Friday, February 11, 2011

Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore, another Egypt in the making

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The news of the fall of Egypt's dictator for 30 years, Hosni Mubarak has certainly taken everyone by surprise. Who would have ever dreamed of this even a month ago. Mubarak thought he can rule forever. After all he had the Americans backing him and we all know that up till now at least America was very willing to support all sorts of tyrants, as long as their interests were protected. Some American supported dictators come to mind, the Shah of Iran, General Pinochet and Ferdinand Marcos. But after today, if any dictator ever thought that it was business as usual, they have something else coming.

Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore and Hosni Mubarak's Egypt had striking similarities. In Singapore Lee Kuan Yew continues to rule, even though he denies it, since last 50 years. In Egypt's case, it was 30 years. Mubarak amended the constitution to retain emergency powers to overcome the courts. Lee Kuan Yew has the Internal Security Act for detention without trial. Mubarak systematically neutralized civil society and opposition parties leaving only the Muslim Brotherhood and himself with nothing in between. In Singapore the opposition has been relentlessly harassed and intimidated so as to completely weaken them, so much so that there is not a single opposition party with either the organization nor the establishment to replace Lee's PAP.

If anyone thought that revolutions need masses of hungry people to reach a point at which they will explode and storm the palace and without this element dictators are safe, they could not have been more wrong. Egypt's revolution did not comprise only of the poor, but it had also had students, young graduates, professors and businessmen. If we have learnt one thing from Cairo, it is this; man does not live by bread alone. He also needs freedom. And sooner or later the people demanding their freedom will either explode and storm Number 8, Oxley Rise, Singapore 9, the Singaporean dictator's residence or they will leave the country permanently.

You have seen today, the massive brain drain out of the Singapore, the almost non existent childbirth and almost noone wanting to get married. This is indeed a form of protest, Singaporean style. The mass exodus of people leaving the island for settlement abroad are sending a message to Lee Kuan Yew, which is, if this is how your run your place, we want no part of it.

And those refusing to have any babies in Singapore are sending the same message to the dictator, which is, that Singapore is not a suitable place to bring up a family; and children do not grow up well in dictatorships.

I can tell you that Gopalan Nair is not an aberration. There are thousands of Gopalan Nairs in Singapore because anyone who can think is capable of questioning Lee Kuan yew's style of government. Why should a tax payer simply allow Lee Kuan Yew to do anything he wants? Why should anyone stand aside and allow him to pay himself 3.7 million dollars a year? Why should not anyone who can think question such laws as the prohibition against free speech and expression, violations of the Constitution? Why should anyone have to register a society before it can function?

All these laws are put in place for one reason alone, which is to permit Lee Kuan Yew and his family to continue in power. If Gopalan Nair can see that, any other Singaporean capable of thinking can see that too.

But until now, the fear of what Lee Kuan Yew can do to you if you question him prevents almost anyone from open criticism. If there is discontent, it is either in private or anonymously. So instead of standing up to him, they just leave the island for good and settle in the West.

Just look at the comments which are posted in this blog. Almost all are anonymous, which explains the tremendous chill that runs down the spine to even contemplate such an act.

But the question is, will there come a time in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore, when the educated professors, teachers, businessmen and students, as well as the poor and the rich, in fact every segment of society, just as in Egypt, rally together in public protests and demand "Down with the Dictator, Down with Lee Kuan Yew". I am not sure but you can never tell, can you? After all who would have thought this will happen in Egypt. If it can happen in Egypt, why not in Singapore?

America has also shifted it's geopolitical thinking, it appears, since now it is surprisingly backing Egypt's protesters which only yesterday was unthinkable. The thinking perhaps in Washington now is that it serves American interests better by siding with democracy and not just American business interests. If that is true, if ever the people of Singapore decided to give Lee Kuan Yew the boot, I think you can look to America as a friend. To me, if this change in American policy, if indeed it is one, is certainly a step in the right direction.

So my message to Lee Kuan Yew and his son Gamal Mubarak, no, Lee Hsien Loong, is this. Try to arrange your billions stacked in Switzerland and elsewhere securely. You never know, they may be seized or frozen if there ever was another uprising in Singapore like Cairo. And good luck to you.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
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...

What happens in Eygpt is inconceivable in Singapore. The majority Chinese are economically driven and too disinterested to meddle in the affairs of politics. Lee Kuan Yew knows that too well.

They should pray for an Act of God to eliminate the tyranny and free the people from oppression by the Lee Kuan Yew regime. Perhaps a lightning bolt to strike his son dead. Lee Kuan Yew is dying through mother nature.

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous Feb 12 0123,

Tell your views about the Chinese to the people of Hong Kong. I have a feeling they may disagree vigourously.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Gopalan

I think that you are only half-right, and that Anonymous at 01:23:00 does have a point.

You are certainly right about the Hong Kong Chinese. The Chinese of Hong Kong and Taiwan are active, engaged citizens with definite views on politics. They have opinions about issues.

But not so the Chinese of Singapore. Their minds have been "PAPpised" - hence no opinion of their own, no guts, no principles, no sense of what is right or wrong, and never take a stand. Just what is "pragmatic" a la PAP philosophy. In this context, I have to say that Anonymous is correct.

And consider this: a well-known Hong Kong actor (Kenneth Tsang) said that Singaporeans are stupid; a Taiwanese parliamentarian (Li Ao) also said that Singaporeans are stupid.

If you accept the above as indicative of what the Chinese in Hong Kong and Taiwan think about the Chinese in Singapore, then you should realise that Anonymous is not too far off the mark.

AngMoh Better

Anonymous said...


The Chinese in Singapore are a differrent kettle of fish from the Hong Kong Chinese. Before 1997 Hong Kong was still a British Colony. The vocal talents of the Cantonese speaking Chinese were vociferous and forthcoming in their airing of opinions in the run up to the 1997 turnover of Hong Kong to China. Public consensus was also open to debates and more placard carrying was rampant. The talents of public speaking was conspicuous in their opposition to the British policies then. It was an atmosphere of Westminster style politics as mastered by the Hong Kong Chinese in the days of Donald Tsang when he was so anti-British or anti-establishment. Such sentiments were allowed to fester and was a training ground for public speaking skills and other paraphanelia of political activities in the then British Colony.

Singapore on the other hand had been festooned by the coward tactics of Lee Kuan Yew with Operation Cold Store as early as 1963, Operation Spectrum in 1987 in addition to other obliterations in the rule of law against people such as Francis T Seow, J B Jeyaratnam, Chris Harding's wife Christine Lee of the famous Aw Boon Haw family. From then on the tooth of public speaking was removed as the Chinese educated were synonymous with communism. The English educated Chinese were taught to just mind their own business, just focus on making money and let the government do its running on politics. They were too frightened by the Lee Kuan Yew propaganda to get involved in politics.

When in the 1960s the PAP failed to get Hong Leong Finance to agree to use one of their properties in Carpenter Street as a PAP Branch office for the constituency of Hong Lim, Lee Kuan Yew blacklisted Hong Leong Finance and that is one of the reasons that until this day Hong Leong Finance has not been able to get a full banking licence. Quek Hong Png was never in Lee Kuan Yew's good books. By all counts he being richer than Wee Cho Yaw in his heydays ought to be presented with a full banking licence.

So is Robert Kuok's group who transgressed to Hong Kong and Malaysia and prefers to steer clear of Lee Kuan Yew's goddamned Singapore. Keck Seng Group was also blacklisted and charges of tax evasion was festered and the boss fled Singapore for Hong Kong. He later died in Hong Kong without returning to Singapore.

From such malignment of the business community, Lee Kuan Yew instilled fear and made politics a ground where Chinese businessmen fear to tread. Politics is dead among the Singapore Chinese. They rather earn their keeps and shut up. This is the big difference between Singapore and Hong Kong Chinese.

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous,

Again, sorry but you are wrong. Racial sterotyping always comes up wrong. You can see history. Except for the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptians were silent, 80 million of them for 30 years. Yet only recently it exploded.

Who can tell what the docile timid Singaporeans may do when things get worse. Singapore is the perfect place in the world to inginte a massive protest. It only takes 2 people and in the crowds it will turn the next minute into 20,000.

At the moment what you say is true. But wait for the situation geting worse with foreign talent mushrooming, intolerable price rises, you have a powder keg of dynamite ready to explode any minute.

The government wants you to be right. But it may well be wishful thinking. I certianly hope it is.

Anonymous said...


You are misconceived.

To the Chinese in Singapore "you die is your own business, nothing to do with me" I don't believe the Chinese in Singapore will ever take to the streets. All Lee Kuan Yew needs to do is to dangle the $$$$$ sign and the crowd will be quelled, all will go home and earn their $.

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous,
If that is the case, I am afraid it is a terrible indictment of the Singapore Chinese race. I am sure Dr. Chee Soon Juan disagrees with you. Mind you, if you forgot, he is Chinese.

Anonymous said...

Just wish to point out. When ousted President Mubarak took over 30* years ago, the population is "only" 43 million. Today, it is 80* mil.

The Egyptian economy cannot cope with this population growth and resulted in a lowering of living standard!

Lee Kuan Yew is bloody lucky he got a STOP AT 2 birth control campaign.

The Egyptians who took to the streets are civilised educated moderate people - not very difference to educated Singapore Chinese. When I was in Egypt last year, the youths spoke of their aspirations for their country.

These people were "resigned to their fate under a dictator", until the suicide of an unemployed young Tunisian acted as a catalyst to bring about change, and this spread to Egypt like wildfire.

Are Chinese Singaporeans so "low class barbaric" compared to the Egyptians?

Perhaps, Singaporeans are just too well-fed and comfortable to want political change.

Like Egyptians who do not know how to live without emergency laws, Singaporeans do not know how to change government.

Academic Paper

Anonymous said...

hate to say it. but what happened in the land of tut will not happen n singapore.people here are not desperate enough.

Anonymous said...

Since you are an American Citizen now, please be happy about it!

Instead of US, I chose the land of free become a Singapore Citizen after 20 over in Singapore!

US 1 Singapore 1