Sunday, November 21, 2010

Part 2, Singapore opposition's wasted election fever

Updated Nov 22, 2010, "recently returned" changed to "visiting Australian permanent resident"

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In my last post of the same title, I said why I felt Parliamentary Elections in today's Lee Kuan Yew dictatorship will do the Singapore political oppostion no good. What they need is public and open resistance, non violent peaceful but defiant civil disobedience.

This is why I say it.

We see on the Internet at Lee Kuan Yew's Hong Lim Park, a sort of London's speakers corner, where Lee has grudgingly allowed public speaking, where both new and old opposition politicians are making their usual speeches about this and that, as they have done for the last 50 years.

James Gomez has begun speaking just as he did the last time in 2006 under the Worker's Party ticket and lost, talking once again about great things, how poor some Singaporeans are and how heartless and cruel Lee Kuan Yew and his friends are taking home several millions in salaries. So do the others, Jufrie Mahmood my old friend, Dr. Chee and everyone else who is expected to speak has spoken and will continue to speak. But it will only be speeches, nothing more, as has gone on for election after election for the last 50 years. The question really is whether anything is going to come of it, and in the remotest eventuality of any of them being returned, will they be able to do anything about it anyway.

Let us consider the most unlikely scenario, that James Gomez, the visiting Australian permanent resident, who has come out from the cold and won in Singapore's elections. Next day he walks into Lee Kuan Yew's Parliament and makes a completely justifiable demand that Lee Kuan Yew's salary be reduced to $60,000 a year instead of the several million he steals. And let us assume that Lee Kuan Yew just ignores him and does nothing.

In any other democracy, James Gomez would take his demand to the streets if Lee does nothing. He would agitate, organize and have his supporters protesting all over the island. That is what a true democracy is and that is what will happen in Australia, Gomez's new found home. But if Gomez cannot enforce his just demands or at least demand it until the cows come home, he is in effect completely ineffective, just as the present 2 half cooked opposition members of Parliament are.

And secondly, what is the opposition trying to achieve by making these speeches? Are they trying to convince the electorate that they should vote them in because they say good things? Have you asked yourself where they live, they live in HDB flats; government owned housing. Have you asked yourself where they work, probably in government or government liked organizations. The people live, work and play all in government organizations in circumstances where the police have free reign to arrest anyone and the courts carry out Lee's orders to the letter.

And even despite these circumstances as in Anson where Jeyaretnam (not to be confused with his son Kenneth) won, how long did he last anyway?

Let me give you some bad news, which you already know anyway. None in the SDP including the new entrant Gomez is going to win. It is not how the electorate vote that decides who wins or loses but who does Lee Kuan Yew want, and he wants noone in the SDP. That, I am proud to say, is the only opposition party that is determined to fight for freedom and democracy and Lee Kuan Yew does not want any of it. As I have said, if all else fails Lee Kuan Yew will fix the ballot papers to keep them out.

The other parties have a chance like the Workers Party and many other equally helpless minuscule ones that have sprouted out like mushrooms from the woodwork. Lee may see to it that some like the fraud opposition politicians Low and Chiam are allowed in. Lee is always looking for opposition politicians who are not a threat to his power and if you are one, your chances are good. It seems to me Kenneth Jeyaretnam stands a good chance. So far he appears to be a Chiam or Low Thia Khiang double. He has not ruffled any feathers, he has not criticized Lee for his outrageous salary and he has kept completely out of the people's human rights, all areas Lee Kuan Yew demands obedience.

A victory for Kenneth is good for Lee in more ways than one. He will have another opposition member in Parliament to boast as proof of a multi party Singapore, as just two members is hardly there; he will be able to boast of being truly fair by giving the son of his late arch enemy a chance; and as for Kenneth, it will be a lifetime job and political office, as Lee will make sure he wins each time. A win win situation you can say.

You notice Kenneth has kept at arms length from Gomez and from the Singapore Democratic Party, not suprising how badly he wants to get into Parliament.

It is not with pleasure that I write this. I wish with all my heart that Dr. Chee Soon Juan and members of his party will enter Parliament. But if contesting elections is all they are going to do, I see no better prospects.

I don't want to sound like a broken record, but with a man such as Lee Kuan Yew, the dictator of Singapore, I truly see no chance at all in ousting him unless you are willing to take him on on the streets, with the world watching. And you know, history is on my side when I say this.

Let there be no mistake, I am not suggesting a violent struggle such as the the ANC of South Africa, Sendero Luminoso or the Tupac Amaru of Peru. I am suggesting Mahatma Gandhi's non violent struggle as the only solution in dealing with tyrants like Lee Kuan Yew.

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...

LKY of 2010 is not LKY of 2000. He knows he is considered very old for politics and beside his trusted bedside advicer had up-lorry-ed and LKY is half fucked already.

So 2010 GE is not the same expection as the previous and if hypo more Oppos voted in and PAP loses one GRC, LKY will have to change GE tatic in the next election. But again time is up and he is going up lorry soon.

I believe this coming GE and following thereafter all GEs will see more oppos in parliment and gone are the glory days for PAP, it is a sunset days for them to collect whatever is remaining and run road.

Unfortunately you will not be in the GE to take the opportunity but nevertheless to give credits when it is due, you have also played a crucial and important part in the past GE to and make history in SIngapore. But perhaps time was not right for you in those days and if you try now youe chances are better to be voted by Sinkies. Sinkies are angry at PAP PRCs intakes and taking away jobs and no minimal wages to protect Sinkies to survive.

Anonymous said...

Gopalan, sue the Singapore government under the Alien Torts Act of California and bring LKY to the California forum. This Act is for wrongdoings by an alien government. You are a dissident and you have locus standi to sue for what they have inflicted upon you.

mycroft said...

I think there are two factors at the very least that will upturn the PAP apple cart with or without a mass of Singaporeans taking to the streets right this minute.

The first is the axiom that opposition parties don't win elections - governments lose them. There always comes a time in any government's life when the incumbent, whether through hubris or incompetence, loses the plot and we are seeing that increasingly happening with the Lee Jnr administration. It's taken longer than most to begin to wobble but slowly and surely we are beginning to see the cracks form and spread inexorably. From the staggering loss of one-third of the nation's reserves, through security failures culminating in Mas Selamat Kastari's cheeky escape, through incompetent flood defences and the final nail in the coffin, the disastrous import of cheap labour destroying citizens' job opportunities, we can sense the wheels beginning to fall off the PAP wagon. No opposition nudge is required to help them stumble because the once sharp blade is now dulled and pitted with rust. It will fracture permanently.

Second, the glue that has held the family fiefdom together is about to expire, certainly within the next 3 years or so. When that happens it is unlikely that his effete and dithering heir will be able to hold the fort together for very long before a Brutus comes along to finish him off. Old man's cronies won't be around for much longer to advise and protect the son either because age also has them by the throat. I think Dr Chee and the SDP understand that they really need only wait, patiently, for just a little while longer because time is on their side.

When the gun carriage is finally trundled out again then we begin a new game. That is point when the open peaceful dissent that you advocate will be the most effectively deployed, when the old system starts to fray with nervousness and uncertainty. Then I think we'll see the present generation of Singaporeans become bolder and more willing to sweep the old repressive rules aside, especially if the economy falters due to an excess of uncompetitive state-run monopolies as is predicted. LKY made a fatal error in favouring fickle multinational corporations instead of nurturing his own local, nimble, small and medium businesses which are the bedrock of all successful economies. His legacy will, for us, soon become a bad dream.

Mahatma Gandhi put it best: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Anonymous said...

Mycroft has summed it up well.

1) From the staggering loss of one-third of the nation's reserves,

2) through security failures culminating in Mas Selamat Kastari's cheeky escape,

3) through incompetent flood defences and the final nail in the coffin,

4) the disastrous import of cheap labour destroying citizens' job opportunities

Why are LKY and LHL unwilling to take responsibility for these failures?

Anonymous said...

I will liken the Lee junta to the answer when you ask some New Englanders, when is winter? The answer inevitably will be winter has just passed, it is winter now, and winter is coming soon.
In a similar vein it can be said to the Lee junta death has passed, dying now, death is coming soon. There will be a thousand cuts that will bleed to death. This is operation self-inflicted Hemorrhage, a plan of self destruction. LKY's interview article timely appeared on New York Times of 9/11/2010 and shortly after I shared it with the SDP, Mrs Lee died.
See link:

Is this the Creative Destruction of Joseph Schumpeter's theory in manifestation? Lehman Brothers was creatively destroyed after 153 years of solid investment banking. Is the Lee junta to be creatively destroyed after 53 years? This is the beauty of democracy at work.

Gopalan, you are a visionary, there is no need for violence.

Anonymous said...

Most Singaporeans are so disillusioned that it is not a question of voting for the opposition. It is a question of voting for anything as long as it is not the PAP ie Pay & Pay.