Sunday, January 15, 2012

Singapore. The need for peaceful protests and civil disobedience

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In Singapore, there is no better time than now to demand your rights and civil liberties. Since the last 52 years of Lee Kuan Yew's rule, he has not and will not listen to anything you say, simple as that, regardless of how unfair it may seem, or so it seemed. The man is now 89 years old, and it appears, finally he is on the defensive. I think he realises that the world has changed so much from what he was used to in 1959. The opening up of the Internet, more overseas travel, and the world becoming more connected does mean that it is no longer possible to isolate your people unless you want to be a North Korea which he cannot do. Today, I suspect that if you push for your rights, he cannot act in the roughshod way he has been doing these long years.

For instance, you know that only last week his government and his son have finally agreed to lower their outrageous salaries of $3.7 million a year and stealing another equally large sum is wrong. He has given the order to have it reduced to a slightly less outrageous sum to about $1 1/2 million, at least acknowledging indirectly that this is corruption, not salaries.

Remember, he would not have agreed to this without the overwhelming criticism in this blog Singapore Dissident, other blogs on the Internet and the outcry of the Singapore Democratic Party. So you can see that pressing for change does work, if you sustain without let up your demands.

There are many burning issues that he completely ignores, thinking as he does that there is nothing you can do to stop him. Firstly, there is the issue of disproportionally large numbers of Chinese immigration from Communist China, effectively turning Singapore into a satellite Communist China city. This is not only a violation of the rights of the Singapore Indians and Singapore Malays, equal citizens under the law, but also a violation of the Constitution which requires equal treatment of the races.

Second there is the issue of corruption in the judiciary. You can see for decades that Lee's judges have not only been judges, but more so PAP politicians, by using their judicial office to punish legitimate criticism of opposition politicians such as JB Jeyaretnam, Chee Soon Juan and myself Gopalan Nair. The people should demand that the judiciary stop abusing and prostituting their offices to please Lee Kuan Yew.

Third, you have the state sanctioned racial discrimination against Malays and Indians through employers demanding knowledge of Mandarin in hiring advertisements, which is a deliberate veiled practice to keep them out, since the jobs almost in every case does not require it's knowlede. The law has to prohibit employers from denying jobs to Indian and Malays through this dirty practice.

Fourth the issue of national service. Today we have the bizarre situation where being a Singapore citizen is in fact a disadvantage in your own country. A citizen has to do national service whereas foreigners who are given employment visas indiscriminately do not have to do national service, yet they have equal opportunities in employment but even worse, they get the jobs first over Singaporeans because employers prefer them for not having to do national service.

Fifth, you have several thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of young Singapore men living permanently abroad in exile unable to return because if they did, they would be arrested for not having done national service. Many of these young men find themselves in this unfortunate situation through no fault of their own as they were taken abroad by their parents as babies. Punishing them now for something their parents did is completely unjust, especially since the vast majority of them have no desire to live in Singapore anymore having had a taste of life in the West.

Lastly for every injustice that you face in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore, there is in effect no recourse. There is no appeals procedure if you are denied a HDB flat except to go begging to your PAP Member of Parliament, there is no appeals procedure if you were denied a taxi license, a foodstall licence, a lawyer's license, with almost everything you are completely at the mercy of Lee Kuan Yew and his friends at the top. Unless you go begging for help, there is no way you can get it.

Therefore, sitting down and doing nothing, as you have done so far, simply means you are going to continue living in bondage. You don't have to do this. You can protest. And Singapore is the best place in the world to do this. It is a sardine packed country where any action you take would be known throughout the island in minutes. I have over the years repeatedly advocated peaceful protests and civil disobedience which the Lee Kuan Yew government deplores because they know how effective this can be. True, there may be some consequences from the government if you were to do this, but in my opinion, Lee Kuan Yew and his government is so weak now, and the disaffection among the population so widespread that it is unlikely he will or can do anything against you if you did.

To all my Singapore friends who cherish your freedom, it is time to take some real action for change. Peaceful protests and civil disobedience is the answer for Singaporeans yearning to be free.

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

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Anonymous said...

Yes...cherish your freedom and leave Singapore. Pity those who still believe it is a good country as they have been hearing, reading and watching propaganda mass media in Singapore. They have not really seen and experienced the excellent quality of life in other countries.

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous,
Thank you. But what amazes me is their inability to appreciate plain logic. For instance, anybody would say to the government, if you take my tax payers money, you have to listen to what I want. But in Singapore, up till now, they are quite prepared to accept Lee Kuan Yew and his friends as if they were some kind of God who is entitled to do anything to them. Which means no criticism, no protest, no complains. Just accept everything thrown at you. This is Singaporean Singapore. It does seem very strange. Which is why I guess the migration rate out of the island continues to climb.

Anonymous said...

The National Service part is so true. We Singaporean males are disadvantaged. Singapore might be one of the only few countries where its citizens are treated worse than foreigners. In fact, us average males are almost treated like dirt --- we follow what the country wants of us and most of the time, we do not have the freedom and self authority to carry out what we want for ourselves.

Everything is made a chore here. I'm sure that when I finally leave Singapore in the future, the only thing I'd miss is the wide variety, accessibility and availability of food.

Gopalan Nair said...

To anonymous who said

"The National Service part is so true"

Have you tried Italiano food?