Monday, December 29, 2008

In tribute to fellow blogger Nay Phone Latt

Readers of this blog who are unfamiliar with the goings on in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore, may think reading the comments that there are many who think Singapore is a democracy based on the rule of law. The reader is warned that they may be Singapore government employees whose job is to discredit those who criticize Lee Kuan Yew's authoritarian rule. Please use your discretion as to how much weight you will give these comments.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Nay Phone Latt a 28 year old young Burmese man, was sentenced recently to 20 years in jail in Burma, for writing a blog criticizing the Burmese Military junta. This is an unjust outrageous punishment, the severest of all, for a blogger. I was speaking to my Burmese client who tells me that in fact, being aware of the dangers in criticizing this cruel military junta, he did not directly criticize the junta in his blog. What he did was this. If you read the first word of each line of his blog post on the left vertically from top to bottom, it would be something like this" Than Swe is crazy for power". His blog is in the Burmese vernacular. The blog itself was not critical of the Burmese junta at all. The title of it went something like " The city I have dropped" referring to the change of the capital of Burma from Rangoon to Naypwidaw recently.

You can read about this on Reporters Without Borders This is a moment that everyone, not just in Singapore but around the world should speak out against the injustice against this young man.

Everyone should post his story in their blogs and cry out to high Heaven against this damned injustice. Write to all Burmese Embassies and their government expressing your disgust demanding that the sentence be reversed.

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.


Anonymous said...

screw LKY

Anonymous said...

I see the MICA chinks are still at it, huh?

Anonymous said...

Gopalan Nair,

Me, Singaporean here in Oxford University. Have come to do 2 years work and will be going back to Singapore.

I contribute to a blog called Singapore Patriot. The blogger there provides a balanced view of Singapore and its government and provides constructive criticisms.

The Biomedical Research Council in Singapore is doing high internal quality research work. See its team below. It can't be bad living and working in Sinagapore. Only the weak and undistinguished leave Singapore.



Chairman, BMRC Board

Prof Sir David Lane
Chairman, Biomedical Research Council (BMRC)
Chief Executive Officer, Experimental Therapeutics Centre
Chief Scientist, Cancer Research UK

Deputy Chairman
Prof Edward Holmes
Deputy Chairman, Translational and Clinical Sciences Group (BMRC)
Executive Chairman, National Medical Research Council

Prof Sir George Radda
Deputy Chairman, Biomedical Sciences and Technology Group (BMRC)
Chairman, Singapore Bioimaging Consortium
Head of Department, Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics,
University of Oxford.

Nobel Laureate Dr Sydney Brenner
Scientific Advisor to A*STAR Chairman
Distinguished Professor, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, USA (2000-)
Co-Chairman, BMS IAC (2000-2004)
2002 Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
President and Director of Science, Molecular Sciences Institute in Berkeley, CA, USA (1996-2001)
Director, MRC Lab of Molecular Biology (1979-1986) and MRC Molecular Genetics Unit (1986-1991), UK

Anonymous said...

Hi Nair,I'm a S'porean who has lived in Europe for 16 years. I'm now in S'pore and I know what you're talking about. Yes, S'pore may be a safe country and everything is almost near perfect, BUT there seems to be something vital missing here, something which I've always enjoyed in Europe....I can't tell what it is exactly, what the heck could it be?

Anonymous said...

mr. nair,

i do not think of you as a credible source of change (excuse me for the obamaesque expression), nor will i do so for the foreseeable future, but i will stand in solidarity with you to denounce the racist abuse that is strewn against you in the comments page.

if there is anything you should speak out against, i think you should begin with this issue.

Anonymous said...

To Singaporean:

I disagree.

You may be a Singaporean, a student at Oxford and want to return to Singapore after 2 years. But what is it that you are trying to imply by saying so?

On the contrary I would say that only the weak and the undistinguished continue living in Singapore as they are willing to accept an existence imposed upon them even on matters such as having children.

In fact I would even say that any person who has ventured abroad for a period of time but still decides to return to Singapore just does not have the ability, the tenacity, the motivation or the X factor in him to be able to survive on his own in a foreign land. I have come across uneducated Chinese, Indians and men and women of many other races who arrived almost penniless in their adopted country but are now millionaires many times over. Similarly I know of many professionals who have made a name for themsleves in their adopted country. However, I would hasten to add that success is not measured by accumulation of material wealth alone.

I salute the brave, the men of steel and the strong willed who have throughout human history ventured out of the "comfort zone" afforded by the country of their birth.

These people and the Singaporeans who have left the shores of Singapore are truly the brave and the distinguished.

Anonymous said...


Read properly, what I wrote. I am not a student, but a scientist in BMRC working in Oxford on a sabbatical. BMRC has excellent links with all institutions of international fame-Oxford, Cambridge, MIT.. Look at the galaxy of people that BMRC has attracted. I posted their names and responsibilities to highlight that indeed the great find Singapore attractive and a good place to work.

I have no issues with people who leave the shores of any country. But Singapore's good, able, distinguished patriotic citizens are still working in Singapore.I come across many smart Singapore students, most of them on scholarships studying here in Oxford and Cambridge. They will return to join the A*STAR. Not everything is negative in Singapore. Those who cannot stay will go and that is fact of life.

About having children. Nothing wrong in giving incentives to couples to have children to increase the native stock of the country to a critical mass. Japan does it. Many countries in the world do it.

Anonymous said...

To Singaporean:

Of course there is nothing wrong about giving incentives to have children but "enticing" the uneducated or the poor to have less children as their issue will also be "illiterates " goes beyond logical reasoning. And this even after having this theory proven wrong right in their face. Surely this makes Singapore an attractive and a good place to work for these poor Singaporeans.

Pray tell me what is the purpose of listing names of those "great" men and women who if they are granted more favourable terms elsewhere will just pack their bags and leave good old Singapore without a second thought just as they quit their motherland.

Also by listing their names you have done yourself gross injustice because it just runs counter to what you have implied in your comments-loyalty to one's country of birth.

And I just do not care whether you are a scientist or the Prime Minister himself.

Humility makes the man. One can be Prime Minister today and a pauper tommorrow.

Anonymous said...

Wah lau, there seems to be a conspiracy by the Singapore government aka PAP to tarnish your blog and reputation, man!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 0805:

"Pray tell me what is the purpose of listing names of those "great" men and women who if they are granted more favourable terms elsewhere will just pack their bags and leave good old Singapore without a second thought just as they quit their motherland"

These scientists did not leave their countries but have taken up assignment in Singapore for a period. The names include an American Nobel Prize winner. They are not stupid, they will work and train younger scientists.

I think you are in need of reeducation. Singapore will provide you.

Anonymous said...

To Singaporean:
Stop being ridiculous and do not tailor your arguments as you go along.Is this how your Singapore rebut arguments?
Singapore a great place to work and now "on assignment" to train younger scientists. Try harder.
I see A*Star is now all about training young scientists.
By the way I am a primary six failure.
But you have taken your own advice well and lept on an airplane for an education in London and not in Singapore.
Now I know what A**Star is all about.

Anonymous said...

The fact that you are a primary six failure is obvious as you have no capacity to understand what I am saying. You wouldn't understand what A* STAR is either. Get a bit of education, a proper education. It is guys like you that Singapore doesn't need. But who would want you? Burma?

Anonymous said...

To Singaporean:

The truth is getting to hurt does it not.

The fact that you are unable to rebut the points raised by a primary six failure shows the worth of your piece of paper and the quality of your own certification as a "scientist" and of your employer A*Star.

No wonder you have to continue studying even at such an advanced age when you should instead be earning a proper living.

Common stop relying on handouts from Singapore taxpayers for your upkeep and learn to earn some serious money the proper way.

Owwww still having to learn from a Nobel Prize winner. When will you guys ever learn. Never I presume.

Happy Man said...

I am so delighted to hear that Nay Phone Latt was just released from Burma Prison.
Thanks for supporting our struggle.