Sunday, September 2, 2007

Singapore government finds itself in a quandary facing stubborn protestors.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Slowly the tide is beginning to turn. Singaporeans are finally beginning to realize that these public assembly laws requiring permits for more than 5 people, is wrong in law, illegal and unenforceable. The people are beginning to openly ignore it and openly protesting without permits and the government finds themselves unable to do anything to stop them.

One can safely say that the culture of protests has been revived. I say revived because in the earlier years of the 50s and 60s people took their rights more seriously and took to the streets in open protest when the government refused to listen. Since then, the government through repressive laws and threats and intimidation, have managed to silence any dissenter through fear. But as we now are beginning to see, thorough better education, through the introduction of the Internet, through politicians such as Dr. Chee, Gandhi Ambalam and others, and bloggers like myself, Gopalan Nair of "Singapore Dissident", who has repeatedly called upon Singaporeans to ignore unjust laws and to break them, the people have finally spoken. They have finally said no. They will not anymore take no for an answer. They have taken to the streets. And all the signs are that the number of protests are going to go on the rise.

Look for yourself. There was the protest of the gays recently without permits. Then the "Mr. Brown" Brown Shirt protestors. There was only yesterday, the protests in Exeter Road against Japanese company who are refusing music downloads. There was the protests by anti war protesters. The world trade center and IMF convention protesters. The SDP organized CPF protesters outside CPF Building and more recently the 23 Burmese Protesters who marched from Orchard Road MRT to City Hall. And what is more, the Burmese have publicly stated that they intend to carry out another protest next week with out without permits and the Singapore government can go to hell.

All these protests were held without permits. In all cases, the police have come around threatening them but in the end, none of them were intimidated. The protestors gave the Singapore police the run around. In all these cases, it was the protesters who won and the police lost; they lost because they could do nothing. They were seen to be impotent and castrated. They had lost their marbles while the protesters kept theirs intact.

I can see only hope in the horizon. It is quite simple. The government knows they are wrong and such a law requiring 5 or more people protests to have permits is nonsensical. Nonsensical because even if they had applied for it, no permits would have ever been granted to anti-government protesters. So simply, there is no point in applying. And in any case the law is illegal anyway.

The government knows they don't have any leg to stand on this issue, let alone any legal basis. They are morally on weaker ground; with the protesters on high moral ground. Therefore the government is doomed to fail if ever they tried to enforce this indefensible law.

Till date, except for the government going around giving warning letters to protesters; which letters the protesters have promptly deposited in the receptacle where they belong, the rubbish bin; the government has not had the courage to even charge one protester in court. Why? If they did, this will not diminish the number of protests but will have the opposite effect of increasing them!

I am gratified by the developments in the increase in public protests. I take credit for this welcome development; among others such as Dr. Chee who has repeatably asked the public to defy unjust laws. It is these very laws that keep you Singaporeans in shackles and subservient to this repressive government.

I am sure you readers will take heart, embolden yourselves, and hold more protests in defiance of this authoritarian regime. I have only managed to give moral support and provide reasons why you should protest through my blog "Singapore Dissident". And as it appears it has had positive effect, and I am gratified.

Everyone can do his piece towards exposing what this regime really is, regardless in ways big or small. Even the slightest effort in political activity towards democracy will in sum total with others have the desired effect in bringing down tyrants and bullies.

As for me, I am glad to have done my part and will continue indomitable, unfailing and relentless. I wish you all continued courage, sustained strength and success in your noble work of protesting the unjust laws and policies of this authoritarian government.

I wish you God speed.

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


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mr Nair. Another fine post. Keep this blog alive. :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, the time for a change is at hand. I believe we are going to see history in the making in authoritarian Singapore. It is extremely encouraging to see younger Singaporeans engaging in protests. The government should be fearful as it may be able to jail a few but if there are more protesters, the island state's jails would not contain them. I for one would love to see the tables turned on the perpetrators of authoritarian rule. For those judges who abused the rule of law and the legal process, they should be the ones facing judgments when the time comes. It is hypocritical of some of them trained in law supposed to uphold the law without fear or favour to let themselves stoop so low to serve an authoritarian regime. I guess money do blind peoples' conscience. Also for those who defamed and bankrupted people like Tang Liang Hong and CSJ, the monies should be refunded to them and they should be able to claim damages from the very ones who used the judiciary for their own ends. Just as Dr Lim Hock Siew, Chia Thye Poh, Zaid Azhari, Lim Chin Siong were jailed, I would like to see those who put them in jail to suffer the same fate. Those brave men should not have to go to jail for so many years. Why? For standing up for their beliefs. Or were the ruling party fearful that these people would weaken their power base.

Anonymous said...

talking about singapore issues from the comfort/protection/convenience of hiding behind a screen in a faraway land? oh-so-pretentious really.

what a hypocrite.

and you think you speak for all Singaporeans?

Gopalan Nair said...

Hello Anonymous,

To be clear, I am referring to the anonymous who has called me a hypocrite and self pretentious. He is entitled to his opinion, as I am to mine of him.

Even from my present location of Fremont California or if I chose, Fairbanks Alaska, let me remind him one more time that I entitled to write on Singapore politics just as I am entitled to write on the politics of the Republic of Moldova; but since I was born in Singapore, spent my life in Singapore, was a Singapore citizen until lately and since I have never been to Moldova, let alone knowing where it is, I think if I were to write, it makes more sense to write on Singapore rather than about Moldova. I think most reasonable people would agree on that score! I think that takes care of that.

Second, he should know by now that I am not writing on behalf of all Singaporeans. At the least, I am not writing on his behalf; that must be obvious by now.

But it is my opinion that I am in fact expressing the will of a large segment of the Singapore population who are fed with being governed by this despotic Lee family. You, anonymous, may disgree, and as I have said, you are entitled to your opinion.

It is rather annoying to constantly refer to you as "anonymous". You can see that I have put my photograph at high resolution for the world to see. I concede that I happen to be handsome, healthy and strong which helps to display my face to the world. I was lucky to have had good looking healthy parents which may explain my health and good looks. I have also proudly provided all my contact particulars, address, telephone, fax and email. I am proud of who I am and what I write. Every word of it.

Going by the contents of your Email, and knowing the special political circumstances of Singapore, it would appear that you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by indentifying yourself.

Why then the need to be anonymous? Or are you ugly, both in your face and in your heart?

Gopalan Nair
Fremont, California

Anonymous said...

> through politicians such as Dr. Chee, Gandhi Ambalam and others, and bloggers like myself, Gopalan Nair of "Singapore Dissident"

There is a very significant difference between them and you. They talk the talk and walk the walk. You, on the other hand, talk the talk but asked others to walk the walk! You urge Singaporeans to protest, to not be afraid of the government, to defy the law. But sir, where are you? Why aren't you protesting, defying the law?

You are like a General who tells his foot soldiers to charge into battlefield to die, while you sit back and drink coffee. You are like the PAP ministers who tell singaporeans to bite the bullet and take the pay cut, while they themselves enjoy pay hikes!

Are these not reasonable analogies? :)

(By the way, I am not the anonymous above. I chose to be anonymous because I am a coward. But then, I do not remain anonymous while exhorting others to leave their name <-- yet another analogy :)

Gopalan Nair said...

Hello Anonymous,

Significant difference between you and almost everyone else. You are a coward as you admit.

Gopalan Nair
Fremont, California

Anonymous said...

Maybe I too am a coward. But does the anon. above not have a point? Why did you relinquish Singapore citizenship and appear to have 'run away' instead of fighting on? Maybe you have had enough, I don't know. I'd like to hear from you. I'm a teenager who's currently on the fence and looking for credible arguments to sway me.

Anonymous said...

"A nation of sheep begets a government of wolves." - Edward R. Murrow

Anonymous said...

One of the more dismal and disheartening traits of my countryman, even for one who has had received tertiary education, is his naked passivity and submissiveness - when he plunges his head into the sand and adopt a mind-set of "see no evil, hear no evil" and in this stance hope to keep himself out of trouble with an uncaring elitist government - party cadres seeking to further enrich their swelling coffers squeezed from the long suffering workforce without quality welfare benefits and proper retirement plans, and to perpetuate their dominion ad infinitum. The (typical) Singaporean primary concern is his ricebowl - leaving others to fight and scrap for the collective good and innate rights of the people, and hopefully to secure the good future of his children and the freedom of their children. It's a mental block that must be set right first. Over 40 years of government brain-washing, subtly and sometimes forcefully, has done a lot of damage to our ability to think for our own common good.

Anonymous said...

if i am anonymous here because i do not have a blogger account, would it be reason enough?

and why do you say 'all the people are angry'?

i honestly find it odd that so many people express displeasure with the current government and yet, when the chance presents itself to effect change [ie during elections], so many people refuse to walk their walk and end up voting for the ruling party instead.

don't you think that it is odd?

do educate us all on what is your beef with the ruling party, or any one specific person. We all have isues. It'd be interesting to know yours, and just what is it that made you walk away from Singapore.

And then talk all this talk.