Saturday, November 13, 2010

Singaporeans, a people without conviction

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A Singaporean today is vastly different from peoples around the world. The virtues that one expects of human beings is in fact an impediment to success in that one party island city state. What would be extolled as virtues in other societies are in fact in many cases crimes according to their way of thinking.

The late JB Jeyaretnam of Singapore was a great criminal lawyer who dedicated almost his entire life for the advancement of his people's freedom and rights. Yet according to Singapore, he was none other than a common crook, who was guilty of embezzlement and other crimes, disbarred and discredited. His name is carefully removed from every possible document, so that hopefully future generations will not even know who he was. I thought this sort of thing was only done in fictional futuristic countries such as George Orwell's 1984 but I am wrong.

The same goes for Dr. Chee Soon Juan, and many others in the history of Singapore. I too, according to the Singapore psyche is a very bad man, who had "insulted" their judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean in 2008 and "misbehaved" in public and insulted their police officers as well as other crimes. Very soon, Singapore will have me disbarred as being unworthy of practicing law in Singapore.

The people of Singapore on the other hand may have completely different opinions about what anyone of us, "criminals" but as far as Lee Kuan Yew and his administration is concerned, we are all a bunch of crooks best either put away for good or harassed their entire lives.

Then you have the "good people" of Singapore. Top of the list of of course is the 88 year old walking dead man or almost dead man, Lee Kuan Yew himself. According to their thinking, it was Lee Kuan Yew who single handedly made Singapore what it is today, an island of skyscrapers (never mind if they are all empty). It is he who built the roads, the railways everything, a modern Singaporean version of Big Brother.

But the fact that he is the biggest thief in the island is conveniently brushed aside, such as the fact that he pays himself $3.7 million a year, the same amount stolen by all his family members. And the fact that that he will sue anyone if they dared to question him about it and invariably win the law suit because he owns the judges in the island.

Singapore's "good people" also include his son, and his various ministers and his members of parliament who have nothing much to say except read out pre prepared speeches which are drafted by his Prime Ministers office.

The good people include his Minister of Law K Shanmugam a Tamil in a predominantly ethnic Chinese government. He picks a Tamil just as the late Saddam Hussein chooses Tariq Aziz as his Foreign Minister. Tariq Aziz, a Christian is chosen to appease the non Sunni population of Iraq just as Shanmugam is used to appease the non Chinese Singapore population. And of course he is a very good man because he extols all the doctrine of the man at the top, entirely without question. With this amount of loyalty, surely in the Singaporean sense, Shammugam is a gem of a man indeed.

Singapore's best people also include their best lawyer, Davinder Singh. His virtues are his lawyering skills where he successfully sues and bankrupts all Lee Kuan Yew's enemies, not one of his victims has ever escaped his exemplary "lawyering" skills. It is as if the Singapore courts were made for men like him, world renowned defamation lawyer Davinder Singh, never mind the fact that the whole trial is stage managed from the beginning with Lee Kuan Yew knowing he won even before stepping into the courtroom.

We also have Singapore's best citizens, the numerous men and women in Lee Kuan Yew's civil service who dutifully punish Lee Kuan Yew's political enemies and reward his supporters. According to Singapore thinking, these are highly qualified capable people whom Lee Kuan Yew wants to attract to his country and his government.

But at the end of the day, are these Lee Kuan Yew worshippers the best citizens any country needs. I think not. What Singapore needs is more Dr. Chee Soon Juans, more JB Jeyaretnams and more more Gopalan Nairs, people who have the courage to speak their mind for the good of their society. It so happens that every one of us who have been punished and vilified are men and women who want freedom for themselves and the people, who believe that freedom is the best way to go forward for any society and dictatorship and one party rule is universally a bad thing.

But for Lee Kuan Yew, freedom and democracy are bad words, not because it is bad for Singapore as he conveniently claims but because it is bad for him. With freedom, he cannot justify the total control of the press, the total control of the judiciary and the total control of the minds of Singaporeans.

Many faced with a situation where they simply cannot win, simply go along with the tide. Singapore population today comprise on the one part, totally unscrupulous people who would do anything for money, and on the other side, total ignorance which makes them totally compliant.

Lee's exemplary minister Shanmugam enacts a law which totally denies any right to protest whatsoever and extols the virtue of state censorship of newspapers. He of course does it for money, precisely several million dollars a year, which is his salary to please his master. In this shameful group are those in his administration in high places such as the civil service and the judiciary, all paid mind boggling incomes to say silly things. Clearly they are in it not for Singapore but for themselves.

Then you have the other ordinary millions of Singaporeans who have nothing to contribute because they know nothing of their rights. They include the security guard, the Chinese woman clerk who works for the multi national company on the 25th floor of one of the glass buildings along the sea front, and the taxi driver. They go about their daily lives in total disregard of these things that does not matter to them. They for their part don't care whether they have freedom of protest because they are not about to do it anyway!

And then you have the group who know and are unhappy with the whole thing. They are the ones who leave the island in droves permanently settling in democracies such as Australia.

Day by day, with the people understanding the extent of dishonesty it takes to survive in the one party state, the quality of the Singaporean continues to decline, leaving only unscrupulous mercenaries at the higher echelons of society; the ones who care leaving the island in increasing numbers and leaving behind only those at the bottom who have nothing in their heads.

While the ones who really cared are branded as criminals and are either bankrupted or driven into exile.

I can tell you this much. The quality of Singaporeans is fast declining day by day; Singapore itself is weakening into becoming a totally ineffective society because the thinkers, the very ones any society needs the most are branded criminals and hounded out of the island.

Singapore being small as it is, small island and small population needs its discerning thinking citizens the most if it ever wants to succeed. Instead it is either criminalizing them or driving them into exile. Not a good recipe for success.

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...

More on Alan Shadrake


Foreigner in my own country of birth

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Goh Chok Tong did say leave it to history to judge LKY. What he is saying is that only after his death then people can say what they like about him. While he is alive he will not tolerate any comments or remarks about him. Better to wait till he is dead then say the most unkind things about him.

Anonymous said...

Why is he responsible for Singapore's economic success? If I recall correctly, it was the work of the Dutch economist Albert Winsemus.

Besides, one cannot rule out economic success based on sheer good luck. If this strongman was at the helm of some other country, how could one be sure that his policies would have been successful and he would have lived long enough to not be overthrown by some junta?

Case in point: It's sheer luck.

Anonymous said...

The only one with conviction left in Singapore is Yaw Shin Leong, the Worker's Party candidate who voted for PAP's Teo Ho Pin while at the same time standing against PAP's Lee Hsien Loong in Ang Mo Kio precinct.

Anonymous said...

The ruling government understands the dynamics of revolutions very well. Historically,across almost every culture and geography, revolutions began almost always in the same way. The upper class had been trampling on the lower class, and the intellectual class took pity on the lower class, and inspired a revolution.

It is remarkable to note that the ruling government rose to power through this very route. A bunch of intellectuals rose to power on a platform of socialist equality, of independence from the ruling colonial powers, and of democracy and the right to govern ourselves. Yet all these promises have been forgotten over the years.

And they realized the power of the intellectual, for they had been one themselves! Hence they began a strategy of intellectual co-option, drawing the brightest to their midst through scholarships and paved career paths. Why resort to crude ways like book burnings, when you can just use the universal appeal of monetary gains?

This worked extremely well for the last 40 years. However they had not forseen the rise of a new challenge. The rise of a new intellectual class, frequently educated abroad, may even reside abroad, with intellectual fires fueled by the internet. The ruling party had been caught blindsided.

Their response? Change the country's makeup altogether. Purge the people altogether by bringing in new blood from abroad. There would no longer be a threat to their power, if there is no longer a country to fight for.

A perfect Orwellian tragedy.

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans, a people without conviction

How true.

Only a people without conviction or courage would tolerate this woman's incompetence, while she is slowly destroying their CPF.

Ho Ching's record is patchy, and her dealmaking massively controversial elsewhere in the region, notably in Thailand where its $4 billion 2006 purchase of then Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra's telco and media empire precipitated a coup, Thaksin's ouster, four years of political turmoil, a $2 billion paper loss and a legal stoush with the current government angling to take the Thaksin empire back.

Anonymous said...

Guess who said this. Not Mandela or Ghandhi or LKY (chuckle).

"I am leery of politicians who sue their critics. I suspect that what they want is to make the issue sub-judice so as to prevent the critics from attacking them on the issue. This is a cowardly move and in fact proves that the criticisms are fully justified."

"A politician who is convinced of his own integrity and innocence should be able to fend off the attacks by proving that they have no basis in fact. It is up to the people, after hearing both sides to decide on the matter. Shutting the mouth of the critics by abusing the authority of the court of law is no better than Governments which censor or shut down papers which are critical of them."

Octogenarian former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has hit out at politicians who sue their critics, after he was urged to take legal action against Barry Wain, the author of a critical new book about his long-running premiership.

Still, I wonder what Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew, a rival octogenarian political warhorse with a penchant for libel actions, would make of Mahathir's belated conversion to free speech.

Anonymous said...

Why is Lee Kuan Yew like Saddam Hussein.

Like Saddam, LKY rules with an iron fist.

Like Saddam, LKY jails his opponents.

Like Saddam, LKY appoints his sons to positions of power.

Like Saddam, LKY draws a handsome salary from the Singapore Treasury.

Like Saddam, LKY controls the press.

Like Sadddam, LKY plays races off against each other.

Like Saddam, LKY names institutions after himself.

Anonymous said...

So like Saddam he is to be hung and died.

mycroft said...

...Shanmugam is used to appease the non Chinese Singapore population.

In the same way, the large Gurkha contingent is there for a reason. Lee is on record as saying they can be used to shoot both Chinese and Malay 'rioters' without causing an inter-racial conflagration.

Still, all bad things eventually do come to an end. In his first public appearance since his wife's funeral, he declared with a straight face that whether he stands for election "will depend on his health and the Prime Minister's decision". Nobody dared laugh at his sophistry, of course.

The government mouthpieces dutifully reported the grand news but omitted an interesting observation. Those who were there noticed that the grand very old man needed to ride in a convenient golf cart for the mere 150 metre distance from his arrival point to the rostrum. A spare golf cart was on hand 'just in case'.

That is not a good omen for the first of the criteria he has laid down for the imminent hustings.

Anonymous said...

what a load of old tosh...

JamesTan said...

Singapore still have Dr Chee, a man of conviction.

Outside Singapore, there is an American blogger who refuse to let Singapore go.

As a migrant myself, I am enjoying my life and freedom. It is so easy to forget that Singaporeans are still been preyed around as helpless pawns in PAP chessboard.

But through Amnesty Intl, I am proud to see Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi freed. I am proud that my PM has chosen to speak out for Suu Kyi and freedom. Now that the Burma junta has executed a Singapore-style political election in Burma, it is time to bring the world spotlight back to the evil that Singapore is spreading around the region.

sunny said...

i think there is no point to tslk about the old man when he has died.

cause dead man tell no lies

i believe when he die, pap will also die and break up into pieces.

that time true democracy will emerge in singapore and i want to see all dissident come back to singapore.

Anonymous said...

look at china and singapore,with a one party rule the countries has the strongest economy in the world. life's unfair,no justice,no freedom, accept it. How can anyone ever beat that strong tyrant?

Anonymous said...

To Anon, 14 Nov 6.46am

Your summary of what's happening in Singapore is perfect! I loved reading it.

Gopalan, you are right. Singaporeans are without conviction, even when they knew they're being played. The only thing I did was leave Singapore...because I couldn't fight the goliath :(

Anonymous said...

Singapore has become what it is today because of one man LKY who stays too long in power. With his death we will see change or if opposition take over from LKY constituency in the next GE. It was LKY character imprinted on Singapore political landscape by what he does, thinks and behaves. There is no point blaming Singaporeans etc....

Anonymous said...

The Lee Dynasty knows that once the Emperor departs, people will stop fearing his son.

So, his plan is thus:

Make LHL the Executive President of Singapore (similar to France).

Make K Shanmugan the Prime Minister.

This is to show the world, especially India, that other races can 'hold' power in Singapore. And, it could offer Singapore easier access to investment opportunities in India.

All this will happen after the next election.