Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Alan Shadrake's Judge, Loh Sze On Quentin's biggest folly

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Alan Shadrake, the British author who despite universal protests was jailed for 6 weeks for writing a book about Singapore recently by the rookie, yet 60 year old judge Loh Sze On, Quentin, is going to be fine, after his short interment; it is this judge who is going to regret that mistake all his life.

Judge Loh Sze on, Quentin, who is already 60 years old, who had earlier spent an entire career in an inconsequential law practice, should know that his appointment to the judiciary by Lee Kuan Yew, being a staunch and lifelong supporter of Lee's party the PAP, was at best an afterthought on Lee's part and at the worst clear evidence that he was chosen simply because there was no one else even marginally suitable.

Under Singapore's constitution, judge's have to retire at 65 unless their term is extended. In most cases, they are appointed at a much younger age, even in their 30s so as to give them enough experience in judgeship. If Lee Kuan Yew waited until this man is 60 before making him one, it has to mean only one thing, he hardly qualifies; his appointment was simply because of his loyalty to Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's dictator. And we all know that Lee uses his judges as a political tool to destroy his opponents.

On his part, we are not surprised that a man like this who has spent an entire life sucking up to Lee's dictatorship, immediately accepted the position. But anyone else with his head in the right place, would have not accepted the position in today's Singapore.

The PAP's political domination in the island is today not only uncertain, it is in fact hanging in the balance with a strong probability that it will collapse sooner than we think. Some months ago, I had written a hoax faux blog post in this blog, claiming that Lee Kuan Yew, the Singapore strongman had a massive heart attack and was hospitalized. My purpose was to prove that dictatorships crumble and fall with the demise of the dictator in whose hands all power lies. True to my prediction, indeed the island was suddenly thrown into a state of total uncertainly when the news of it spread. In fact if this eventuality actually happened, there is no doubt going to be a mass exodus of all Lee Kuan Yew cronies who would be held to account for their actions.

Lee Kuan Yew today is 88 years old and looking at him, it is anyone guess whether it is today or tomorrow when he kicks the bucket. We than have his son, his wife already having passed away lately, remaining who himself is a surviving cancer patient. In his case too we don't know whether the fateful day will be today or tomorrow.

Without the Lee family this entire government has its foundations shaking. Without the family, all the other bootlickers such as Vivian Balakrishnan and Teo Chee Hean would be of no consequence. And even if they thought for one minute if they could stay in power by deploying Gurkha troops, such is a fantasy which has been disproved throughout history, as force never accomplished anything.

So among the culprits who are going to be held to account by the newly empowered Singaporeans, would include men such as this man the 60 year old Loh Sze On, Quentin, who has just recently misused his judicial office to punish Alan Shadrake. There can be no doubt of his guilt here. The Constitution of Singapore clearly guarantees free speech and expression and Alan Shadrake's action in writing the book in which he criticizes the Singapore judiciary is well supported by evidence. In fact we have had protests from the British government and international organizations all over the world urging Loh Sze On, Quentin not to do what he had threatened to do, but yet he goes ahead in his blind desire to please his master Lee Kuan Yew and jails Shadrake.

Anyone with open eyes would not only have refused a judgeship in the present circumstances of the likelihood of the Lee government collapsing any moment, noone would have accepted a case such as this, a classic hot potato, whose ramifications are likely to haunt him the rest of his life.

No sane human would want to be in this man Loh Sze On, Quentin's shoes today with a strong possibility of reprisals and vengeance from a newly empowered and free Singapore. It is like Marie Antoinette publicly eating cake before a starving French peasantry who are just about to storm the Bastille.

Very bad idea indeed. Either greed got the better of him and he forgot that he lives in present day Singapore island or he has not much in his head, which proves my point why his master Lee Kuan Yew waited until he became 60 to make him a judge. I am sure there is no one out there who would want to be in his shoes now.

Good Luck.

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...

Francois-Marie Arouet (1694-1778)was believed to have said that "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to death your right to say it." That in essence is freedom of speeech and of expression in a free and democratic society.

The safeguarding of the rights of free speech and press to the end that men may speak as they think on matters vital to them and that falsehoods may be exposed through the processes of education and discussion is essential to free government (Thornbill vs.
Alabama, 310 U.S.88). The underllying safeguard of the constitutional provision for freedom of the press or speech is "that opinion is free and conduct alone is amendable to the law." (Mutual Film Corp. vs. Industrial Corn., 236 U.S 230).

One of the purpose of the freedom of speech and press is to empower every citizen at any time to bring the government and all persons in authority to the bar of public opinion by any just criticism upon their conduct in the exercise of their authority conferred upon them by the people.

Elsewhere in this forum I have cited but for the sake of ease of reference I repeat the beautiful and classical words of Mr Justice Malcolm in U.S. vs.Bustos (37 Phil. 731)as follows:

"Complete liberty to comment on the conduct of public men is a scalpel in the case of free speech. The sharp incision of its probe relieves the abscesses of occialdom. Men in public life may suffer under a hostile and unjust accusation, the wound can be assuaged with a balm of a clear conscience."

Quentin Loh if his conscience was clear ought to have abstained from imposing the custodial sentence and instead given Shadrake a reprimand amd spell out the expectations of the Lee junta that appointed him and apologise to Shadrake for the operating restraints imposed upon him with all honesty and truth conscience. His wounds will be assuaged by a balm of a clear conscience in the result.

This is what the people have expected him to have done.

As an Old Rafflesian like him(Quentin Loh) I am appalled by his inimical sentence and he ought to be disbarred.

Alan Shadrake should raise his stakes to the Court of Appeal.

Anonymous said...

Who are the people left to do Lee bidding? See this chap's history taken from SBF.

After reading Shanmugam's explanation I am really upset as he is obviously treating us like idiots. Well here is tit for tat.

This is the type of caliber that we have in govt and a cabinet minister at that. This prick was married to the daughter of an SC. While working in Allen and Gledhill, he began an affair with a Chinese colleague. He was having a right royal fling and had no qualms about visiting the various watering holes with her. His favourite lunch hangout was a coffeeshop run by Glen Knight near Hong Lim Green where he and his lady will be busy petty themselves silly oblivious to a wall mounted mirror and that people were watching.

When the wife and her family came to know, our dear minister hatched what he thought was a cunning plot. He duty rostered his Indian lawyer underlings to escort the lady every lunch time to suggest that this Chinese lady prefers the company of Indians. And he was mistaken for one of his staff. Being subordinates, our lawyers and officers of the Supreme Court had little choice but to accept.

So how did the the in-laws finally nail the prick. Obviously they did not hire ISD.

To cut a long story short, after the divorce, he was told to find a wife, so that they can make him a minister. So a quick bang instant marriage was arranged and in a month the marriage was done in Chennai.

The affair is not the issue. The ethics behind forcing his subordinates to escort his girlfriend around is pretty much sub-standard.

Anonymous said...

Quentin Loh is not the only judge appointed to the Bench at the age of 60 years, Former Chief Justice Yong Pung How was similarly appointed at age 60 and so was M. Karthigesu.