Monday, August 15, 2011

Singapore. Another hapless visa overstayer will be brutally beaten

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore has over the decades attracted a great deal of notoriety, and has become the butt of jokes, such as criminalizing chewing gum, fines for a litany of behaviours which the Singapore strongman considers anti social including, believe it or not, forgetting to flush the toilet!

As a result Lee Kuan Yew's island is always associated with other silly regimes like Malawi where it is a criminal offense to fart in public, which can attract fines or even jail sentences for repeat offenders!

Good to know that Singapore has not outlawed this practice yet. But even so Malawi is a million times better than Singapore, as unlike Singapore they only fine or jail you for farting. In Singapore on the other hand, you can be brutally caned for even minor offenses.

Singapore's wierd penchant for good order, does not stop at these silly things like Chewing gum but extends to an outright fetish for the macabre and brutality which is unprecedented anywhere else in the world, which extends to beatings or caning.

Let me be very clear about this. Caning is not just giving a slight slap on your backside to shame you as many foreigners had thought. No it is not so nice. It is a brutal torture intended to inflict excruciating pain on the victim.

This is how it is done. The victim is stripped naked and lashed to a wooden trestle and beaten very hard on his buttocks with a stick (cane) until he bleeds and in order to inflict even more pain, the stick is coated with antiseptic and the buttocks beaten at the same spot as before, again and again. The beatings can range for one stroke to a maximum of 24. The victim is left with permanent scarring and is usually crippled for life, both physically and mentally.

This torture, believe it or not, is lawful punishment under Singapore law, and is meted out to a litany of offences, even seemingly minor ones like, overstaying a visa, which in most other countries would only attract deportation and nothing more.

Lee Kuan Yew's state controlled newspaper the Straits Times of August 16, 2011 carried the story "Over stayer arrested for illegal attempt to enter Resorts World Sentosa" describing how a Chinese national from Mainland China who had overstayed his visit visa from 2008 had been arrested while trying to enter the Casino.

But that is not the way Lee Kuan Yew's Alice in Wonderland Singapore looks at some minor infractions, like overstaying a visa. Lee wants to make sure that visa overstayers are dissuaded and he does this by beatings. In the case of this unfortunate Chinese young man, jail is the least of his worries. The beatings is what he has to worry about.

The number of beatings his victims get depend on how long you have overstayed. Since this young man who is only 27 had remained unlawfully in Singapore since 2008, he is looking at no less than 6 to 8 strokes, although, it is a tragic irony, that the prison sentence itself may not be more than 4 months or so, hardly a consolation to him.

This is why sometimes I can only laugh when Lee and his oligarchy at the top repeat their favorite mantra, like a broken record, that they are a first world country! A first world country is supposed to behave with decency, not like the Gestapo. And any first world country should behave rationally, not like madmen.

In Lee's Alice in Wonderland Singapore, the worst thing one could do is to overstay in the island, because then you become stuck and it is bad news any which way you turn. If you stay, you are done for, and if you try to leave, you are done for as well. In a case such as this, it would have been better off if he had lied under cover forever, since once you have overstayed, there is no way you can leave the country without first getting the beatings!

This is not the way it is done in any other civilized country. If you try to leave San Francisco Airport after overstaying, they don't hand you to the police for a beating. They just let you leave. You would probably not be given another visa but surely that is not so bad.

But then the USA is not only a civilized country, it is a First World Country. It is not Lee Kuan Yew's 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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