Sunday, July 29, 2012

Singapore Lee's son, Lee Hsien Loong, Bashar al Assad and Kim Jong Un

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The one thing that is common among Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew's son Lee Hsien Loong, Bashar al Assad of Syria who is just about to be toppled and North Korea's Kim Jong Un is this; they are all the son's of their fathers and it is that qualification alone that put them where they are.

Lee's son, had it not been for the fact of his father, he would probably have been working as a bank teller in one of Singapore's Chinese owned banks. And he wouldn't be talking so much either and what is worse expecting us to listen.

His father sent him to an English university where he obtained some sort of a degree. Upon his return he promptly was made a General in the Singapore army, immediately thereafter made to stand for elections with orders to the others that he must be allowed to win, under pain of defamation lawsuits and immediately thereafter made Prime Minister whether anyone liked it or not.

Today he goes around making speeches to his Singaporeans and governs over his one party state, devoid of any free speech, expression, right of protests and with a state controlled press and media. To top it all, he has beside him the police force and a suppliant judiciary who are waiting for orders to imprison, impoverish and bankrupt anyone whom he wants destroyed.

Let's turn to Bashar al Assad of Syria who appears at present in a rather tight situation to put it mildly, of being overthrown and sent off to prison in The Hague for crimes against humanity. He has had a very similar existence to that of Lee's son. He too joined the Syrian army and was made a General in record time under his father’s orders, sent off to England for an education, and upon his return promptly made the President of Syria on his father’s death. Had it not been for his father, Bashar will probably be selling spectacles in one of the souks in Damascus, where he actually belongs.

The case of Kim Jong Un is no different. You see the same pattern. Being the son of his father Kim Jong Il happens to have privileges. In his case, it was a Swiss education and thereafter upon his father’s death President of North Korea.

The other thing which is similar in all these cases is this. None of their subjects have any respect for them. In Singapore, not a single person has any respect for Lee's son, whom we all know got to where he was just because of his father. He has no credibility and no one takes him seriously. If he has managed to govern so far, it is because of the bootlickers who grovel at his feet because it is very profitable, in the tune of millions of dollars in salary and perks. And then you have the masses who have no idea of their rights and are quite prepared to go along because they receive some sort of an income which is better than the neighboring countries such as Indonesia.

And then you the masses of Chinese immigrants who are brought in from the rural parts of China to replace the ever growing massive brain drain to the West and the aging population that are dying off. Such people too have no idea that they are entitled to any rights since they never had any in Communist China from where they came.

As for Syria the people have had enough and resorted to a revolution. In the case of North Korea, since they cannot obtain exit passes to leave the country which they hate, they have no choice but to eat humble pie.

It is funny really to look at Singapore from a distance. Remember I was there, born there and was a Singapore politician before I decided that there is a better way to live than that and very sensibly packed up and left. Although the rate of overseas emigration out of Singapore is already at record levels, I sometimes wonder why anyone would want to tolerate a life like that. I mean a life under Lee Kuan Yew's son.

Gopalan Nair
Former Singapore opposition politician
Attorney at Law
Fremont California USA
Tel: 510 657 6107 or 510 491 4375

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Singaporeans, a people content to live under a dictatorship

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore is in effect a dictatorship, which no one aware of it's style of government will deny. Regardless of what it says, you know the truth. The Constitution does not guarantee free speech, assembly, a free press or any of the other liberties that others in the world enjoy. People are forced to toe the government line through the island’s police force and the courts which take orders directly from the Lee Kuan Yew Ruling family.

You can live in Singapore but only if you are prepared to allow the Lees to do anything they want without question. If you do you are marked, punished and identified for eternal harassment, victimization, intimidation and discrimination.

To an ordinary person, who I assume most people are, such a life would certainly be distasteful. A life such as this is tantamount to your accepting the fact that the Lee Ruling Family are kings and you are their absolute subjects.

I would assume faced with such an unacceptable choice, one would have done one of the following. One would have protested, resisted and challenged them openly and worked to overthrow them.

Or one would have packed up and left Singapore for good for a new life elsewhere where they could live free.

But one would not have thought that the vast majority of Singapore island citizens would simply accept such a life and stay without question. Unfortunately this is how Singaporeans live. The vast majority of Singaporeans, both native born islanders and recent immigrants mostly from mainland China simply live their lives in Singapore  accepting life under the Lee Kuan Yew Family’s absolute rule.  

Dividing Singaporeans into segments of thought, would come out something like this. We can assume the majority of Singaporeans are native born. This section of the population have been so intimidated over the years by Lee Kuan Yew suing them for defamation of character for even the slightest criticism, imprisoning them and bankrupting them that they have been terrified into total submission and silence. They are by and large resigned to the fact that there is nothing they can do. Whether they like it or not, they have no choice but to accept the Lee family ruling over their lives with absolute impunity and eternally. One can in fact describe them no better than slaves.

Then you have the recently arrived mainland Chinese people who are given instant citizenship. They are by and large simply opportunists. They don't care who is in power or who is not. For all they care, Lee Kuan Yew can be a monkey if he likes, as along as it does not affect them. They have come to Singapore because they can earn more than the peanuts they get in the rural parts of China from which they came. If they could have gone to Australia, they would have readily done so, but Australia does not want them.

Finally you have the few who work for the Lee Ruling Family government. They have an education and qualifications. But what they do not have is pride, self confidence or principles. It is quite all right for them to work for a dictatorship as long as the money is good. I would call these educated Singaporeans who sell their conscience and their self respect to the highest bidder as unscrupulous opportunists.

Let me give you an example of such a man. K Shanmugam is Lee Kuan Yew's handpicked Minister for Law. In that position, he has managed to promote and enact numerous items of legislation that take away even the little rights that Singaporeans may have had. A few years ago, he passed legislation that required even a single protestor even peacefully to require a government permit which by the way will never be granted. For al lawyer he knows that the Constitution is supposed to guarantee the right to peacefully protest as enshrined in the UN Declaration. But as it is comfortable for him, with his large salary he gets for the dirty work he does, it becomes perfectly acceptable to do this.

Such are the men and women who surround the Lee Ruling Family in Singapore, devoid of any principles, convictions, loyalty, patriotism or moral righteousness who prostrate at their feet for high monetary reward. And with the help of these bootlickers, the Lee Ruling Family continues to subjugate the masses who are willing to live this way anyway.

The other section of Singaporeans are the ones who simply refuse. They find it impossible to live this way and therefore leave the island permanently for the West. But as long as Singapore can attract the temporary workers from Mainland China who are given instant citizenship and as long as there are enough Singaporeans who are willing to live this way, the Lee Ruling Family will go one for a bit longer. But it certainly will not last.

One thing that must be apparent is this. Because of the large numbers of temporary Chinese immigrants in Singapore which the Lee Ruling Family relies on, any sudden change or uncertainty will also mean that they would leave as quickly as they came.

One such sudden change that can come about is the very probable death of the Singaporean leader Lee Kuan Yew. Since everything and everybody in the island depends on the dictates of this one man, who is now 89, as is the case in all dictatorships, his death would mean a sudden drain of foreign capital, a sudden exodus of Singaporeans leaving the island, because no one has any respect or confidence in his son, whom he placed as Prime Minister. 

With the 89 year old Lee's demise, Singapore will collapse and the vast majority of it's people would disappear abroad.

This cannot be a secure future for Singapore or for the Lee Ruling family. So far they are making good with the bootlicking opportunists at the top and a population without ideals, ideas, passions or even self respect, willing to live under the rule of the Lee Ruling Family. This is not a strong foundation upon which the island survives and secondly with the death of the 89 year old strongman Lee, it will collapse in a minute.

If you can see the writing on the wall, perhaps the time has come for even those undecided to pack up now with your families and your belongings and head to the West like Australia. It may be a very good idea.

Gopalan Nair
Singaporean by Birth
Critic of the Singaporean Lee Regime
Attorney at Law
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107 or 510 491 4375

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Singapore. Street protests are a likely scenario.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Although we have not seen street protests like there are in the Middle East today, it’s happening in Singapore is not as unlikely as it would appear. There are numerous areas of glaring injustice in Lee Ruling Family's Singapore but because they are carried out in a subtle and not so glaring manner, Singapore islanders may not have seen the need to act. But as the injustice and repression continues, it is not unlikely that the volcano of discontent, so far dormant may explode once and for all with devastating ferocity.

In the first place there is the open and undisguised corruption of the Lee Ruling Family. You realize that Lee Kuan Yew and every member of his family and friends openly pay themselves several million dollars a year which they call a salary. I would call it corruption because no island state's leader and their friends are entitled to pay themselves millions and get away with it. As if this was not enough, they steal among themselves several millions more through state controlled companies with their friends and family in positions of ownership and control. All this siphoning of funds is nowhere disclosed which they due with impunity. Why impunity? Because they control the courts of law and judges and if anyone even so much as whispers an accusation against them, there comes the sure defamation lawsuit, criminal charges and the victim either ends up in jail or bankrupted.

This is both corruption and theft by the Lee Ruling Family. The people know this but have not so far managed to raise a public outcry and condemnation through mass protests and civil disobedience. In time, the people will rise.

Then you have the massive imports of Chinese immigrants to overwhelm the island to the detriment of the Malays and Indians who are equal citizens. Today with this continued policy of the government to flood the island with Chinese immigrants from Communist China, almost every other person you see today in Singapore is from Communist China who are given instant citizenships with a red carpet welcome, whereas no Malays are welcome and no Indians from India either.

Today the social interaction, culture and traditions of the island are no longer that of Singapore, but that of Communist China. The culture and character of the island has changed completely. The mannerisms of the islanders have become more like those in China, of a people who know no democracy, no understanding of English and ever willing to live in slavery as they do there, whereas had the thinking been according to modern western philosophy, the people would have been up in arms against the Lee Ruling Family.

But the positive side of this is the fact Singaporeans are English educated and are able to travel to the west with increasing affluence among those connected to the government, which enables some to realize that they need not live under the tyranny of the Lees as they do now and with sufficient growing unhappiness, public protests and demonstrations cannot be ruled out.

And then you have the racial discrimination openly carried out against the Malays and the Indians by the majority Chinese Lee Kuan Yew government. Under the government laws and policies, a system of apartheid is openly enforced. In government housing in which 99% of the islanders live, Malays and Indians are allowed to live only in designated areas among the Chinese. They are not allowed to live in tenements where they form the majority of residents. This racial discrimination is intended to ensure they do not acquire political power through unity of numbers and to ensure they will forever be subservient to the majority Chinese population to which the Lee Ruling Family belong.

Sooner or later the Malays and Indians who are marginalized and discriminated by their own island government may not sit idly by for too long and perhaps with the help of the Malaysian and Indian governments may one day rise up to demand their just places in society. It is therefore not unlikely that Malays and Indians on their own or in unity may demand fairness and justice through public demonstrations, public protests and civil disobedience.

Malays and Indians suffer racial discrimination in many other ways. For instance in jobs, first preference is always given to Chinese and the Indians and Malays either cannot find jobs or are given only those that the Chinese do not want.

What is even worse is the fact that Singapore is the only place in the world where any foreigner is given equal chance for any jobs as are locals. In fact large sections of the local population are unable to get jobs because the employers, themselves recent immigrants from China, give them to their fellow countrymen from China instead of the local islanders.

As Singapore does not have any form of social welfare, unemployment insurance or minimum wage laws, these large numbers of unemployed Singaporeans look with envy, unhappiness and anger at the recently arrived immigrants from China who have managed to take all the jobs, while they remain unemployed and in poverty in their own island city state.

I am absolutely sure that as this intolerable injustice against Singaporeans in their own island by denying jobs to them and instead giving them to foreigners. This is going to touch a raw nerve among Singaporeans, if it has not done so already, who would finally stand up in public outrage and mass protests. If it is not anything else that moves Singaporeans to mass action, it has to be this evil of job discrimination against Singaporeans in their own country.

These injustices already have their manifestations in other forms at present. Almost every single Singaporean who is able to leave the country has done so or is the in the process of leaving, resulting in the island having the highest rate of brain drain in the world.

Because people are so unhappy, they are not getting married and not having children either, resulting in the world's lowest rate of marriage and childbirth, which is 1.2. This means a couple cannot even replace themselves. To add to the already bleak outlook, Singapore has a very large aging population which means people are dying off and there are insufficient Singaporeans to replace them, unless of course the island continues to bring in plane loads of Chinese immigrants from China to replace them.

But it is most unlikely that all Singaporeans would either continue to leave the island or simply remain quiet in the fact of this repression and injustice. There will be a few who love their country so much that they will say that something has to be done. It is this small core of dedicated loyal Singaporeans who will form the spearhead for the revolution that will emerge sooner than later. I have confidence in that.

Gopalan Nair
A Singaporean By Birth
Attorney at Law
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107 or 510 491 4375.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Singapore. The need for peaceful protest and why the Internet alone will not do.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

If there is one country in the world which is totally abuzz in the Internet with demands for the downfall of their government it has to be Singapore. Every which way you look, there are thousands and thousands of critics who want to see the back of the Singapore ruling family or what is also called the Lee Dynasty.

The demands for change should be obvious. You have Lee Kuan Yew and son and every other member of their family in cushy positions wallowing in corruption. Lee pays himself and each of them $3.7 million a year, 5 times that which Obama gets. The press is state controlled. The legal system is hijacked with government appointed judges who destroy government critics through the courts, the Malays and Indians are racially discriminated, and those at the top are preferentially treated in the courts.

True, with the population completely fed up with this dictatorial regime, with people across the island calling for regime change, change has not only started, it will eventually topple the regime. There is no doubt about that.

You see the unraveling of the regime even now. The brain drain is highest with almost everyone capable of leaving the island doing so. No matter how much the government tries to persuade the people to have more children, it has the lowest birth rate in the world and the highest rates of ageing.

To replace those leaving the island and dying of old age, the government is left with no choice but to bring in Chinese immigrants from mainland China who speak no English to replace them. Because of the low quality of these immigrants, the entire population is degraded and brought down to the level of these Mandarin speaking Chinese coolies.

There is no doubt that if the present trend continues, you will be left with a very inferior sort of population in the island leaving on the one hand educated opportunists who have no principles or self respect except the love of money and on the other hand ignorant dummies who have no idea that they don't have to live like slaves.

In this scenario, change takes time, but it will come. But remember also, no matter how much you sit at your computer writing bad things about the Lee ruling family, you are not going to see instant change. The Lee ruling family will linger on with their propaganda on the state controlled newspapers for some time at least.

If you want to see real change now, you are left with no choice. The message must be clear to you from across the Middle East. Egypt, Tunisia and now Syria will not have changed without the people getting up from the comfort of their computers and getting on the streets. Dictatorships like that of the Lees understand no other logic other than that of open resistance peacefully.

I concede these regimes unlike Singapore's were unimaginably brutal. You are talking about pulling out finger nails. But thank God, Lee does not resort to such brutality, not because he will not but because he understands that such reaction will lead to the island emptying out completely. He represses his people but the repression is a soft kind, such as throwing you out of your job, denying you privileges that other citizens receive and defaming your reputation through the state controlled media.

But my message to those Singaporeans who love their island home is this. If you don't want to see your island completely go to the dogs, which it is presently going, then you have to do what you think is right, protest.

If there is one thing the Lee family it terrified of, it is the lone peaceful protestor standing in Raffles Place surrounded by the high rise office blocks at noon on a working day when thousands and thousands of Singaporeans will be passing. The news of that protestor will spread across the tiny island within 5 minutes. Justice is on the side of this brave protestor, not on the side of the government. Remember the Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights across the world guarantees this human right of peaceful protest.

It is true that Lee will have this man arrested. But when he does so, across the world his action would be seen to be illegal, no matter what the illegal laws of Singapore were to say.

The moment one man protests, others will follow, and in a few hours if not a few days, the Lee ruling family will be forced to talk and listen to your demands. You will have a new Singapore almost instantly.

I am not asking for violence or bloodshed. Peaceful protests is a proud and noble form of resistance across the world. You are not a criminal for engaging in peaceful protests, instead you are the best citizen, noblest among the noble, with a civic sense of duty which will be respected and admired.

Remember in 2008 when a wrote a blog post in this blog criticizing Lee’s Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean, and being arrested for it, I was acting in a noble cause and respected for what I did across the world, even if the Lee Ruling Family threw me in jail. Subsequently I was even disbarred from practicing law in Singapore but I remain today proudly on the Rolls of lawyers in California and the English Bar. Singapore might consider me a criminal but not so in the free world which looks at me instead as a noble citizen with the courage to stand up to principle. The Lee Ruling Family has not dared to demand that I be punished and disbarred in California or England for being in their opinion, in the Singaporean sense, a very bad criminal.

To those Singaporeans who wish to arrest the decline of the island to which it is heading through the denial of freedom, democracy and the rule of law by this dictatorial government, I say once again, that you must rise up in peaceful protest and do what is right for your island country.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
Singaporean by Birth
Fremont, California USA
Tel 510 657 6107 or 510 491 4375

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Singapore. M Ravi, the Hougang by elections case, a most entertaining national theatrical comedy.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For those who are in the know about Singapore, the things that this Lee Ruling Family do and the equally funny responses of their subdued citizens sometimes can be tragically funny, as in what we can call the M Ravi Hougang case which is now going on Singapore's center stage.

It is all being published daily in the island's state controlled press.

It all started off like this. Some months ago, the opposition Member of Parliament for the constituency of Hougang was suddenly dismissed from his post for his extra marital indiscretions. Therefore it would require the government holding elections there for the Parliamentary seat to be replaced. This the Lee ruling Family did not do immediately, causing a Singapore lawyer M Ravi, a rather controversial character to commence a lawsuit through a citizen to compel the government to act.

This lawsuit was misguided from the start. First there is nothing in Singapore’s laws compelling the government to hold elections in vacant parliamentary constituencies. However since Singapore law is supposed to be based on English law at least on paper, even English law makes no such requirement that elections be held except that English gentlemen would as gentlemen be expected to hold elections within 3 months. Remember England does not have a written constitution.

From this alone, one would have thought the action was completely lost but something even worse happened for this litigant; the government decided to hold elections very soon thereafter, even before the case came to court which made the entire case of M Ravi moot, since there was nothing left to fight about. In fact if you were looking for the perfect example of a case of barking up the wrong tree, you would not have found any better.

As if these incidents up till now were not comedy enough, the theatrical performance takes an even added twist from here.

Suddenly on the day of the High Court trial of this totally unnecessary case of the Hougang by-elections, or much ado about nothing, on July 16, 2012; a phantom gentlemen by the name of Wong Siew Hong suddenly appears in the court room with what appears to be a letter in his hand. That letter we now know is from Dr. Calvin Fones, a psychiatrist, whose letter declares the lawyer for the litigant M Ravi to be presently suffering from a mental derangement making him unfit to practice law.

From this point there are several things which are puzzling and downright amazing. Firstly, the Law Society of Singapore which is the controlling body of lawyers admit that he is one of their officials. Having admitted that much, they however say that his appearance in court in an attempt to stop the lawyer from representing his client which is down right unethical and improper was something they did not know! What is worse, they say that Mr. Wong's actions are excused because, according to them, he did it with best intentions!

If indeed Mr. Wong, an official of the Law Society of Singapore went to court and interrupted proceedings to prevent M Ravi from representing his client without the knowledge and consent of his superiors, then he too deserves to have a mental check up just as M Ravi does (if indeed he has to) because only a man out of his mind would do such things without either an order or request from his superiors.

And if the Law Society of Singapore wants us to believe that they did not know of the intended actions of Wong, one of their employees, you might as well ask us to believe that they thought pigs could indeed fly as well.

And as for M Ravi, I have this to say. One has to feel sorry for him. He has done a great deal uncaring to his own interests for the good of the down trodden in his island. He has worked tirelessly for the abolition of the death penalty and other causes of the underdog, which no other Singaporean lawyer would have the courage to do even a fraction of what he did.

Having said that, I also know that M Ravi does indeed suffer from a mental infliction. I remember seeing him in Subordinate Courts in 2008 during my so-called adventure in Lee Kuan Yew’s island when I ended up in jail for criticizing the judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean. Watching M Ravi in Singapore in that Singapore courtroom was not a pleasant sight. He was as you would know taken to hospital from court that day.

I understand that bipolar disorder which M Ravi suffers from is something that can be contained provided the patient regularly and punctually takes the medicine. When he does not, he can become wild and unpredictable which was what I observed on that troubling day in 2008.  

The problem with being a lawyer under this affliction is this. It is all very well if you are taking your medicine with discipline. What if you did not? And what if you were acting for a client when you have missed the medication. And what if you have a relapse.

I understand that the Law Society of Singapore has allowed him to practice under the care of another lawyer, his partner, F Violet Netto who has publicly stated that there was nothing wrong with him or something to that effect. I can appreciate her trying to defend Ravi for whom many Singaporeans have affection and respect. But I think, her loyalties aside, she is not being entirely forthright having known the repeated instances of Ravi’s relapses.

I have no answers to a case such as this. This is a tragic situation, especially so in this case where you have a lawyer with such great promise. It would indeed be a pity to take away his license. But at the same time, what do you do when a lawyer can suddenly turn into the greatest comedian without any notice at all, as I had observed him in the Subordinate Courts in 2008.

What you have in Singapore is a tragedy. You have a Law Society which outwardly claims to be champion of citizen's rights but yet works hand in glove with the Lee Ruling Family to destroy any lawyer who dares to stand up to them. And then you have one sole human being, a lawyer, the only one with any guts to challenge the Lee Ruling Dynasty, but unfortunately for him, he has bipolar disorder. And lastly you have an entire lawyer population, who one would have expected to have the courage to defend the people's rights, but have all been so intimidated and subjugated that they are indeed more afraid of the Lee family than their fellow citizens.

This is a Singaporean tragedy, one which can outdo even the best of Shakespeare’s most celebrated tragedies.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107 or 510 491 4375