Monday, September 17, 2012

Singapore Lee Ruling Family's stranglehold on power

*PS.09/18/2012. Remember the Lee Ruling Family of Singapore have never had any respect for the Rule of Law or even the principles of Parliamentary Democracy. Lee Senior has repeatedly said that only he knows best and he could rule much better on his own without the need for any elections.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Never in history have dictatorships and totalitarian regimes among which is Singapore, have ever willingly ceded power; they always have had to be forced out.

We are seeing great shift in their support on the ground. In the last election, Lee Ruling Family's PAP only succeeded in getting 60% of the votes and the opposition had seen the largest shift in their favor, 40%. If the trend is to continue, we can expect the opposition to get even more, perhaps even 60% and turning the tables the other way round.

But the question is, even if the opposition gets the majority, will the Lee Ruling Family ever cede power? I think not. They have too much to lose.

Singaporeans when voting for the opposition were of course thinking that they are getting opposition representatives. But the Lees had no such intention ever to give up even an inch of control. So they did the best they can under the circumstances. They permitted an opposition in Parliament but one which was actually their representatives anyway. Today the Workers Party which won 6 seats are in fact Lee's representatives and have nothing to do at all with the opposition. They are in Parliament performing at a theater, which is to behave like the opposition but make no effort to unseat Lee's PAP even one bit. This way, with the mirage of an opposition, the Lee Ruling Family are still calling all the shots, as they have continuously done the last 52 years.

Recently Lee's government has agreed to lift Chee Soon Juan's bankruptcy and alluding to the fact that he may contest the next elections in 2016. Question is, will they even allow him to win? Just as in every other one party police state in the world, the government can actually decide who wins and who loses. If they wanted Chee to win, their agents would knock on every door in the area demanding they vote him in. If not, they could do the same and intimidate and threaten everyone to not vote for him. And if these tactics did not realize the desired result, they would just as in every other one party state, just shove the ballot boxes.

Can you imagine what it would be, for Lees to willingly hand over power? The tenure of all their judges would be questioned, all their repressive laws would be questioned, their corrupt payments to their friends and cronies of millions of taxpayer’s money would be questioned, and they suddenly find themselves accountable in more ways than one. No, there is simply too much at stake for them to quietly go away no matter what.

In any case, even if the opposition were to succeed, the Lees can make sure that there is no change on the ground. Remember Ministers and Members of Parliament don't run the island, civil servants do. So if necessary, regardless of who sits in Parliament, government departments run by Lee’s sympathizers can continue taking orders from them and the Ministers can do nothing about it.

The only way there can be true change and dictatorships are toppled are not through the ballot box, they are through public protests and civil disobedience. There is simply no other way. If anyone ever thought that Chee Soon Juan is the harbinger of change because he can contest elections or because the electorate has voted out the Lee ruling Family, I would say, think again. Nothing will happen for ions of years. If they are determined to hang on to power no matter what, as they are now, you will have to be content with at least another 50 years of rule by the Lee Ruling Family.

This is why I have always felt that the only way to change Singapore from what it is today, an open party police state, is to engage in mass protests across the island to demand the rights which are rightfully yours. Peaceful protests are a very powerful tool in a crowded city like Singapore. A demand for a free press, or the rule of law, or the abolition of the Internal Security Act will bring immediate results. Lee's government will simply not be able to justify their denial of rights, and once you have succeeded in one case, every other case becomes much easier. This government will simply collapse under such an attack and you will see democracy for once, I can guarantee you that.

For a one party police state like Singapore, there is really no other answer than to take to the streets in demanding what is rightly yours, your freedom. You simply don’t have to live in a state where all the newspapers are state controlled; where there is no freedom of speech and you can be arrested and bankrupted at the slightest criticism of the government or members of the Lee ruling Family; where there is no rule of law; where the Family can get away with paying themselves and their friends $2.7 million a year each; where they can simply use the Internal Security Act and lock you away for decades without trial; where Malays and Indians have to live as second class citizens and Mandarin Chinese recently arrived from China are now the preferred citizens!

As Orwell said in Animal Farm, 4 legs good, 2 legs better. Today, Chinese from China in Singapore are the ones with the 2 legs, while Singapore citizens born and raised in Singapore have 4.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
Fremont, CA, USA
Tel: 510 491 4375


Anonymous said...

I read that that salary of Lee Hsien Loong is something like 80 times the total income of the average Singaporean household.

If one said that, they'd probably be threatened with a lawsuit by Lee, who might say, "No! It's only 79 times that of the average Singaporean household!"

Anonymous said...

How dare you question why the CEO is getting so much money. He earned it!!!!!!@@@## Singapore is not a country, it is a MNC. That is why every year the Singaporeans get profit sharing amounting from $200 to $500. So be a good and an obedient employee or pack up and leave. You can migrate to a "real" country where you would actually exist and be heard.