Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew's PAP forced to loosen it's grip.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today we read in Singapore's state controlled press that Lee Kuan Yew's son's ruling party in government, the PAP, has for the first time formed a special committee to look into ministerial salaries.

Singapore's ministers are the highest paid government leaders in the world, even though they are one of the tiniest of countries, a very small island with 5 million people. Yet, their ministers are each paid about 5 times what the President of United States or the combined annual incomes of all the European leaders.

Since Singapore is in effect a dictatorship and completely under the grip of Lee Kuan Yew or his son whom he appointed Prime Minister, up till recently, they have managed to ignore the cries of indignation of it's people over this and other brazen injustices.

After all the Lee family controls everything, the media, the police, the judges, the courts, the newspapers, the unions and the list goes on. In fact simply, everything.

If a government can control everything in the island, what need do they have to listen to it's people. After all if you complain too much, you can be arrested and jailed or bankrupted as the situation dictates.

But we see now that finally, the government is loosening it's grip and has finally agreed to look into Ministerial income, not because Lee Kuan Yew and Sons have finally embraced democracy but because the resistance from the people for accountability has been steadily mounting that they find it impossible to ignore any longer.

It is people power that has finally forced Lee ans Sons to face reality at least for once. Every single opposition political party and across the Internet, people have been crying foul on ministerial salaries. One web site, Melanie Hewitt, that has been particularly loud on this issue comes to mind. They have been writing non stop on this disgraceful theft of Singapore's wealth or simply corruption by it's ministers.

This blog Singapore Dissident too have been repeatedly writing about the outrage over this daylight robbery of millions of dollars being siphoned off by the Lee family and their friends at the top, merely by the expedient of calling it a salary.

What has finally made the Lee Kuan Yew government's willingness to reconsider this theft of public money is the Internet today. People all over Singapore and throughout the world have been reading this theft and corruption, which I am sure was why their vote share in the recent elections dropped to the lowest in Singapore's history, a mere 60%, with the unprecedented loss of one GRC of 5 seats in Parliament and another Single Member constituency, 1 seat, making a loss of 6 seats in all.

I reckon they realise their name is now so badly tainted, both locally and internationally that unless they did something they are going to lose everything.

Singapore Dissident is gratified and takes credit for Singapore's decision to reconsider ministerial salaries. Lee and Son's decision to listen to their people for the first time is caused in no small measure by the writings in this blog which is widely read in Singapore and across the world.

I would ask not only that ministers salaries be cut to an mount commensurate to the size and population of Singapore; but also that the the ministers be made to account for these unconscionable salaries and be compelled to return the amounts taken; and that they be charged for corruption and criminal breach of trust, tried and be sent to jail. And as for Lee Kuan Yew being 88, I urge you to move fast so that he is not allowed to do a Pinochet( the Chilean) on us, by dying before his case comes to trial.

Another example of Lee Kuan Yew being forced to loosen his grip is Alan Shadrake, the British author who was jailed for writing a book critical about Singapore. Although Lee's judge Loh Sze Onn, nothing but a newly appointed errand boy, was quick to blidly do his master's bidding and pass judgement upon him of imprisonment, once Shadrake appealed and when slowly but surely the injustice of that case permeated throughout the world, Lee's Singapore has become paralysed with indecision, unable to decide one way or another.

Although it has been more than a year since Sahdrake was arrested in Singapore, he continues in a limbo in the island, with passport confiscated, unable to leave, while Lee and his courts decide what to do.

In this blog I have written repeatedly about the injustice being done to him, a blog which is being read throughout Singapore and across the world. At the same time the Internet has been splashing the news of it across the world from human rights organizations to embassies and governments.

In my own case, Lee and Sons made the mistake of imprisoning me in Singapore for a blog post I wrote here in 2008 critical of Lee's judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean while she sat in judgement in the defamation case of Lee Kuan Yew against Chee Soon Juan. When I decided not to take it lying down and challenged them, the news of it spread throughout the world which caused them unimaginable embarrassment not to mention huge disaffection within Singapore.

After I was deported from Singapore, instead of keeping quiet and leaving them alone, I have continued to expose their injustices and repression by the Singapore government and their compliant judiciary, when they were so peeved by this that they were forced to commence proceedings to have be disbarred as a lawyer in Singapore.

But because they now realize that the consequences of their actions would be alienating more Singaporeans and a further loss of their reputation, they appear now to be dragging their feet.

Even though my arrest happened in Singapore in May 2008, even up till now, 3 full years after the incident, they haven't even fixed a date for the disbarment hearings!

The long delay by Lee Kuan Yew and his courts is not because the case against me is so complex that it takes more time, it is simply because they now find themselves in a quandary once again. They don't know what to do. On the one hand, they fear the backlash of criticism and embarrassment having me disbarred; on the other they would lose face if they did nothing.

Another aspect that I have been repeatedly writing about is the need in Singapore for public protests. I have pointed out that these laws which criminalize peaceful protests and peaceful assemblies and other forms of lawful activism are illegal under the Constitution.

I have also pointed out that as the situation is in Singapore now, dissent is impossible as the entire media, the police and the courts are controlled by the government.

I have also said that the Singapore government is now so embarrassed both locally and abroad by their iron fisted rule to date and that there is such widespread and growing disaffection within Singapore that if indeed anyone protested, it is unlikely that the government would in fact arrest anyone.

And even if they did, the consequence of that would be even more alienation among the population.

In fact the government has already gone soft.

I recall from memory that a number of people were arrested for some form of protest but none was ever punished. I recall a HDB (government owned apartment block) resident who deliberately flew the Singapore flag upside down; nothing happened to him. He was arrested but promptly released.

Only last year a young man drew graffiti on a sign in front of Parliament cursing Lee Kuan Yew and his son, the Prime Minister; he was arrested but nothing further happened to him (remember vandalism carries the penalty of caning).

In Geylang some walls were vandalized with faeces and slogans but the culprit was let off Scot free. In this blog I had written of a handful of people seen demonstrating outside the library in Toa Payoh, next to the fountain, with pro democracy placards. They were seen being taken away by the police but even the incident was never reported and I only came to know of it through reliable sources.

An observer who is not accustomed with the extent of repression by the Singapore government so far would be surprised by my writing about seemingly minor incidents which in a western country would not have attracted even a second look. But we are not talking about some western country but about Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore where even the slightest criticism can land someone in jail, like I did; that is, so far.

But it seems it is all changing, thanks to the Internet. Lee Kuan Yew and Sons have so long got away with anything they want, but today, thanks to the Internet, they find it is no longer possible to dismiss their citizens they way they have always done.

I make this call again to the people of Singapore. Cast aside your fear. The one who should be fearing is not you but Lee Kuan Yew and his sons and cronies. That is why they have finally been forced to call a commission on ministerial salaries. I can promise you they have not done this because they have suddenly become kinder and more compassionate, they have done it because they know they cannot disregard their people any longer.

I can promise you that if you protest in public demanding your rights, Lee and company will not arrest you, not because they cannot but because they know that they will suffer more than you, if they did.

Peacefully protest at street corners, alone or in a group, hold up placards, chant slogans for democracy, distribute leaflets, stand on pill boxes and make speeches, agitate, agitate, agitate.

Singapore is yours. Do it. And as you slowly begin your peaceful protests others will join.

The US is today on the side of those seeking freedom. The days of propping up dictators like Mubarak, Ben Ali, Assad and Lee Kuan Yew and Son are gone. Today Mubarak is going to be tried and facing jail or execution. The US has shown no interest in protecting him and neither will the US protect Lee or his son if it is shown that the people have risen.

One of the reasons why Lee and Sons will not arrest you is because of this blog Singapore Dissident. I have written many times over how unjust and corrupt Lee Kuan Yew's judiciary and his legal system is.

The Lee Kuan Yew government is now disgraced discredited and embarrassed over their legal system, which has been clearly exposed. And because of the widespread knowledge that this blog has been able to spread across Singapore, they are now truly helpless and can no longer act the brazen way they have done so far.

This is your moment. Seize the day.

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes LKY and his family should be prosecuted for their absolute uncontrolled corruption.