Monday, April 21, 2008

New Law Minister needs to manage aspirations of local and foreign lawyers, according to Singapore news.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The state controlled TV media in Singapore, Channellnewsasia reports on April 20, 2008 that Lee Kuna Yew's new stooge, Mr. K Shanmugam, the Law Minister is going to solve problems facing the legal profession, among which, I suppose is its fast declining numbers.

The legal profession in Singapore now consists of a grand total of no more than 3,400 lawyers in a supposedly international city state, with a population of 4.5 million; which claims, among other nice things, international trade banking and commerce as its mainstay. A small number for a supposedly international city! Even more shocking is that this figure of 3,400 lawyers was the same 10 years ago in 1997 when the population was only 3.5 million! While the population increased by more than a million, and business increased 10 fold, the number of lawyers in fact declined on a relative basis!

There has to be something inherently wrong with the profession for lawyers to be resigning in droves with no new entrants. About a third of Singapore lawyers who are above 50 are either refusing to renew their practicing certificates and retiring or emigrating, causing the numbers to shrink even further.

Of course, you cannot expect anything much from a state controlled newspaper like Channellnewsasia, let alone telling the truth, but we all know what the reasons are.

Lawyers just as the common man, see the judiciary as corrupt and beholden to Lee Kuan Yew, Judge Belinda Ang being a recent example when she ordered Dr. Chee Soon Juan, a critic of the ruling Lee, bankrupt even without a trial. Everyone knows that if Lee Kuan Yew or his family members are parties to a suit, their victory is guaranteed. A profession which is supposed to be noble has turned into a bunch of bootlickers and trumpeters. Naturally, in these unhappy circumstances, no one with any self respect would want either to remain in the profession or join it.

In this newspaper report, 2 of Lee's sycophants, Miss Indranee Rajah, a Member of Parliament in Lee's government and naturally a high flying lawyer and another Mr. Subhas Anandan, President of Criminal Lawyers, similarly successful (what else did you expect) are both full of praise for K Shanmugam, the new minister, that one would have thought that he was the best thing that happened, after Jesus Christ!

According to Mr. Anadan, Mr. Woon, another stooge recently appointed the Attorney General is the ablest man that ever lived and if he was ever outdone, it can only be by Shanmugam!

Listening to them, it seems as if Singapore lawyers are totally incapable of anything, having to wait for a godsend like K Shanmugam to solve all their problems! What are they anyway, children?

The truth is this. Even if either of them wants to do anything about anything, they cannot. They are highly paid stooges, their job being, to run the system in a way that their comfortable positions and that of their master Lee is safeguarded at all times, ensuring laws restricting political freedoms are kept firmly in place and enforced, so that Dr. Chee, and any other political aspirant, can be repeatedly sent to prison for public speeches.

Channelnewsasia can of course say anything they want as the joke in the former Soviet Union about their news organizations, Pravda and Izvestia. They used to say that "Pravda has no truth and Izvestia has no news". Pravda means truth and Izvestia means news! Exactly the same with Singapore state controlled papers.

In the Singapore legal profession, you have 2 groups of lawyers. One, you can call the exclusive club of government connected lawyers in the large firms; members and supporters of Lee's party. Since the majority of well paying work in Singapore comes from the government, as the government controls large sectors of the country's business; this work goes to them.

They get favorable treatment in the courts as well. As a major part of judge’s duties in the island, include the destruction of Lee's opponents through court cases, naturally they look upon themselves as part of a team with Lee and lawyers who are similarly connected to him.

Regardless of whether their cases have any merit, government connected lawyers invariably win. Judges are no longer concerned about a loss to their reputation by these politically biased judgments. Since the rule of law is non existent, which is now public knowledge, they are quite prepared to blatantly continue abusing it to favor the government and their connections. Singapore has, you could say, a third world legal system, with deep seated corruption and nepotism.

The lawyers outside of Lee's connected circle hardly have any work. Many even find it difficult to pay their office rents for their cheap premises they rent in front of the Subordinate Court called Peoples Park Complex. Due to their lack of establishment connections, either because they are not prepared to prostrate themselves, or because they tried to join Lee's party but were refused; whatever the reason, they remain at a disadvantage in whatever they do.

In court, regardless of the merits, they are bound to lose facing an establishment lawyer. Judges don’t show any respect for them at all. As a result they lose their client’s cases. And with repeated loss of cases, their practice dries up. To make matters worse, they only get clients who have no money; and therefore these lawyers are paid almost nothing; since had they been rich, they would have gone to a government connected lawyer.

In this hopeless situation they find it impossible to make ends meet. So they retire, which further contributes to the decline in numbers.

So it is a catch 22 situation. A vicious cycle, where PAP (government party) patronage and approval is necessary to succeed. A shameful existence indeed, but regrettably the only way to do it in Lee's Singapore. The sort of success you see in trumpeters, who trumpet Lee Kuan Yew and his government, the sort like Miss Rajah and Mr. Anandan.

Without the introduction of the rule of law, it is impossible to improve the lot of the miserable lawyers in the cubicles of Peoples Park Complex.

And then they talk of bringing in more foreign lawyers. No doubt at all that these foreigners will get the best paying work. But in no time, they will be reading Dr. Chee's blog and this blog and realize, if they did not already, that Singapore is indeed Lee's dictatorship. One man rule. A banana republic, with no rule of law, no constitution and Lee Kaun Yew and his son strutting around like 2 prize roosters, beating up everyone that comes in their way.

And knowing this, the foreigners too will leave taking with them the bitter truth of what Singapore truly is, with a new bunch of foreigners to take their places, when they too will leave. And to ensure the foreigners and Singaporeans are made aware of the truth about Singapore, this blog will continue with its pages.

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

Your letters are welcome. We reserve the right to publish your letters. Please Email your letters to

And if you like what I write, please tell your friends. You will be helping democracy by distributing this widely. This blog not only gives information, it dispels government propaganda put out by this dictatorial regime.