Monday, June 6, 2011

Singapore. It is a dictatorship, not a democracy

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There continue to be those both in Singapore and abroad who mistakenly believe Singapore to be a democracy and rejoice at the political opposition having won an unprecedented 6 seats, although miniscule, with 81 other seats still held by Lee Kuan Yew's PAP.

I want to reiterate and underscore the point of this article which is, Singapore is not a parliamentary democracy and has never been one. The Lee Kuan Yew family which has ruled Singapore through the PAP has cleverly managed to introduce all the trappings of a democracy, such as Parliament and elections at intervals of every 5 years, but in truth all these things mean absolutely nothing.

Singapore is a simply a dictatorship comprised of Lee Kuan Yew and now his son, the Prime Minister. Their political party, the PAP has ruled Singapore for the last 52 years. Their principle means of wielding power is through their control of the police and the law courts. Singapore judges who are corrupt wield complete power through their misusing the law to arrest anyone that Lee dislikes, remove anyone from positions of authority that Lee dislikes and silence any dissent through fear instilled upon their people through crippling defamation awards and jail terms against any critic of Lee Kuan Yew.

Many in Singapore were in a false state of almost euphoria when 6 seats went to the opposition at the recent elections (even though 81 still remain in Lee's hands). But had they really understood Singapore they would not be rejoicing at all. If they knew that every one of those opposition candidates elected is completely at the mercy of Lee Kuan Yew to do as he will, through his corrupt judges. If necessary, as what had happened to the late JB Jeyaretnam, if Lee is displeased, they can be removed from Parliament the very next day, sued for defamation and promptly bankrupted.

Lee's judges will sing any tune Lee wants anytime. And with that kind of power noone is safe.

That is why if you recall, in almost a decade or more of Low Thia Khiang's tenure in Parliament in opposition politics, he did not achieve anything at all. All he did was to make speeches and go home.

In fact he had permanently self censored himself for fear not to anger Lee or his son. He never dared question the denial of fundamental human rights such as freedom of speech and expression. He never dared question the denial of the right of assembly. He was quite content like his partner the former opposition MP Chiam See Tong to ask Lee Kuan Yew only those questions which would not enrage him, as both knew that any real questioning by them would land them in more serious trouble than they can ever imagine.

In fact from the point of moving Singapore to freedom and democracy, they were completely useless for they achieved nothing. There is no point in having opposition MPS if they can achieve nothing.

What the people should know is that power in Singapore does not lie in Parliament as it should be. It lies with Lee Kuan Yew and his PAP which he wields through his corrupt ever willing judges.

With the recent entry into Parliament of 6 opposition MPS now, nothing is going to change, simply nothing. Power remains in the hands of Lee Kuan Yew. What goes on in Parliament is nothing but a sham, the best show in town; men and women asking questions which have no real meaning whatsoever.

With the law enforcement and the judiciary willing to do anything that the Lee family wants in return for mind boggling salaries, which are in effect corrupt bribes, men and women who have no conscience or shame at all; Parliament of Singapore is merely a sideshow which provides nothing more than entertainment.

Those ignorant of the real Singapore talk of getting more and more candidates into Parliament and eventually increasing their real power. I am sorry to dampen your hopes. This is unlikely to happen the way Lee has set it up. Even if you had 20 or even 30 Opposition MPs, as long as corrupt judges remain willing to abuse the law to destroy the opposition, there is no chance of their getting any real power. In Singapore power lies in the judges, the police and the civil service and each of these bodies are beholden not to Parliament as they should be but to Lee Kuan Yew and his PAP.

And when you throw in a state controlled media willing to say anything that Lee wants, what Lee has achieved is complete and absolute control.

And so with the situation now, unless you are a Kamikaze or a martyr, you are unlikely to rattle Lee Kuan Yew with any real issues such as your fundamental rights, since that might have you suffer the fate of the late JB Jeyaretnam. So you would moderate your questions, pull your punches, which means in the end that you will never be able to achieve any real democracy.

What Lee Kuan Yew fears are people, of whom there are none today in Singapore, who would not only challenge his dictatorial powers but defy his laws thereby making him look weak. When that happens, more often than not, you will then see real change happening. Remember Lee Kuan Yew rules through fear. As long as you fear, he will continue his dictatorial powers over you. But when you resist and openly defy him, he is at pains to know what next to do, and that is when he declines and democracy takes root.

For example take this blog Singapore Dissident. In 2008, when I criticized his judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean for prostituting her office to please Lee, he had me arrested. He hoped of course that I would promptly plead guilty and apologize. When I refused to do that, he was painfully surprised and at pains what to do next. My going to trial and disputing the charges hurt him a great deal, something that he was not accustomed to. At that point, even though I was sent to jail, I was able to show his judges that they were not invincible afterall.

Today, he has commenced proceedings to have me disbarred in Singapore and instead of trying to appease him in the hope of mitigating my impending punishment, I have stated that regardless of my disbarment I am going to continue to criticize his government and his corrupt judges. And with this blog being read throughout Singapore, he is of course at a loss what to do. This is the sort of thing that shakes his power base, not moderated speeches in Parliament.

As for the opposition in Singapore let me give them some advice. With the Singapore Democratic Party demonstrably giving up their previous belief in civil disobedience as a weapon for political change, they are today no different in principle from any other opposition political party. All of them yearn for change but none of them want civil disobedience as an instrument for change. That being said, Singapore's opposition parties can only aspire to be what Low Thia Khiang's Workers' Party is today, merely a body of people who will enter Parliament to make some speeches, but always remain inside the line without crossing Lee Kuan Yew's wrath.

If that is so, I can see no real need for several separate opposition parties. They should combine and become one party which seeks Parliamentary seats to make speeches therein. I don't think even if that happens there is going to be any real change but at least one large party is better than fractious small parties. After all there is no material difference in ideology between them.

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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Anonymous said...

A shining example of a dictatorial Singapore under Lee Kuan Yew and his son Lee Hsien Loong. A double standard is applied. Why no extradition treaty with Indonesia its closest neighbour. Read the following article:
JAKARTA: A top judge here has urged the government to push Singapore to sign an extradition treaty by making it a prerequisite for bilateral relations, local media reported yesterday.

The extradition issue has once again come under the spotlight amid reports that two high-profile Indonesians have fled to Singapore in the face of corruption allegations.

Weighing in on Wednesday, former vice-president Jusuf Kalla charged that Indonesians who ran afoul of the law always fled to Singapore.

Yesterday, Constitutional Court Chief Justice Mahfud MD was quoted by The Jakarta Globe as saying that 'there has been no clear agenda' with Singapore.

He said Indonesia had the upper hand in pushing Singapore to sign an extradition treaty because the Republic was 'very dependent' on its bigger neighbour for security and the economy.

He claimed that the absence of an extradition agreement had allowed Singapore to reap the benefits of ill-gotten funds from Indonesia.

The issue returned to the headlines after Muhammad Nazaruddin, the former treasurer of the ruling Democratic Party, fled the country. He was sacked recently after being accused of trying to bribe a court official last September.

He reportedly left for Singapore on May 23 before the government slapped a travel ban on him.

The other case involves socialite Nunun Nurbaeti, who has been linked to a long-running graft scandal. The wife of a police general-turned-politician, she is said to be undergoing treatment in Singapore for 'amnesia'. Other reports claim she could be in Thailand.

Adding his weight to charges of Singapore being a safe haven for Indonesian fugitives, Mr Kalla said: 'Singapore is the safest - there is no extradition treaty, and it is close by, so communication is easy.'

Last week, Parliament Speaker Marzuki Alie told The Jakarta Globe that Singapore did not deserve its high ranking on lists of countries considered free from graft because many corrupt individuals were 'hiding there'.

His comments echo longstanding perceptions that Singapore - a regional hub for private banking and wealth management - has not cooperated with Indonesia in extraditing fugitives or their ill-gotten gains, and that it has instead allowed them to stash away their funds in banks or the property market.

Singapore's response has always been that the two countries do not have a formal pact to extradite fugitives. The two governments inked an extradition treaty and a defence cooperation agreement in 2007, but the Indonesian Parliament refused to ratify the package and insisted that the two agreements be de-linked.

Despite the lack of a formal extradition treaty, anti-graft bodies in the two countries have continued to cooperate through a memorandum of understanding between Indonesia's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and Singapore's Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.

'While it is not an extradition treaty, it is still a government-to-government agreement,' KPK spokesman Johan Budi told The Jakarta Globe.

Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.

Anonymous said...

Your material is getting stale and boring.

I suggest a trip back to S'pore so that you may gather some fresh ideas.

Maybe, LKy will jail you again, and you can write about that.

Gopalan Nair said...

The Singapore cyber anonymous brigade to discredit detractors has started again. This time it is that I am stale and boring and that Lee will jail me again.

Someone has to tell them that this way, they are not convincing anyone by showing they have absolutley nothing to say at all.

Gopalan Nair said...

These sort of comments are really useless nonsense which I should be just deleting but I will for now continue to put them up to show what the Singapore government is desperately trying to do to show a good face.

The PRC Chinese govenment also employs a large cyber squad to try to improve their image on the Internet. But I am not sure whether they engage in such stupidity as is seen in these comments from the Singapore government defenders.

Anonymous said...

When are you going to post your next video ?

Anonymous said...

Dear Gopalan,

You know that you have made a impact when suddenly, you find yourself bombarded with troll postings. I have been on the receiving end of such postings myself.

I am quite happy to see the PAP resort to such low-life tactics, because it can only mean that the island is sinking, perhaps due to the regular flood ; but more because of deeper hidden problems with its bookkeeping. i find it hard to imagine that Singapore is deserving of its "world class" fiscal management.

Singaporeans have nowhere to hide, now that the PAP are getting serious with silencing the political aspect of internet. They have a lot to learn from China how they control news and left the poor suffering Chinese in the dark ages.

Singapore will enter into this dark age soon.

Anonymous said...

Sometime just before the recent 2011 G.E, L.K.Y son, the now PM made this strong statement on local T.V. "WE WILL MAKE SURE THEY DON'T WIN"
Do you understand what he really means?

Anonymous said...

Mr Nair, you love Singapore, I suggest you come back and let them jail you and walk a free man. I dont think they can jail you forever, maybe few months.

You can help the oppositions in 2016 GE.

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous Jun 12 0615,
Funny that you still don't understand. Please read the blogs. I am an American citizen and I live in California. Not necessary for me to come back and be jailed. This blog is far more effective.

Read this blog. 2016 elections mean nothing. Lee runs the country with his police and his juidges.