Monday, May 19, 2008

Singapore. The ultimate police state.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Below the surface of the glass towers, the skyscrapers, the Parliament, the elections and the speeches upon speeches by government officials swearing under oath that Singapore is a parliamentary democracy; below the outward trappings of democracy; truly it is the ultimate police state. There is no law, there is no justice, and men and women live each moment at the pleasure of Messrs Lee Kuan Yew and his son. This is indeed the bitter truth.

You have seen the police totally ignoring the Constitution of Singapore by arresting and imprisoning peaceful protesters, peaceful public speakers, and confiscating films which are in no way objectionable except that it is critical of Lee and son. The Constitution allows criticism under the free speech clause. Yet all these rights are blatantly ignored with the police doing anything they want.

After being arrested and charged it would have been good if at least the courts can protect you. Alas, that protection too is absent. In fact, not too recently when peaceful protesters challenged the disruption of their perfectly legal protest in court, the Judge VK Rajah made the astonishing statement that Singaporeans have no right to protest as this will undermine the respectability of government institutions!

Singapore has, just as other countries the Criminal Procedure Code that sets out the practice and procedure for the police to follow. Warrants of arrests are needed for non seizable offenses and searches and seizures of private property generally requires a warrant signed by a judge. Warrantless arrests and seizures require the finding by the police of probable cause before they can do it. But to use a local colloquial phrase " The police anyhow suka suka catch anybody they want. So the police belong to your father izzit?"

Today the police in Singapore can stop anyone anytime, take them in without rime or reason, by merely saying they suspect an offence, without more.

I have been watching the police arresting SDP members and activists whenever they like, confiscating their property and taking them to jail whenever they like without any lawful cause. And what I am even more upset about is the willingness of Dr. Chee and his supporters to merely submit to authority, knowing that these laws are clearly unjust on its face.

If Lee Kuan Yew is intent on abusing the law for political ends, he can do whatever he wants. But Dr. Chee and his friends, instead of meekly complying with these injustices, should put their foot down and refuse to budge. If arrested refuse to go. Lie down. No violence but lie down. Let them have to pull you away. Yesterday, the police and MDA illegally disrupted a private screening of an educational film and demanded it, to which the SDP complied and handed it to them. Why? Since you know the demand for the DVD is unjust why cooperate with the police? Why not refuse to give it?

Ms. Padmamuthu, the Indian woman who appears in the videos below, an officer of the MDA claimed that she was complying with the law when she illegally confiscated the film from the SDP at their private showing yesterday. Her full image and actions and words are caught on video for all to see. My message to such officers is this. There are laws and unjust laws. Padmamuthu herself knows that her actions were clearly illegal in spite of the law which requires all films to be licenced. She and everyone else knows that the law is a political law intended for the punishment of political dissidents. To her I will say, please do not prostitute yourself by this injustice. Have some shame. Stop selling yourself wholesale to Lee Kuan Yew and his son.

And the same message goes to all other civil servants and police officers. Today you are unable to hide. Once you abuse your position to please your political superiors, the next minute you will be on the Internet, on Youtube and the world will watch your face and the shameful deeds that belong to it. So watch out! Just as the world had seen how disgusting the actions of Padmamuthu was on the day she abused her position in confiscating the DVD from democracy activists.

This is what I will say to this officer Ms. Padmamuthu of the MDA. Regardless of how long you remain in Singapore or in the Civil Service, one thing is certain. Your reputation has turned permanently into excrement. Padmamuthu should ask herself whether it has been worth it?

Please see her shamful actions for yourself in the videos below. I for one will never forget he face. Take a good look at her face.

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

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