Saturday, January 28, 2012

Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew, is such a life worthwhile

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Lee Kuan Yew is credited with all sorts of earth shattering achievements; turning a fishing village into a world metropolis and a whole load of other achievements. But really if you ask yourself, has it all been worthwhile? Has any of these achievements been worthwhile at the expense of such pain and and injustice caused to achieve it?

Remember, Chia Thye Poh. He was a man Lee Kuan Yew imprisoned for 31 years, far longer than Nelosn Mandela simply because he refused to admit he was a Communist which he was not. Removed from his family and kept in solitary confinement all those years without trial, he was eventually released in 1998. Tell me was it worth it. All these achievements which are attributed to Lee Kuan Yew by a misinformed international audience cannot justify such inhumanity to his fellow citizen.

Remember Lim Chin Siong. He too was a Lee Kuan Yew critic unjustly imprisoned for decades just because he will not tow the Lee Kuan Yew line. He spent decades in solitary for no crime whatsoever, his sole crime being a Lee Kuan Yew opponent. He too was eventually released and has since died. Was these achievements really worthwhile if it was done at this expense?

And then you had the Marxist conspirators, or Lee Kuan Yew's claim that they were. They were neither Marxist Conspirators nor Violin players. They were simply a group of people who felt Singapore should be a democracy, not a dictatorship under Lee Kuan Yew. We have heard of many in the group who were imprisoned for several years including a Singapore lawyer woman, Teo Soh Lung. She was beaten and repeatedly tortured for refusing to confess that that she was a Communist which she was not. Eventually she was released and her career destroyed. Was it really necessary? What was achieved by this cruelty? Nothing.

Chee Soon Juan, a determined critic of Lee Kuan Yew and former professor of neuropsychology in National University of Singapore, bankrupted, jailed and impoverished and removed from his professorship. Today he ekes out a living selling his books on Singapore's streets. Was it really necessary? Has Lee's achievements justified such cruelty?

I was watching another very evil human being, Henry Kissinger, in a video by the late Christopher Hitchens called The Trials of Henry Kissinger. He was a man responsible for the murders of thousands and millions of innocent people, in Portuguese Timor, Cyprus and Chile and Vietnam. When asked how he justified his actions, his lame excuse was that statesmen would sometimes have to choose between 2 evils. Really? Was Lee Kuan Yew choosing between 2 evils when he jailed Chia Thye Poh for 31 years, when he put Lim Chin Siong in solitatry for decades and when he tortured Teo Soh Lung because she wanted to help the poor and disadvantaged in Singapore?

As for Kissinger, even after the peace accord in Paris in 1973, he continued bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong just to show the Soviet Union that the US can inflict damage and even more damage, in circumstances where he already knew the war was lost.

Men such as Lee Kuan Yew have blood on their hands. Lee Kuan Yew today is 89 years old and he lives on with the memory of the crimes that he committed. As Chee Soon Juan told him in court in 2008, he was very sorry for him. He said "he cuts a pathetic figure". True and well said.

Lee Kuan Yew would have to live the remaining years of his life with his conscience. With the brutality he had inflicted on his fellow man. There is simply no justification for the actions he did. He cannot argue that such cruelty was necessary to bring Singapore to what it is today. In fact Singapore would have been a far better place had he been tolerant of divergent views. It would have been a vibrant democracy and not afflicted with the problems it faces today of massive brain drain, a zero birth rate and an almost extinct local population.

I would have no hesitation to say that the most humble of Singaporeans are far luckier human beings today than the 89 year old Lee Kuan Yew. He has to somehow live with his conscience. I can look into the mirror tomorrow morning with pride. Can Lee Kuan Yew do so without cringing?

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).
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William Rogers said...

Gopolan - Re Kissinger please don't forget to mention the untold misery, injuries & death he ordered on the mainly poor civilian population in Cambodia & Laos. Over 3 MILLION dead. The amount of bombs dropped on on Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia was FOUR times the tonnage than what was dropped by the USA during WW2 in all theaters of that war. Like LKY, HK has a hot date in hell with the man who sports the horns & pitchfork. It cannot come soon enough for both of them, and all their sycophantic friends.

Anonymous said...

To start with, the whole "fishing village" story is a huge myth. As far back as the 1880s, Singapore enjoyed one of the highest living standards in Asia. Why wouldn't it -- the British had set it up as a thriving transhipment port, forcing just about every vessel coming through these parts to call port here and pay duty on its cargo. In the 1930s - decades before PAP arrived on the scene - the Cathay condo units had air-conditioning. In the 40s and 50s, the city spawned a golden age of Malay-language music and cinema. Clearly, the "village" metaphor, as thoroughly as it has been drilled into everyone's head, is nothing but a big lie. At best, it is a tweak on the old and equally dubitable Zionist statement "we made the desert bloom".