Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Singapore in essence, does not have a Constitution.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Singapore Government officially claims that it is a country based on the constitutional system. In fact, the Constitution of Singapore is not worth the paper it is written on. It is not, and never has been the supreme law of the law. In fact, it is no different than any other piece of legislation that can be rescinded, abrogated or amended at will. At the will of Lee Kuan Yew.

In Singapore, the supreme authority is not the Constitution. It is Lee Kuan Yew himself.

The Constitution of a country is supposed to be the supreme law of the land. It is the foundation of the country itself; it supposed to enshrine the character of the country and what it believes. The Constitution is supposed to be the guarantor of the people's rights and in a democracy, it will include the fundamental rights of citizens such as freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and so on. And these rights, being the reserved rights of it's citizens, the government is prevented from denying or diluting these fundamental rights; therefore the Constitution should provide various safeguards against denial of these rights by ensuring, for instance, that the government needs a 90% majority in Parliament to successfully revoke or amend these rights.

And in all true democracies it is in effect impossible to change constitutional provisions, especially the basic fundamental rights of citizens such as free speech. And even if they can, governments in deference to these universally accepted inalienable fundamental rights of citizens, always respect them, leaving them unchanged and in full force and effect.

In all true democracies, freedom of speech means what is states. Therefore the police cannot go around arresting people when they are engaged in free speech activity. Freedom of assembly means exactly what it states. The government cannot deny it's people the right of peaceful assembly. Freedom of the press means exactly what it states. People are free to express and read what they want.

But in Singapore none of these rights exist, although the Constitution refers to them. Despite the freedom of speech clause, in Singapore, in direct violation , the Public Entertainment Act requires you to apply for a permit to speak in public which, even if you applied, will invariably be denied. Reference to Dr. Chee's recent convictions for public speaking. Therefore the clear and specific constitutional provision of freedom of speech is denied in it's entirety by the Public Entertainment Act. What is the point then, of the free speech clause in the Constitution?

The right of assembly does not exist, in direct violation of the Constitution. An assembly of more than five people requires a permit, but just in case you are minded to apply for one, please don't bother. It will not be granted.

But what is even more ridiculous in Singapore is the fact that even if you complied with the law, in the case of the right of assembly, you are still guilty! Remember the recent case of Chee Siok Chin, Yap Keng Ho and Monica Kumar being bankrupted by the Attorney General? It arose out of a peaceful assembly by the above three and another Mr. Charles Tan in front of CPF Building in Robinson Road some months ago protesting the NKF corruption. The police forcibly dispersed them even though they were only four persons; below the threshold of five which would have attracted the sanction of the law. When the four pointed this out to the Singapore judge; that they were not in violation of the law, the judge told them, believe it or not, that it is unlawful in Singapore to criticize the government! I am sure at that moment the four were wondering where on earth they were? North Korea?

Lee Kuan Yew can change any provision of the Constitution he wants anytime, as he continues to do. He has more than 2/3 majority in Parliament and all his PAP MPs being mere rubber stamps, prepared to agree with any proposal of Lee, however repressive.

So despite clear constitutional provision, he denies free speech, denies freedom of assembly, he denies freedom of the press and he denies the rule of law by using the courts to suppress dissent.

Let us be clear. In Singapore the Constitution is treated just like any other ordinary legislation. It has never been the Supreme law of the land. All laws including the Constitution is what Lee Kuan Yew will allow, passed through the rubber stamp, Parliament of his with the 80 PAP yes men and women. The remaining two miserable MPs who are opposition, have no power to protest to anything.

In effect, the dictator Lee Kuan Yew rules in his island.

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


Anonymous said...

Why then do we call ourselves a democratic country? Kids in school recite the pledge everyday affirming a democratic society. Have we lost our senses that nothing else mattered except dollars and cents and how to achieve multitudes of it?

Fact that most Singaporeans are plain ignorant and too dumb to see any value to their political rights. Which is why they continue to pay and whine each time costs go up. No political rights equate no economic rights. Even this cannot be seen of paramount importance among citizens of Sheep City!

Anonymous said...

it is as gopalan has said.

those who have the ability to understand the wrongs and the ability to do something about it have either:

1) left the country; or

2) bought into the system, enjoying its economic fruits and it is in their vested interest to uphold the status quo