Thursday, November 22, 2007

Singapore. The fight for democracy.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The war is on in Singapore. The war between Lee Kuan Yew and his dictatorship and the forces demanding democracy in the island; Dr. Chee Soon Juan and company. The front lines have been drawn. The issues are joined. When and what will the outcome be?

The circumstances appear unfavorable to the dictator Lee Kuan Yew. The winner is going to be the forces for freedom and liberty. These are the facts.

Singapore is an international city. It's livelihood depends on international banking, global trading, international commerce, high value added manufacturing, tourism. All areas where Singapore’s reputation as a free and democratic nation with the rule of law is important. It is easy for Laos to remain a totalitarian country since it's economic base is domestic faming. It is not so easy for Singapore to be this way. Singapore's population is not comprised of peasants as it is in Laos.

What Singapore is trying to do is impossible. It wants to remain an international city depending on international commerce and banking; yet at the same time it wants to maintain it's authoritarian rule over them. These are 2 opposites that cannot exist together. Whether Lee likes it or not, the very nature of Singapore will require that it become a freer more democratic society and the continuing attempts by the Lee Administration to keep Singaporeans subservient is bound to fail.

Singaporean political activists too are aware of this. They have taken to the streets. They have deliberately defied unjust laws designed to keep them quiet. They have deliberately broken the 5 person protest law that requires an assembly of 5 or more people to require a permit. They have protested without a permit even though there were more than 5. The government had earlier prosecuted them and sent them to jail. As they appear to be willing to go to jail, the government is at a loss. They now seem reluctant to continue with the prosecutions.

These illegal prosecutions have been exposed to the rest of the world. European countries, Scandinavian countries have been outraged by the repression of the Singapore government against its citizens. This knowledge, that Singapore denies its citizens their democratic rights is beginning to hurt Singapore’s trade with the rest of the world. Many European countries have begun to stop investing in Singapore. Since Singapore is not China, being a very small country, European countries can easily relocate their investments to other neighboring countries without any great loss.

The number of protests is beginning to increase. More Singaporeans are beginning to use the Internet. They are reading blogs such as Singapore Democrat. They can see with their own eyes, the arrogance of the Singapore government. They can see the police arbitrarily harassing and arresting peaceful protesters. The police brutality. At Hong Lim Park last year for IMF/ World Bank meeting. At the SDP Freedom walk. At the peaceful protest in front of the Istana. Each and every time, we see armed policemen harassing intimidating and apprehending peaceful unarmed citizens who are doing nothing more than peacefully standing or walking.

Watching this, the people are indignant. They are upset. They disrespect their government. They look at Lee Kuan Yew as nothing more than a big bully. He uses his armed police. The citizens have no arms. Yet they stand courageously facing these bullies.

In this on going standoff between the peaceful protestors and these armed government bullies there can be only one victor. That victor is the truth. And the truth is on the side of the weak unarmed peaceful protestors.

As I write. As Singaporeans watch with horror Chee Siok Chin and John Tan being bundled away in unmarked police cars (see videos in Singapore Democrat) they become angry. Angry at their government which instead of protecting them is hurting them. Who are these policemen anyway, they ask. They are public servants paid salaries from Singaporean earnings. And these people, after taking our money are abusing us!

As the Singaporeans watch in horror, their supporters numbers swell. More and more become protestors. And with more and more protestors, the police begin to take more and more harsh measures. I expect this. And the Internet will show more and more police brutality.

And what is most important is the truth. The truth always triumphs. And the truth is on the side of Singaporean peaceful protestors. And the Singaporeans will ultimately triumph. And the despots will fall. There can be no other way. That is the law. The law of truth.

In 1954, the truth was on the side of Viet Minh forces when they overran the French Garrison at Dien Bien Phu. The French were overcome and defeated. In 1975 the truth was on the side of the Viet Cong. The Americans were overcome. In 1962 the truth was on the side of Ahmad Ben Bella in Algeria. The French were overcome. In 1947 the truth was on the side of the Indians in India. The British were overcome.

It was reported that in 1953, a year before the Viet Minh overran the French Garrison at Dien Bien Phu in Northern French Indo China which resulted in the French defeat, Ho Chih Minh had told a French Army Officer that for every French soldier who died, ten Viet Minh will die. But in the end, the Viet Minh will win and the French will lose.

Similarly the political activists and the opposition political supporters should tell Lee Kuan Yew and his cronies in power that it may take some time for the opposition to win, but as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, in the end, democracy will triumph and the dictatorship will fall. This is the truth.

My hope is that Lee Kuan Yew will not, in his desperation when the time for democracy is near, use harsh measures like his good friends, the Burmese Generals did recently in Burma by shooting at Singaporeans. Doing this will only precipitate his fall, which is a certainty.

Lee Kuan Yew and his cronies actually find themselves now in a desperate situation. Whether they like it or not, they have to cling on to power. They fear what will happen to them if they step down from power. They have a lot to fear and a great deal to explain as to what has happened to millions of dollars of public money which remains unexplained and unaccounted for.

They fear Dr. Chee Soon Juan’s dreaded question to Goh Chock Tong “Where is my money” (Or where is Tumasek’s money?)

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


Anonymous said...

About the protests bit, Mr Nair...

would you want what happened in Kuala Lumpur [the street protests] to happen in Singapore?

Safety of the nation, and its people, should be paramount.

Gopalan Nair said...


The answer is yes, minus the police brutality. The protestors were throughout peaceful and they were entitled to protest. It was the police who became nasty.

As for police burtality in Malaysia, the answer is "no". I would not want that to happen in Singapore. But I would welcome peaceful protests.

Gopalan Nair

Anonymous said...

thomas...what are you forgetting is that when you say the safety if the nation and the people is paramount, you forget that it is the INDIVIDUAL that makes up the people and the people that make the nation.

when an individual has no real rights or has rights taken away or abused, it is the people who have no rights, it is the people who are having rights taken away or abused, and it is the nation that has the same fait.

the problem with singapore is the chinese peasant attitude...there you go i said it. peasant chinese do not question or challenge government. they believe when a police man tells you to leave, yet others are freely about moving about, that you have to listen to the police and leave. they do not stop to question and realize and assert their rights.

well thomas, what are your rights, do you know them, do you care. the safety of the nation is paramount, but remember the nation is the individual and when his rights are trampled, your safety is at stake, therefore the safety of the nation is at stake by not doing anything...wise up.

and please do not go into western or euro values compared to asian is singapore's constitution that we are talking about and it is the singapore government that is making people like you not see the light of the day.

singaporeans are highly educated, poorly motivated, and are basically like sheep following a commanding voice at will. keep in mind, after the old man dies, your shepherd, the wolves will move in. and with you being a sheep and not being able to think freely for yourself, you will be devoured.

this is why it is important to stand up for yourself, and your people. when the individual is strong, the people are strong. when the people are strong, the nations is strong. if safety is paramount to a nation, then here you go.