Monday, September 26, 2011

Singapore. What are we to make of Tan Jee Say

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore's state owned and controlled newspaper of Sept 27, 2011 has the story "SPP, Reform Party, NSP open to Tan Jee Say's coalition idea".

Carrying a large picture of him, it talks about Tan Jee Say, a fleeting member of the opposition Singapore Democratic Party, who contested in the recent elections under their ticket, lost, and now appears going around trying to convince Singaporeans of his idea of forming a coalition of opposition parties.

Somehow there is something strange about Tan. Somehow he does not fit the pattern that we all expect of opposition candidates in Singapore politics.

A quick reminder of who he is is useful. Recall he was reported to have been Goh Chock Tong, former Lee Kuan Yew right hand man's personal secretary in which position he dutifully served for many years.

I suppose from this we can assume that in all those years, he had no opinion about Lee Kuan Yew's foremost political victim JB Jeyartenam and all the injustice he had to endure; no opinions at all while he dutifully served his master Goh Chock Tong.

I suppose while Lee Kuan Yew was systematically denying Singaporeans rights by denying the right of free speech and expression, by denying the right of the people to assemble or protest or to exercise any of their Universal rights, I suppose this man had no opinion at all one way or another dutifully serving his boss Goh Chock Tong and collecting the huge salary that went along with the dirty work.

And after serving the PAP authoritarian government all these years, he suddenly surfaces in April of this year, claiming that he is a proponent of democracy and freedom and contests the elections against his former boss's government.

And while at it, he has the audacity to lecture to Dr. Chee Soon Juan, the one person in Singapore today who has sacrificed so much for Singaporeans and the well deserved leader of his party the SDP, that he, Dr. Chee should be less confrontational against the PAP administration to improve his image among Singaporeans.

Who does this fellow think he is anyway? Had I been Dr. Chee, I would have put this man, who appears too big for his shoes, in his proper place there and then.

Coming back to the puzzling aspect of Tan Jee Say, he simply does not fit the pattern.

The well expected pattern in all cases where there is a real opposition threat to the PAP has always been the commencement of defamation of character actions or alternatively trumped up criminal charges followed by either imprisonment or bankruptcy and the disqualification of the person from politics altogether.

This was the fate of JB Jeyaretnam, Dr. Chee Soon Juan and Tang Liang Hong, who had gone into exile.

As for me, Gopalan Nair, in 1991, it was contempt of court charges and suspension from law practice for 2 years. In fact the litmus test to know whether someone was really an opposition candidate was whether or not he has been persecuted by Lee Kuan Yew.

But the pattern seems to be completely different in this man's case. Suprisingly and compeletely out of the ordinary, Lee Kuan Yew's state controlled media newspaper the Straits Times has in fact gone out of the way to give him great publicity, show him in very favorable light and continues to do it, a fact, which never happens in the case of any real opposition candidate. In fact the PAP government is treating Tan Jee Say, this so called opposition political figure as if he was one of them!

Furthermore he has not suffered any harassment from Lee Kuan Yew and his friends. He has not been sued, arrested or any way abused by the Lee Kuan Yew government machine. My question is, if in fact this man claims to be who he is, why has not Lee Kuan Yew embarked on his usual vendetta and reprisals.

Frankly, the pieces simply do not fit in this man's case.

My suspicion is this. Lee Kuan yew realised that in the last election there has been a big shift of public opinion against his dictatorial government. Therefore if matters continued that way, he may even lose. So the time has come to think of even more ingenious ways to stop the slide into oblivion.

One way to do this is to send in the Fifth Column. Send in Tan Jee Say. He will claim to be opposition and so on. He will divide and split the opposition and make them follow his version of opposition politics, in Singapore parlance "non confrontational style" or another way of saying "we support Lee Kuan Yew anyway".

And if Tan manages to fool them, Lee Kuan Yew and his PAP would have won again. They would have killed 2 birds with one stone. On the one hand they would have fooled the people into thinking they have democracy now, while at the same time ensuring that Lee Kuan Yew would continue with his undisturbed rule.

I don't think Tan Jee Say is fooling anyone. As for SPP and NSP they are already part of this Lee Kuan Yew's game anyway, and their willingness to even consider this ridiculous proposal should be no surprise to anyone.

As for the Reform Party, it had already has gone into deep hibernation one day after the elections and would appear again from under the woodwork in 2016.

I am glad I don't see the name SDP anywhere in this game that Tan Jee Say is trying to play. I am sure Dr. Chee sees what I see and I don't see him ever being part of this Lee Kuan Yew's tomfoolery. I think we should tell Tan Jee Say that we are smarter than you think.

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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John R said...

Kudos Nair! A very nice conspiracy theory.
Come to think of it, I believe it. We should all be smart and discerning.
I can see TJS "uniting" the opposition parties, and helping them all perish in one swift blow.
I was once a supporter of TJS, and I humbled that I have yet again been fooled. I know there is no evidence to this theory, but it sure makes sense, and fits the pattern of LKY-friend.

Gopalan Nair said...

I should have finished off by telling Tan Jee Say that if he wants to play games like this, he should take it to the kindergarden.

Anonymous said...

Dear Gopalan,
There are talk of factions within the PAP.

Is it possible that TJS is from the Goh camp and not the Loong camp? I simply cannot believe that PAP is run only by greedy Yes-man (eg those 1 term MPs who later given plump corporate jobs) and Yes-man dummies (eg Tin Pei Ling).

Presidental candidate Tan CB used to be quite outspoken but even he had to toe the party line.

The "split" within PAP will dilute the REAL opposition when the voters just want change but not shake the foundation.

After all, Lee is already controlling the island and is capable of influencing a Goh faction government from behind the scene.

Anonymous said...

tan jee say joined to divert votes away from tan cheng bock so than tony tan would win.

Gopalan Nair said...

To the above comment, the so called split in the PAP is another PAP smokescreen to dangle the carrot of change before Singaporeans while carrying on in their merry way. There is no so called split or anything. Politics is now, not something we are told to belive will happen some time in the future. Singapore is going to the dogs, if not already, very very fast.