Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore lawyers and their wierd sense of priorities

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore state controlled newspaper the Straits Times of Aug 24, 2012 has the story "Members (lawyers) want Law Society to explain clash with Ravi".

For those who have not been following the stupidity that a Singapore lawyer M Ravi has been playing with its courts, judges and the legal profession, and the willingness of the state controlled press to join the absolute waste of time nonsense, here it is.  

M Ravi suffers from manic depression, or bipolar. This fact was voluntarily made known by  M Ravi himself way back in 2006 when he was charged by the Law Society for abusing judges and other unacceptable behavior in court, and as a result, got his sentence mitigated by the fact that he was mentally ill and by reason of this fact, the court in their leniency suspended him for only one year.

After that on several occasions during relapses, he had behaved in a strange inexplicable manner. So far Lee Kuan Yew's government, has left him alone, firstly because they don't want to be seen punishing someone for a condition over which he has no control, and secondly because they don't want to be seen going against a lawyer who, as it appears, has been championing the rights of the underdog, and consequently invite the wrath of the people.

Anyhow, a few months ago, during his court appearance on behalf of a woman from the Hougang Constituency who was suing the government to hold elections there, a weird decision indeed, as there was no case at all since Lee's son had already held the required election; his psychiatrist who realized that he was currently suffering from a severe case of madness, sent a letter through a certain official of the Law Society to warn the judge of his being unfit to practice law, a finding which a doctor is in a position to be able to make.

In any case, Ravi, our bipolar patient, now appears to feel a sense of importance, as such patients usually do, has kicked up a lot of fuss as a result of the man bringing the  letter this way, which he claims has defamed him, and after numerous threats against all and sundry, has sued the gentlemen who brought the letter and every single member of the Law Society and has proclaimed that he will not rest until he has received nothing short of $21 million from them as compensation.

Of course whether it is he who gets the $21 million or the Law Society who will bankrupt him instead, is yet to be seen, but I guess it is going to be much more the latter than the former. After all it is Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.

But coming to the point of this article, according to this newspaper report, "a group of members from the Law Society (Singapore lawyers) wants the Law Society to shed more light on it's recent clash with Ravi", that is showing the letter from the doctor to the judge on his mental illness.

And in order to make sure they (lawyers) get the answers "they plan to file a motion" at the floor of the Society to this end.

I must say, they seem to have a strange set of priorities. The Singapore Law Society which has been so silenced into submission through a mortal fear of Lee Kuan Yew and what it will do to them have almost gone into hibernation for the last 40 years. They haven't stood up for any cause which one would have expected lawyers anywhere to do.

For instance, they have been completely silent when the law is routinely abused to silence critics through defamation actions in Lee’s Kangaroo Courts. In fact they had nothing to say at all when one of their own members, a lawyer, JB Jeyaretnam was hounded and persecuted through the violation of every rule in the book to destroy him completely from being a political threat to Lee.

They have quietly stood by over the years when Chee Soon Juan a vocal critic of Lee had been repeatedly sued, jailed and bankrupted for nothing more that exercising his political right of criticism of the Singaporean fascist regime.

In fact one major complaint of Chee Soon Juan was that he was unable to find a single lawyer in the entire island willing to defend him! Why because in Lee’s Singapore it is suicidal to represent any of his critics. If you do, suddenly there will crop up out of thin air, all sorts of imaginary crimes which you have committed (according to Lee) and that is the end of you.

And they have had nothing to say throughout the years when every single human right in the Constitution was methodically and deliberately denied until now, where Singaporeans today have no human rights at all because it is now simply a police state; thanks to Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore lawyers.

It is impossible to be kind when describing them because they are simply a cowardly lot who disgrace the name of lawyers around the world, as can be seen of brave lawyers during the civil rights years in he US, lawyers in Palestine who defend Arabs in Israeli courts at great risk to their own lives, or even lawyers in Putin's Russia who stand up despite the treats and intimidation of the Russian government apparatus.

Now suddenly we see this docile, timid and cowardly bunch coming forward with a motion to demand an explanation for the Society's actions. Very brave indeed, bravo, but what about the other grave injustices about which you simply have had nothing to say?

I tell you why they have done nothing when it really matters, and when Lee stamps his foot on the Constitution and makes them slaves. It is because had they are afraid of what Lee would do to them if they questioned him on such matters as human rights. It is dangerous to do such things in Singapore. So like a donkey, the stand idly by and do nothing.

But in this case, involving M Ravi, Lee will not go after them if they stood up, since M Ravi is of no consequence to anyone. So like a coward, they stand up when there is no danger.

It is like a soldier in the field who hides during the height of the battle but when it is all over and done, suddenly emerge to fight the long gone enemy.

Shame on you, Singapore lawyers. You are a spineless lot.

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

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