Saturday, December 20, 2008

Singapore's lawyers

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore's lawyers dress in their traditional black suits pulling formal leather briefcases looking all serious and hurrying in and out of Singapore courtrooms. You cannot be faulted if you believed that they were real lawyers. Sadly, except for their outward appearance, they are far from lawyers in the real sense. Truly, they are not in a position to further the interests of their client one bit, except with the agreement of Lee Kuan Yew and his complaint judges. They are helpless in furthering the law. They can go through the motions, but truly, the law is Lee unto himself, through the medium of his willing judge.

Any red blooded lawyer in this situation would have protested to high Heaven and demanded that the law should rule, not Lee Kuan Yew. But not in Singapore. In Singapore, the lawyers themselves are terrified of him and therefore their main purpose is to stay out of prison and earn a living, because to demand that the law be upheld would mean ruination in every sense of the word.

I had to remain in Singapore for 6 months, 2 of which I spent in prison for writing an article critical of one of his judges. During the rest of the time, I spent a great deal of time in court defending myself, where I met many lawyers going about their work.

One of the lawyers I met, whom I knew from the days I practiced in Singapore was G. Raman. The meeting with him was short. I asked him whether he was aware of the abuse of the legal system by Lee Kuan Yew and what was he doing about it. He answered me with a question. He asked me whether I wished that he should lose his house, meaning of course that if he challenged Lee Kuan Yew, he would be sued and would have to sell his house to pay him. And then he promptly left, wearing his black suit and tie and pulling a large bag with many files in it, looking very intelligent and wise.

Another lawyer I spoke to in court was Mangalam Amaladass. To the same question, he had nothing to say, and after that meeting he never spoke to me again when I met him.

If there is one profession that should be ashamed of themselves, it is the lawyers. It is they who have intimate knowledge of the law, the importance of the Constitution, and the need to uphold it. It is upon their shoulders that lie this burden by the very fact they are lawyers. And it is very sad to see their complete abdication of their duty to their calling.

Dr. Chee Soon Juan has to fight his cases himself because no Singapore lawyer is prepared to represent him. Chia Ti Lick, solicitor, is one lawyer who is prepared to do it, and we give him credit for it. But understandably he too is constrained from going the full extent of calling a rat a rat. He has to moderate his arguments, making sure that it will not invite the wrath of Lee Kuan Yew which would be the end of his career. So in effect, sadly, someone who is being persecuted by Lee Kuan Yew in his courts might feel it best to argue his own case, since there is no one; not a single lawyer who is prepared to say it as it should, come what may, because that is what the duty of a lawyer really is.

I understand the legal profession in Singapore is shrinking, which shows that many lawyers are unwilling to continue with this charade. Many are emigrating. New entrants to the profession are declining. We must applaud those who take this route. But it is those who stay behind and continue practicing without protest who must think of what they are doing. They must examine their conscience. Pretending to be lawyers, going around dressed in black suits and pulling bulky files in and out of courtrooms is not enough.

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

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Anonymous said...

M Amaladass passed away via heart-attack on 19 Dec in JB whilst golfing.
I agree with u 100%. I have no respect whatsoever with most lawyers here esp the Judiciary. They are all in it for the money and personal State power provided by LKY. Shameless and shameful!

Anonymous said...

Hi Gopalan

As an ordinary Singaporean I find your account of the two lawyers rather distasteful as they have no right of reply.Their political affliation is their own business and you have no right to lambast them.

Anonymous said...

Dude, not cool that u name other lawyers.

Anonymous said...

What you and the SDP are doing on your blog and website respectively by naming names is definitely the way to go in my opinion. These frauds who claim a professional status do need to be exposed by naming and shaming them to their friends, families, colleagues, and the general public.

However this shaming is not of the type practised by that thug Lee Kuan Yew, who exploits a cultural weakness (of not losing face) in the population to advance his political ambition of total domination.

Instead, this shaming has its basis in the exercise of accountability that exists in true democracies, particularly in the discharge of public duties.

You previously wrote that the DPP's witnesses were loathe to account to the public by revealing their proper names in our supposed courts of law. That would be an example of the strong tendency in the government towards non-accountability.

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous of sunday 0508am. What do you mean thay have no right of reply. I have posted your comment haven't I? They are welcome to respond. Perhaps your comment was in error.

Gopalan Nair

Gopalan Nair said...

I am sorry to hear, Amaladass passed away.

Gopalan Nair

Anonymous said...

Please come back to Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Nair,

You may feel vindicated to learn of the following news: fears of Chinese espionage - not unfounded given the case of the Chinese defector in Australia who blew the whistle a few years ago, as well as China's long track record of spying - have resulted in the removal of a 'former' Chinese national in Canada from her sensitive position.

Yet again!

You may read the story here:

If the MICA employees wish to allege racism against PRCs by you (when you are yourself critiquing the racism by the Singapore government), they need look no further than this article for documentary evidence for what you were writing about then.

Yet, the incident in this article represents just the tip of the iceberg.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right to name the names. It's absurd that this is even a question. The lawyers know exactly what is going on. LKY is what VP Cheney aspired to be. Luckily for the US, the election system continues to work. Too bad for S'pore, which is no different than the other nepotistic regimes in the region. Thank God it's only a few million folks...

Anonymous said...

I do not find anything wrong for Mr Nair to expose the two laywers as long as his account was truthful.

The two lawyers are also officers of the court and they have pledged to be truthful and to pursue and defend justice. If they chose to behave in an opposite way, they should and must be exposed.

Gopalan Nair said...


It is Lee, not Yew. Chinese last names come first.If you think I have not achieved anything, surely, you are entitled to it. Others might think otherwise. And if think Singapore will remain the same, that again is a view you are entitled to have. Many others may think otherwise.

As to my not going back to Singapore, you are right. I was deported. And even if they grant me permission to go back, I will not since I am already in contempt of their courts since my return to US, making me liable to arrest and imprisonment if I set foot there.

This blog will continue. And there will be other forms of resistence from me from here against that dictatorship.

If you think Singapore is going on fine and my actions do not matter, why then are you criticizing what I do. Surley it should not matter in the least.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gopalan,

I've just finished reading a novel by Ben Elton entitled "Blind Faith". The book reminds me a lot about my fellow Singaporeans who believe that the sun shines out of Lee Kuan Yew's backside, just because he says so. Need I say more?

As for the lily-livered lawyers, I'm not at all surprised. Surely you know them better than I do. Perhaps they also secretly oppose the totalitarian rule of LKY, but dare not speak out. Then again, what good is a lawyer who doesn't pursue justice, eh?

To borrow a word from Elton's novel, we the citizens of Singapore must "EVOLVE" and bring this tyrannical Lee dynasty down.

Anonymous said...


A nice write-up and i am definitely a fan of your opinion and philosophy when it is in regard to singapore political situation and etc.

Keep it up! X D, " wonder if ur still a singaporean , would u be arrest for the such write-up? "

Gopalan Nair said...


They can'd do anything to me legally while I am in US. They can of course try something violent but other than that, nothing. The same applies even if I was Singaporean.


Anonymous said...

God bless and protect you Mr Gopalan Nair.

For standing up to an evil system and to some of the lowliest people on the planet, the shameful Lee Kuan Yew family.

If only most Singaporeans had the courage to stand up to these people.
What would they do? Sue them all?

You are a hero to many of those lacking courage in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

God bless and protect you Mr Gopalan Nair. For standing up to an evil system and some of the lowliest people on the planet, the Lee Kuan Yew family.

If only most Singaporean had the courage that you have. What would the tyrant do? Sue them all?

You're a hero to many Singaporean who are lacking courage.