Monday, May 7, 2012

Singapore's reputation suffers beating at the hands of Dr. Chee

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Asian Correspondent of May 07, 2012 has an article by Kirsten Han headed "Unable to leave Singapore, Dr. Chee Soon Juan records a video for the Oslo Freedom Forum". Chee was invited by the prestigious human rights organization to speak at their forum together with other distinguished speakers from around the world. As he was declared bankrupt though trumped upped libel charges which the Lee ruling family routinely uses to silence dissent in collaboration with their corrupt judges, under Singapore law he is prohibited from leaving the island without government permission.

Every single Singaporean as well as those throughout the world who take the trouble to know Singapore are vey well aware of the kangaroo courts of Singapore which the Lee ruling family uses to destroy political opponents enabling them to remain perpetually in power.

As a result, not a single Singaporean believes in the truth of any of these libel suits and political bankruptcies. It would not be wrong to say that the legal system of the island, their judges and lawyers have lost all credibility whatsoever. One manifestation of this disgrace is the fact that there hardly are any lawyers there. In that island with 5 million people, there are not more than 3,000 lawyers! I guess that explains everything.

Thor Halvorssen, President and CEO of the Human Rights Foundation of New York managed to get a great deal of egg on the Lee ruling family's Singapore island when he wrote an open letter to Lee Kuan Yew's son, the Prime Minister of the island who was placed there by his father, requesting that they allow Chee to leave Singapore to attend the conference as they are footing the entire bill for the trip and a guarantee that he will return and not abscond. In spite of Halvorssen's plea, Lee Kuan Yew's son refuses to allow Chee to attend at Oslo.

By these events, once again, Singapore’s reputation is dragged though the sewer pipe of shame. It's refusal to allow Chee's travel request is not only laughable, it is downright disgraceful. If their argument is that he should not be allowed to travel without paying the astronomically silly court awards of a million dollars to the Lee family, they already are millionaires many times over and they don't really need any more. In any case any court award for a million dollars for merely criticizing someone is not a court award, it is an extortion racket.

The real reason is not any of this. It is the Lee ruling family's fear of Chee's speaking to the world and exposing the corrupt government of Singapore. They are desperately trying, and increasingly failing to put out a picture of good governance around the world and Chee is being an obstacle in that disgraceful project. The problem for Singapore is this. As they try harder and harder to paint a picture of a clean government, the more people become to know the truth which is, a dictatorship ruling the island through the courts.

You see the same sort of disgrace in Communist China now. Chen Guancheng, a blind human rights lawyer who worked against forced sterilization and abortions had escaped from house arrest and sook refuge in the US Embassy. By this debacle, the world once again was reminded that Communist China just like Singapore is another petty insecure country that manages to stay in power only through silencing dissent. Once again, thanks to Chen Guanchen, the world is able to see what sort of a lawless country China is, nothing but a third world banana republic. At once stroke Chen Guanchen managed to bring the reputation of China down to the gutter.

But compared to China, these actions by Singapore would hurt them much more. China has nearly one billion people. However much enlightened Chinese may feel disgusted by these events, there are still sufficient numbers of Chinese within China to continue running that dictatorship. But in Singapore's case, the consequences of this disgrace are dire. The island has English language. It has Internet. Almost everyone is literate. Unlike China, it's borders are not closed. You know what this means of course. When Singaporeans begin to have total disrespect for their government, their civil service and their legal system as they do now, they do the natural thing that anyone else would do. They pack up and leave for the West.

Recent newspapers articles from the island's state controlled press have admitted that much. They have finally admitted that the battle is lost. Far too many people are leaving the island. Too few babies are being born and the fast aging population is dying. Their only choice after having their reputation dragged repeatedly through the sewage pipes with episodes of shame such as this is to invite the only people in the world who are still willing to come to Singapore, Mandarin speaking coolies from Communist China. Having to accept people such as these for settlement in a so called international city state is simply a plan for total disaster.

For those who want to see the fall of the Lee ruling family in Singapore these events are very good news. The more they behave with such stupidity (there can be no other word for this), the sooner we can expect Singapore to end up completely dysfunctional with their only available citizens, Chinese coolies from Communist China.

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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Soul Man said...

Gopalan, you are right. However, who wins at the end of the day? Dr Chee is bankrupt, in poverty and unable to do what he should legally be able to do. LKY and his stooges are wealthy, in power, laugh at their critics and go their merry way, not caring two hoots about world publicity, since nothing concrete is happening. I mean, the world is not clamoring for LKY and his son’s impeachment or their necessary criminal trials, are they?

Don’t get me wrong, I ABHOR what LKY, his son and stooges are doing to Dr. Chee and others. However, the sad reality is the golden rule: “He who has the gold, makes the rules.” Unless the US or the UN sanctions Singapore, father and son don’t give a hoot. Even if there are sanctions, North Korea is proof that it may not topple the regime. Singapore may be the same, who knows?

For now, nothing can be done or will be done. I feel sorry fro Dr. Chee. His only option is to to follow your footsteps. He needs to somehow sneak out of Singapore, flee to the west and carry on his work from there.

Gopalan Nair said...

To Soul Man,

You make a very valid point. Sometimes I grapple with that too. I ask myself, should I have stayed back in Singaproe and carried on the struggle.

Men such as Dr. Chee are a special lot. Men such as Gandhi and Mandela. I am not sure what answer I would get if I had asked your question to Mandela. Was it worth it? 26 years in jail?

Over the years I have realized that the fight itself is estatic. It is euphoria. It is one long pleasurable adrenelin boost.

I am not made of the same mettle such as Dr. Chee. I love life too much. Which is why I left Singapore rather than be Lee's permanent victim.

I admire Dr. Chee. One day he will succeed and he will be vindicated. It may take time but the rewards will be sweet. Very sweet.

Anonymous said...

I am an UBC alumni who grew up in Singapore. I sincerely hope LKY and LHL can be gentlemen and would be courageous and righteous enough to acknowledge their wrong doings like what Stephen Harpher did.

Anonymous said...

I am the same UBC alumni who has written the above post. It may sound philosophical but I really admire Jiddu Krishnamurti's conception of "Truth as pathless land". We are all victims of circumstances and sometimes I wonder what would happen if Lee Kuan Yew didn't insist on Singapore being separated from Malaysia. Would Singapore be a better place under Lim Chin Siong's guidance ? What is done cannot be undone but one thing for sure is people's perception on LKY and LHL would change for the better if the Singapore's constitution is changed to respect human rights, to respect individualism and not treat people like digits.

“It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it.”
― Aung San Suu Kyi, Freedom from Fear