Sunday, December 25, 2011

Singapore. A letter from a former Singaporean presently serving with the US Army in Afghanistan

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The following is an Email I received last month from a serving soldier, US Army Afghanistan. It is both tragic and ironic that a young man such as this, from no fault of his own, a model citizen anywhere in the world, serving his country USA proudly in time of war, is actually a criminal under Singapore law, liable to arrest and imprisonment if he ever steps foot in Singapore for being a national service deserter.

A stupid law. A stupid country.

I have stated his name and his Email address as he wrote to me. He did not express any objections to that.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
Disbarred from practicing law in Lee's Singapore, imprisoned and refused entry to the island for criticizing Singapore's judiciary in this blog (see blogpost May 29, 2008 Singapore. Judge Belinda Ang's Kangaroo Court)
Actively practicing law in California and in good standing at the California Bar.
Member in good standing as a lawyer in England and Wales (Barrister).
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.

Dear Sir,

November 30, 2011 9:40 AM

I hated typing the above subject line.. It made my stomach curl. The reason being, that I type this email from Balkh, Afghanistan, where I am serving my fourth combat tour as a Non-Commissioned Officer of the United States Army. I am no coward and my eight years of service have far exceeded anything demanded of a typical NS term.

I am an American Citizen born on Singaporean soil; to an American father and a Singaporean mother. I moved to the US as a toddler, but returned to S'pore at the age of eight when my parents underwent a very messy separation. I am a child of two nations. Both great in there own ways, but now I find myself only accepted by one. My crime? I answered a call to war. 9/11 struck me deeply on an intensely personal level.

At age twenty, I left Singapore to enlist as an American Soldier. I have trained, travelled and fought alongside some of the toughest warriors imaginable, against an enemy that is tenacious, devious and virtually undetectable.

....yet part of me still misses the home I left behind. Woodsville Primary, St Gabriel's Secondary and Lasalle SIA are all a part of me. I can still taste the food and picture the sights. I miss the family and many friends I had to leave behind. My fate is doubly ironic as I was once a (very) minor TV celebrity, hosting a few "Kid's Central" series as a teenager. Apparently, they still air from time to time though I'd never again be permitted to return.

My voluntary military contract ends in Mar 2012 and I will be pursuing a BS in International Relations, an interest that was sparked during my service as a liaison to the US Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I have every intention of continuing to serve my chosen country. My only regret is that I was forced to chose at all.

In short, Sir, I understand your anguish...because it is my own.

Staff Sergeant Mayhall, Randall Scott
US Army, Balkh, Afghanistan


Anonymous said...

People in Singapore are not taught to think for themselves, Dec 27, 2011

In a recent interview with BBC, Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, said a company like Apple could not emerge in societies like Singapore where “bad behavior is not tolerated” and people are not taught to think for themselves.

“Look at structured societies like Singapore where bad behavior is not tolerated [and] you are extremely punished”, Mr Wozniak said.

Mr Wozniak questioned the existence (if any) of creative people, great artist, great musicians and great writers in Singapore.

Commenting specifically on Singapore, he said that although many people are educated with well-paid jobs and nice cars, “creative elements” in society seem to have disappeared. He added that inspiring creativity was important to a company like Apple.

Speaking about his former business partner, the late Steve Jobs, he said that allowing creativity was more important than wearing a suit or the length of your hair.

The computer engineer and programmer last visited Singapore to speak at a motivational talk series organized by Singapore’s Workforce Development Agency and the National Trades Union Congress in March this year.

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous who said "People in Singapore are not taught to think for themselves, Dec 27, 2011"

Lee Kuan Yew needs extreme punishment to remain in control. It instils fear and fear keeps any dictator in office, that is of course if you are incapable of leaving. Which explains why Woznaik says there are no creative people there. Naturally they have all left. What remains are the ones who cannot leave, Lee's million dollar crawlers, sidekicks and minions and people who either are not aware (ignorant) they have rights or they don't care one way or the other. When Lee Kuan Yew dies the last sort would I suppose get a packing too.