Monday, June 23, 2008

My 29th day in Singapore. Lee: If you defame me, I will sue you!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

During the 3 day assessment of damages hearing in the High Court, Judge Belinda Ang presiding, in the Lee Kuan Yew vs Dr. Chee Soon Juan matter, Dr. Chee asks Lee Kuan Yew why did he say in his Affidavit that he (Dr. Chee) "hates" Lee Kuan Yew.

Then Dr. Chee tells Lee that truly, he does not hate him at all. He (Dr. Chee) in fact feels very sorry for him. Dr. Chee tells him that he (Lee Kuan Yew) cuts a pathetic figure. And that Dr. Chee is really sorry for him.

Dr. Chee is absolutely spot on here. We should indeed fell sorry for the poor old man. You see, since 1959, Lee has been holding on to power. During this time, he has built an infrastructure and brought some modernity to the island. He feels he has done well. He says he has the support of the people and the people respect him. Nothing can be further from the truth. His actions betray his weakness. Only a weak ruler will resort to violence, brutality and resort to the courts to cripple his opponents. A strong ruler who has the support of the people need not stoop so low. Someone who wrote to me compared him to Mugabe. He says they are not too dissimilar. Mugabe uses guns to stay in power. Lee uses the courts. The diagnosis is the same. Both are weak men who can only remain in power by intimidation, torture, bankruptcy and subjugation. Powerful men need not resort to this.

Look at Lee's record. Singapore is already in the Guinness Book not only for the largest number of defamation actions brought on by a ruler of a country, but also for its staggering amounts; no less that one half million dollars each time. Does Lee ever believe that Dr. Chee can pay any of this? Of course not. The whole idea is not the money. It is to ensure that Dr. Chee can never stand of elections again. What a shameful man Lee Kuan Yew is. He ensures Dr. Chee Soon Juan can never oppose him in elections. To achieve that shameful objective, he uses the courts to finish him off. The same with JB Jeyaretnam. Till today I cannot understand why Jeyaretnam decided to pay the totally illegal damages. Yes, illegal is a strong word but apt nevertheless. In all the series of court cases against JB Jeyaretnam, not even once did JB Jeyaretnam ever defame Lee Kuan Yew, that is of course if you use the normal definition of the word "defame" and not the totally Alice in Wonderland meaning given to it by Singapore.

Take my case. I did say in my blog that since Lee Kuan Yew had said, in no uncertain terms, during the 3-day damages hearing recently in the High Court, that if anyone defamed him in a blog, and if they were identified, he will sue them; I had therefore challenged him to sue me as he had threatened. Instead of suing me, he goes on to order his police to arrest me on some dubious charge that I insulted a judge in my blog. Is this a sign of a man in control of himself or that of a man who is so unsure of himself that he has to resort to bullying each time someone challenges him? And mind you, I am so far a thoroughly insignificant soul compared to the others he has gone after previously, such as Dow Jones, Far Eastern Economic Review, Asian Wall Street, JB Jeyaretnam and Dr. Chee. All these people are giants compared to me in the scope of things. Why then pick on me?

The answer cannot be clearer than it ever was. Lee can only remain in power through instilling fear in his citizenry. And one way to do it is to go after anyone who criticizes, hoping that that others would be sufficiently scared off by news of what has happened to me.

But my answer to Lee is this. It is not going to work. You have done this once too often. And Singapore's young are bolder than what you think. This action against me is already turning out to be counter productive. Just after my case, I have heard that even more are packing off for Australia and elsewhere. This is something that Lee cannot stop. His mistake was making English the lingua franca. With English Singaporeans can leave anytime and be accepted around the English speaking world. The Chinese imports from mainland China is not a replacement. They neither have English nor the capability.

Second, more and more young people are swelling the ranks of the SDP. They are coming forward. Instead of being intimidated, they are turning out to be lions. Not just any lion but African lions. The really brave type.

I understand that Lee Kuan Yew has been traveling to places such as Sydney with hat in hand, begging Singaporeans to come back. They are not coming back. And one more reason for them not to come back is the case Singapore Public Prosecutor vs. Gopalan Nair for writing a blog!

Gopalan Nair


Anonymous said...

I believe if all Singaporeans are given a passport to live in any country of their choosing, at least 3 millions of the people would be gone! I remember Lee Jr. asking for competent, younger generation leaders to volunteer themselves and lead the nation. I remember so vividly that he said, "Don't wait for the Government to invite you to tea". I wouldn't want to drink tea with this type of government at any given day. They are not looking for competent leaders. Rather, they are looking for puppets, those that they can maipulate.

Anonymous said...

Mr Nair,

Can you kindly speak your viewpoints in your next blog entry about the way our government treat Singaporeans in comparison with "foreign talents"



Anonymous said...

sorry to repost,
but there is this question.

What the h*ll is lee doing with all the money he gained from all the defamation suits?


Anonymous said...

your condescending comment, which smacks of a snobbishness and misguided sense of superiority, about the "Chinese imports ... neither [having] English nor the capability" is totally reflective of a sadly narrow perspective about the Chinese, and the immigrants we are attracting to Singapore.

If you understand the dynamics behind the whole purpose of having the Chinese imports, you will understand why this is a path Singapore must embark on. Of course, you will point to the fact that a substantial number of them view Singapore as a "stepping stone" to the Ivy League (the attainment of which runs contrary to your claim that they have neither the English or capability). But, the alternative of shutting them out means that they will simply go to Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan or Australia for their education and Singapore losing out on a potential goodwill-generating source.

Also, do remember that it was the very policy you are decrying (English as lingua franca) which brought us here. Imagine a Singapore in the 1960s and 70s without English as our lingua franca. You and I wont even be here debating in this manner. And obviously, you wont even have the ability to be a "quitter" and leave Singapore for the US of A.

I understand you are due for trial and all, but please do not resort to sweeping and seemingly "enlightening" claims or complaints which merely showcase your ignorance or wishful rejection of historical contexts and constraints.

However, I do appreciate your said realization that you are indeed a "thoroughly insignificant soul" in the grand scheme of things. You, unlike Chee who stayed on (despite all his political antics, still manage to show that he is dead serious about what he believes in and work hard at it), are truly the embodiment of a insincere pseudo politician, who once faced with failure in the elections, left Singapore.

What national convictions and patriotism, I seem to see from your actions.

And your claim that this whole saga has been counter productive is really an exaggerated sense of self-importance. Check the ground - the reality is the awareness and concern about your case is really few and far between. Being surrounded and thus aware of the opposition's inches toward success serves to reinforce your belief that you guys are making great headway. That is simply premature and presumptuous.

Having said all that, I nonetheless hope you enjoy your stay in Singapore and wish you all the best in the court trial on July 14th. You have contributed, despite your insignificance, to the political circus of the SDP and the opposition pretty substantially, I have to admit. For that, I extend my appreciation and warmest regards.

Anonymous said...

Dear Gopalan,

One of the things I learnt, living in Australia is that we must always fight for our human rights, freedom of speech/expression and our social justice.

We called this "Keeping the bastard honest"

This fight is never over, every generation of Australians have to decide for themselves whether to continue the fight or to lose their rights.

There is nothing wrong which what you did. I wish Singaporeans know that you are trying to do for them.

I am aure Americans are proud of you to stand up for what they believe in, and what we humans need.

Anonymous said...

I am still awaiting a reply.


Anonymous said...

John, a majority of the mainland Chinese imports we are getting, are not like those of the previous generations - our "forefathers". All indications are that these imports are transitory and not in for the long haul. Perhaps shaped by the series of tragic societal & political upheavals in modern China before opening up in the mid-80s, many mainlanders today seem to be hedonistic, mercenary and possessing little loyalty beyond their next better paying masters. Money idolatry has all but consumed them at the expense of their culture and traditional values.

At the moment, they have appeared little more than freeloading economic parasites getting ahead by playing up to the misguidedly romantic "common ancestral backgrounds" fantasies harboured by many foreign (and wealthier) Chinese communities. Frankly speaking, there is zero evidence that these people will become a potential goodwill-generating source.

Anonymous said...

To ex-taxidriver:

To add to what you said: many of the Chinese imports also tell me that Singapore is a worse communist country than their own.

Anonymous said...

yeah john. you're just another narrow-minded PAP stooge. how's life in the internet task force?