Monday, March 14, 2011

Singapore, not a place for any self respecting individual

Ladies and Gentlemen,

No self respecting human being, no mother who wants upright young sons and daughters, no one who has even the slightest of humanity or kindness should ever think of living in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.

I was born and lived most of my life in Singapore. I joined the Workers Party of JB Jeyaretnam's time and actively agitated for democracy and freedom.

I stood for 2 national elections in 1988 and 1991 for which I was persecuted by Lee's administration. I was suspended from practice for 2 years and convicted of contempt of court for making a political rally speech. I should know what I say.

Singapore is no place for any decent human being. You see that everywhere in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.

Let's look at Singapore's legal profession. First of all it has no more than 3,000 lawyers a totally inadequate number for city state of 5 million people.

The government is aware of the problem but is unable to do anything about it.

The legal profession is so discredited as seen as nothing more than a terrified bunch of men and women in black clothes completely incapable of furthering their client's interests, in the event Lee Kuan Yew disapproves.

Singapore has a constitution which guarantees fundamental human rights of speech expression, association and due process. But Lee Kuan Yew allows none of it, arresting anyone who spoke in public or peacefully protesting or criticising the government, who will suffer jail time, bankruptcy and defamation actions.

Every lawyer knows that these actions are an abuse of process, illegal and violate the Constitution. They also know that the Constitution is supreme and has to be upheld.

Yet no lawyer, not a single one, dares to challenge this fascist government on these blatant violations. There is no public outcry from lawyers raising these injustices.

There are no protests to speak of this. Singapore lawyers simply are incapable of being lawyers like anywhere else because they have to contend with Singapore's superman Lee Kuan Yew who does not want anyone to question anything he does, including his blatantly violating the Constitution.

In these circumstances how could any decent human being with any self respect or human dignity be expected to live like this, let alone practice law, and yet this is how lawyers in Singapore live their pathetic lives, looking away from the injustices they should be concerned about and pretending to live as if they can see nothing wrong.

This sort of an existence demeans your spirit, your humanity and turns you into a a lesser human being and a useless lawyer; the price of practicing law in Lee's island.

Consider Lee Kuan Yew's police force. Policemen and women in uniform who are sworn to uphold the law are told to go out and arrest peaceful protesters who have harmed no one and are just doing what they have a right to do under the constitution.

If they had any decency, would have some pangs of conscience for this injustice against their fellow citizens.

Yet they close one eye, and do the dirty work to please their boss, Singapore strongman Lee Kuan Yew and his family. They could have instead just walked out, refused to do the dirty work and told Lee Kuan Yew that he could go out and do the work himself.

But no, they don't, otherwise they would lose their jobs and the measly salary they get for it. Disgraceful men in uniform doing disgraceful work.

You then have the Civil Service who are told to demote civil servants just because they were seen with opposition sympathisers. You have the Internal Security Department of the police, Lee Kuan Yew's private eye, who monitor everyone in Singapore and report on their movements.

If they are seen to have connections with the opposition, they are terminated from their jobs, their families victimized in every which way possible and made to suffer their whole lives.

These men in Lee's internal security department must know they are doing wrong, they know they are hurting their fellow men, but they do it anyway. It is the only way for them to make a living.

Singaporeans see great injustice before their very eyes. Yet they have become numbed and insensitive and incapable of reacting.

For instance, there is hardly any social security. You see very old tottering men and women, grandfather and grandmothers, who should be living in comfort in their old age collecting crockery from food stall tables where Singaporeans have just eaten.

Any decent human being would have gone up to Lee Kuan Yew's palace and demanded that these senior citizens be given help or else. But Singaporeans are no longer capable of showing any caring for their fellow citizens. They have lost their humanity.

You have laws in Singapore which permit racial discrimination, laws that permit employers to pay any amount they want or nothing at all, laws that do not allow even a single day off work for Filipina maids, laws that allow employers to confiscate the passports of foreign workers, laws that allow any Singapore employer to deport any foreign worker with or without cause.

It is a country that has people who would simply walk away even if a man was dying before them. No one cares in Singapore because Singapore's supreme leader Lee Kuan Yew is that way, he does not care.

All he does care is retaining power for himself and his family members and anything you do to upset that will land you in serious trouble in his country.

One does not have to live this deplorable way anywhere else, not in Australia, not in New Zealand, not in Canada, not in USA and not in Europe. The lawyers in Australia do not have to live lives as if they never heard of the Constitution because they fear their politicians.

The policemen in Canada do not have to go around arresting peaceful protesters because their Prime Minister disapproves of peaceful protests.

You don't see tottering old grandmother and grandfathers in New Zealand cleaning plates and cutlery in food stalls in Auckland.

You can live like a decent human being in Canada, a life of dignity, humanity and human kindness; not the disgraceful way they live in Singapore. A mother can be proud to bring up a son in Canada, while she should be ashamed if she ever had a son like the ones in Singapore.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

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