Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Gurkhas. Is it safe?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On Feb 28, 2008, 2 days ago, I had written the following post in this blog, Was Mas Selamat Kastari assited in his escape? And by whom? I had pointed out that, and as you already know, that escape from Whitley Detention Center is impossible. The only questions that remain are, did he die in custody, or was he assisted in escaping?

It is not necessary to belabor the obvious. Escape from Whitely Detention Center is impossible. You know it as well as I. It is the most high security detention facility in Singapore. It is guarded entirely by Gurkha troopers. As a single group of soldiers, up till today, the Gurkhas who serve in the British Army have been awarded the highest number of Victoria Crosses, the highest award for bravery beyond the call of duty in the face of the enemy in battle. Their courage and discipline is legendary.

In Whitely Detention Center, they are not in battle. Their duties there are merely to secure the detention facility and to ensure those pathetic unarmed prisoners do not escape. A job that can be described as a piece of cake for them. The easiest thing in the world. What, with security cameras, barbed wire, 20 foot high electrified fences, with disciplined crack Gurkhas at every nook and corner under 24 hours surveillance, telling us that Mas Selamat Kastari, a man with a broken leg escaped, is to insult our intelligence. Although it is true that Singaporeans are totally cowed into submission and fear and unable to criticize this Lee Kuan Yew dictatorship; please do not insult us even further by treating us as children. Even a child will not believe that this man with a broken leg escaped from that impregnable fortress!

No. Since an unassisted escape is ruled out, the remaining possibilities are that he died under torture. Second either the Gurkhas or high level members of the Singapore ISD were bribed into letting him go; just as the Singapore Kidney Foundation had corruptly made off with millions of Singaporeans hard earned money, the principle culprit I understand is enjoying the high life in Dubai or some other Arab gulf state!

Now let us look into the possibility that he escaped with the help of some corrupted Gurkhas. A strong possibility in the present circumstances, which cannot be ignored. Are we not overlooking the possible serious dangerous consequences to Singapore; if this was true?

As Lee Kuan Yew does not believe the Singapore Armed Forces or Singapore Police are neither efficient or capable enough of guarding its vital installations such as the power stations, its TV and Radio Stations, its airports, its border posts, the Singapore Treasury and other vital places including the residence of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and his son; Lee has instead relied on the Gurkhas, a foreign mercenary military and police troopers to do this job. The only country in the world which does not have faith in its own soldiers and police; relying instead on foreign mercenaries!

Now, if in fact it was some Gurkha troopers at the Whitely Detention Facility who collaborated with some unknown foreign agencies to allow Mr. Kastari to escape, is not the security of every vital installation in Singapore, vital to the very survival and existence of Singapore threatened, by these Gurkhas?

What happens if for a sufficient sum of money, the Gurkhas guarding the Singapore power stations permitted Jama Islamia to destroy them? What happens if they were to do the same at the Singapore Airport? To Singapore's water supply, to the border posts; what happens if they permit an attack to occur against Lee Kuan Yew and his son himself? Although it is true that a majority of Singaporeans would in fact rejoice if Lee Kuan Yew were eliminated forever from the face of this Earth taking his son along with him; being Singaporeans of honor and conscience, we would not want that to really happen.

Is this not the correct time for Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and his son and other family members to sit down together and ask themselves whether their family, that is the Lee family, can continue in confidence in safety? Is it safe? That is whether they will be safe with these foreign mercenaries. These Gurkhas who will serve anyone who pays them; the British, the Brunei Government; the Singapore government, and I do not who else?

In the present circumstances, especially since Mr. Kastari is alleged to have done the impossible, should not these Gurkhas be brought into the equation? Especially since up till today, the Singapore government has not complied with the requests of Dr. Chee Soon Juan of the Singapore Democratic Party on this important matter of national interest.

They have not produced the video film from the CCTV cameras at Whitley Detention Center. They have not provided any statement from the police in charge at the facility. They have not provided any detailed explanation as to how he escaped. How long did it take him to escape? Did he scale a fence? Was it electrified? How did he manage to scale an electrified fence? Did he breach a hole in the fence? How did he do it? Did he use a Bangalore torpedo for it? Who supplied it? Did he burrow a tunnel in the ground? Why are there no pictures? Were there Gurkhas at the gate? Why did the Gurkhas let him out? Was the gate guarded at the time? How many sentries were there? Were there no sentries? What were their names? Was the Gurkha Ram Bahadhur Thapa there? And why not? Was he absent without leave? What is happening to the Brigade of Gurkhas after all?

I can go on. We have no answers. Singaporeans are not idiots. They may be rabbits who live in fear of Lee Kuan Yew as salves, but they are not idiots. Please don’t treat them as one.

We want answers. An investigation. After all Lee is taking $3.7 million a year in so called salary!
And according to Lee it is a first world country! This is not the way a First World Country is expected to behave!

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


Anonymous said...

How dare a typical Singaporean question ISD matters?

Let's hope in due time, we will know what happened to the man.

Hectic Singaporeans with their short memory, will, over time, forget Mas Selamat, just as they have forgotten Tang Liang Hong.

Who knows what happened in the ISD torture centre, but whatever it is, I am interested to know the reaction of the govt over time, which may give us a clue whether he had died in detention or escaped.

The hubris state of affairs in LKY world will be the man's downfall. Let's not mock history over this.

Anonymous said...

Just heard on CNA news that the Govt has formed a high-powered INDEPENDENT committee to investigate and report on the escape of Mas Selamat! Independent? Guess who's in the Cttee?....Goh Joon Seng, retd high Court judge,Tee Tua Ba, retd Commissioner of Police and a female Dy Sec from MHA. These 3 characters are totally independent? Tell that to the Marines! Just ask around pple in the know and you will find out that the 2 former top guys named are 99% pro-Govt, pro-PAP and pro-LKY "lackeys".Independent my foot. Why couldn't they have included at least 1 Opp MP like Sylvia Lim, Chiam or even Low TK?
Your guess is as good as mine.

Anonymous said...

you want to know how pathetic singapore is with this administration...

my wife gets a message on her phone "MMS@Police", a freekin text message saying to call 999 if you see this person with an attached picture of the "escapee"

they do not even want to use their resources to look for this man and instead will send people an MMS. I mean there is just absolutely no shame as to how sickly this administration looks.

Now some of you may think this is smart. I say I did not lose this man, you did, you look for him. I do not get paid 3.7 million, you do... so get off you ass and do you job mr. minister.

In fact you know what, the ministers get paid so highly to attract "the best" and avoid corruption. Well with that sentiment, should not the best Gurkhas, the best police officers, the best chicken rice vendor all get paid more in order that they do their jobs well and not let prisoners out, uphold the Constitution, and not poison us? This is why I never did buy the ministers arguments and NO ONE should.

Every single Singaporean has been conned by this government and they continue to lie to us each day by only giving half truths. If this administration and ministers are not corrupt, show us the evidence because you have truly lost face.

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous who started with "Just heard on CNA news",

I agree with you except that placing Low Thia Khiang, Slyvia Lim or Chiam See Tong in that panel would have made no difference. After all, you forget they are "responsible" opposition, in the words of the Lee Kuan Yew Administration. Belive me, they will go along with whatever the government wants.

Have you forgotten Sylvia Lim's vitriolic attack on Dr. Chee Soon Juan at the International Bar Association Meeting in Singapore where she vehemently defended the claim of rule of law in Singapore. Even though she is a lawyer and I am sure aware of the misuse of the law of defamation of character to eliminate opposition politicians in Singapore. With such support that she shows for the PAP Administration, she might as well change clothes and wear white and white instead.

Please, these are not opposition. I understand the term commonly used for them in Singapore is "wayang" meaning a Malay opera.

Thanks Again
Gopalan Nair
Fremont, California

Anonymous said...

One after another from the government office trying to showmenship>this time Uncle Teo trying to tell the public for security reason he is sending some 50 soldier to Afganistan.Whereas the present security lapsed at home as mentioned by WKS is still in the dark.Where is the video footage and it going to take month to set up independent team to investigate this failure.I belive there is such a thing call emergency investigation after all you have taken the public money on your pay roll.Why speculate where is Mas when you cannot even show the last footage in the cell of Mas.Are you covering up Mr ...

Is Mas being make as local guide in Afgan during this trip as tour of duty and his sentence will be ??

Well we are wating for your next act.

Singaporean are no more IDIOT

Anonymous said...

I lifted this off

Dear ALL,

While I was still a damp (not wet) behind the ears young adult who was trying to grow out my hair from the standard army coiffe, all of 22 years and in university, I was very much full of ideals and drive to make desperate changes to my surroundings and circumstance.

While at classes, I remember my professor speaking of the Rule of Law, Separation of Powers, Natural Justice, Jurisprudence, Ethical Behaviour and the conventions of Ministerial Responsibility and Popularity.

He did so by citing cases, tabloid and press reports to bulk up that argument, citing the Profumo Afffair, The Crichel Down Affair, The Belgrano, the aftermath of the abandoned Poll Tax etc to highlight what true ministerial responsibility meant.

Also that English politicians ironically are in fact quite gentlemanly in discharging their duties (despite the red tape they so often weave to protect themselves) and would be very willing to accept full responsibility, with the proviso, if they are caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar.

One Constitutional Law Professor went on to so forcefully and eloquently make his point that it actually brought tears to many a female classmate and sent waves of goose pimples among the guys, myself included.

These principles that he so imbued fed the fire of idealism and further stoked that drive within me and in many of my peers.

I remember vividly this professor speaking of the right to choose your leaders, and that if only one person is disenfranchised by whatever means then democracy has died.

Close to a decade later, the fire that previously raged was now nothing but a small grey ash covered ember, so I returned to Sg with experience and many, many cases tried and won under my belt -hardened but no longer idealistic.

Then the 2001 GE came around a year after my return, and to see that close to half the population disenfranchised brought back the memory of the lecture that once moved me, I then realised that democracy was indeed dead and buried in Sg.

The 2006 GE further threw more wet cement on the already hardening grave of Sgean democracy.

When a Chief Justice sits among the politicians and acts all chummy with them, would one expect justice be done?

After retirement, the very same CJ is now seen in the company of a former PM and current cabinet minister who holds a totally made up position, one would really like to ask was justice ever done in the past?

He is now, by the way, on the govt's appointment "working" at a bank at the age of 82, life is simply "rewarding" I must say.

Only in Sg can you find a politician whose hands so firmly stuck onto a broom attempting to sweep failed policies under an already bulging carpet claim that it was a honest mistake and he is not taken to task despite the fact that they are touted to be the most talented lot and presumably infallible since they demand such high renumeration.

He then laughs in the face of the convention of Ministerial Responsibility while doing more Sgeans in with his highly talented harebrained ideas.

When the Prime Minister openly declares that he would be more concerned in fixing the opposition and buying his supporters than focussing on policy matters should there be more opposition in parliament gets away unscathed.

The very same Prime Minister, in defending his constituency gets the lowest percentage votes among all others is not enough cause for him to resign based on the convention of popularity is simply incredible.

That very same PM once again raises taxes that actually taxes the poor but claims to be helping them, escapes from what would be something similar to the storming of the Bastille if this was France or had Sgeans not been dumbed down and castrated.

Where the judiciary, the supposed bastion of justice, willfully neglects its sworn duty and opines that it is ok to cast aside the fundamentals in natural justice and the right to confront your accuser.

Is there Separation of Powers or is the judiciary enforcing the political will of the ruling party, one would like to ask.

When it is the policy of the govt to bring in all and sundry, not just qualified, skilled or semi-skilled emigrants but the likes of those who allow their children to take a piss in trains into our country, when will this end?

All I know my dear friends is that democracy can be resurrected and it will not take God-like powers to do so, all it takes is for us to stand up, apply pressure and to seek change.

Join real political parties and NGOs in droves, give clear signs that we have had enough, call for open debates with ministers and to force MPs to say what we want them to say and demand satisfactory explanations from the policy makers.

Demand the abolishment the GRC system, the ISA and other political tools of oppression.

Proportional representation be the new system and that a PM cannot be in power for more than two terms. This removes dependency and encourages new ideas and removes groupthink tendencies.

The old tired rhectoric of Sg will go down into the gutter and sink if a real opposition comes into power can no longer be bought since history has shown that no country has ever disintergrated when a legal change of govt occured, the sun still rose from the East the next day.



Anonymous said...

Note: forwarded message attached.

Even b4 the high-powered trio had come together to inquire on the hows and whats of Selamat's escape, WKS has decided that Selamat acted all by himself!!!!
Incredulous and incredible. If that really was the case, it then speaks very very poorly of the physical security there, doesn't it? And this an ISD facility of top priority! How to believe? Is WKS indirectly telling the Cttee to stick to this "acting alone"
scenario and not go beyond to conspiracy and corruption by the guards and administrators there? It could well be that WKS and the top PAP guys are so afraid the implications and fall-out if conspiracy and inside-job was the cause.As the Gurkhas were the main guards, that means the safety and security of the Gurkha-guarded residences of MM, SM, PM and WKS are no longer "guaranteed"!
And why can't the present day Gurkhas or Nepalese be bribed with big bucks? This is 2008 and not the 50s and 60s when the Gurkhas were like robots trained to be loyal to their British masters. Time changes everything. Do u know that the Gurkha cops here are
paid only 50% of their counterparts in the main
And dun forget the recent overthrow of the present Nepalese King by his subjects. This cld never have happened in the old days!
I believe the murder of the royal family esp their beloved former King by the latter's son, the crownprince really traumatised and changed the psyche and mindset of the Nepalese pple. They are now more modernised and educated and are aware of the ways of the world.
They are not the same as the "heroic" gurkhas of old.Money can now corrupt them as it can any other pple!

Anonymous said...

And most may not know - after giving 20-26+ years of mostly disciplined & loyal service to the people of Singapore - the Gurkhas can never even apply for a PR. Many have children, in fact their entire adult lives here. Yet the gov spits on them, pays them a meager wage & kicks them out back to a life of immense poverty in the hills of Nepal. It isn't all rosy & shiny from their point of view either folks.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Nair

Very much enjoy your blog and although I like it more when I'm in my America, quite often, also, while sitting in my Serangoon apartment.

But in your Saturday March 1 2008 piece, 'The Gurkhas. Is it safe?' you suggest that one of the Lees, I'm not sure which one, Papa Crook or Baby Crook, pays himself Three Point Seven Million Dollars -- or Ten Thousand One Hundred and Thirty Seven Dollars a day, three hundred and sixty-five days per year.

Which is a not bad screw for a bumblingly incompetent failed lawyer/money launderer.

But you overlook that all of the Lees and most of that parasitical gang's homies are over fifty-five years of age and are thus past the mandatory retiring age. And that EVERY ONE, on top of his "salary" and perquesites -- thus also receives a full "public service" pension!

Which arrangement, as you may also recall, during one of the last Privvy Council cases referred from Singapore, in the case of exorbitantly remunerated post-retirement-age judges "serving" only "at the pleasure of the government," caused the Law Lords to call it by its name: Preemptive bribery!

Best regards.

Sincerely - Brian