Saturday, April 19, 2008

Jayakumar's misplaced praise for Singapore ISD

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the article of the state controlled Singapore newspaper the Straits Times of April 14, 2008 "Outstanding work of security agencies should not be overlooked: Jayakumar"; instead of the glowing and flowery praise that he freely bestows on the Singapore Internal Security Department (ISD), it should instead be condemned and the department shut down!

He says, the Singapore people should forgive the ISD for permitting Mas Salamat Kastari to escape from Whitely Detention Facility recently because one small blemish should not detract from the good work they have done over many years; for which, he claims, they should be given credit.

He claims the ISD has done excellent work in keeping Singapore safe by, among other remarkable achievements; foiling the attacks from the Communists, the Japanese Red Army, Tamil Tigers, the Palestine Liberation Organization and more recently the Jama Islamia! Very well said and done, but how come none of us have heard any of this?

Well the sly Jayakumar, having anticipated this justifiable question in light of the obvious facts, conveniently says " Most of the time, however, the men and women of the ISD work away from the public eye". Very convenient indeed Mr. Jayakumar, and perhaps that explains why we have never heard of the ISD's bravery and superhuman exploits against the Tamil Tigers and the PLO and the various other fearsome organizations that he mentions! Or is it because none of it happened; all of it being a figment of his vivid imagination!

But we have heard a lot about the ISD, otherwise. The state controlled newspaper the Straits Times in 1988, had several full pages of its propaganda sheets dedicated exclusively to an opposition politician, Francis Seow, who was detained there, all because he threatened to contest the 1988 national elections against Lee Kuan Yew! Far from being a threat to national security, the only threat posed by Francis Seow was to Lee Kuan Yew's position as Prime Minister in the upcoming elections. A complete misuse of the ISD, you may say. Instead of being used to defend against threats to the State, it is an instrument misused by this government to destroy Lee's political opponents.

We also read extensively, thanks to the state controlled paper which again devoted several full pages to the arrest detention and torture in 1987, by the Internal Security Department of 22 men and women who were working for social causes in Singapore, conveniently dubbed "The Marxist Conspirators" by Lee Kuan Yew.

Again these people were no threats to the state, but only to Lee's illegal hold on power. They were a group of highly educated young men and women, including lawyers and doctors and priests who felt the need to help the poor and needy, by organizing programs throughout the island in social work. Unfortunately, Lee Kuan Yew felt that these people were too good for him to handle; they may become a threat to his position as Singapore's dictator, and ordered their detention under the ISD; where they were tortured and abused for more than a year. After their eventual release, a few of them remained in Singapore and others escaped to Hong Kong and various other countries, never to return.

We have also heard of the arrest of Lim Chin Seong, a political opponent of Lee Kuan Yew who was detained, tortured and beaten by the ISD, eventually being released into exile and finally driven to his death. We have also heard another man who also had the pleasure of living in Whitley Detention Center under the auspices of Lee Kuan Yew. Second to Nelson Mandela, the legendary former South African president and freedom fighter; Mr. Chia Thye Poh was detained tortured beaten and kept in solitary confinement for 26 years, a runner up for the position of world's longest serving political prisoner! Lim Chin Seong and Chia Thye Poh were not a danger to national security. But they were threats to Lee Kuan Yew's position as Prime Minister.

These facts we know. But we do not know what was on with the PLO, the Tamil Tigers, the Japanese Army, the Indian National Army, the Symbionese Liberation Army and Maoists of Nepal and how even remotely, any of them had anything to do with the Singapore ISD, except for what Jayakumar is telling us. But oops, I forgot. You see, according to Jayakumar, it is all hush hush. You are not supposed to know!

But wait a minute! If it was all hush hush, why was pages upon pages of the Straits Times dedicated exclusively to the arrest and detention and torture of Mr. Francis Seow and the Marxist Conspirators?

I am going to say this to Jayakumar. Stop giving us this whole load of humbug. We are tired of it. Admit it. The Singapore Internal Security Department and the Whitely Detention Center are only good at arresting detaining torturing and obtaining forced confessions from Lee Kuan Yew's peaceful and law abiding political opponents; honest decent human beings. And it is done purely to maintain the dictatorial rule of Lee Kuan Yew; not to thwart any dangerous threat to state security; and never has it ever been used for that purpose.

And far from these arrests by the ISD being hush hush, each time someone is arrested, the state controlled newspaper, the Straits Times, goes into top gear, with fanfare and drum beat, to devote almost the entire paper to these arrests, not just for one day but for several days at a time.

As far as what Singaporeans know in their entire lifetime; the ISD and the Whitley Detention Center has been used for one purpose and one purpose alone, that is to keep Lee Kuan Yew and his family in power. Lee uses these ISD officers to abuse his fellow citizens by arresting and torturing them because Lee wants them out of his way. A shameful man, Lee Kuan Yew and shameful ISD officers who do his dirty work for him.

With years upon years of shame, the ISD and Whitley Detention Center where these abuses are carried out on a daily basis, now stand thoroughly discredited. Just as Evin Prison outside of Tehran in 1979 where the Shah tortured his opponents with electric shocks and all manner of brutality; just as Abu Garib detention facility in Baghdad where innocent men and women were stripped naked and made to face threatening dogs; just as the Gulag in Russian Siberia where Stalin tortured his political opponents; so too stands the dreaded Whitley Detention Center, in disgrace, in shame and in infamy.

The Whitley Detention stands as a shame to the State of Singapore and like the infamous dreaded Devil's Island in French Guiana, the sooner it is shut down the better.

And Mr. Jayakumar, could you please stop giving us anymore fairy tales.

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

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