Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Straits Times reports that wages in lower paid jobs have gone down, not higher!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let us ask this question bluntly. Is there any benefit to be a Singaporean in Singapore? If so, what is it?

The Straits Times, the state controlled newspaper in Singapore surprisingly reported 2 days ago that wages of cleaners and security guards in Singapore has actually declined over the years, in spite of the cost of living having gone up during the same period. I said surprisingly, because mostly one reads only praise and glory for Lee Kuan Yew and his government in that state controlled press. Hardly any bad news. Perhaps this is one story that slipped the censor's scrutiny.

But anyway, this fact is intolerable. Wages of Singaporeans in the lower levels have declined. Declined when the Singapore government claims that their economy is doing well. Declined when the Lee and his Son and all his ministers had given themselves mind boggling dizzy salaries of millions of dollars each annually.

And what is even more shocking is the reason why the wages have declined. It is because the government has permitted foreigners to come from poorer countries such as India and China to take these jobs for lower wages, thus lowering the wages of Singaporeans. Surely this is not right.

I have said previously before in my post that the Singapore government's primary responsibility is to Singaporeans before any foreigner. Singaporeans cost of living has gone up over the years. They have HDB payments, food costs, children's education costs, which are all much higher than in Bangladesh. Their rights come first. Their jobs should be protected against this indiscriminate licence to foreigners to take them.

I therefore tell this Lee and his government that what they are doing in permitting these low cost workers from depressed countries to take jobs from Singaporeans thereby compelling them to work for lesser wages is simply wrong. It is even criminal.

They have to understand this. The Singaporean worker comes first in Singapore. Not the Banlgladesi, not the Malaysian or not the Indonesian. In their countries, they come first before others. In Singapore, Singaporeans come before others.

You have to send a clear message to these million dollar ministers that this cannot go on. I ask the SDP and other Singaporean workers who have been displaced by foreign workers to pick up your courage. You have to protest. I ask for a public protest and peaceful demonstration outside the Ministry of Manpower, with banners and placards and leaflets to show your anger against this outrage against Singaporeans. You have to do it now.

The argument about market forces being permitted to decide wages, the lame excuse that Lee uses to justify this pain against his people, is completely deviod of merit. The market forces within Singapore should decide the wages. Not a free for all from people around the world deciding what wages are to be paid. This way, the wages in Singapore would become that which is paid in Bangladesh. That is where it is heading.

Lee's permitting such foreigners to dampen the wages in Singapore is intended only to benefit the employers who will continue to enjoy cheap labor. But this policy is killing local Singaporeans.

Even if you did not protest about anything, this is one issue that you cannot let go of. You must stand up now. You must tell this Lee tyrant, that there are some things that will be changed. And tell him that in this case, you demand that he listen.

Thank you my friends.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914 Email: gopalnair@us-immigrationlaw.com

An American in Singapore who disagrees with me. The correspondence here. You judge for yourself.

I am attaching below a letter from an American claiming to have lived in Singapore for the last 18 years. He obviously disagrees with my views. Still, they are his views and he is entitled to say them. You can decide which view is right.

Best Regards
Gopalan Nair
Fremont, California

From: David A. Kriner Sent: Monday, July 30, 2007 10:54 PMTo: gopalnair@us-immigrationlaw.comSubject: Singapore

As an American professional who has chosen to make Singapore my home for the last 18 years, after living in the US, Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong, UK and Belgium, I have a very hard time recognizing the Singapore you are trying to convince people exists.

I believe it is you who has been blinded to the truth, not all the others!

David Kriner

From: Gopalan Nair [mailto:gopalnair@us-immigrationlaw.com] Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 7:42 AMTo: 'David A. Kriner'Subject: RE: Singapore

Dear Mr. Kriner,

Thank you for your Email. I would very much like to publish your Email as a comment on the blog. After all what we are after is intelligent debate. You may disagree with me, but that does not mean that you have to shut up, unlike what the PAP of Singapore would demand of you.

You are aware, that the Singapore government is now resorting to using bogey commentors and ghost writers using false pretences in their desperation to stifle any criticism against them. For instance you may in fact not be an American at all but an Singaporean agent. If so, my publishing your comment on the blog would be deceiving my readers.

Before we go any further, please provide your telephone number, full and correct name, you address and the name as it appears in your passport. I will then use my sources in Singapore to check on you. If you are indeed Mr. David A Kriner, I will publish your letter.

As for any response to your comment, all I will have to say is that you are misinformed despite having lived in Singapore for 18 years as you claim.

But, you are of course entitled to your opinion.

A good day, sir.

Gopalan Nair
Fremont, California

Dear Mr. Nair,

I have never subscribed to the ‘Just because you’re not paranoid doesn’t mean they are not after you’ school of thought. For your information, I was born in Indiana in 1953, but have spent most of my life living in Europe (18 Years) and in Asia (the last 25). I am not easily deceived and believe in evaluating everything I come across with an open mind and based only on the results and evidence that I, and others around me, can see. I am not a follower of conspiracy theories, whether religious or political, and became a Christian some 4 years ago.

Please feel free to publish my comment if you like, but you do a disservice to your supposed country of birth, assuming of course that you are who you say you are! :>)

Best Regards, Dave Kriner

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Why Singapore has lost it's direction

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China is known throughout the world for denying it's people human rights. It is a dictatorial communist country intolerant of dissent. Yet, it continues to receive massive foreign investment. China has become the world's number 1 manufacturing country. This is simply because China has cheap labor and Western countries need it to manufacture their goods.

Singapore is not China. Singapore now is seen by the world as not much different from China as regards human rights. It is an authoritarian state intolerant of dissent, where the press is state owned and political dissidents are jailed and bankrupted. In this appalling political climate which the world is now fully aware, the question is, whether Singapore can receive the necessary foreign investment to keep Singapore ticking? Unlike China, I think not. And I think, this is the beginning of the slippery slope of decline of Singapore.

Here are the reasons. Unlike China, Singapore no longer has cheap labor. Therefore it is no longer competitive to mass produce goods in Singapore for the Western market like China. Singapore does have a financial industry in offshore banking. But so has Bangkok, Hong Kong and any other place one can think of. Compared to Bangkok and Hong Kong, Singapore stands at a clear disadvantage, because Singapore has been painted with a very black brush as a brutal dictatorship that denies their citizens fundamental rights; which means that given the choice any foreign investor would prefer to put his money in a country that treats it's people well.

There are not that many other industries in Singapore. You have the biotechnology industry. This is a high value added, high wage sector. What need is there for a pharmaceutical company to be based in Singapore, when comparative wage costs are not much different, compared to say Ireland, which is a democracy where it's citizens are treated with respect.

What else is there? You have the petrochemical industry. Well so has Malaysia. Petroleum refining plants can be built anywhere in the world. This industry exists in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Therefore no special advantage for Singapore.

You of course have the Port of Singapore and the airport. Again, Singapore is losing out to it's neighbours. Tanjong Pelapas in Malaysia is already overtaking Singapore and ports are being revamped and improved throughout the region.

As for the airport, Singapore is steadily losing out to the rest. The past notion of a hub and spoke airport where flights arrive at a hub airport which provides feeder flights to neighbouring cities no longer holds good. With better aircraft, it is easier to fly straight from San Francisco to Chennai rather than stopping at Singapore before the Chennai leg.

Dubai airport for instance has already overtaken Singapore in every respect. Just as Dubai, everyone else is catching on.

You have of course tourism, with Chinese and Indian tourists making up the the majority. So there may be jobs in stores selling sundry items for tourists.

You also have numerous convention centers in the attempt to make Singapore a convention center.

Then of course you have the impending casinos which will cater to gamblers drunks and pimps.

These sort of industries are not enough to make Singapore great. It may trudge along, but as Lord Macaulay said, it is like an ostrich. It can run but it can never hope to soar.

And the reason for this sad state of affairs in Singapore is the arrogance of Lee and his government. No self respecting human being likes to be constantly told what to do. He wants to decide that for himself. And that is what this dictatorial Singapore government denies it's people. And when they are not given their right to have a say in the way the government is run, they are put off. They either refuse to show any interest in their work or if possible they emigrate.

Furthermore Lee has deliberately angered Singapore's neighbours and taken advantage of them. Lee had called Australians "white thrash". He has invested a large amount in Australia in almost every sector of every industry. Now the Australians angered by Lee's insults and the hanging of Australian citizen Ngyuen, are now threatening to renege on all investments of Singapore Tumasek Holdings and the GIC in Australia. They are particularly angry that Singapore is misleading Australia by claiming that Tumasek is a private company, when in actual fact it is an arm of the Singapore government. They are not happy that the Singapore government under false pretences, i.e. Tumasek Holdings, is in fact the owner of Australian assets. Surely an understandable sentiment.

You are aware of course that Thailand has already kicked out Singapore from it's Thai Shin Corp ownership. Indonesia has refused to sell anymore granite and sand to Singapore for it's building industry. The European Union and Canada have declared that they will not permit anymore Singapore government investments in their countries without scrutiny as to the true owners of those investments. If it is Singapore government which is seen as a country which denies their people fundamental rights, such investments may not be approved.

In other words, Lee and his government is turning out to be pariah among nations.

This dishonest deception by Singapore in Australia is now known by all other countries throughout the world. Singapore is expected to face hostility from all Western countries where Singapore has investments and may result in their having to withdraw them.

All this does not augur well for arrogant Lee and his arrogant government.

In this situation, that has been going on for the last 40 years, it is Lee Kuan Yew and his ministers deciding everything without any consultation with the people. You read one day in the press that the GST has gone up, the next day that the CPF has gone up, the next day that bus fares have gone up and so on. The inquiring man will rightly ask why is he not given any chance to participate in this decision making. Surely it is his country and he being a citizen has his rights.

But Lee is not interested in what he has to say. Lee believes he knows best. His government scholars who are Cabinet Ministers know best. They will decide.

And it is because it is only the government that is permitted to think, that Singapore doesn't appear to find it's direction. For Singapore to succeed, you need the participation of the public in citizenship and governance. And until such time as this dictator decides to permit his people the right to participate in the running of the country, Singapore will be going from failed disc drive industry, to failed bio tech industry to failed airport. And to a failed country.

It is always the case in countries where only a handful of people are permitted to think.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914
Email: gopalnair@us-immigrationlaw.com

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Singapore. How Lee Kuan Yew manages to defraud his people.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Lee Kuan Yew successfully misleads Singaporeans and the world by claiming that Singapore is a democracy. That he is a democrat.

In fact nothing can be further from the truth. Lee has no intention whatsoever to share power with anyone else. He selfishly wants to enrich only himself and his family, that is, his son and other relatives.

He outwardly holds regular elections, and in doing so, he tells Singaporeans and the world that Singapore is a democracy. At the same time, he ensures that the opposition loses by all form of dirty tricks, such as defamation actions and smear campaigns. And there is credible evidence that he rigs the elections as well.

In order to run the country, principally for the benefit of himself and his immediate family, he of course needs capable and educated people. So he pays inordinate astronomical salaries to those skilled and able to work for him, in the Civil Service, the Judiciary and all other government departments.

These people, who work for him, have to be, by the very definition, dishonest and corrupt, because obviously any honest and upright person with an education and a modicum of integrity would have refused to work for the Lee Dictatorship at any price, knowing how dirty this administration is.

Everyone can see that Lee manages to stay in power by dishonest means. He subjugates the press and media to become his mouthpieces. This castrated media distorts the truth and falsely glorifies the dictatorship.

The editors of this state controlled Lee's mouthpiece do their shameful work because of the generous financial rewards that Lee provides.

The Singapore judges are servants of Lee, dishing out defamation awards against opposition politicians at Lee's behest, thereby corrupting themselves and the law.

These judges are obviously dishonest people since any upright honest judge would have resigned forthwith and told Lee to do his dirty work himself.

It is the same with the Civil Service, all dishonest men and women who run these organizations, doing dirty work for Lee because the pay is right.

The heads of the Police Force orders their officers to go out and harass Lee's political opponents. These high ranking Police Officers have no integrity. For money, they would probably sell their daughters.

School children are given competitive examinations where those who excel are given scholarships at prestigious universities abroad. The down side is that when they return, they have to do dirty work for Lee Kuan Yew for many years, such as working as the Official Assignee with orders to bankrupt innocent political dissenters.

Although the school children may not be initially aware of the dishonesty of their government, their parents are entirely without integrity when they permit their children to sell their souls for money, by making them serve the dictator in return for the scholarship. They do it for money like All the Kings Men, for money.

Every Singapore government organization is headed by such unprincipled dishonest opportunists. They are in it only for the money. Not the good of the country or its people.

There are, lucky for Lee Kuan Yew and his immediate family, sufficient of these corrupt mercenaries for him to not only remain in power but continue to milk his population of their hard earned money.

As you know he pays himself several million dollars, yes the figure is not a typographical error, and so does his son and his family members. His crooked highly educated lieutenants do not get that much but still, way way above what they could have got through an honest days work.

All this is good for Lee, his son, family and friends but bad for the country.

Although there are such highly educated scum who run around doing the bidding of Lee for money, the vast majority of people of Singapore are on the whole, a people of principle.

They refuse, regardless of the price, to do the dirty work of Lee Kuan Yew. Since they will not be hired by Lee because they refuse to be push overs, they just retreat entirely from any involvement in the governance of the country.

They are the majority who in Singapore parlance have "switched off" from politics. As a result of their deliberate withdrawal from political debate, what is left in Singapore is a small group of "governors" and the majority who blindly submit to be governed.

Since in a small country such as Singapore where the number of government cronies who do the governing must of necessity be small, without the masses who deliberately refuse to contribute to national affairs, the talent pool of thinkers and risk takers is insufficient for advancement.

This lack of talent with ideas causes Singapore to fail relative to other countries such as New Zealand where each citizen feels wanted and patriotic with a strong respect for their country and government.

In Singapore on the other hand, the average Singaporean looks upon the Lee politicians as no more than a bunch of money grabbers, million dollar ministers.

They have no respect for their government nor their judiciary which they see as an instrument of oppression.

At the same time, the vast majority of Singaporeans with any sense of principle and self respect decide that since they cannot succeed in Singapore unless they compromise their conscience and sing Lee’s song, they have no other choice but to emigrate.

This causes a great strain on Singapore because those who emigrate, which occurs in crippling numbers each year, are in fact the most educated and skilled among their people leaving only those uneducated to remain thereby causing an even more disadvantage compared to other countries, namely the lack of talent.

Lee of course tries to somehow run the country by the quick fix of permitting massive immigration of foreigners to come and settle and work in Singapore. But this is again doomed to failure. Those who come are lacking in skills and ability. Had they such skills, they would have emigrated to Australia or Canada.

It is unfortunate that foreign countries continue to be fooled into thinking that Singapore has any prospects. Lee has managed to do this by continuously painting a glorified picture of Singapore in their state controlled press.

And the foreigners have taken the bait. The truth is, Singapore is rotting at its foundation. There are insufficient people to run the place.

The educated are leaving. Cost is too high for foreign investment to get a return. There are no longer any thinking people, other than Lee and his family and friends. With no natural resources, the only asset of Singapore is it's people. But Lee has made sure that the people have no interest whatsoever in the government.

Realizing that they have lost in almost every direction, in desperation, they have thought of casinos. Gambling. But this too will not work, because Macau where the Chinese wealthy are now going, would find no reason to come to Singapore with it's sterile atmosphere, completely opposite of what gamblers expect; women, wine and drugs. They get it all in Macau.

It is not as if, Lee Kuan Yew is not aware of the ruin he is doing to his country. But being dishonest and corrupt, he doesn’t care as long as he and his family are able to continue raking the people's money.

This cannot go on for too long.

Lee Kuan Yew is fooling you and stealing from you. Unless you do something to stop him, it will be too late, both for you and for Singapore.

It is time to protest publicly why this cannot go on.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914
Email: gopalnair@us-immigrationlaw.com

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Boycott August 11, 2007, Redwood Shores California. The Singapore government organized function for Singapore National Day.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

By now, those living in San Francisco Bay Area would have been invited to attend August 11, 2007 function at 333 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood Shores, California for the Singapore National Day function organized by the Singapore Lee Kuan Yew dictatorship.

I call upon you to boycott the function. Do not attend. By attending you give credibility and legitimacy to the Lee dictatorship in Singapore. If you have any self respect, you will not attend.

Why do I say this? Below I enumerate a few of the multitude of good reasons.

1. For Lee Kuan Yew and his Ministers stealing millions of your hard earned money. They have decided to pay themselves US dollars millions regardless of your opposition. They have decided to steal your money in spite of the fact that one third of Singaporeans live below the poverty line. This money that they are stealing amounts to more that what the former President Mobutu, the former president of Congo stole from his people in diamonds and more than what former President Suhorto, former president of Indonesia stole from his people.

2. Lee Kuan Yew and his hand picked Ministers have decided to go ahead in allowing gambling in Singapore by building illegal gambling dens and illegal casinos against the wishes of the Muslims of Singapore. The Singapore Malays are the original people of Singapore even before the Chinese or Indians came to Singapore. The Malays should protest and demonstrate in mass against this outrage against their religion in Singapore. Sharia does not permit gambling and it is forbidden.

3. Lee Kuan Yew and his Ministers were dancing in full view of the public in public immediately after they stole millions of the dollars of Singaporeans money. You must have seen this outrage in Singapore's state controlled television. They not only danced, but inisted on showing this obscene dancing on public television. This is adding insult to outrage, adding salt to the wounds of Singaporeans who are forced top go starving for lack of food, while they see their prime Minister and Ministers stealing their money in broad daylight.

4. This tyrant Lee Kuan Yew has destroyed the lives of local Singaporeans by bringing in foreign labor in unprecedented numbers to destroy the livelihood of local Singaporeans by depressing local wages. This has resulted in a surge of suicides of local Singaporeans unable to make ends meet because of low wages.

5. This tyrant Lee Kuan Yew and his son continue to deny fundamental human rights of free speech and expression making Singapore the laughing stock of the free world. He continues to incarcerate freedom fighters such as Dr. Chee Soon Juan and Mr. Yap Keng Ho in spite of international protests from the European Union and respected Human Rights organizations.

6. Singapore has now shamefully been relegated to the same ranking of Burma in human rights. Aung San Su Shi of Burma continues to be under house arrest in Burma making Burma the pariah state among the world's countries. Singapore has joined it by keeping Dr. Chee under city arrest. You know that Dr. Chee's passport has been impounded by the Singapore dictators effectively imprisoning him in the city of Singapore.

7. Lee Kuan Yew and his son control the media forcing you to read nothing more than propaganda each day, dished out daily to you by the Singapore State controlled Straits Times.

Therefore if any of the above insults against your person and your self respect offends you, then you must BOYCOTT this function and all other Singapore government organized functions.

There may be understandable reasons why many Singaporeans fear to go against the Singapore regime within the Singapore prison-city. Retribution, persecution and so on. But like you and me, in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are not in Singapore now.

Most of us came to California and the United States because we objected to the dictatorship in Singapore. There is no fear in us now. We are in the United States, not the fear ridden Hell hole of Singapore. No one can do anything to you now.

By attending this Singapore government organized function, you will be effectively telling those tyrants in Singapore that you approve of the repression going on there.

Please do not give these Singapore puny dictators that added pleasure, by telling them that they can not only control you within Singapore, they can even do that while you are out of Singapore.

I will not be attending as a protest.

I hope that you, my fellow Singaporeans do the same.

I am gratified to note that since my calling for a boycott at the last Singapore government organized function in the San Francisco Bay Area with the Rear Admiral Liu, another million dollar Singapore Lee Kuan Yew Minister, no more than a handful attended the function. It turned out to be a slap in the face for the Lee Administration.

We had shown that Lee may terrorize those poor Singaporeans in his island. But he cannot do it here in California. I therefore ask that just as you did it the last time, please my dear Singaporeans, do it again.

The Lee Dictatorship of Singapore is growing more and more desperate. Yesterday's Straits Times, the Singapore State Controlled newspaper, truthfully for once, accurately reported that as many as 150,000 Singaporeans have emigrated and the numbers are rising in ever great numbers. Not only that, the vast majority of those are cutting every connection with Singapore, trying to forget the memory of that Hell Hole of living under Lee Kuan Yew's dictates.

Realizing this, the Singapore government is trying, without much success to keep these reluctant Singaporeans connected to Singapore, by organizing these government organized functions. Don't let these tyrants get away with it. It is time that we reminded Lee Kuan Yew and his Prime Minister son that we live in California, not his personal Singapore, which he believes he owns.

The least we can do in protest is to boycott this and other Singapore government functions in USA and abroad. So do it. And thanks.

Majulah Singapura.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538,
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914
Email: gopalnair@us-immigrationlaw.com

Monday, July 2, 2007

Political Asylum

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A number of readers have asked me advice on political asylum in the United States. I am not suggesting that any political opponent of the Lee regime should contemplate leaving Singapore. They should stay behind and continue the struggle. This is honorable. Leaving is not. But there is no harm in knowing. So here it is.

The law of Asylum in the US as it is in other western countries is governed by international agreements such as through the UN. The test whether a person is a refugee (same as asylee) is whether he has been persecuted by the state or an organ within the state which the state is unable or unwilling to control. And the persecution should be because of race, ethnicity, gender, political opinion or membership of political group. In the case of Singapore, the only body that persecutes is the Singapore government.

A refugee is a person who is outside of the United States and is granted refugee status by a United States post in the foreign country. In such cases, it is the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, who usually first decides on the merits of that person's claim. Once eligibility is established, the US diplomatic post can grant the status. Once the applicant is successful, he or she enters the US as a refugee. After one year of stay in the US, the person is eligible to apply for permanent residence.

On an practical note, Singaporeans should not try to obtain refugee status through the US Embassy in Singapore. This is because the US posts abroad are invariably stricter than the US Immigration Service in the US.

An asylum applicant is a person who somehow manages to enter the US either lawfully or illegally and while within the USA applies to the US Immigration Service for asylum. The main rules are as follows. The asylum applicant should apply within one year of entry into the US. If one year passes, the applicant has to show changed country conditions justifying why the application was not made within a year. In the case of Singaporeans, the better method is for them to apply for asylum after entering the USA.

Since Singapore passport holders do not need a visa to enter for a visit, there should be no problem for them in entering the US. Whether or not they disclose their purpose of applying for asylum at the US port of entry is entirely up to them. As a practical measure, most asylum aspirants do not disclose this at the port of entry. Such non disclosure is not a reason for punishment or unfavorable treatment by the US government.

Many people from other countries where US Visas are difficult to obtain enter the US either by forged travel documents or by crossing the Mexican or Canadian border. In most cases people who arrive at ports of entry destroy their identities and travel documents before they reach the Immigration post e.g. in aircraft lavatories, claiming they have no documents, and that their lives would be in danger if returned to their countries. The law is that once such a fear is articulated by the passenger, US Immigration cannot put the passenger on the next flight out. He will be offered a hearing before an Immigration Judge first. Such difficulties do not apply to Singaporeans since they do not need visas for USA.

The good thing about asylum is that the US government is prevented from disclosing the fact that you had applied for asylum in the US to Singapore authorities. Therefore Singapore will never know whether you applied for it or what the result was. Therefore it is possible for you to try to obtain asylum. If you do not get it, you can return to Singapore. Of course morally, such action would not be correct, since it is dishonest for you, on the on hand to claim asylum from Singapore and on the other hand to return to it. But the morality or otherwise of such a decision is left to you. There is no impediment from a legal standpoint in your doing this.

The asylum process is as follows. The form for application is the Immigration Form I-589. It is possible for you to download the form from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. You can see the questions being asked there. This form is used to file your case while you are physically in the US. The form is mailed to the USCIS Nebraska Service Center at Lincoln, Nebraska regardless of where you reside in the US.

In the application, you have to attach documentary evidence of your identity, any other information as to how,when and why you were persecuted and any documents corroborating this. You can also provide background materials about Singapore such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reports on the human rights conditions in Singapore. Of particular importance is the Human Rights report on country conditions published by the US Department of State. You will see that the US Department of State year after year criticises Singapore on it's human rights record. This can be very useful. Although most attention is paid to what had actually happened to you personally.

Once your application has been received in Nebraska, within a week or so, you will be required to provide your fingerprints at a location where you reside. So if you live in Los Angeles, California, an appointment will be given to you there.

Once your fingerprints have been taken, within a month or so, you will be scheduled to appear before an Asylum officer at a nearby US Immigration office near where you live. The officer interviewing you will be well versed in the circumstances pertaining to your country, as these officers are specially trained about the country that they deal with. So if you are from Singapore, you can expect the US Asylum Officer to be fully aware of what goes on in Singapore.

At the hearing you have to establish the following. The Singapore government has persecuted you. The persecution was due to your political opinion or membership in an opposition party. As a result, you either fear for your life, your liberty or even the possibility of not being able to earn a livelihood. And the fear has to real.

A few examples. Singapore government denies its people the fundamental right of freedom of assembly. As you know, Dr. Chee Soon Juan, Yap Keng Ho and Mr. Gandhi Ambalam were all imprisoned for exercising this fundamental right. All of them expect to be going to jail again. In this case any of them will clearly succeed in political asylum in the USA. I have only used them as examples. Of course, none of these brave courageous patriots would ever contemplate applying for asylum in the US. I merely stated their cases as examples.

The United States takes such fundamental freedoms which are inalienable rights very seriously. Therefore violation of such rights almost always results is success in asylum as long as you can show that you fear incarceration, fear torture, or fear loss of livelihood. As you know, the Singapore government routinely terminates political opponents from their jobs leaving them without a livelihood. As you know, both Dr. Chee and Mr. Gandhi Ambalam were terminated from their well paying jobs because of their political opposition to the PAP regime. This is well known in Singapore and internationally.

Once the asylum application is filed and 150 days have lapsed, the applicant is entitled to a work permit. If the Asylum Officer denies the case, the applicant is given another chance to argue his case before an immigration judge. If the Judge denies the case, the applicant can appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals in Falls Church Virginia. If that appeal is denied, the applicant can appeal to Federal Court of Appeal. For the State of California the court is the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeal that sits in San Francisco.

Of course, there may be some who tailor their activities so as to qualify them for Asylum in the US. This is not honest, but there are some who do it and succeed. In Singapore take the following scenario. You are distributing opposition leaflets outside Centerpoint in Orchard Road. Police officers take you in for questioning and warn you not to do it again. You do it again. This time they arrest you. You are asked to pay a fine. You refuse and go to jail. You come out and do it again. The arrest and jail cycle is repeated. A few times like this, and you would have set up a solid case for asylum in the US.

One final note on my observation of the American thinking. America is a great country. At the same time, America rewards those who struggle for a better life. You only have to read the history of the early immigrants to the US to know that they were running from something or other in their own countries. The Italian mafia from Sicily, the bootleggers and crooks of all sorts. Of course there were others who were running from persecution of all sorts from their own countries. And those who simply come to America for a better life.

It is these disparate motley group of early adventurers who built America into what it is today, the greatest, most powerful and richest country in the world. The best way to describe America is that it is a country of people from all over the world held together by an idea, the American Constitution. It is this powerful document that keeps people from all over the world, including Gopalan Nair, living and working together as one people. America is an experiment with an idea that has succeeded.

So if you really want to come to America for a better life, then go for it. Use your imagination on how you go about it. You will not fail if you try hard. Good luck.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914
Email: gopalnair@us-immigrationlaw.com