Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Singapore Legal Profession. An odd place where dishonesty is rewarded and integrity punished!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The state owned and controlled Singapore newspaper Channel News Asia on January 5, 2008 reports "Six appointed Senior Counsel at opening of Legal Year 2008".

If there is one place in the world where dishonesty is rewarded and integrity punished, the Singapore legal profession is the place. The 5 lawyers exalted to this top level of seniority and respect was not because they were good lawyers. It was because they were dishonest.

Men such as these bring shame to the legal profession. Another reason why the Singapore Bar is finding it increasingly difficult to attract good students to the profession.

One of those promoted according to the report is Hri Kumar. Let me tell you something about Mr. Hri Kumar. He is employed in the firm of Drew and Napier. This firm is employed by Lee Kuan Yew, the Singapore bullyboy who will not tolerate any political criticism. And if someone is stupid enough to criticize, Lee Kuan Yew will sue for defamation of character in the Singapore Courts. The judges by the way in Singapore are beholden to Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. So Lee Kuan Yew is guaranteed to win his case regardless of its merits.

The man that Lee Kuan Yew uses for this dirty work of demolishing the opposition through the courts, that it, to demolish by defamation action and bankrupted; is usually Mr. Davinder Singh, Senior Counsel. Mr. Hri Kumar has over the years, been assisting Mr. Davinder Singh in the dirty work he does in court. Mr. Hri Kumar too has become very accomplished in the dirty work. Accomplished that is, to distort and misuse the law, so as to make it easier for Lee Kuan Yew's judges in Lee Kuan Yew's courts to finish off any political dissident.

If Mr. Hri Kumar has practiced law, it has been for an evil purpose. His career consists nothing more than willingly permitting himself to be used as an instrument by Lee Kuan Yew to destroy his political opponents. This is shameful work. Disgraceful work. Work that he does because Lee Kuan Yew pays very well. In fact, as it is guaranteed that Lee Kuan Yew will win every one of his legal cases, before judges who will willingly do anything for him; this man need not even know any law at all. All he has to do is to say that his client is Lee Kuan Yew. That itself will guarantee victory.

Lawyer's code of ethics around the world are the same. A lawyer breaches his code of ethics when he willingly furthers a cause before the court when he knows it is without merit. In each of the defamation cases, all of which Hri Kumar has won, he knew very well that his client Lee Kuan Yew was abusing the law to destroy his opponents. He knew the law was being used as a political tool. He knew that the defendant was blameless. Yet he willingly permits himself to be used for the dirty purpose, without shame. He is prepared to prostitute himself repeatedly for money and a career.

This man lacks shame, integrity and self respect. Singapore is perhaps the only country where men like these, who are despised and derided, are able to reach high office. This proves beyond everything that the way to success, monetary and career success in Singapore is to trumpet the dictator. Honoring Mr. Hri Kumar continues to send a very bad message to other young men and women in Singapore; that the way to success in Singapore is dishonesty. The sort shown by this Hri Kumar.

The others honored with him, Dr. Jeffrey Dan Pinsler, an academic, Sunderash Menon, Thio Shen Yi, Lee Eng Beng and Cavinder Bull fare no better in integrity. There is a saying, it is equally damning of a man who does nothing and remains silent when evil is perpetrated before his eyes. He stands no better than the perpetrator.

Dr. Jeffrey Dan Pinsler is an academic. Is he not aware that the rights under the Singapore constitution, fundamental human rights, the rights of free speech expression and assembly are being violated daily by this Lee Kuan Yew dictatorship? Is he not aware, especially as an academic, that Singapore is no better than Burma or North Korea for human rights? Is he not aware that it is incumbent upon him, in fact duty bound, for him to speak up for the legal rights of fellow Singaporeans? But no. Doctor of Laws, Jeffrey Dan Pinsler does nothing. He happily receives the honors that this Singapore dictatorship gives him for his silence. What a shame.

The same goes for the others honored by this dictatorship. They stand in shame, because it is profitable. Since there is money, they don't mind the shame. They go along with anything asked of them by this dictatorship.

As I said, the Singapore Legal profession is one that punishes integrity and ability. You must have heard of Mr. JB Jeyaretnam. He is also a member of the Singapore Bar and practiced law for more than 40 years, which periods were interrupted while he was suspended from practice by the Lee Kuan Yew courts. Mr. JB Jeyaretnam also happens to be one of Lee Kuan Yew's most vocal political opponents. He is also a brilliant criminal lawyer, perhaps the best in Singapore.

By now, you must have guessed what I was driving at. Not only that Mr. JB Jeyaretnam was not given the position of Senior Counsel, in fact it was worse than that. He is a convicted criminal and former convict having been imprisoned by Lee Kuan Yew for 2 charges of check fraud and one for falsifying a sworn declaration!

I had the pleasure of meeting him outside the Queenstown Prison, which is familiar to Singapore political opponents, together with about 200 Workers Party supporters, when he was released. It must have been about 1988. I was practicing law in Singapore then. I represented a Workers Party supporter, Mr. Sebastian Chua, who was in the crowd, then a taxi driver. All he did was to shout very loud "We want Jeya". For that he was charged with disorderly conduct. I represented him.

Chua pleaded not guilty. The magistrate in the Subordinate Court was Judge Gurbachan Singh. Although Singh tried very hard to make Chua plead guilty, he refused. We dragged the trial as long as we could. We had no less than 20 witnesses. All were examined and cross examined. Eventually, of course, the Judge found Chua guilty. He was after all, an opposition political supporter.

The maximum fine at that time for disorderly conduct was about $100.00. After having taken 2 weeks of the courts time in taking the testimony of more than 20 witnesses, Mr. Chua was convicted. He was holding the money in his hand. After the judge pronounced the fine, he went downstairs to the Court Cashier, paid the $100.00 and went home. We had fun. I understand immediately after Mr. Chua's case, the Singapore dictatorship increased the fine for disorderly conduct to several thousand dollars! I guess I had a part to play in that!

The Singapore government in giving this award to these disgraceful lawyers who willingly abuse the law for profit, is in fact deliberately giving a repeated message to Singaporeans. And the message is this. The way to succeed is to be subservient to Lee's wishes, regardless of right or wrong. And those who are prepared to act unconscionably like these pitiful souls end up succeeding financially and in their careers. And those who criticize his government tend to suffer in every way possible, even going to prison for it.

This is a very bad signal to Singaporeans and one which will ultimately cause it severe harm. Lee Kuan Yew assumes that everyone can be bought with money like these who prostitute themselves for gain. But the truth is, not everyone is that way. In fact the vast majority are upstanding human beings. They either refuse to co-operate and merely live their lives as best they can in obscurity or they emigrate. That is why today, it is these weak souls like Hri Kumar who climb the career ladders in Singapore. The best are either not heard of or in Australia. And no amount of repetition in the state controlled Singapore press; that rule of law exists in Singapore; is going to convince anyone.

I am a member of the State Bar of California in good standing and in active practice. I have here made a deliberate and intentional charge of dishonesty against these 6 lawyers. Deliberately making a false accusation against another member of the Bar is actionable not only in Singapore but also here in California. The code of ethics of the State Bar of California forbids a lawyer from doing so. I stand by what I have said and am prepared to defend myself in the event of proceedings against me by these shaameful men. Furthermore Mr. Hri Kumar has vast experience in defamation of character cases. Libel in Singapore is libel here too.

My blog is widely read in Singapore and throughout the world. This post of mine will be read by several thousand people in Singapore as well as worldwide. In it, I have specifically and deliberately called Mr. Hri Kumar and the others dishonest; they who have obtained the honor of Senior Counsel, because they were dishonest, not because of their wisdom or their skill.

I am interested to know if these men will take action either to report me to the ethics committee of the Sate Bar of California or to commence a defamation action either in Singapore and try to enforce it in California courts or to commence action here in California.

Or are their abilities only confined within the bounds of the small island of Singapore with its repressive dictatorial undemocratic government! Where loyalty to Lee Kuan Yew alone is sufficient for success. My name and contact particulars appear very clear below for the easy reference of these, so called, Senior Counsel.

It will be interesting to see what these men will do! If they take no action, should we assume that they are not confident of success outside the confines of Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore island? Perhaps they are not such great lawyers after all!

I practiced law in Singapore from 1981 to 1991, about 10 years. I am sure, had I remained in Singapore, I would never have been made a Senior Counsel. In fact I would be lucky if I could have had stayed out of prison!

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

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