Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore. All in the family

Edited Nov 03, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore's state controlled newspaper "Today" of Nov 1, 2011 has the story "New Law Dean at NUS". It says "A successor has been found for the longest serving dean at the National University of Singapore law school". "The NUS announced yesterday that with effect from January Professor Tan Cheng Han (present dean) will be succeeded by Professor Simon Chesterman, 39".

There are 2 interesting things in Chesterman's appointment which if one knows anything about Singapore, wouldn't be interesting at all. Firstly he is only 39, which by any standards is pretty young for any lawyer, let alone, the Dean of a Law Faculty. As for me, at 39 I was just beginning to understand the law, as most other mortals would be.

But his relatively young age in such high elevation would not be surprising anymore if one knew who he was. Yes you guessed it. He has high connections at high places. He is married to none other than Patricia Tan the daughter of the President of Singapore, an ethnic Chinese Tony Tan.

It appears he met this Chinese woman while studying at university and thought it best to marry her, very probably attracted by the goodies that will most certainly fall from heaven or rather the Singaporean Heaven under Lee Kuan Yew if he marries the daughter of Lee's hand picked President.

All Singapore institutions of education without an exception, you would have noticed, have the dubious worldwide distinction of seemingly appearing to have no opinion at all about anything. As we speak today, all the capitals of the world are abuzz with Protest Wall Street demonstrations, yet in Singapore as well as it is in Lee's university campuses throughout the island there is the silence of the cemetery. Every single student in Singapore is so afraid to speak up, they are as good as dead, thanks to the absolutely successful fear mongering that Lee has succeeded in advancing throughout the island.

And I hate to imagine the sort of lawyers that Lee Kuan Yew's National University of Singapore has produced so far and will continue to produce under this political puppet Simon Chesterman.

All in all Chesterman comes forward as a rather weak opportunist who doesn't appear to think too much of himself. For anyone with more confidence in his abilities, any relationship with a University in Singapore , just as a University in North Korea is more a minus than a plus on a resume.

In fact this sort of nepotism is openly seen across the breath of the Lee Kuan Yew government. The repeated attempts to say that Singapore is a meritocracy is as like repeatedly saying that North Korea is a beacon of democracy, which by the way, I believe they do. Look at the list here, which is only what I know, which list is very much longer if one took the trouble to look at it.

Wong Kan Seng, the Home Minister is Lee's Cousin. Tan Pei Ling, the little girl who makes a fool of herself and yet became an MP, is the wife of the Secretary of the Prime Minister. Ho Ching, the woman who runs Temasek the State Wealth Fund is the Prime Minister's wife. Lee's other son runs a government listed company. Tony Tan, Lee's hand picked President's son has avoided military service. And the list goes on if the reader cares to add.

Let's not pull punches and say it as it is. Singapore is nothing more than the Lee family's private possession which he runs with compliant and trustworthy relatives and friends. And that's it. After all blood is thicker than water.

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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