Sunday, May 4, 2008

A letter from Singaporean Brendan Woon, May 04, 2008

Dear Gopalan,

I have been reading your "Singapore Dissident" blog for the past month and I must say that I have thoroughly enjoyed your articles.

The Singapore Government withholds alot of information from Singaporeans through its censorship of the mainstream media. As such, it is very important that a vibrant and credible "alternative media" is established, in the form of blogs and websites, to provide Singaporeans with information, analyses and opinions presenting the other side of the story. As a former Opposition politician, you have an element of added credibility when making the transition to becoming an internet activist and citizen journalist. I hope you will continue posting your articles, and I sincerely hope that your readership will increase steadily over the next few months.

I would be very interested to hear you share more about your personal political experience campaigning alongside JB Jeyaretnam and Francis Seow in the late 80s and early 90s. Many young Singaporeans have no recollection of the Francis Seow case, and only know JB Jeyaretnam as a bankrupt old man peddling his books along Orchard Road. Perhaps you could enlighten them by sharing with us some anecdotes involving these two very well-known and respected Oppositionists from back in their heyday.

Lastly, I would just like to share a joke with you today. It is one that I think you will enjoy.

Best wishes to you and your family. I look forward to reading more of your articles in the coming weeks.

Regards,Brendan Woon
(A disenfranchised former civil servant, now working in financial services)

During a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, the Secretary-General asks the delegates a question."What is your opinion on the current food shortage in the Third World?"

The delegate from Haiti replies, "Sir, what is food?"
The delegate from Sweden replies, "Sir, what is a shortage?"
The delegate from the United States replies, "Sir, what is the Third World?"
And the delegate from Singapore earnestly replies, "Sir, what is an opinion?"

My reply to Brendan Woon

Hello Brendan,

Thanks very much for the nice things you said. It is much appreciated. Today the Internet is a media that has suddenly become a very helpful tool in propogating the oppositon cause, especially in Singapore where the state controlled press is determined to keep the oppositon away from the people. Were it not for the Internet, the people would not have known all the work the opposition is doing plus the fact that growing numbers are breaking away from their shrouds of fear and demanding what they want. It is a pleasureable sight to see.

By the way, when I mean opposition, I mean the Singaproe Democratic Party and Dr. Chee and Company.

Thanks to you help and the growing numbers of readers of blogs such as the Singapore Democrat and this blog, coupled with the increasing level of education of readers such as yourself and others, this government is finding it increasing difficult to justify their authoritarian rule.

Today, every government department, every government linked organization, all the Ministers and their secretaries, almost everyone that matters, is reading this blog. It shows it is being taken very seriously.

Thanks again for all the help. It is not so much me that is benefitting from the readership. You and countless others are furthering the cause of a more liberal and democratic way of life for Singaporeans.

Thanks Again,
Gopalan Nair
May 04, 2008