Thursday, July 29, 2010

Singapore. Shadrake should seize the moment. Now is the time.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Bloomberg news agency just now reports that Alan Shadrake, the international British author and investigative journalist arrested in Singapore for publishing his book "Once a jolly hangman" in which there were references of Singapore's selective justice in capital cases, has had his case in court adjourned for his lawyer to prepare his defense.

Bloomberg also reports that he was given until July 29, 2010 to unconditionally apologize, to use their words, which will presumably mean a lesser punishment. So far, it appears that he has not apologized, unconditionally or otherwise.

Not being privy to Shadrake's present personal circumstances in Singapore, I do not know whether it would be possible for him to defy the Singapore government on this. He is of course away from home, Britain, and the prospect of an extended stay in Singapore might be difficult for anyone, not to mention the expense and disruption occasioned by it.

But if it is at all possible, I hope Shadrake refuses to apologize, and disputes every single one of these baseless charges all the way, to assert that inalienable right of man to free speech, which this dictatorial government shamelessly tries to deny.

Shadrake is now really in an admirable position. Once again, as many others had done before such as JB Jeyaretnam, and Dr. Chee Soon Juan; he in a position, by this politically motivated trial, to expose to the whole world, with all eyes watching, how repressive this Lee Kuan Yew government is, and the truism that the more you try to stifle man's free spirit, the more he will assert it.

In this politically motivated contempt of court case, these bullies should be made to prove their case in open court, every bit of it, as to why they claim the book is in contempt of their judiciary, with Shadrake disproving every bit of it, while the world watches.

I can imagine the spectacle of these Lee Kuan Yew minions brought to their knees helpless against the truth. Yes, it will not only make my day, but that of millions all over the world who yearn to see the back of this regime that governs by abusing the law and persecuting political opponents.

Shadrake should take his time with these proceedings, drag it on for days and days, while the international press reports each and every detail, day in and day out, of argument and counter argument. The more this case drags, even more of the world would see aghast how disgusting this Lee Kuan Yew government really is.

If anyone had any doubts whether Singapore was in fact another Burma or North Korea, Shadrake would have been able to put it to rest. And in doing so, Shadrake, who is not even Singaporean would be doing the cause of a free Singapore proud, much more than any other normal Singaporean could have done.

Of course, such defiance would mean this these petty thugs who call themselves lawyers and judges would try to punish Shadrake even more severely than otherwise. But he should have no worry on that score. The world, as well as his own country Britain can clearly see that this case against Shadrake is totally without basis in law or fact. In this day and age, you simply do not do such things.

This injustice in this case cries out sky high, without even going into details, it is is one classic case of the abuse of law by a corrupt legal system to silence criticism. Simple as that.

No matter what Shadrake does now, no matter how defiant he becomes, these corrupt Singapore judges who are just doing this under orders of Lee Kuan Yew simply cannot do much. Remember, he is not Singaporean; you have to take Britain into account as he is British.

With this trial, Shadrake is in a win win position. He has got these Singapore thugs who call themselves lawyers by the neck. They simply cannot do much against him in this case. Singapore has wider considerations to reckon with, such as it's already badly tattered international image which is about to take another beating.

He should take this golden opportunity that he has now, go all the way, and tell these thugs exactly what they are.

And after this, Shadrake will go home, with the eternal honor of having stood up to these Singapore bully boys and in the process the knowledge that he has done a great service to the people of Singapore and to the cause of freedom.

Writing the book, the name of Alan Shadrake is already etched in the history of Singapore as one who stood up for rights of the ordinary man. With this trial, he would be giving this bullying government that rules by fear, a clean knock out.

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.

1 comment:

mycroft said...

If there's anything the British public love it is an underdog and Alan Shadrake vs The Lee Regime has all the necessary ingredients to get people really angry. A 75-year old cancer survivor who is being unmercifully bullied for merely writing a book exposing the sheer barbarity of Lee's Law and which details (with impeccable references) the nation's callous but selective death penalties depending on how politically connected you are, will surely arouse the average Brit's ire.

Two things matter: [1] the state of Shadrake's health and [2] how well Shadrake's supporters manage the PR fallout. You can bet your last dollar that the police state will try to break his health to force him to concede. They're already doing it with their interminable interrogation sessions minus legal witnesses and crude physical pressure like forcing an elderly man to sleep without bedding on a concrete lockup floor. It's no wonder his lawyer said Shadrake burst into tears recounting his experience.

Shadrake's people need to be more pro-active in the UK to publicise the plight of a fellow citizen wronged. Most Brits do not know about the injustice being done because there has been disappointingly little effort to get it into the news the way the Aussies did when their young man was handed the death sentence. They need to solicit donations for a Shadrake defence fund, engage a local solicitor if possible, petition their MPs to raise questions in the House and most of all get journalists of the popular press to take up the fight. Once the tabloids and 'red tops' like the Sun, Mirror and Daily Mail take up the cudgels on Shadrake's behalf, it then becomes impossible for the UK government to brush aside public pressure for a robust response.

The difficulty in getting hold of Once A Jolly Hangman is another issue that needs to be tackled urgently. The marketing of the book is truly abysmal. Now that the publicity is hotting up, why isn't it available online at Amazon or Borders or any of the high street big names like Smiths in the UK and Barnes & Noble in the US? That is where it will make a difference, not in Malaysia where the book is published.

Like you, I pray that Alan Shadrake will stand firm to the bitter end. This is election year in Singapore and his case could make the timid Singaporean voter sit up and take notice of what is being done in their name. How shameful that we should have to depend upon a foreigner to make the sacrifice for our freedom.