Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hurrah for human rights activists on March 15, 2008 2 pm in front of Parliament house Singapore. My admiration and congratulations go out to you.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Firstly my congratulations to the peaceful protestors of March 15, 2008 on World Consumer Rights day in front of Parliament House Singapore. An excellent job. Well done. By your action, you have just caused Lee Kuan Yew and the government of his son even more problems than they already have. In this war that goes on in Singapore, the forces of democracy are advancing bit by bit, moving ahead while the Lee family who run Singapore are losing day by day.

The state owned and controlled media, Channellnewsasia, just as all the other news media is owned and controlled by the Singapore government carried a story, "Chee Soon Juan and 20 others stage protest outside Parliament", 15th March 2008. This Singapore government newspaper whose principle activity is to disseminate propaganda favorable to the government reports that 20 persons including Dr. Chee Soon Juan of the Singapore Democratic Party staged a protest outside Parliament House on Saturday afternoon, March 15, 2008. At this point, we have to stop and correct the misinformation. It was not 20 people. It was 50! So you have got a lie right there for you!

The reporter for this state controlled newspaper Hasnita A Majid, who works for this newspaper as a purveyor of propaganda, perhaps because she can't find any other job, writes that Dr. Chee and others ignored repeated warnings to stop the "unlawful assembly".

Wait a minute. Another blatant lie. The assembly was not unlawful at all. The Constitution of Singapore specifically guarantees the right of assembly. It is the government trying to disperse it that is illegal. Not Dr. Chee and his friends who are in the legitimate exercise of their constitutional rights.

She writes that "police officers faced resistance from some of the members of the group who struggled and locked their arms together. Police equipment including a police radio set was damaged". I am not surprised at this at all. Surely these peaceful protestors are only exercising their rights to defend themselves against police brutality and illegal acts. The police should expect their equipment to be damaged since they can expect peaceful citizens to resist the illegal actions of this police force acting to protect Lee Kuan Yew and his illegal regime.

In fact, it is the government that should compensate these peaceful protestors for any damage they had suffered and Mr. M Ravi, Attorney at Law, who is reported to be legal counsel for these protestors; should take up the challenge and file a lawsuit for compensation for his clients.

This reporter or rather propaganda disseminator, for want of a better term, Hasnita A Majid reports that Miss Chee Siok Chin, a committee member of the Singapore Democratic Party and the sister of Dr. Chee "tried to bite a female officer when the latter tried to arrest her". Now tell me who wouldn’t when one is falsely being arrested and detained! A man would have hit the female officer. A woman bites. But the reaction is not only expected, it is also justified. I would have hit her, no doubt about it.

This reporter Majid goes on to say that Dr. Chee has held "unlawful demonstrations" in the past and that this is not the first time; whereas in this instance Dr. Chee and the others had escalated their defiance and had begun to use standard militant protest methods by locking arms. I am pleased that Dr. Chee and his friends have become more defiant and have deliberately resisted arrest. There is nothing wrong in resisting an unlawful arrest as in this case. Such resistance is not only justified; it is honorable.

This propaganda agent says that the attack by Ms. Chee Siok Chin will be investigated. I think we all expect that of this government. Ms. Chee, I and almost everyone else who understands Singapore knows that the government will investigate, and file charges. How much good it will do them is uncertain.

And now comes a blatant unashamed lie by Hasnita A Majid. I will reproduce the entire sentences here. She says "Police said Chee had earlier applied for a police permit to hold a protest rally. But this "was an empty gesture, as a subsequent posting on SDP's website indicated that SDP intended to proceed with the rally on March 15, at 2 pm even though the permit was not obtained."

Anyone with any understanding of Singapore law as well as the English language full well knows that Hasnita A Majid is unashamedly telling a shameless lie here. The facts are clear. There was no "empty gesture" on the part of Dr. Chee at all.

Dr. Chee did apply for a permit to hold the rally, even though Dr. Chee as well as I know that both the requirement of a permit and the law itself is illegal. Dr. Chee could have, if he wanted to, gone ahead with the rally without even applying at all. Singapore is governed, or at least it is supposed to be, governed by the Constitution. The Constitution is the supreme law. Any law that violates the constitution is illegal unless a compelling reason can be shown for the law. Dr. Chee had applied, even though he did not have to, for a permit under the Public Order Act. His application was illegally denied. There was no legal basis for denying it.

In 2007, CASE, an organ of the Lee Administration had held a protest at that very location. Furthermore Dr. Chee’s was a peaceful protest. There was not a single possibility that anyone could have been harmed by this peaceful protest.

Since this government has abused the law by denying this permit, as they routinely do, Dr. Chee subsequent to this, announced that he will go ahead anyway, without the permit. In these circumstances why was Dr. Chee's application for a permit an empty gesture? Dr. Chee was trying to comply even with an unjust law. Since he was disallowed his lawful right to protest, he went ahead anyway. Not an "empty gesture" at all.

She then finishes with this sentence" Police reiterated that no one is above the law." I totally agree with her, by pointing out that this Lee Kuan Administration is also not above the law, and I hope that the police will understand that. The Constitution of Singapore applies to them as well as Dr. Chee. It gives Dr. Chee the right to peaceful assembly. Please respect that right keeping in mind that Lee Kuan Yew and the Singapore government are not above the law.

The good news is this. In this clash between these civic minded protestors and this government trying to impose unacceptable repressive laws, the loser each time is Lee Kuan Yew and his son's government.

Singapore is a small country with 3 million people or so. It is reliant on an educated workforce, in the English language. It is not a rice growing country of peasants. By now Singaporeans, especially the educated ones, are becoming more and more aware of how people in other western countries live, such as in Australia. They too want the same freedoms that others have. They know there is nothing wrong with peaceful protests. It happens all the time in Sydney, Melbourne or London. Why then should they not be allowed the same freedoms, they ask?

Singaporeans are already fed up with Lee Kuan Yew and his son's arrogance. They have decided to leave. Emigrate. As you are aware, massive emigration is hurting Singapore, emigration of the most educated and capable. With the news of the arrests of these peaceful protestors, another 1000 educated and capable people will join the line for Australia. This hurts Singapore.

Singapore’s lawyer population has remained stagnant for the last 10 years. 10 years ago, there were 3,200 lawyers. Today we have the same number. No one wants to enter the law. The reason is the lack of the rule of law. With the news of these arrests of these innocent people, a further hundred will immediately leave the profession. No matter what; whether it is more money, scholarships, working from home, working part time and all manner of desperate attempts to stem the decline in numbers, lawyers are leaving the profession and no one is joining. This latest news of the arrests will only increase the resignations even further.

The Civil Service does not have manpower. The army barracks are empty because no children are being born for national service. Good honest reporters are leaving the news media in Singapore leaving behind dishonest ones such as this Hasnita A Majid.

I hope Dr. Chee will continue to hold protests. One for UN Day, one for Children’s Day, for Christmas Day, for May Day, for Dr. Chee’s birth day, one for my birthday, whatever. And provoke this government to make more and more mistakes until their government becomes untenable when they will have no choice but to see reason.

From the government position, I can only see 2 alternatives. Either they arrest Dr. Chee and shoot him like Lee Kuan Yew's friends do in other dictatorships or they should stop this stupidity and come to their senses. They should realize that Dr. Chee and the movement for change are unstoppable. These arrests and releasing them a week later will not do any good. It will only embolden them, whereas at the same time the government suffers from the converse effects of their actions.

With the continuing decline of educated people from Singapore resultant on this government’s stupidity, you will find that almost everyone with any brains have left. Leaving behind the likes of this reporter Hasnita A Majid and recent immigrants from Communist China who neither speak nor write English. And of course we cannot forget the Peidu Mama with their infant children from Communist China who are educated in Singapore at government expense while these mothers, on condition they are good looking, work in massage parlors or other places of disrepute!

I hope I am not being too presumptuous, or too arrogant to say that I believe the large turn out was partly due to my writing in this blog urging both Singaporeans and foreigners alike to show their solidarity and protest to exercise their constitutional right of free assembly.

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

And if you like what I write, please tell your friends. This blog not only gives information, it dispels the government propaganda put out by this dictatorial regime.

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