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


Anonymous said...

Your refrain of "do more" goes on ad nauseum.

Instead, why don't you give a list of examples of what they should do?

- Barry

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! Such prose!Hardhitting yes! But for good reason. The opposition mindset and goal is to enter parliament. I tell you, my good sir, it is foolish. They cannot hope to achieve this. We cannot vote out a sophisticated dictatorship and in this context, we are constantly fighting a losing battle.

The way of nonviolent protests, acts of civil disobedience are key factors, not speaking in tongues which has no legislative value in parliament. Opposition politicians should all shed their differences and merge to a sole powerful entity.

There the first stone will be cast.

Anonymous said...

Though I disagree with your suggestion of Singaporeans as slaves, one would really prefer to be a slave with a full stomach than a master with a belly ache out of hunger.

Anonymous said...

Very simple the real solution.

Opposition parties should become one big alliance and people will respond accordingly with big votes.

If opposition parties are vying for their own glory and personalities, wait then for next life to make it.

Anonymous said...

I tell what is really going on with the opposition in Singapore.

Some are actually thinking of CSJ like PAP does. They are mind-washed by PAP that CSJ is such a crook and what have you.

But exactly what did CSJ do to deserve all these?

His condemnation started when elected as SG of SDP and Chiam felt bitter enough to run down the whole CEC through the press.

Of course all this was further aided by subsequent mud-slinging from PAP and from then on, CSJ and SDP went downhill.

I thought CSJ was democratically elected by the CEC so why should anyone feel it is wrong?

If anyone wants to run an opposition like a kingdom, don't set up a party in the first place.

Go set up something else and tell the world that it is an exclusive club or simply a friendship team. Nothing wrong with that.

CSJ is like pariah among the opposition because the latter have no thought leadership.

They want to part of the PAP game rule, you see.

Anonymous said...

The opposition in Singapore does not seem to recognize that it is its own worst enemy.

Their inability to unite into one big alliance or even a party shows that they continue to diminish their chances of getting elected.

Election after election they refuse to learn and reform for the better.

Look around the world. All opposition parties that make it big are always alliances of varied parties and individual candidates.

Individual small parties never stand a chance with the voters.

But in Singapore opposition people are operating like little egos trying to establish their own legacies in politics.

And there are so many differences among them. And this works neatly into PAP's strategy.

If the opposition wants to win and win big, they have to forget their own selves (never mind you are JBJ, Chiam or Low Thia Kiang or what), personal interests and fiefdoms.

They have to be selfless, "spiritual" in serving God, if you will, as politicians

Only then can they put aside their differences and collaborate closely.

In fact if they have no such higher ideal I strongly feel they should not be in politics in the first place.

Only this way they can find headway.

Only then will they gain a mindshare among voters and fill a political vacuum which PAP is unable to fill because it is built on one very inflated ego.

Unfortunately the situation hitherto among the opposition is that when a oppositon politician is being destroyed by PAP, other opposition parties are quite content to stand by and watch, and for some even in glee.

Anonymous said...

CSJ is always trying to get the world's attention of the undemocratic political situation in Singapore.

It used to be that the US would care. No longer, because of PAP'S very close relationship with the US now.

So CSJ turns to European's politicians. It is futile.

His other publicity stunts particularly meant to attract the attention of international media or joining international democratic movements are also just as futile.

In fact they may work against him.

This is because ordinary Singaporeans might think he is collaborating with outsiders to fix Singapore. They breed mistrust against him.

That's the side-effect.

It is the support of Singapore voters that need to be won. Don't expect them to think like intellectuals, like well-informed individuals.

So how? By getting all opposition parties and candidates into one big alliance.

Even if no one gets into Parliament there will be an civil authoritativeness when such an alliance speak.

When such an united opposition speaks it will be like the voice of the people.

Without such an united opposition front getting a few more seats in Parliament will be quite useless.

The PAP has already created a system inside to fix them up when they get in.

It was not really a slip of the tongue when the PM said they have to think how to fix up the opposition MPs.

Low and Chiam should know better about this but they are not saying anything.

The opposition of the 60's despite their much larger Parliamentary presence failed to make any difference. LKY just did what he wanted to do. So they walked out of Parliament in disgust and frustration only to be arrested and put in cold storage.

So why does the current opposition believe that a few more opposition voices in there will make a difference when the net has become tighter inside.

What is really important is mass perception that the opposition represents the people, even if not elected.

Only a truly united front can do this.

However before this can come about, great selflessness on the part of prominent opposition figures to risk being effaced within such an alliance would be needed.

But is that too hard to ask from them when the fate of the nation hangs in the balance?

What Singapore really needs now is a strong civil voice.

Anonymous said...

Since the fall of Shah of Iran in the 80's, the US government adopted a foreign policy to maintain good relationship with opposition parties in other countries, just in case they might come into power someday.

Such a foreign policy it seems is now shared by other governments.

Therefore if you are an opposition figure in Singapore, particularly with CEC status in a fairly prominent party, you are likely to get special favours and opportunities from foreign governments in your business ventures - should you know how to approach them.

With such side benefits, after some time, even an initially idealistic opposition politician in Singapore might prefer to play it safe with the Singapore political system so as to maintain their opposition status.

Not many people know about these things.

Aside from this, a few established opposition politicians have already made their seeming mark on the Singapore political scene.

They either want to maintain the pathetic status quo (Chiam) or extend party clout by winning more Parliamentary seats (Low).

As for the latter we know for a fact should more of his candidates get into Parliament they will just be as handicapped as him by PAP's sophisticated arrangement or "fix" inside.

They will be loaded down with committees' and sub-committees' work and what have you.

They will be allowed a few minutes to make their Parliamentary speeches and proudly lay claim to having them recorded in the Hansard for posterity.

But the PAP will make sure they get no credit for any new or changed government policy.

Unless there is a landslide victory in the coming elections, with opposition MPs outnumbering the PAP's, until then there will be no effect whatsoever on the PAP system.

But is such a landslide victory realistic in the foreseeable future?

And why wait till that happens to make an impact on policy-making when issues can be whipped up right now - through frequent press conferences and press releases.

Why are issues like the Ship Corp multi-billion dollar misadventure, mega civil service salaries, GIC paying S$1.47 billion for a small 4-storey building in London, lack of social welfare and the scandalous NKF saga among others VWOs overseen by govt-created NCSS not being rigorously tackled by the opposition?

Only CSJ addresses many of such issues in his write-ups ; unfortunately press reporting on his activities is next to nil - apparently being prohibited by a
PAP edict to the press.

Actually the said controversial issues - which have been hot talks of the town - represent opportunities for the opposition parties to raise their profile with the people. But they failed to do so.

That being the situation, might as well let there be no opposition parties in Singapore so that the people can evolve and/or look to alternative socio-political leadership - say, to letter writers and bloggers, to friendship and neighbourhood groups in writing petition letters with many signatories to press the government on various issues.

I believe society is capable of evolving new and novel solutions if it sees a vacuum.

Unfortunately the existence of the opposition parties is giving our people the wrong impression that they are or want to be the solution to the political conundrum in Singapore.

I happen to think otherwise. I think the opposition is in fact partly responsible for the current political situation in Singapore, based on what I have just written above.

I am not romancing the opposition as many others do over the Internet.