Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Adolf Hitler and Lee Kuan Yew

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, the 3oth of January 2008, is the 75th anniversary of Adolf Hitler forming the government in Berlin with his appointment as Chancellor in the Reichstag, Berlin, 30th January 1933. So I thought of Lee Kuan Yew. Are there similarities?

In 1933 when Hitler formed the government, Germany was under the yoke of the West. The Treaty of Versailles signed at the end of the First World War in 1918 humiliated the Germans. They were required to pay reparations to England, their navy was ordered reduced, air force curtailed, the Rhineland was off limits and the Reichmark, the Germany currency was not worth the paper it was printed of.

For this defeated humiliated people came a Hitler who told them it was time to rise again. Time to be proud again. Time to throw up the unbearable yoke that was put over them by the victors Britain and France. And he told them he would do it.

Although he did not win outright at the elections, he managed by skullduggery and violence to force President Hindenburg to swear him in as the Chancellor. And so began the Third Reich. And true enough, Hitler did manage to make Germany the strongest mightiest and economically strongest and most powerful European country from 1933 to 1939 and beyond. From shambles, Hitler managed to make Germany the most powerful country in Europe.

And Lee Kuan Yew? In 1959, Singapore was nothing more than a backwater and a sea port. Unemployment was high, poverty was all around and people did not know which way to turn, or what was to come. But Lee Kuan Yew becoming Prime Minister in 1959 did turn the country around. From the sleepy shipping harbor that it was Lee Kuan Yew and his policies managed to turn it into what it is today, an international city.

So the similarities and the abilities between the two are striking. From great adversity they managed to turn a difficult situation around. But, just as Hitler, Lee Kuan Yew will eventually fail. For Germany the failure was due to military defeat. For Singapore, it will be because the basis of his policies have lost their appeal in this modern age.

In 1959, it was easy for Lee to tell the people to support his policies without complaint. It was a time when people were just trying to survive. With heavy unemployment, with poverty and little hope, the people of Singapore were prepared to pay any price, sacrifice their rights and liberties in return for a better life; in return for bread and butter.

So for a long time, he forced every Singaporean into resettlement into HDB flats, he controlled the unions, he denied civil liberties, he kept wages low in order to compete with other low cost countries, he invited Western countries to set up assembly line factories with cheap labor from Singapore, he controlled the press with propaganda, he denied assemblies and protests. In other words he controlled people's lives for one purpose and one purpose alone; that is for economic development. The Singapore people who were predominantly poor allowed him to control their lives any way he wanted; as long as he managed to lift up their lives economically.

But the problem now is different. Singaporeans have now reached a certain level of education. A certain level of sophistication. They are no longer the impoverished coolie of 1959. They cannot be expected to tolerate those restrictions imposed on them such as in 1959. But the problem is, Lee Kuan Yew feels he can still make Singaporeans obey his orders like before. And this is where he will fail.

Singaporeans of today are not those of 1959. Today they expect a little more than just food on the table. They expect some liberties too. They expect a right to criticize the government. The right to speak. The right to assemble. The right to a free press. The right to live like Europeans, as they have the means to do so.

Very soon I expect more and more Dr. Chee Soon Juans to appear in Singapore. As if one is not bad enough! You can see this happening already. And just as Hitler fell, having been defeated militarily, Lee Kuan Yew too will fall because there are too many Dr. Chee Soon Juans. Who refuse to roll over, just because Lee says so.

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

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Singaporeans are becoming disinterested and unconcerned as a people.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Channel News Asia, one among all the other state owned and controlled news agencies in the one party dictatorship of Singapore had this story "Committee to be set up to study issue of lawyers embezzling client's monies".

If you did not know already, Singapore relative to it's lawyer population of about 3,400 has the highest rate of theft and embezzlement among lawyers in the world! Almost every month, we hear of at least one lawyer who had run away with his client's money; money entrusted to the lawyer as a stakeholder for pending real estate transactions or civil litigation. Nowhere in the world are lawyers as dishonest as in Singapore, at this rate of dishonesty. The record amount stolen so far was only some months ago when Attorney David Rasif ran away with $12 million of his client's money. Just as all the other dishonest lawyers who had made off with their client's money, he too is nowhere to be found.

It appears now that clients are understandably wary of any Singapore lawyer and are trying to find ways not to hand any money to them; since there is a strong likelihood, at this high rate of embezzlement, that once you have handed over the money, both the lawyer and your money will disappear into thin air!

With this bad name for dishonesty which the Singapore legal profession has recently become well known, it is of course natural for the Chief Justice of Singapore to be alarmed. According to the report, he is working with the Law Society of Singapore to find ways to remedy the situation.

In the report, Mr. Sydney Michael Hwang, SC, the Present President of the Law Society had said on a recent case of embezzlement, that it was a personal case of dishonesty! Not a flaw in the system! Should one not wonder what difference it makes; whether a flaw in the system or personal dishonesty. The point is, Singapore’s lawyers are crooks. And it gives no comfort to the victim of the recent embezzlement by telling him that there is nothing wrong with the system but with the lawyer! Either way, Mr. Hwang, SC, the victim has lost his money. That is what matters!

This tendency for theft among Singapore lawyers is beginning to hurt it's business and trade upon which it relies for survival. Of course the Chief Justice with the Law Society of Singapore can try to put into effect various mechanisms, checks and inspections procedures and various supervisory mechanisms, but the question is whether the Singapore lawyers will become honest? I think not. The problem lies not in the system of monitoring lawyers. The problem lies in the inherent dishonesty of Singapore lawyers. I know these are strong words, which I intend to explain.

The reason for lawyers to be dishonest is simply this. They, just as accountants, taxi drivers, doctors, civil servants, the laksa man and the prata man (I don't mean the President of Singapore) have all lost respect in the system. They have lost respect for the judges, the politicians, for Lee Kuan Yew and his million dollar son and his entire cabinet members, the friends and relatives of Lee Kuan Yew in high places. In short, the people have lost respect for this administration.

It is a system where children are made to recite a pledge for a democratic country; when it is not one. Where the lawyers have to take an oath to uphold the constitution; when the constitution itself is daily violated by the Lee Administration. Where the civil servants claim to be impartial but in truth are beholden to the Prime Minister. Where elections are proclaimed to be free when opposition politicians are threatened and arrested. Where the courts claim to have rule of law but the law is bent to award half million dollar damages without even hearing Lee's opponent; the Judge being Belinda Ang, the hapless victim being Dr. Chee Soon Juan. When Lee claims to have racial equality but yet brings in Peidu Mama (single mothers with their Chinese babies from China) to work at massage parlors and other unsavory places while their children get an education at government expense; while Malays and Indians are excluded.

To put in a nutshell, Singaporeans have no longer any respect for the system. They consider Lee and his friends at the top a bunch of thieves. And so they reckon, if they can do it, why not us. And this philosophy is now prevalent throughout the island. This is how Singaporeans think. Make a buck the best way you can. It does not matter how.

So the result of the bad example shown by the leaders themselves is that the people too begin to steal. Dishonesty has lost its mala fides. Suddenly it has become acceptable; acceptable that is, if you can get away with it.

And it is not just dishonesty. People have lost interest in excelling in their professions. This is because, in Singapore it is not how good you are that matters, but it is who you are. Lee's selected professionals like the lawyer Davinder Singh, whom Lee uses as his lawyer to polish off his political opponents through defamation of character lawsuits; do very well in their careers. But others, who are not well connected, hardly manage to survive, no matter how much law you have in your head.

This practice of favoring and enriching those with political connections naturally work against those who really love their professions for what it is. Now in Singapore, young professionals are trying to succeed not by hard work and assiduous attention, but by trying to be noticed by Lee Kuan Yew through attendances at PAP functions and grassroots work for him. This is how Davinder Singh got to where he has; just as his junior lawyer who has learnt how to do the dirty work, Hri Kumar, has joined his ranks.

This is how it is throughout the island. True professionalism will get you nowhere. But PAP patronage will. So the young are running around purchasing the white and white uniforms (the PAP dress) and making a bee line to the nearest PAP center to do their flattery and the trumpeting so as to catch Lee's attention in the hope that he will approve and the largesse will follow.

Those who are not connected suffer greatly. Lawyers without connection are found in the cheap cubicle offices in Peoples Park Center and the PKMS Building at Changi Road hardly able to pay their monthly rents. Their fault is their inability to be noticed and selected by Lee Kuan Yew.

With the civil service and all government and legal authority discredited and with the very men at the top of Singapore administration themselves dishonest, including Mr. Lee Kun Yew, should anyone be surprised that lawyers are stealing their client’s money.

Should anyone be surprised that all Singaporeans are losing interest in their jobs? They have lost all passion, all fascination and all interest. There is now total apathy among almost everybody. Total disinterest. Can you blame them when the very top in Singapore are themselves dishonest?

Singapore alas has lost its soul.

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

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Singapore in reality today.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

From 1912 to 1991, the official news organization of the Soviet Union was Pravda, which was known as the voice of the Soviet Communist Party. During the same time, the official news organization of the Soviet Government was Izvestia.

During the latter part of the Soviet Union when it was crumbling, when it was rotten to the core and no longer able to sustain itself, Pravda and Izvestia were continuing to report that grain production was ever increasing, that manufacturing had increased; in other words, Soviet Union was in it's best time ever! That life could not have been better, even though the average Russian was beginning to suffer the cold and lack of bread!

Lies, Lies and More Lies, as someone had said. In fact there was a saying in Russian for Pravda and Izvestia, which words meant in Russian “Truth” and “News” respectively; which goes like this; "In truth there is no news and in news, there is no truth". Of course both Pravda and Izvestia were owned and controlled by the Soviet government.

Singapore is exactly the same as the Soviet Pravda and Izvestia. The Straits Times, Singapore's main newspaper and all other newspapers and news media in Singapore are; just like in the former Soviet Union; both owned and controlled by the Singapore government. Both are censored and just as in the case of Pravda, it is used by the Singapore government as a propaganda organ. It is used as an instrument to publish exaggerated, tailored and false news intended to prop up and boost the image of Singapore in the eyes of it's readers, so as to give the false impression; just as Pravda used to do in Soviet Union; that Singapore was in fact doing very well in every sphere of activity, that production has increased, that people have more money and so on and so forth. In other words, lies lies and more lies.

Lee Kuan Yew, the Singapore dictator mistakenly believes that as long as the people are kept in the dark about the truth, it will be business as usual and somehow the problems will go away. This is exactly what the Soviets thought and see what happened to the Soviet Union in the end?

Unfortunately, in this day and age of the Internet, it is impossible for Lee Kuan Yew to keep Singaporeans in the dark, just as Stalin kept the Russians in the dark with Pravda. Today is different and Lee Kuan Yew no longer can get away with these lies. Singapore will decline even faster than the Soviet Union if Lee carries on with trying to deceive the people.

This is what I see which is not what the Straits Times is reporting. Singapore as a country is suffering from serious structural problems which stems entirely from the lack of democracy. Communist China may be able to advance despite the lack of democracy because China is not Singapore. It has vast labor supply willing to work for low wages and whatever the West might think about it's political system, it cannot turn away from the cheap labor needed by the West. Singapore a tiny island with about 3 million of it's own people and another 1 million from abroad cannot expect to carry on under the present conditions.

If there is one big reason for Singapore’s decline, it is the lack of the rule of law. When I took account of the number of lawyers in Singapore with practicing certificates yesterday, there were exactly 3,410 lawyers. In 1999, nearly 10 years ago, there were about 3,000 lawyers. For a business, trading and banking nation like Singapore, you would need at least 10 times that number to function effectively. For a comparison, California with a population of about 27 million has more than 200,000 lawyers. Singapore is therefore very very short of lawyers, so much so that business and commerce is finding it difficult to function. And this problem of shortage in the legal profession is not going to go away. It will only worsen.

Looking at the 3410 lawyers gives this picture. About 20% of them appear to have foreign names, jointed Chinese names common in China such as Lee Wingmei or such like; meaning these lawyers were not born in Singapore but somehow managed to train and become lawyers there. Second, about a third are very senior lawyers who are also very unsuccessful. With Lee Kuan Yew giving advantage to lawyers who are card carrying members of his People’s Action Party; of whom there are many; hardly any work goes to those who are either unable or unwilling to be PAP supporters. These lawyers, despite their great skill and vast experience are struggling to stay afloat. Very soon, if given a chance, many of these senior lawyers will give up and retire. Not wanting to name names, I personally know a very senior lawyer with vast experience in Peninsula Plaza who is struggling to survive. When I asked him why he did not retire, his answer was that he could not, as he had to pay his bills. He said he will "starve" if he did. So about a third of these senior lawyers will in the not too distant future leave the profession; thereby shrinking the profession even further.

Another reason for the legal profession's unpopularity is the fact that it is no longer accessible to the layman because of high costs. I have been told that filing a lawsuit alone takes several hundred dollars. Each day in court costs thousands of dollars. Litigation has become too costly. Legal aid is not available in civil cases. In criminal cases, one has to be almost a social welfare recipient on $200.00 per month before one qualifies. This means the majority prefer to stay away from the courts. Therefore lawyers are not getting any work.

I have heard that as the law is becoming too expensive, people are resorting to unconventional methods to settle scores, such as paying gangsters to recover debts! Like the Mafia man in the movie Godfather who told his opponent “Let me make you an offer you cannot refuse. Either your signature or your brains will be on the contract” while pointing a .44 Magnum at his head, and handing him a pen at the same time!

Furthermore everyone knows that the legal system in Singapore is corrupt. The judiciary is similarly corrupt and beholden to Lee and his government. In a system such as this, even before one goes to court, one usually knows the outcome. To take the obvious example, it Lee Kuan Yew were to sue someone, it is guaranteed that Lee will win. Everyone knows that. The same applies to government connected people. Whenever they sue, they always win.

Such corruption in the legal system does not augur well in the minds of budding students and parents. They do not want their children to have to spend a career harming innocent people just as Lee Kuan Yew's defamation of character lawyers Davinder Singh Senior Counsel and Hri Kumar Senior Counsel spend their careers doing. Honest parents want their children to grow up doing good, helping his fellow man and not hurt innocent people like Dr. Chee Soon Juan, Lee's political opponent, just because there is profit in it.

There are of course a few dishonest persons and their parents such as Davinder Singh and his parents, who have no scruples, no morals; who see no harm in their children doing dirty dishonest work as long as there is profit in it. But most others have more pride and honor than that. So they stay away. Their children stay away from the legal profession. This lowering of the reputation of the legal profession in Singapore tends to reduce the numbers of students and lawyers entering the profession. And as time goes on, the problem of shortage of lawyers will become progressively worse.

The Straits Times just as Pravda of the former Soviet Union can sing praises to themselves as much as they want. They can say things such as the rule of law and so on, but sorry for them, the public has a different opinion of the law. It is a bad opinion. And with this bad opinion of it, the legal profession will in fact only continue to decline. Lee can try to replace them with foreign lawyers but they too, within a short time will see the truth and they too will leave. Without an open honest system, Singapore will not move forward. The very glass towers which skirt the shoreline of Singapore will soon become empty with only ghosts to occupy the offices within.

The large numbers of Singaporeans emigrating is another serious disease continuing to hurt Singapore. As Lee Kuan Yew has himself admitted, the English Language has turned out to be a disadvantage to Singapore, as it makes Singaporeans globally mobile armed with English, unlike other Asian countries who do not have English as their first language. This makes emigration to the English language countries such as Canada Australia and USA for Singaporeans much easier. With an already small population of 3 million native Singaporeans, migration by even small numbers will hurt this small country. But the bad news is that the situation is much worse. Large and progressively greater numbers are applying to leave Singapore. Since these are the best able and qualified among Singaporeans, the damage being done to Singapore is critical.

The vast numbers wanting to leave Singapore are due to many reasons, a few of which I have said above. Furthermore, the people have begun to realize that they are now totally at the mercy of Lee Kuan Yew and his whims. The uncertainly of life under Lee makes Singaporeans worry. They do not know what next. Recently he has said that people will not be able to retire at the age of 55 as they were originally promised. They will not be given their retirement savings. What is worse, he has recently come on TV and suggested that retirement is, believe it or not, unnecessary. He himself, he has said, is determined to work until he drops.

Usually when he makes a speech, it is meant to be a hint, that he is now going to enact such a law. After all it is a one party state under one man. This has got many old Singaporeans into jitters. They are afraid, God forbid, that they may be required to follow suit like Lee. It may be aright for Lee to work until he drops, since he has all the comforts in the world and constant world travel first class. What about the 80 year old table cleaner at the Boon Keng food court? Is he expected to keep cleaning tables until he drops dead!

It is the uncertainty of the place that is becoming frightening. Since there is no rule of law, it is just Lee's decisions each and every day, which usually also keeps changing. Do you recall many years ago, he told everyone to have only 2 babies? He said population explosion. Now he says have 20 babies. Now he says there are insufficient babies.

Recently he has upped the GST. More recently, first he raised the taxi fares. A few days later he lowered it, only to raise it again a few days later. The taxi drivers are unsure what is going on. But they are sure about one thing. They are unable to feed their families.

And then we have the usual routine of arresting and charging Dr. Chee Soon Juan and company because he spoke without a license. People are getting tired of this. So what, they say. Why in heavens should one need a license to speak. We have mouths and oratory abilities. Why require a license to exercise it.

There is Australia New Zealand Canada USA Europe and many other great countries in the world. There are a few from these respected countries who sometimes go elsewhere to work and settle. But it is not because they dislike their own countries. It is because they may go for better money. Not in the case of Singapore. In comparison to these countries, the numbers wanting to leave Singapore is disproportionately large. And they are not leaving because they want more money. They are leaving because they have lost all respect in their country, with a corrupt and politicized judiciary, with a one man one party rule, without a free press or any fundamental rights. They do not wish to live in bondage. So if they can, they get out; and never to look back. Whereas the Australian who works temporarily in the USA may want to go home to his Australia. Unlike the Singaporeans, the Australian loves Australia. I have never heard a Singaporean in America say he loves Singapore.

If there are some coming to Singapore, they are from the nearby Asian impoverished countries, from Communist China, from India, from Bangladesh, from Philippines and from Burma. And all of these people come to Singapore because they were unable to go to countries of their first choice, such as Canada and Australia. And as far as skills, they are not the best either; since it is obvious from the fact they could not immigrate to Canada.

Many of these imports from these Asian countries even while working in Singapore are already making arrangements to move to Australia and elsewhere. Their morale is low, since they themselves know what Singapore is, a one party dictatorship. So they bide their time waiting for the next plane to Sydney. And when they leave, Lee will try to bring in more from the same countries to replace them. This revolving door of migrants coming in and going out reduces productivity, lowers quality and tends to pull Singapore further and further down the route to utter failure.

So if there is one message from me to Lee, it is this. You can do all the talking and give all the icing over the cake by ordering your newspapers to paint as rosy a picture as you want. But as long as you deny Singaporeans their liberty and democracy, Singapore will continue on the slippery downward slope to oblivion. What will be left are the glass towers facing the Rhiu Sea. Glass towers with no one in them.

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

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Qualified immigrants shun Singapore.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The news media Asiaone reports on Wed January 23, 2008 the story "It's S'pore's gain even if 30-40% of immigrants settle here: MM Lee".

In the story, Lee Kuan Yew finally admits that it is becoming increasingly difficult to persuade foreign skilled workers and professionals to settle in Singapore. He admits that capable Singaporeans themselves are leaving Singapore for good. Although foreigners come to Singapore to take up temporary jobs, he admits most do not wish to make Singapore home. Therefore he says, he will be happy even if 30 to 40% of Chinese and Indians decide to settle permanently there. He does not talk of other foreigners such as from the West. Therefore it can be assumed that almost no one from the liberal west likes to live in Singapore.

He admits that many foreigners use Singapore as a stepping stone for the west; meaning they never wanted to live in Singapore at any price; their goal being America and the west. Since Singapore is desperate to welcome foreigners, since educated Singaporeans themselves are leaving in droves; these short stay foreigners use Singapore to acquire some skills and leave for the West on the first plane out.

Although he admits that he loses some skilled Singaporeans; in fact not just some but many; he claims Singapore gains far more. But he conveniently does not elaborate on the quality of these Singapore gains. If he is counting the unskilled Bangladesh, Indian and Filipina domestic workers to make up the sums, he is of course right. But if we are thinking of high quality skilled professionals and managers; no foreigner in such a category would want to stay.

Lee keeps repeating that he would be happy if 30% to 40% of those who come stay. Yes it is true, some stay, but with the quality of those that stay, I can assure Lee Kuan Yew that not just 30% but 100% can be made to stay. All you have to do is to to give the half rate half qualified unemployed Indians, Filipinos and Bangladeshis visas and Singapore will have all the people they need. Only thing is, they won't be able to take Singapore anywhere.

In the report Lee had said that in 1987 when Singapore established the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, of the 200 people, only 20 were Singaporeans. I have heard that there are now very few foreigners and the Institute that he speaks of is not now doing very much. I can tell you the reason for this. In 1987, there were some very highly qualified foreigners, because of Lee’s ability to dupe the foreign media into believing Singapore was respectable. Problem is, after a little time in Singapore, they finally began to see what Singapore is; a one party dictatorship. Soon after realizing this, most foreigners left; I mean highly talented foreigners. Some mediocre foreigners who are unable fit anywhere else have had no choice but to stay. These are the foreigners that Lee is actually talking about.

He then says that America attracts Europeans and so on; just as he says Singapore does. It is a terrible insult to the Americans to be compared with Singapore. If the Americans were in the habit of suing their opponents for defamation of character, at the drop of a hat, like Lee does; I am sure the Americans would have collected heavy damages! Singapore is not America. America is a free, proud and democratic country with free elections, an independent judiciary, a free press and the rule of law. Singapore is not like America. If comparison is needed, it is more like Laos.

Let me tell Lee Kuan Yew why he is not able to attract capable foreigners. Capable foreigners are able to go where ever they want. And the reason for emigration is not just for money alone. It is to live a good life, a free life, a life where your rights are protected, your children are protected from being caned and hanged. In other words a free country. A country where an individual can rise on his own merits; not because he is a card carrying member of Lee Kuan Yew's People’s Action Party.

You see, all educated able foreigners have heard of machine called a computer. They have also heard of such a thing as the Internet and what is more, they know how to use it. Armed with this knowledge, they can read like anyone else that Singapore’s strongman Lee Kuan Yew, goes around with a knuckle duster and a hatchet in his bag. Anyone who crosses him will be lured to a cul de sac where he will finish them off. (For those who are unfamiliar with Lee Kuan Yew, the “hatchet man”, he actually said in Parliamentary Debates that if anyone crossed him he will lure his opponent to a cul de sac and there finish him off with a hatchet which he always carries in his bag!)

They have also heard of Singapore Judge Belinda Ang who awards defamation of character judgments of half a million US dollars, in favor of strongman Lee against his political opponent Dr. Chee Soon Juan without even getting off her chair, within 5 minutes, in her private chambers and not hearing Dr. Chee at all! This is what is called Summary Judgment, Singapore style.

They have also heard that Lee Kuan Yew has recently made up his mind that it is only fair to pay himself and his friends in high places no less than $3.7 million per year. Not satisfied with this, and just for the fun of it, he has just recently threatened to increase his salary to even higher amounts not to be outdone by the late Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar!

The capable foreigners have also come to Singapore for visits and have been surprised to see that almost all Singaporeans have no opinion on any political matter; eventually discovering that this apathy towards political matters is out of fear for the knuckle duster hatchet man Lee Kuan Yew.

And then you have Dr. Chee Soon Juan. He writes his blog everyday and fearlessly tells the world what sort of a silly place Singapore really is, which by the way, the capable able foreigners read. And then there is my blog, Singapore Dissident, where I identify myself and describe this silly place called Singapore. A place which I describe as a one party state, where the judiciary is corrupt, the politicians corrupt, where the media is state controlled, a place not much different from North Korea; the only difference being that you cannot escape North Korea whereas you can from Singapore. Foreigners read my blog too. And then there are hundreds of other blogs who truthfully describe Singapore to be just another dictatorship with one party rule.

And as if all this is not enough, you have Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, Reporters without Borders and all manner of respectable international organizations who say the same thing, which is this; Singapore is nothing more than a bluff. A place where a corrupted dictatorship continues to remain in power by bribing the judiciary, the press and every other organ of civil society.

I know this much. Capable skilled and well read foreigners from Australia, New Zealand, India, Europe, South Africa and the world over know this much too. So they will not come.

You can of course bring in as many thousands of South Indian scaffolding and construction workers as you want. For them, any place is better than where they are.

And lastly let me tell Lee Kuan Yew this. Australians and Europeans among others do sometimes go to other places to work and live. But unlike Singaporeans who leave, they love their own native countries and would always want to go back if and when they decide. Whereas Singaporeans leave Singapore because they hate the sight of Lee Kuan Yew and the life they were forced to live in Singapore. A life of bondage under a totalitarian one party rule. They are delighted to leave Singapore and unlike other Europeans and Australians, want nothing more to do with Singapore. There is a great difference there.

Yet again, Lee Kuan Yew who has admitted that he governs Singapore by wits alone has yet again deceived you. He is comparing apples with oranges. A New Zealand immigrant to the USA is totally different to the Singapore immigrant to Australia.

The New Zealander loves his country. The Singaporean hates it, never wanting to look back again.

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

Monday, January 21, 2008

The declining numbers of lawyers in Singapore

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me give you the bitter truth. The bad news. I have taken the figures from the Law Society of Singapore website: In the year 1999, there were 3,401 lawyers in Singapore. As of March 31, 2006, there are 3,476. An increase of only 75 lawyers in an almost 10 year period! And during this time, the Singapore population had increased almost a million or two! The GDP had greatly increased! And despite the government's claims that the economy has steadily and progressively improved during these years! And despite the fact that all manner of offshore banking and other financial services has allegedly mushroomed throughout the island! Why then are Singaporeans so reluctant to become lawyers. So much so that as of now, I have heard that the numbers are falling even further. It is going to go below 3,000!

Well, the reason for this should be quite obvious, isn't it? If you have judges such as Belinda Ang giving judgements in favor of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew against Dr. Chee Soon Juan for defamation of character, from her office in the High Court, without even letting Dr. Chee say a word; by the way the name for this is summary judgment; what do you expect people to think of the state of the law? Do you expect anyone to have respect for the law?

The law in Singapore is totally discredited thanks to Judge Belinda Ang making a fool of it. Thanks to High Court Judge VK Rajah who told some political activists that as far as he was concerned, Singaporeans have no right to protest! Thanks to Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong who said PAP politicians were not in violation of the Parliamentary Elections Act when they were actually found unlawfully inside a polling station during the 1997 elections. According to his weird logic and reasoning, it was an offense only if they were caught loitering near the station! Not if they were actually caught red handed inside it!

Singaporeans also watch with alarm and outrage the law being abused to repeatedly arrest Dr. Chee and his friends for doing no more than peaceful political activity. Such as public speaking and peaceful assembly. The law is being routinely and blatantly abused for political purposes. Singapore they see has turned into a lawless country. A country run according to the pleasure of Lee Kuan Yew; not according to law.

A legal system where if you knew the identities of the litigants, you can predict the outcome of the trial with absolute accuracy. That is if Lee Kuan Yew or his family were parties to an action, the outcome of the litigation is known even before you step into court! Lee wins. Hapless opponent loses.

Recently a number of lawyers were made Senior Counsel. One of them was Hri Kumar. His client is Lee Kuan Yew. He need not know any law to become a Senior Counsel. Having Lee Kuan Yew as a client is sufficient to be bestowed the honor!

Another reason is bloggers like me. This blog is being read by the Singapore Legal Profession. By large sections of the Singapore population. By aspiring law students. By parents with school going children who may have shown an interest in the law. Including I suppose Chief Justice himself. I am exposing the true miserable state that the profession is in Singapore. It's discredited state. This puts off anyone from planning to enter law as a career. So they go to Australia or some other place. The last place they want to practice law is in Singapore courts.

The effect on the minds of Singaporeans is cumulative. They see what is happening around them and they do not see a future in the law. They are made aware of the abysmal depths to which the state of the law has descended, with blogs such as mine. The damage is being done. It continues to be done.

An effort of everyone including my blog is beginning to hurt this administration. Their true character is being exposed. They are being put to shame. And the wheels are turning. For the better.

Very soon, I expect the legal population to drop below 3,000. Most Singapore lawyers capable of doing so are filling up forms at the Australian High Commission in their attempt to leave Singapore. As a stop gap measure Lee can try to fill these places with foreigners but the quality of these foreigners is bad. No capable self respecting foreign lawyer would want to remain permanently in Singapore. So you get some transients. The rejects. They come and they go. While true Singaporean lawyers leave Singapore. That is the capable ones.

We just have to wait and see what this government will do with a further fall in numbers at the Singapore bar.

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

A letter from a disgruntled Singaporean on the influx of foreign workers into Singapore


The government's claim that foreign workers benefit Singapore is largely not true. Their benefit if any is far outweighed by the damage done to Singapore and Singaporeans. Ironically they robbed Sporean of their jobs.These Malaysian unlike the Bangla or Indian workers don't spend in Singapore as expected.They brought their lunches and cigarettes from Malaysia ,ride a Honda Cub and take home to Malaysia thousands of Singapore dollars.

I knows of two Malay brothers in Johor residing at 21 Banang 4,Taman Bukit Tiram Johor and 19 Banang 4 Taman Bukit Tiram. Both ride a motorcycle to work and gets all the overseas assignment and we the poor Singaporean aren't given the jobs. This two brothers aren't spending much in Singapore and not interested to be a PR .Their jobs is not that we Singaporean can't or cannot do,they have everything from a terrace houses in Johor to a Kompressor Merc and what we Singaporean have, except bills and NS for our children to protect this foreigners and to work until we drop dead

Singaporean the miserable lots pays are pegged to Singapore high standard of living,where an average household pay $200 for electric and water bill and expensive education system and by the end of the month is left with nothing. Singaporean ends up the fool and the Malaysian the winner and benefited from Singapore economy .

We can take it with stride if the job foreigners are doing are jobs that we can't do or incapable of doing. But sadly we Singaporean are deprived of jobs that we can do and capable of doing. So where our expensive education system helps us when Malaysian education which is of lower standard is given priority over us?

I can't grasp Spore labour policy,here we Sporean are running out job and ironically its given to foreigner in a silver platter,we bear the brunt of protecting this foreigner interest.

As the Malay saying "beruk di hutan di susukan anak di rumah mati ta makan" which means "you feed the monkey in the jungle yet your children starve at home"

A disgruntled Singaporean

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Singapore's subservient lawyers

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore is famous for it's many laws intended to keep it's population obedient and uncomplaining. You have laws requiring permits to speak which are never granted to political opponents. Same thing for laws to assemble. Same for printing presses. Same for printing newspapers. The litany of do and donts controlling the everyday lives of ordinary citizens is long. Singaporeans have grown over the years to accept them all. This has been possible through fear instilled into them by Lee Kuan Yew and his government. Many in the past who have had the courage to question, have lost their jobs, their life savings in paying defamation of character judgments and even imprisoned. The average man has decided it is best to accept their orders from above without complaint. Since complaining has its consequences.

I knew all along that peculiar only to Singapore, there is a law in the books preventing the Law Society, the official organ of lawyers from giving opinions on or criticizing Singapore legislation. To me, living in California, or for that matter any lawyer in any other part of the world, such a law would be totally unacceptable. In fact, the law would be no more than an oxymoron. Lawyers are involved in law; this is obvious. And if they are involved in law, the one thing they should be doing is overseeing the laws put out by the government. Surely, since this is exactly what they are trained to do. Part of their job.

But I have heard that in Singapore, it is quite the opposite. Lawyers who have to be trained in law; have no right to comment on government legislation. It is understood that they can do so, in the event that the government asked for their opinion. If not, comment on laws by them becomes unlawful.

I have read Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland but studying Singapore would probably beat Lewis Carroll's fantasy land by the mile!

Wanting to know this totally strange upside down provision in the law, I looked at the Legal Profession Act Chapter 161, but could not find it. I rang the Law Society pretending to be a member of the public and was directed to Section 38 (1) (c) which reads as follows:

The purposes of the Society shall be (c) to assist the Government and the courts in all matters affecting legislation submitted to it, and the administration and practice of the law in Singapore"

Even after being referred to it, I still could not see it. I told the Law Society official that it does not prohibit them from commenting on legislation. He then referred me to the words "submitted to it" and advised that if the issue was not "submitted" to the Law Society, then it becomes unlawful do do so.

Again, I am thoroughly confused here. Surely if the government wants to prohibit the Law Society from commenting on government legislation, why should they not just say so? Why could they not have said for instance:

The Law Society is prohibited from commenting on legislation unless they have been specifically requested to do so" !

Any prohibition has to be clear on its face. It is totally unreasonable for anyone to assume a prohibition from a statue conversely from what is permitted! But then again, it is Singapore. I am not surprised that even such a stupidly drafted legislation has not generated any controversy!

And what sort of lawyers do we have in Singapore? None has taken issue with this totally unacceptable illogical ridiculous piece of legislation. And what about Mr. Sydney (not the city in Australia) Michael Hwang, the present President of the Singapore Law Society? Has he nothing to say? What does he think his job is then, as President of the Law Society of Singapore? Does he not take issue with such nonsense such as this? Apparently not. Just as his predecessor Mr. Philip Anthony Jeyaretnam, the son of the famous JB Jeyaretnam, he has been no more than a seat warmer to the office of the President of the Law Society. A man such as this, has let himself down, let his university down, let his conscience down and let the members of the legal profession down.

Shame on him. And shame on the castrated eunuchs that Singapore lawyers have turned out to be.

This is what I will say to Singapore lawyers. There are many who are very unhappy inside as a result of these violations against their independence and their profession. I am sure, every Singapore lawyer who wants something good for his country cannot expect Mr. Sydney Michael Hwang to do anything. We all know he is nothing more than a piece of furniture placed there by the Singapore government. And when his time to go arrives, he will be replaced by another piece of furniture by the same government.

Lawyers should know this. There are laws and there are laws. Laws which are clearly unjust on the face of it, such as this, is an affront to your person and your calling. In such cases the only right thing to do is to defy it. I am not suggesting that all laws that you disagree with should be defied. No. Not like that. But there are laws such as this which is stupid, blatantly stupid. Nonsensical. Fit for the comedy. Highly suitable inside the pages of Alice in Wonderland.

And when you come across these laws they should be broken. If you do not do it, then it is you yourself that you shame.

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

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Details of the Racial Discrimination Policy against Singaporeans in the "Peitu Mama" single parent Peoples Republic of China mothers in Singapore!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On January 9, 2008, I wrote the following blog, "Lee Kuan Yew's racial discrimination should be condemned." In it I pointed out there exists a policy of bringing mothers with young children from the Peoples Republic of China to be educated at government expense in Singapore at the exclusion of native born Singapore citizen children.

I have received a comment on my blog on this policy which explains in detail this illegal work being done in Singapore and how their Chinese single mothers either divorced or with illegitimate children end up as prostitutes at Singapore's red light areas!

I thank the writer in describing this illegal racial discriminatory practice.

The gentleman's comment is in italics below and in bold letters.

Gopalan Nair
Fremont, CA, USA

Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Lee Kuan Yew's racial discrimination should be condemned.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I hear Singapore government encourages young infant children from People's Republic of China to attend schools in Singapore. Several thousand, already in Singapore; are given scholarships of $500.00 per month including free schools fees and books. Their mothers, for some strange reason, not their fathers, are permitted to immigrate to Singapore to care for them. These mothers who are usually divorced or single mothers usually find work in Singapore in massage parlors and as sales girls where the clientele is entirely Chinese, since they or these children, speak no English.

These scholarships are given only to Chinese children from the PRC. Not Malay children or Indian children even though Malays and Indians are also Singaporeans!

As the Singapore press is both state owned and controlled, it is impossible to read any independent opinion on this. The government censors suppress any information about this. Lee’s reason for this policy should be obvious. Lee Kuan Yew wants to keep the Singapore population subservient to him. And for subservience, you cannot beat Communist Chinese. No political dissent is allowed in China.

Secondly Lee Kuan Yew has decided, it appears; as if Singapore belongs to him alone; and as if he can do anything with Singapore; that Singapore must become a Chinese country, peopled by Chinese people. And since the Chinese in Singapore are not having enough children, he will import them from China.

In accordance with Lee Kuan Yew’s game plan, these Chinese infants from Hunan and Hubei or wherever else they come from in China, will be taught some English, kept in the dark about democracy and liberty, and give them jobs like automatons in a factory. It is the hope that as they were in China, they will grow up completely submissive and obedient. With a sufficient population like this, Lee Kuan Yew and his descendants will rule forever. If all goes according to plan.

The Malays, the Indians and native Singapore Chinese should condemn this policy. First, it is illegal. It goes against the constitution which demands racial equality. Second, these Chinese children do not further Singapore’s interests. Singapore is becoming an international city. Such a city requires English. Not Mandarin. Third, you need a sophisticated and informed population. One that is well versed with western norms and cultures. With western spontaneity and western daring.

I am a product of western education and therefore not afraid to speak my mind. In Singapore I criticized this government when criticism was needed. And challenged them at 2 general elections. It seemed a natural thing to do. If something is wrong, one stands up to it. I still do the same from here. And I will be a critic for as long as needed. I have no fear. Just as any other Australian, American or Belgian. What Singapore really needs is more Gopalan Nairs. But Lee prefers Francis Seows, Tan Wah Piows and Gopalan Nairs to stay as far away as possible. Life is easier for him that way. For him and his children.

You see there are Gopalan Nairs all over the Western world. In Australia USA Canada. All with Western education, western thinking and western experience. If all these Gopalan Nairs, these Francis Seows, and these Tan Wah Piows these Edgar De Souza’s can return, Singapore will be a very different place.

But Lee Kuan Yew will not allow it. If he did, it will be the end of him. These overseas experienced men and women will be boisterous spontaneous and will not jump, as and when Lee demanded.

When I was in Singapore, I could see it for myself. Those who had lived in Singapore all their lives have an inbuilt fear of authority. This fear is ingrained in them in schools, in the families and among their society. They fear to speak, fear to complain and fear to stand up. A life as if Lee Kuan Yew was their father. Unable to think in unconventional terms.

Such as population, like the imported Chinese children who will go through brainwashing will eventually end up the compliant and submissive Singaporean that Lee wants.

This racial preference for Chinese infant children from China paid for by the Singapore taxpayer, who are also Malays and Indians, is unacceptable. Since Lee Kuan Yew is determined to do anything including illegality, such as blatant racial discrimination, the Malays and Indians should act. I am sure the Singaporean Chinese would also support the Malays and Indians in this. The Singapore Chinese have much more in common with a Singapore Malay or Indian rather than a child from Hunan province in China.

This is not inciting racial hatred. This is seeking the truth. And the truth is, Lee's policy of favoring Chinese over Malays and Indians is illegal. It is not provided for under law.

Do not forget the national language is Malay. It has now included the other languages, but in 1963, the national language was Malay. It should be so, since the Malays were there before anyone else. I am an Indian by ethnicity, not Malay. But I can appreciate the special position of the Malays in Singapore.

Malays must now act. The country that belongs to all of us; Chinese Malays and Indians is being destroyed by Lee with his deliberate policy of artificiality changing the ethnic mix. This cannot be tolerated.

Jufrie Mohd Mahmood was a Workers Party member and opposition politician. He is a Singapore patriot as well as a Malay patriot. He feels the pain in him to see his country being destroyed by Lee with his ethnic restructuring policies of changing the population mix.

Jufrie Mohd Mahmood has to act. Now. He must do it. Inaction is ruination for Singapore. He should speak to his Malay friends in Geylang, to the Indian friends in Serangoon, get help from Malaysia and for the Indians from India; get foreign funding, speak at mosques, Indian and Chinese temples; and get everyone, Indian Chinese and Malay to galvanize, organize, collaborate and stand up to this.

Jufrie Mohd Mahmood should not be afraid of the ISA or anything of the sort. When justice is on your side, men should have no fear. I hope there will be movement forward.

A Singaporean in Northern California. With best wishes. And hope for the future.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914
Posted by Gopalan Nair at
Wednesday January 9, 2008 6:24 PM


Chuck said...
Social engineering goes on all the time in Singapore.

Maintaining the current racial demographics has always been on the agenda of the government.
The non-chinese are reproducing faster than the chinese hence the government has to resort to making it easy for PRCs to move in to even the score.

Is this right or wrong? Do the Singaporeans support this?

Like all policies ranging from buiding socially destructive gambling dens to raisng GST (even though there is no national deficit), the government does not need to ask the Singpaorean's permission.
January 10, 2008 12:24 AM

Victor Tan said...
hi..good article there.

however, I have to raise some questions:

1. Is this policy posted anywhere (since you said the mainstream papers do not report it?) How did you hear about it?

2. Your workers party has 2 MPs in the parliament..I perused the parliament proceedings, so far no one has commented on this?

3. I agree with you that whatever singapore is trying to do (raise its population to 6 million) - giving scholarships ONLY to chinese students is incorrect.

Thank you.
January 10, 2008 5:31 PM

Gopalan Nair said...
Hello Victor Tan,

Thanks for your comment. Since the entire Singapore media is state owned and controlled as it is in the Peoples Republic of China, the government does not publish this fact as it is clearly embarrassing to them. But nevertheless they do it. They permit Chinese infants only from the Republic of China to come here only with their mothers to look after them. These children are given scholarships at government expense while their single parent mothers are permitted to work in circumstances where only Mandarin is spoken. Many of these mothers work in massage parlors while their infant children attend school at Singapore taxpayers (including Malays and Indians) expense. No Indian or Malay child is given these scholarships. Only Chinese children form the Peoples Republic of China.

As to how I heard about it, in a situation such as this in a country where the media is both owned and controlled by the state, you will hear some news which the government does not want to expose. This is one such case.

I was last in Singapore from Nov 1 to Nov 18, 2007. During this time I was in constant contact with members of the Singapore Democratic Party as well as many of my friends. This information was given to me, not only by one person but by everyone that I met. This fact is well known in Singapore. You can call it the Communist Chinese infant, single mother scholarship scheme if you like. It is a well known fact. Every Singaporean knows this.

As for referring the WP as my party, this is not correct. I was a member of the Workers Party from 1984 to 1991. During that time, the Workers Party was an opposition political party. Today it is no longer so. I am not affiliated to the WP anymore.

The WP no longer furthers the cause of the opposition in Singapore through fear. They will not raise any issue if it may threaten their continued presence in Parliament. Therefore I am not surprised that the WP has not raised any questions on this policy at all. And I am sure they will not.

As for the WP, please don’t hold your breath. They will not ask questions on this or any other form of discrimination that goes on in Singapore.

Dr. Chee Soon Juan is the best person to get full details about this. I am sure he will confirm what I had said in my blog.

Very good and thank you.
Gopalan Nair
January 10, 2008 6:17 PM

Gopalan Nair said...
Hello Victor Tan,

Allow me to elaborate on this "Communist Chinese single mother and infant scholarship scheme". It is even more shocking than that. For some reason, only the mothers of these infants given scholarships are permitted to come and work in Singapore with their infant. Therefore the scheme will work only in the case of infants who are either illegitimate, with divorced parents or where the parents voluntarily accept temporary seperation since the mother will be in Singaproe while the father remains in China! The father, for some weird reason is not allowed to step foot in Singapore!

This shows the evil side of this regime. As like everthing else they do, for expediency, since they want more and more Chinese babies in Singapore, and not Malays or Indians, they are prepared even to break up families or accept children from broken homes!

I understand many of the mothers of these infants from the Peoples Republic of China end up in Singapore massage parlours. Since neither the mothers or their children speak any English, the normal jobs may be harder to find.

This is Lee Kuan Yew's first world Singapore. A self proclaimed First World country.

More like Nazi Germany!

Gopalan Nair
Fremont, California
January 11, 2008 3:45 PM

Anonymous said...
This is a true fact which is being kept from the Mainstream Media & from the public. Instead of infant, these are actually school-going PRC kids (6 years & over) who come with their mothers to live/study/work in Spore. Of course, with Spore's high cost of living, the mothers or "Peitu Mama" [Mandarin meaning accompanying student's mother] often either shacked up with a well-to-do Sporean boyfriend or find work in vice eg. massage, prostitution or hostessing in Karaoke lounge. The husband or father in this equation is a non-entity or will soon be when the peitu mama find her sugar daddy. This has been a known fact since 1999 when the door opened up to them. Since then there have been numerous social problems as marriage breakups, illegal massage parlours, rampant prostitution & sprouting of many seedy karaoke bar along Joo Chiat & Geylang areas. Despite the social issues, the govt persists with it as revenues from each PRC child/mother comes to thousands of dollars for the privilege to live/study/work in Spore. Also, a network of migration agents [slavers] that exploit & benefit from this scheme.

Also, there are even boarding schools catering to PRC students whom are given university scholarships as well as having their room & board paid for by the govt. According to a reliable source, they are operated by well connected to govt persons who are given this business opportunity to "make money without any risk". On the other hand, native Sporeans can't even go on to university because a great deal of the places are already allocated to these PRC scholars. Many ex-Sporeans migrated to Australia & NZ because their children couldn't even get a place in Spore's unis. Their children have done well at uni because they have good command of English unlike PRC scholars. This will be Spore's loss. The leading reason given when apply for Good Conduct Certificate required for migration is "for children's education". The govt is well aware of this brain drain but chose to carry on its own political agenda.The reason why PRC students are given such privilege are political & pure economics. The PRC school system is rigid requiring students to be submissive & obedient which dovetails well with the Spore system. In fact, their school curriculum is so outmoded & backward that PRC students are at a disadvantage on a global arena. PRC students are required to learn Chinese classical studies, drama, ancient texts etc. In a digital age, these are rather irrelevant & useless. In PRC schools, PC networking are rare as they can't type in English beyond elementary phrases & also for political reasons. English & IT proficiency are the 2 key areas of Spore education. This is the main reason why Spore education is so coveted by PRCians & the mothers are even ready to sell their bodies to fund it for their kids. The revenues behind this scheme is considerable for the govt. Secondly, PRCians are conditioned from young not to create problems on a political stage - thus they are deemed suitable for Spore & future citizens.The govt's political agenda intends to marginalize native Sporeans by depriving their children of a higher education while allowing foreigners to benefit. What kind of govt does that to its own people? or rather, the people who gave away their powers to be subjugated to this extent [Disenfranchised]. Sad!
January 18, 2008 9:56 AM

Friday, January 18, 2008

The equally ridiculous reasons given to justify Singapore's repressive laws.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore like Burma requires any assembly of 5 or more persons to apply for government permit first; without which it becomes an illegal assembly; rendering them to liable arrest and imprisonment. The Singapore Democratic Party under Dr. Chee Soon Juan and even the Workers Party have over the years applied for permits for peaceful assembly which have all been routinely denied. The last application by the Singapore Democratic Party was for a peaceful protest during the World Trade meeting in Singapore last year.

In every denial letter from the Singapore government, the standard excuse is the fear of disturbances and violence. And in every case, it is abundantly clear that there is not going to be any. And yet, each and every time, the government dishes out the same nonsense; that is, the fear of disorderly behaviour. Even though everyone in Singapore as well as the government themselves knows, it is a lie!

It is the same thing for permits applied for public speaking. As you know in Singapore, a permit is required for public speaking. And each time one is applied for by the opposition, it is invariably denied. The reason is the same. The government says it fears that the speech will turn others into violence and mayhem. Yet in every case, there is nothing to show any probability of violence at all.

To solicit funds from the public, one needs a permit. But if it is applied for by opposition politicians it is always denied. And in many cases the government gives no reason at all. I have come across these denials so many times that I almost know it by heart. " After considering your application very carefully, we regret to inform that your application is denied" is usually the answer.

Printing presses need a permit. And if it is applied for by the opposition, it is denied. The usual reason given is the fear of subversive literature. But what is subversive is not not explained.

The Law Society of Singapore is the equivalent of any Bar Association of a country. A body to manage the legal profession and maintain professional standards among other things. Even though it is an association of lawyers, you will be surprised to know that under Singapore law, this body is not permitted to comment on legislation! The government's argument is that unless it is a political party, no incorporated or unincorporated association is permitted to officially comment on legislation. Any self respecting lawyer would have cried out with indignation at this outrageous intrusion on their rights as lawyers. But the President of the Law Society of Singapore, Mr. Michael Sydney Hwang finds no problem at all with this law. He just like the other lawyers in Singapore are not prepared to stand in the way Lee Kuan Yew and whatever he intends to do with the lives of Singaporeans. A shameful bunch of lawyers.

A licence is required to form a society. In the application, the names of the proposers and members and their details have to be submitted. The reason given by Lee Kuan Yew's government for the law, is the need to stop subversive activities prejudicial to the state. What really happens is this. When the opposition political parties apply to form societies, their names and particulars submitted allow the government to keep surveillance on the members. And then to sue them for meritless defamation of character charges, file cooked up criminal charges against them for illegal activity, imprison them and impoverish them. In order to do that, Lee needs to know who they are. And the application forms provide that.

These ridiculous excuses put out by this government on a routine basis means that now, the people have lost all respect for it. This government itself has reached a stage that they too are not bothered one bit, whether they are taken seriously; or laughed at.

The Singapore government has lost credibility among its people. The people know that these permit denials are simply to deny the opposition a voice in the public. They fear that if the public are allowed to hear what the opposition have to say, they may lose their positions. Not wanting to lose their positions, they have enacted these repressive laws and have no shame in routinely dishing out some nonsense to justify them. Which by the way, no one believes.

The Singapore courts too have lost all respect. Singapore is famous for defamation of character lawsuits. Lawsuits brought by Lee Kuan Yew and his family members against those who criticize him. In each and very case, one can see no defamation at all. In one of Dr. Chee's cases, he was found guilty of defaming Mr. Goh Chock Tong, presently the Senior Minister, because he asked Mr. Goh about details of the loan Singapore government made to the late Indonesian dictator Suharto. This, believe it or not, was found defamatory and Dr. Chee was ordered to pay Mr. Goh half a million dollars.

In another case against Dr. Chee, Singapore High Court Judge Belinda Ang held him liable for defamation without even a trial! The Judge sat in her private office in the court (not the courtroom), heard what Mr. Lee Kuan Yew's lawyer had to say; and without even giving Dr. Chee a chance to speak, ordered him to pay the usual half million dollars to Lee Kuan Yew! The whole thing was over in 5 or 10 minutes!

When 4 Singapore Democratic Party protesters filed suit in the High Court for an order that their dispersal by Singapore riot police was illegal since they broke no law, Judge VK Rajah made an astonishing statement that Singapore laws did not give anyone the right to protest! And after having said that he ordered them to pay the court costs of several thousand dollars. Not able to pay, they have all been made bankrupt!

This is a government that has lost it's credibility. It has reached a stage where it no longer cares what the people think of it! And all this nonsense by the Singapore government is known to the rest of the world through the global mass media. Just like me, the rest of the world is laughing at the nonsense put out by this government. Yet, they don't seem to care one bit.

It is a sign of a government that knows it has lost. And having lost, there in nothing they can do, but to carry on and hope for the best. Surely, a very sad position to be in.

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

Thursday, January 17, 2008

This Blog will continue. That is guaranteed.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This Blog will continue. That is guaranteed.


Gopalan Nair
Fremont, California


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thanks to readers of Singapore Dissident. I have to spend more time with my profession at present. I must slow down with the blogs for the moment. I will write but not as often. At least most certainly a post a week.

Thank you again ladies and gentlemen.

Happy New Year and Hope for Change.

Gopalan Nair
Fremont, California

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The laws that enslave Singaporeans.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Freedom House, the global democracy monitor had said that Singaporeans are unable to change their government through elections. The following is the reason why.

For 5 or more people to gather in public, even for peaceful protest, a government licence is required. For the last 40 years, the government has routinely denied any permits to opposition political parties.

Similarly, to make a speech in public one needs a permit. But permits are always denied to the opposition.

To print and publish newspapers, a government permit is required; which again will be denied to the opposition. To own a printing press machine, a permit is required and if the opposition possesses one, the owner is arrested and imprisoned. To form a society, a permit is required and if it is for an opposition political purpose, the organisers and officers of the society are kept under police surveillance, harassed, intimated and removed from their jobs.

Under the House to House and Street Collections Act, it is an offense for anyone to solicit donations from members of the public without a licence. If an opposition political party were to apply for one, it will not get it, thereby making it impossible for opposition political activities to obtain funding.

It is an offense to obtain funding from abroad which means the government labelling the Singaporean a traitor and imprisoning him under the Internal Security act without trial.

As if all this were not enough, all organs of state work as extensions of the ruling party. All judges use the law to eliminate political opponents. Unions harass and intimidate any worker found to be opposition sympathisers. The entire media is owned and controlled by the government, whose duty it is to print government propaganda. School teachers are advised not to discuss politics at all and to report to the government any student who shows sympathy to opposition political parties.

In all walks of life, government and ruling party sympathisers profit from their loyalty. If in government, they are paid millions, if lawyers and professionals given government cases with high fees, and others are made directors and officers of the multitude of government linked companies, given comfortable salaries and perks.

In other words, being a member of the Baath Party, sorry Peoples Action Party of Lee Kuan Yew has its benefits. Loyalty and servitude to one man, Lee Kuan Yew can bring unimaginable riches to you. Opposition to him, ruin. So the Singaporean has the choice. Riches or rags.

This is how Singapore enslaves it's people.

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

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The fear of Lee Kuan Yew is an illusion.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Almost everyone in Singapore, Lee's first world country, fear retribution if he was criticized.

In truth this fear is to a large extent misplaced. In fact, in the peculiar circumstances of Singapore of today, Lee really cannot do much against political opposition.

One good reason for this view, is its size. A small island. He cannot be a Suharto in Singapore even if he wants to. The repercussions would be unbearable. In the past, about 20 years ago, you recall the arrest of innocent civic conscience citizens, labelling them Marxists and torturing them. There was no real opposition to it then. People did complain, but beyond that they did nothing. But imagine his doing it now. Assuming he went around today and picked up 20 innocent people, branded them Communists in his newspaper and tortured them. Do you think Singaporeans would accept that today? I think not. He dare not do it in 2008 even though there are many in Singapore, especially within the SDP who fit the description of those brave souls branded Marxist conspirators.

It is not that Lee Kuan Yew is unaware of the extensive opposition to him and his policies on the ground starting with his paying himself $3.7 million per year. Oh yes, he is aware of the large numbers of Singaporeans who are openly criticising and deriding him. But you can see that he is not taking any action. He knows now that he in on thin ice. As as time goes on, the ice becomes thinner.

He had once told the Charlie Rose interview on PBS TV that he runs the country entirely on wits. For once he was honest. It is all bravado and hot air. Nothing more than that. If he was prepared to do today, what he did to Lim Chin Seong under the ISA he will be in more trouble than he expects. He knows he cannot today act the way he did then.

Perhaps the Singaporean need not fear so much after all. If only they galvanized in a united front against this tyranny, it is he who will have to give in. No doubt about it.

But up till now he is counting of the people not having the courage to do it. But if they did, the boot will be on the other foot. The taxi drivers foot. The retirees foot. The foot of the old people who are reduced to having to clean tables in food courts. The foot of those in one room flats having to live under candle light because of poverty. The foot of those who have no choice but to survive on one meal a day.

Yes the boot will be one the other foot. If only they acted on it.

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

Monday, January 14, 2008

Singapore is Erewhon

Ladies and Gentlemen,

When thinking of Singapore, Samuel Butler's book "Erewhon" comes to mind. Except for the transposing of the letters "h" and "w", read backwards Erewhon reads "Nowhere". Written in 1872, it was an imaginary country, with some odd practices. For instance, criminals are not treated so harshly. But getting sick was! A criminal who steals may get no more than a warning. But getting sick may mean a long prison sentence! Being healthy was more important than anything else!

In a way, Singapore too is one really odd place. Take corruption. In Singapore corruption is severely punished. But at the same time, the government is permitted to be as corrupt as they want! In fact the laws of the country permit corruption by government politicians! So you have the general population of Singapore being law abiding while Lee Kuan Yew and his cabinet members, family and friends are thoroughly corrupt. And what is worse, the laws of Singapore, which they themselves created, allow it!

As you are already aware, Lee Kuan Yew, his son whom he placed as Prime Minister and all his handpicked supporters in government are paid no less than $3.7 million a year in salary. Of course this does not include all the other moneys he and his family and friends siphon off as and when they want. But in the Singapore government's vocabulary, this is not corruption. It is their official salaries. So by merely giving corruption another name, that is "salary", they have conveniently legalized it.

Also no one can question their action, since everyone in Parliament are Lee's servants. It is one party state. So the theft that Lee, his family and friends perpetrate openly and legally cannot be challenged.

On the other hand, Lee Kuan Yew does not permit anyone else in Singapore to be corrupted. Only he, his family and chosen friends have this privilege. In fact Singapore is considered one of the least corrupted countries in the world. Almost no corruption at all. That is if you do not include Lee Kuan Yew, his family and friends!

Another odd circumstance, among the many other oddities in this small island, is their criminal laws. Brutal murderers who have committed unspeakable crimes are sometimes let off with relatively minor sentences. I remember one case in the not too distant past where a man killed his wife by chopping her into pieces got away with a jail sentence of about 10 years. Whereas a 23 year old Vietnamese Australian boy who was fool enough into thinking that he could get away with strapping some heroin on his back on a flight from Phnom Penh to Sydney Australia was hanged! He was caught with it while in transit in Singapore's Changi Airport. You have to have a thoroughly warped mindset indeed, to hang that boy but give the man who killed his wife by chopping her to pieces with a meat cleaver, only 10 years in jail!

Another peculiarity in Singapore is a $500 fine for not flushing the toilet! In Singapore, if you are caught not flushing the toilet, you will be punished with a $500.00 fine! I wonder how they get their evidence, if it is true that there are no cameras inside the loo! Does the Singapore government actually employ toilet inspectors to go around inspecting, the unflushed ones to arrest the culprits? Do they take pictures to preserve the evidence to prosecute the culprit! I shudder to think! One really unpleasant job, I have to say!

Another oddity is their laws itself. In fact almost half the statutes in the books do not mean what they say at all. It took me a long time to realize this!

Take the national pledge that children are forced to recite in schools. It goes something like this, "We the citizens of Singapore...... to build a democratic society based on justice and equality........” None of it is true. Singapore is not a democracy. It is totalitarian one party state. There is no justice at all. Singapore judges are not judges at all! They are politicians. PAP politicians. There to do a job of eliminating Lee Kuan Yew's political opponents! As for equality, there is none of it. Malays and Indians are not given jobs by the simple expedient of a Chinese language requirement in the job posting. Even if a Malay went out of his way to learn Mandarin, he still will not get the job because he could not recite the poems of Lau Tze in classical Chinese!

Take the Singapore Constitution. It guarantees freedom of speech. But in truth it is just the opposite. If you spoke something that Lee did not like, it is the end of you. You will be made to pay $1 million by Lee's judges; and not being able to pay, you will be bankrupted, and prevented from standing for elections or public office!

Lee Kuan Yew says Singapore has the rule of law. But in truth it is just the reverse. The police can kidnap and abduct anyone they want as they did 2 pedestrians, Miss Chee Siok Chin and John Tan who were merely walking along the street to Shangri-La Hotel to have their well known, combination fried rice and wanton soup. Coincidentally the ASEAN annual meeting was being held there at the time, but these 2 persons had nothing to do with it! You can watch the actual abduction and kidnapping on You Tube. These 2 persons were abducted by Singapore police, driven in unmarked cars and released at some other hotel several miles away, even though they had never intended to have their meals there! The police were unable to give any reason for their action. While the Singapore police do this, they remain adamant that it has the rule of law! And what is more, Lee Kuan Yew has recently said that Singapore is trying to become a legal hub where international disputes are settled!

It is unfortunate that Samuel Butler wrote Erewhon in 1872. If Singapore had been around at that time, Butler would have made his book even more interesting. From odd it would have been odder and oddest! Singapore has a lot of material for unusual hare brained practices.

And to top it all, Lee Kuan Yew has publicly stated that Singapore is now a first world country. And he believes that at the rate it is going, in 10 to 15 years, it will be another Italy or Austria. He had about 10 years ago swore that it would be another Switzerland. Since that aim was not achieved, he has decided not to mention Switzerland again!

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

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lee says free press not the answer to country's development problems

Correction: January 13, 2008, 1830 hours Pacific Standard Time, Northern California: I have just received an Email from Melanie Lee, the Reuters newspaper reporter. She has pointed out that it was she who had interviewed Lee Kuan Yew. Clarissa Oon was the Straits Times reporter who merely reported it. I have thanked her for the correction and informed her of my appreciation that Reuters, the respected news agency, are reading my blogposts.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Singapore state owned and controlled paper the Straits Times (mind you all the newspapers, TV, Radio and mass media are all owned and controlled by Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew and his government) on Jan 11, 2008 carried the story "Free press not the answer to country's development problems: MM Lee".

He said this in answer to a Reuters reporter, Clarissa Oon, who asked him how can one expect Singapore to reach the standards of Italy and Austria within 10 to 15 years without a free press? Lee had previously said it was his view that Singapore will continue to progress and become another Italy or Austria in this time.

By the way, not to digress too much, the reader will recall that about 15 years ago his former Prime Minister had said that in this time, Singapore will become another Switzerland. With about half the people in Singapore now finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet; many of whom decide to end their lives by jumping off high rise buildings and onto on coming trains, due to poverty; Lee Kuan Yew has conveniently decided to completely forget his earlier reference to Switzerland. It is quite obvious today that Singapore is not Switzerland. Even a blind man can see that much!

And now it is the turn of Italy and Austria! Switzerland having been conveniently forgotten! During this interview a very sharp reporter Clarissa Oon of Reuters asked the 85 year old Lee Kuan Yew, longest serving head of state in Asia, even longer than Fidel Castro of Cuba, a very good question. She asked, how did Mr. Lee expect Singapore to reach the level of Italy or Austria if it did not have a free press? It so happens by the way that both Italy and Austria have strong and independent free press. Both these countries pride in the freedom of the press and cherish it as a bastion of their democracy.

But Mr. Lee, as is his usual cunning conveniently avoided the question altogether. His answer was that even though Taiwan Philippines and South Korea have free presses, they are corrupt. I will come to the issue of corruption in a minute, but look at his answer. It was not even remotely responsive to the question!

Clarissa Oon did not ask whether a free press will or will not cause corruption to take root. Her question was how did Singapore expect to become another Italy or Austria without a free press. As is usually the case when the 85 year old Mr. Lee Kuan Yew is unable to answer the question, he sidesteps it entirely! As in this case.

Clarissa Oon is right. It is fundamentally important for a country to have a free press in order to reach an advanced status. Without a free press, there is no access to correct information. Without access to latest and correct information, business cannot make the correct decisions. Trade suffers because the correct information is lacking. Science and Technology is stymied for lack of it. Like North Korea, with its state controlled media, the people live without knowing what goes on outside. And if they know, it is not the correct picture.

With Lee controlling all sections of the media in Singapore, it can never hope, not in 10, not even in a 100 years to become an Italy or Austria.

Now let us look at Lee Kuan Yew's unsolicited opinion on corruption. He says Taiwan, the Philippines and South Korea are corrupted because they have a free press! Is he saying that because Singapore does not have a free press, it is not corrupted? Well what do you call his paying himself and each of his family members and his friends $3.7 million dollars each and every year, year in and year out! Is this not corruption? Each of Lee Kuan Yew and his family members are taking 5 times the salary of President George Bush of the United States each year! If you don't call this corruption, what do you call it?

And you can say this to Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. This astronomical levels of state sanctioned corruption in Singapore, is because there is no free press in Singapore. Not only that, there is no rule of law, no fundamental rights of any sort. If only Singapore had a free press and basic fundamental human rights, Lee Kuan Yew will not be able to be as blatantly corrupted as he is.

And by the way, the corruption in those countries that he mentioned is not because of a free press. It is because those countries have their own peculiar problems. There is no correlation between a free press and corruption.

New Zealand and Australia have free presses. Yet they are not corrupted. So are Finland and Norway, so are countless countries all over the world which are advanced countries, with a free press, with rights and sophistication.

The problem with Lee Kuan Yew is this. Without a state owned and controlled press, he will not be able to rule Singapore. He can only do this by instilling fear and repression on his people. Therefore he is a poor politician. And at 84, and about to die in the not too distant future, despite his cycling, running and what not.

And he fears death, because Singapore does not have a mechanism in place for smooth transfer of power like Australia and New Zealand. His son whom he placed as the Prime Minister also worries for the same reason, poor man.

By the way, Clarissa Oon's direct and peremptory question had taken him aback. He was not accustomed to Singaporean journalists asking him such direct questions. Most of them, through fear are cautious only to ask questions which are unlikely to cause him any annoyance.

Taken aback, it appears he asked her how old she was to which she replied she was 23. As to his second question, which school she attended; she pointed out it had nothing to do with the interview!

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