. The cat is out of the bag.

But please remember the one big difference between Abu Dhabi and Singapore. Abu Dhabi has oil. The sheiks can continue to keep paying good wages to their foreign workers. Singapore does not have any oil. They only have their investment portfolio in Tumasek Holdings and other state owned companies which they created from Singaporeans hard earned wages in CPF and HDB charges. This investment portfolio without any additional input from Singaporeans cannot last much longer.

I understand most recently in utter desperation, because of the unstoppable tide of emigration from Singapore, it has adopted a new law which permits foreigners on holiday to work in Singapore in the hope that at least some of them might decide to stay. This is the height of their desperation! My advice to Lee is that he will not succeed, because nobody wishes to live in his country, this day and age as a slave, because that is all what Singaporeans are. A few Indians and Nigerians may decide to work at McDonalds at Scotts Road and they will go home when they have had enough. My dear Lee Kuan Yew, it will not work!

I have a suspicion that all that is being reported in the state controlled press is not necessarily correct. If not, why should Singaporeans themselves hate Singapore so much by not wanting to have families in Singapore, boycotting governments functions abroad and desperately wanting to escape from that island.


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

Friday, May 18, 2007

Singapore's grandiose projects! Real of false?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The stories that are being put out everyday by the State Controlled Newspapers of Singapore does not fail to amaze me everyday.

Today it is Singapore Airlines purchasing more wide bodies aircraft. Well good and fine. But the reality is that 90% of not only the flight crew but also the cabin crew are foreigners. Second, it is stated that airlines has made even greater profits. Fine again. But what I want to know, if I were a Singaporean is this. What is there for me? Nothing. I am a security guard, 59 years old, and earn $800 per month. Why tell me all this good news. There is nothing for me. And what is worse, I have a backache, but yet cannot retire, because you rub salt into may wounds by refusing to pay me the CPF, forcing me to work, and yet keep telling me all this good news! My life is miserable. I am a Singaporean. You are making it worse by all this good news.

It is the same again and again. Day in and day out. Singapore has set up an office in Mongolia mining diamonds! Another company in Bulgaria mining cobalt and the good news goes on and on. But what about me? Nothing.

And let me come to the real question here. Assuming all the news put out by the state controlled newspaper is true, which I doubt, then where is all that money going. Is it going into the pockets of Lee, his son and friends? If not where else.

For me, life has got worse. Not any better! Despite all your good news, day in and out.

What angers me is this. All that Lee Kuan Yew does by way of all this business around the world, is because I pay him from my CPF money and my HDB flat. Therefore he has to account to me. He not only refuses to account for all that money, which he has taken in CPF and HDB payments from me, he not only does not tell me where it goes, worse still is the fact that he does what ever he wants with the money, pockets the profits which came from my savings and what is worse, has the audacity to tell me a pack of lies.

This is what makes Singaporeans mad. And I hope they will not tolerate this arrogant bully much longer and throw him out of his office, baggage and all.

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

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

M Ravi's retort to Professor Yvonne CL Lee's letter on decriminalizing homosexual acts misses the point

Advisory. May 16, 2007. For your information, I had written to Dr. Chee, of the SDP, yesterday to have this article posted on the SDP website in response to Mr. M Ravi's letter. However Dr. Chee had decided instead to remove Mr. Ravi's letter from his website. Dr. Chee's decision was right. I will retain this article here for the benefit of those who had previously read Mr. M Ravi's letter before it's removal by Dr. Chee.

Best regards to you and to Dr. Chee.
Gopalan Nair
May 16, 2007

2nd Advisory. June 16, 2007. Since my last observation of SDP Website removing Mr. Ravi's article, SDP now have it on their website as "Vantage" appearing on the right. My article below is a response to his retort to Professor Lee.

Best regards to you and to Dr. Chee.
Gopalan Nair June 16, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Kindly refer to Professor Yvonne Lee's letter to the Straits Times of May 04, 07, headed "Decriminalizing homosexual acts would be an error" and the letter of Mr. M Ravi, an Advocate and Solicitor of the Singapore Bar in rebuttal to it, published in the present Singapore Democrat Website of the Singapore Democratic Party.

Mr. Ravi appears to miss the point. I think what Professor Lee's principal point is this. The constitution of a country just as the laws, should reflect the the prevailing norms, acceptable social behaviour and prejudices prevailing in a country at any point of time. In other words, the constitution should be a mirror image and keep evolving as the country and it's attitudes to social behaviour changes. Here the Professor is absolutely right. Anyone who understands constitutional law will appreciate that laws and the constitution should keep pace with changing values and beliefs of a country. It was never intended to be read literally and applied by rote.

Any country or society at any moment is the result and product of it's long history, culture and religion which dictate what is acceptable in a society and what is not. Certain behaviours may be accepted as the norm in Copenhagen but it may not be acceptable in Cairo, despite the fact that both Copenhagen and Cairo both have constitutions that require equality before the law. This is because Denmark, a European country has developed quite differently from United Arab Republic which is predominantly Muslim. Homosexuality may be very acceptable in Copenhagen but criminal in Cairo! This is what Mr. Ravi fails to understand. What the Professor is trying to do is to explain that the applicability of the constitutional provisions have to be tempered by the prevailing conditions in any country at any point in it's history. What Mr. Ravi wants instead to do is to say that since the words of the constitution refer to "equality", it should therefore be strictly applied regardless of the circumstances. This is not a correct understanding of the Constitution.

The Constitution should not be read separately and literally at any moment if time and given effect without more. In other words it should not become an instrument of oppression where people live under it like an albatross around their necks, but where it compliments society's aspirations and thinking and changing where it needs to change keeping pace with societal change.

What Professor Lee is trying to say is that the equality clause should treat like with like. In other words, if we are talking about gays, then equality within their group. And if you are dealing with normal orientation, then within the normal orientation.

Singapore is an Asian country with Asian values. Almost all the native inhabitants are if not first generation, mere second or third generation of immigrants and local Malays who practice Islam. What Professor Lee is trying to say is that Singapore is not Amsterdam, and it is unlikely to be Amsterdam in the near future either, if ever. In Amsterdam, it would be perfectly proper for 2 men to passionately kiss each other in public, but I doubt if that behaviour will not attract angry responses if not violence if done along Serangoon Road in front of Tekka.

Every country evolves with time. 100 years ago in the United States, it was permissible to discriminate against blacks. That was acceptable then, but no longer now. In the same way the constitution and laws of the US similarly have evolved to keep pace with the change in thinking of the Americans.

What Mr. Ravi has to focus upon is the issue of homosexuality. Not any other kind of behaviour. Homosexuality is unacceptable in a great many countries and in Islamic countries it is illegal and severely punishable. It is the same in the Hindu tradition and in the Chinese Taoist and traditional Chinese culture. This is the ingrained integral part of thinking of many of the people who populate Singapore, perhaps even the majority.

To permit homosexuality would amount to nothing less than a fundamental change in the values of the majority of Singaporeans. The question being put in Singapore is whether the law should be fundamentally changed to make an act which was taboo for generations upon generations to become suddenly acceptable because the Singapore Constitution has a clause that says people should be treated similarly. What Mr. Ravi has to appreciate is that the government of any country has a responsibility to ensure that civil society is not suddenly turned into confusion, conflict and dissension because they are forced to tolerate behaviour which goes against the grain of many Asian Singaporeans. And if the government fears that such an eventuality is possible, it is their duty to tread cautiously into such fundamental changes in direction.

You would appreciate that even a country like the UK, not too long ago, had laws which penalized homosexuality. Now of course it has moved ahead with changing times. The question that Mr. Ravi should address, is not whether the the letter of the law requiring equality has been transgressed; what he should be asking himself is whether Singapore's culture and tradition is the same as that of London, England. Most would say probably not.

Singapore is primarily made up of Chinese Malays and Indians. Many Chinese are first generation who had even themselves come from China many years ago. The same with the Indians. In the Muslim tradition, sodomy between men is even punishable with death. In other words Singapore is a very Asian conservative society and it is not Amsterdam and never will be. Furthermore, the proportion of homosexuals in Singapore is very small. I do not believe that it is the intention of the government to make homosexuality entirely illegal or they could confirm that people will not be prosecuted if it is done in private. But I think the Singapore government will not be able to legitimize it with the present Asian conservative population that we have.

What Mr. Ravi appears to be doing is to think that because the letter of the Constitution says the there should be equality, then it should be applied regardless of the situation and complied blindly to the letter. This is not correct. We know for instance that in ecclesiastical law, the Vatican will not permit the Pope to be a woman. The Hindu priest in the temple is always a man and the Imam in the Masjid is also one. The Constitution has no right there.

Mr. Ravi goes on to say that acts which are between consenting adults should, as a matter of course, be made legal, as long as it does not offend or harm others. This is like saying that smoking heroin is all right, so is gambling or prostitution. One can see that this argument cannot stand. The state has a responsibility to prevent actions that may tend to corrupt and undermine the social and moral fabric of society. Even in California today, prostitution and gambling are illegal and men and women are regularly hauled before the courts in such violations. California makes no excuses for their actions.

Professor Lee had gone on to give other reasons why homosexuality should not be made legal such as increased risk of decease and the lowering of moral standards of society as a whole to which Mr. Ravi has attempted to give a wide variety of reasons which appear all to miss the mark. In fact Professor Lee need not have gone into the these other reasons at all. It was sufficient for Professor Lee simply to say that Singaporean society at present, is not yet prepared, by reason of diverse makeup of different enthincities and it's Asian conservative culture; Singapore is presently unprepared to open it's doors into officially legalizing homosexuality. I think what Professor Lee is also trying to say is that the government sympathises with the plight of homosexuals and would perhaps grant some concession, short of officially giving it the seal of legitimacy.

I am merely stating my view of what the position of law is on constitutional issues. It is not to be understood that I support or oppose either viewpoint.

Thank you.

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

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Singapore's Miracle Acheivements questioned by Australian Rodney King.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have received a review of a book by Rodney King of Australia "The Singapore Miracle, Myth and Reality" which questions the self proclaimed achievements of the Singapore rulers of Singapore. Like I had suspected, these achievements may be nothing more than "window dressing" while the actual dirty money laundering goes on. Remember, even corner shop Chinese laundries also have window dressing.

Gopalan Nair
May 13, 2007.

MELBOURNE, April 8 (Bernama) -- A book just released, and available in Malaysia, has questioned the achievements of the Singapore Miracle.

'"The Singapore Miracle, Myth and Reality", by Australian writer Rodney King, casts doubt on the city-state's claims of cutting-edge efficiency, global competitiveness, economic freedom and transparency. It also queries whether most Singaporeans are as affluent as their government contends.

"Books about Singapore have usually praised its achievements or criticised its authoritarian rule," King told Bernama.

"But few ever probe its widely publicised claims that it is a brilliant success that other countries should follow," he said.

His book argues that Singapore's capital and workforce productivity is often mediocre and well below that of the West and Asian economies such as Hong Kong. The country also displays endemic inefficiencies at both macro and micro economic levels.

The performance of the construction, financial and service sectors is second-rate, while Singapore Airlines does not deserve the top rankings it receives.

Also, Singapore is not a developed country, despite recent claims by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew that it was.
"In fact, Singapore is a dependent and underdeveloped economy," notes King, who worked for 15 years in Singapore from the 80s, including a long stint with The Straits Times there.

The dominant position of the MNCs in the economy, low entrepreneurial and innovative capacities and an under-educated workforce were the main reasons, he said.

Moreover, the city-state's supposed affluence was largely a myth at middle and lower income levels.

About 30 percent of the population still lived in poverty by Western living standards. Singapore's Housing Development Board, Central Provident Fund and its state-run health schemes also have severe shortcomings.

"Singapore government claims that 90 percent of Singaporeans own their own homes are misleading," King says. Their HDB units were on 99-year conditional leases.

Also, the health schemes provide only patchy coverage for most Singaporeans while only about one quarter of retirees can survive on their CPF savings. Despite this foreign housing, health and pension experts regularly praise these schemes as models to be emulated.

"Singapore has brilliantly sold itself to the world as an amazing success story to attract foreign investment and talent," King said. "It's managed to get most Western think-tanks and ratings agencies to give it top scores for such things as competitiveness, transparency, economic freedom etc."

However, the book showed that the accolades of such bodies were undeserved, he said."

"These bodies reflect the interests of foreign capital and their methodologies are shoddy and incompetent
at times." And the statistics they are fed by the Singaporean authorities are often dubious and designed to put Singapore in the best light.

To sell itself to the world Singapore has also denigrated and patronised its lesser-developed neighbours. "As such it's really time that Singapore and its much-touted achievements were rigorously scrutinised," King said.

"The Singapore Miracle" is being distributed by MPH Distributors and selling in Malaysian bookshops for RM135. – BERNAMA

+R King's email:

A letter from Australia, from Michael Nair, the nephew of the late President Devan Nair.

Ladies And Gentlemen,

I am attaching herewith a nice letter to me from Mr. Michael Nair, the nephew of the late President Devan Nair. Mr. Michael Nair lives in Australia. This letter is being published with his consent. May 13, 2007.

Dear Gopal,

It is obvious from reading your posts that youre a man who loves Singapore since both of us who were born and lived there find the PAP distasteful. I came upon your site accidentally surprised to find the title Singapore dissident. I was a jingoist being proud of all the titles, 'best aiport and so on and so forth. Until by God's grace I came to study in Australia majoring in International studies and Security issues. My wider reading led to surprising discoveries such as arms sales from Singapore to the LTTE, setting up cyber warfare centres in Burma so that the Junta can spy and torture their own and setting up accounts so that Khun Sa can launder his drug money through the Singapore financial system and yet executing without mercy lower rung drug smugglers. Tha lack of press freedoms and persecution of opposition are but the least of injustices carried out by the PAP.

I met Mr Jeyaratnam once, he was selling the WP the Hammer. I think it was outside Centrepoint. I watched for a while// no one actually dared go up although it was very busy. I then realised I too was scared. Scared of what?? I challenged myself. This deep seated fear that never could be articulated but was always there. And so I went up and bought the paper.

Do i miss Singapore definitely!!... but youre right. I'll never go back. I gave up my citizenship with glee. It was a joyous moment for me! Another joyous moment was when I voted for the first time in Australia. knowing deep within that my vote counted and that my opinion meant something even if it went against the ruling party. That is something precious that our brethren still havent enjoyed and most probably never will. It had the sweet after taste of a free man who was able to lay claim to something that money, best airport, port, mall whatever couldnt give.

So keep up the good work and if ever youre in Australia give me a buzz.. Beware also the ISD ..the Lap dogs of the PAP. Remember what David Marshall once said of the straits times. They are the poor prostitutes of the PAP. I leave an article written by my uncle Devan for your reading.

Michael Nair

Requiem for an unbending Singaporean
OPINION March 26, 1999

Singapore's former president, C. V. Devan Nair, writes about opposition leader J. B. Jeyaretnam and his political party: the Workers' Party.

A SERIOUS threat of closure faces the Workers' Party led by Mr J. B. Jeyaretnam because of failure to pay the forbidding damages awarded against the Party by a court in Singapore. One hopes against hope that this might be avoided at the last minute. It is a slim hope. The world has come to assume, rightly or wrongly, that the political tactics used by the governing PAP against opposition politicians have for some time come to include suing their pants off, forcing them into bankruptcy and losing their seats in parliament as a result. Now the same device is resorted to against opposition political parties themselves, as registered institutions. The onus of proof is on the government of Singapore - not on global public opinion.

Nothing that smacks of opposition seems safe in Singapore any longer. Singaporeans must sooner or later come to realise the harsh truth that nobody in Singapore is truly saved unless ALL are SEEN to be saved. The post of no return has long passed for Singaporeans, and one fears they will perforce learn this lesson the hard way. In the ultimate analysis, this is probably best. The more painful the price paid to learn basic human lessons, the more firmly might they become embedded in the national fibre. A free Singapore will arise and justify the sacrifices and efforts of undaunted Singaporeans, now including the courageous Chee Soon Juan, who had immolated themselves on the altar of freedom. Phoenix-like, their dreams will rise once again from their ashes. Were this process not true, the world would have come to an end long ago.
It is just as well that I release this requiem now. If not timely yet, it will be soon enough. Here goes, for good or ill to myself:

Some months after I was kicked upstairs to the presidency of the republic of Singapore in October 1981, there was a by-election in the parliamentary constituency of Anson, which I had held prior to my ill-fated elevation. I had won that seat with a comfortable majority of some 80 percent of the votes cast. The PAP's candidate in the by-election was a relative unknown, while the Workers Party put up J.B Jeyaretnam. To the consternation of the PAP, Jeyaretnam won.
The day after the by-election verdict was declared, I had lunch with the Prime Minister. I was amazed at how he fretted and fumed like a caged fury. As I saw it, Jeyaretnam constituted no threat at all to the PAP whether in parliament or outside it. For one thing, despite Jeyas courage, he displayed a woeful lack of economics. He clearly never knew at any point of time how Singapore clicked economically. And it was as plain as a pikestaff to me that in five years of free performance in 'parliament against the likes of Dr Goh Keng Swee, Mr Lim Kim San et al, he would stand exposed in public for his abysmal ignorance of economics.

In truth, if I had to cope with J.B Jeyaretnam as a hostile delegate at regular National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) Delegates Conferences, I would have given him all the rope and more he wanted to hang himself with. And after free and open arguments over three days of conferencing, I would have beaten him hands down at the ballot box. I knew this, as did the workers. For they knew that in the colonial days, Jeyaretnam had never stood on a picket line. I had, not once but several times, not only stood on picket lines, but also bedded down for the night on the gravel with the workers whom I led.

I told all this to Kuan Yew. Nothing I said sank in. He fretted about a potential critical percentage drop in PAP votes across all the constituencies that could eventually bring the PAP government down, and he wouldn't stand for it. Only later did I realise that this was the moment that started his formidable brain box ticking away furiously at the fecund gerrymandering schemes he was to introduce later to ensure that all opposition parties would be put in a Gordion bind that would make it impossible for them to ever achieve control of parliament, unless an Alexander came along. Such a possibility appears impossible now, unless it takes the awesome shape of shattering geo-political circumstances already building up around Singapore.

Immediately, however, Kuan Yew's attention was concentrated on how he would deal with J.B Jeyaretnam in parliament. I was quite alarmed at some of the things he told me at that lunch. "Look," he said, "Jeyaretnam cant win the infighting. I'll tell you why. WE are in charge. Every government ministry and department is under our control. And in the infighting, he will go down for the count every time." And I will never forget his last words. "I will make him crawl on his bended knees, and beg for mercy."

Jeyaretnam was made of sterner stuff. To his eternal credit he never did crawl on bended knees, or ever begged for mercy. And it is to Lee Kuan Yew's eternal shame that Jeyaretnam will leave the political scene with his head held high, enjoying a martyrdom conferred on him by Lee. Lest I be misunderstood, let me state that Jeya more than deserves the crown of the martyr for his indomitable courage and dignity in the face of the vilest persecution.

Even greater human spirits than Jeyaretnam had refused to bend their knees to Lee Kuan Yew. It is my considered view that the greatest human being living in Singapore today is one who declined to surrender to the intimidation of prolonged incarceration and restrictions imposed on him without trial for a total period which exceeds that suffered by Nelson Mandela. And here was the mark of true greatness. He emerged from the experience like a god unembittered. His name is Chia Thye Poh. And it is Lee Kuan Yew who emerged from the episode as the knave and fool of his own mindless vindictiveness, while the real conqueror smiles benignly - unnoted, of course, by the local media. For only sound waves from the Istana Annexe are picked up and regurgitated by His Master¹s Voice.

There is no political justification for obliging the Workers' Party to close down. And not a shred of moral justification. What lies behind the move is among the most brazen vindictiveness ever shown in the political life of Singapore. It merely adds one more nail in the coffin of the PAP's reputation when the true history of the party will be exposed to the world, as it surely will be one day in the coming decades of the third millennium. As mankind accelerates to the abyss, the shining memories of the past will certainly not include Lee Kuan Yew and the department store dummies he boasts today as his acolytes. He clearly does not possess the foresight to avoid such a fate.

I gladly salute J.B. Jeyaretnam and the Worker's Party at this highly deserved requiem, even if I never once had shared their platform.

C. V. Devan Nair.
Former PresidentRepublic of Singapore.
March 26, 1999

Friday, May 11, 2007

Is jubilation premature for JB Jeyaretnam's discharge from bankruptcy? Should we bring out the champagne and distribute cigars just yet?

This post was edited and changed on May 13, 2007 by Singapore Dissident.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Channelnews Asia reported yesterday that JB Jeyaretnam has paid over $233,000.00 over to the Singapore Official Assignee and has been discharged from bankruptcy? Does this mean that he can now practice law, contest elections and enter Parliament? In other words, is it a bed of roses for him from on in Singapore hereafter?

In fact the question should be whether he should have paid even one cent to the Official Assignee?

JB Jeyaretnam is a great man who has suffered tremendously at the hands of Lee Kuan Yew, the Hitler of Singapore. One cannot but admire him for his courage. One can only wish that having paid this mammoth price of nearly three hundred thousand dollars over all the other mind boggling sums he paid in the past; he will finally be left alone.

I would say that he should not have paid a cent. If you really thought about it, you probably would agree with me. Look at the whole picture. This money that he is made to pay is an illegal judgment by a Judge who is corrupt, made under the orders of Lee Kuan Yew and devoid of any legal basis whatsoever. This judgment of damages arose out of an action for defamation against Mr. Jeyaretnam for an article in Tamil in the Hammer written by A Balakrishnan which Mr. Lee claimed was defamatory of the PAP Indian politicians. He accused the writer of claiming in the article that Indian PAP politicians were only interested in the welfare of PAP supporters and not for the general Indian population or something to that effect.

Any lawyer will tell you that such a statement, even if made, is clearly not defamatory since it is covered by the privilege of public interest and which was made without any malice on the part of the Workers Party or Jeyaretnam. Having established that it was not defamatory, this alone should entitle one to refuse paying anything in damages. To put it simply, it was an illegal judgment, by an corrupt judge who had made the order in compliance to the demand of Lee Kuan Yew. We all know this. Lee knows this. Jeyaretnam knows this. Then, why should he comply? Why should he pay even a cent?

Second, we all know that the Judiciary in Singapore is corrupt and is an instrument of oppression, to oppress political opponents. The courts have been used to extract huge awards and bankrupt all the opposition politicians in Singapore who had ever dared to challenge Lee. JB Jeyaretnam, Dr. Chee Soon Juan, Mr. Tang Liang Hong, Mr. Francis Seow and the list goes on. Surely it is clear as crystal by now. Lee will use the courts, and his judges will comply, anytime, at the flick of Lee's finger to jump as and when he wants. Since we all know this, and JB Jeyaretnam knows this, can we not expect yet another another trumped defamation action against Jeyaretnam, round the corner, on some clouded accusation or other, that JB Jeyaretnam has yet once again, defamed Mr. Lee and therefore another $500,000.00 is now required to stave off another round of bankruptcy?

Can we not expect the turbaned Sikh lawyer, Lee's legal attack dog, to be let lose once again in the well of Lee's court room Number 1 in front of Parliament House? And can we also not expect that this turbaned Sikh would argue with all sincerity that the Moon was made of cheese and would not the kangaroo, or Lee's judge presiding, confess that he knew that for a fact all along, threatening to throw any person in the dungeon who had the temerity to say otherwise.

With this possibility lurking over Jeyaretnam's head, did he not think that perhaps it may not be so wise of him, after all, to pay this money, since if Mr. Lee so desired, the spectre of defamation actions and humongous monetary awards may face him yet again? If that is so, is Mr. Jeyaretnam going to go yet again to his benefactors for yet more money to pay the insatiable demands of Mr. Lee! Surely, is it is not illogical, irrational to keep on paying? And for what? When you know beforehand that these claims are illegal in the first place!

Third, Mr. Jeyaretnam is believed to have said that he is going to enter the law once again, and will hopefully recover the $300,000.00 in legal fees to repay those his benefactors. From what I have known of Jeyaretnam's practice, post his entry into politics, I think it very unlikely that he can earn even a portion of that.

In Singapore, as we all know, judges, registrars in all the courts in Singapore are beholden to the Lee Administration. One of their duties as judges is to ensure that they are not seen to side a political opponent lawyer, no matter how much justice is on his side, lest their masters think they are opposition sympathizers, which will invariably result in their falling off in favor, losing out on promotions and perhaps even being dismissed from their judgeships. Any judge wanting his promotions and looking forward to a peaceful and successful career in the Singapore Bench will ensure that all cases brought by opposition politician lawyers are sua sponte lost.

I have known Jeyaretnam for several years while a member of the Workers Party. I know personally that after he entered politics and encountered the wrath of Lee, Singapore’s Hitler, Jeya's practice began to trickle and became almost non existent, because no one with a head still remaining on his shoulders, would have given a case, any case, to Jeyaretnam. Why, because he knows it is a foregone conclusion that he will lose with Jeyaretnam as his counsel. Having Jeyaretnam as your lawyer gives you a certainty; the certainty of defeat.

Please do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that JB Jeyaretnam is not a good lawyer. J B Jeyaretnam is the best criminal lawyer in Singapore at present. His skill experience and ability at the Criminal Bar is unmatched. But listen to this. Despite this, despite his great skill and ability, he will lose every case, simply because he is JB Jeyaretnam, because the courts and the judges are all corrupt and beholden to Singapore's Hitler, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. Lee does not like Jeyaretnam. And that is reason enough for every judge, every registrar, to deny each and every case of Jeyaretnam. That is, as we know, the sad truth.

Therefore coming to the point of whether he can make the money that some expect him to do, in paid cases, I doubt very much. However he will be a great asset in cases where losing did not matter, or where losing was a forgone conclusion. For instance, JB Jeyaretnam would be a great lawyer for Dr. Chee in Dr. Chee's next defamation case brought on by Mr. Lee. We all know that Dr. Chee will lose of course. But we will be given the opportunity to see the brilliance of JB Jeyaretnam in the court room. But for other than that, Jeyaretnam would not be of much other use as a lawyer. JB Jeyaretnam would have succeeded as a lawyer in Malaysia, Australia or even the Moon. But he will not succeed before the kangaroo courts of Lee Kuan Yew. That much is certain.

So then; what am I suggesting? I am suggesting that he should not have paid a cent. That he should have given no respect whatsoever to the Singapore courts or to their illegal judgments. He should have disobeyed the orders because it is honorable to disobey an unjust law, an unjust order. He should have broken these unjust laws, he should have encouraged the Singapore public to break them like him, and he should have told Lee Kuan Yew to go to Hell but he will not comply. Had he done that, the world would have seen his point of view, Singaporeans would have seen his point of view and he would have been seen as a fighter who had refused to submit. This is my view on it. Others may disagree, as I will concede that one can look at the issue another way. But I cannot.

At the end of the day, the question is really very simple. You are either right or you are wrong. And if you are right, there is no need to submit under any circumstances. I have seen the style of Dr. Chee. He too is a bankrupt. There is a judgment debt of several hundred thousand dollars over his head. But he refuses to pay. And he is absolutely right in refusing to pay. He should not pay and he will not pay. You can make him a bankrupt a million times over and he still will not pay. Over my dead body, he says. That is why I believe Dr. Chee has the right approach.

Of course Mr. JB Jeyaretnam's spirit, tenacity and determination is admirable. But I think his approach in complying with these clearly unjust court orders and judgments is wrong. In paying, one can even assume that he accepts these illegal court orders as legal and justified.

In may own case, PP vs Pallichadath Gopalan Nair I look back at myself with regret. In 1991, I was convicted before Justice Sinnathuray and fined $8,000.00 or in default 2 months jail for allegedly accusing the Subordinate Courts judiciary of being biased in a speech given by me, at the election rally in Bukit Merah, the 1991 By Elections. There is no need to go into details, but rest assured I said no such thing. But regrettably I did not have the strength of Dr. Chee at that time. I paid the $8,000.00 and avoided jail, even though I knew that the judgement was unjust and politically motivated. Coincidentally, JB Jeyaretnam was my counsel at the trial.

Till this day, I bitterly regret having paid the money. I should have gone to jail in protest.

I would like to say to the other opposition politicians Chaim See Tong and Loh Thia Khiang that they should forget ever getting other opposition politicians elected through the ballot box. Lee and his son are determined not to permit any sizeable opposition in Singapore, or even worse, a change of government. Their tactic is to use illegal methods to remain in power at every general election. You know what these dirty tricks are. Lee's son, the Prime Minister had himself admitted this much at the last election when he said he will have to "fix the opposition" meaning, bringing false criminal and defamation charges to eliminate his opponents.

In order to bring about a change in government in Singapore, there is no other way than non compliance. Disobedience. Protests. Civil unrest. Lee and his son will not allow for change any other way. So don't expect anything different with the present status quo at the next general elections.

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

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Singapore. The good news and Comical Vivian.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The following is the necessary course of action that I would advice all Singaporeans who love freedom and their country should take. We are against the Lee Regime, not Singapore, which we all love. Whatever I am suggesting is already happening, and what is below is just a reminder that such actions should continue.

Comical Vivian and blogs

Vivian Balakrishnan had said recently, he is not concerned about bloggers posting criticisms against him and the Lee Administration because, to quote him, blogs are inconsequential since "they have a readership of one, the author". Since he is known for his thoroughly silly remarks in the past, this is one more to the nonsense. No Mr. Vivian. My blog is being read by other people beside myself. You should worry, if I were you.

Singaporean workers disgruntled and refusing to work hard

According to Dr. Chee's book "A Nation Cheated", for various reasons such as foreign talent taking Singaporeans jobs, Lee and Company paying themselves millions of dollars, and they being underpaid, Singaporean workers have become angry and disgruntled and are protesting by covert means such as, not working hard, being idle as much as possible and on repeated occasions intentionally disrupting the work the work they do.

I would encourage all Singaporeans to continue not to work hard if possible and to intentionally disrupt and cause difficulties to their employers. But please keep in mind that you should not engage in such activity that may endanger life or cause personal injury to others.

Please protest your grievances by causing disruption and annoyance to your companies and the government. Disrupt and obstruct their work as much as possible. This damages the Lee Administrtion.

The Whisper Campaign

There are many workers who are not aware of their rights and who do not know their politicians are corrupt and illegally paying themselves millions. They are also not aware that they have rights which are in the constitution and it is not illegal to go against these corrupt politicians like Lee and his son. Therefore I urge all of you to tell those who may not be aware that they have rights and it is honorable to oppose these corrupt tyrants. And while doing that, ask them to spread the news as wide as possible.


There are many who commit suicides. These people find the PAP unapproachable to air their grievances. Please let people know that they are not without hope. If they need help and advice, they can contact the SDP and Dr. Chee who will help them to find ways to solve their problems. Dr. Chee is a trained psychologist and his qualifications are best suited to help the needy and desperate. Even if the SDP themselves cannot help, I am sure they can put you in the right direction for assistance. So please remember, all is not lost.

Blog posts

If there has been one enemy the PAP cannot handle, it is the Internet. Blog posts are thoroughly damaging to any unjust regime. This is why recently the Russian was killed in London when he crossed Putin and when the Bulgarian working for BBC Bulgaria in London was killed 20 years ago with an umbrella point while crossing Waterloo Bridge. Blogs and criticism hurt totalitarian regimes more than anything else, because their reputations are tarnished. Their misdeeds exposed. So I will ask those blogging to continue without let up. It hurts Lee and Co.


If you want to live free and speak your mind as you please, then emigrate. Emigration not only helps yourselves, but also your children. They get better and freer education. Not the case in Singapore where they will be brainwashed into PAP stooges, of the likes of Comical Vivian.

Emigration hurts Lee and Company and the PAP. So emigrate to Australia, New Zealand or wherever you please. Remember, by doing so, you hurt the Lee Administration which is what we are trying to do.

Overseas Singaporeans to boycott Singapore functions

Resulting from the constant heavy and unrelenting emigration of educated Singaporeans to the West, the Singapore government is beginning to hurt. This massive emigration of the educated from Singapore is a net loss and a total gain for the recipient West. Realising this, we have seen the Minister Mentor, Wong Kan Sing and the Rear Admiral Liu coming to the US, arranging functions with Singapore Embassies and Consulates, in an attempt to encourage them to return. We have seen that these desperate actions by the Lee Administration are not working. Not because I called for a boycott, but Singaporeans overseas have shown that they despise the Lee Government and have been boycotting Singapore government functions over a long period of time.

Please continue to boycott Singapore government functions overseas. This hurts the Lee Administration.

Whenever possible, criticize the Singapore Administration by exposing their misdeeds. A litany of them like, the abuse of the judiciary, the corrupt paying themselves millions, the refusal to reveal the government investments, the money laundering activities, the silencing of the press, the threat of Lee's son that he will "fix the opposition", the lack of a free and open press, the lack of freedom of speech and assembly, the punishment of activists and so on and so forth.

The repetitive exposure of these misdeeds openly hurts the Lee Administration by attrition.

The multiplier effect

Keep in mind that whenever you read this blog and others such as that of SDP, not only you but many others become aware of the injustices through word of mouth and it has a ten fold effect. Therefore please keep spreading the word to others of the dishonesty of the Singapore government, Email these blog postings to your friends and ask them to repeat it to others.


One has to be careful here because tagging graffiti is termed vandalism and carries the punishment of caning. But if you can do it without being caught, then tagging graffiti might be an excellent thing to hurt the government. Personally I do not think doing it with indelible spray paint would be right, but it is your call. On my part, I think perhaps washable ink or posters that can be glued to walls and easily taken out without damage would be good. Again please note that you are taking a chance on this, since the law is draconian. Please be careful.


Whatever I say here, the good news is the Lee Administration has already been weakened. The people have no longer any respect for their government, their judiciary or their politicians. It is a matter of time. By your above actions, you precipitate the fall. That is all. Therefore the prognosis is good. Cannot be better.

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