Friday, November 30, 2012

Singapore's labor relations; the calm of the cemetary

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the aftermath of the recent unprecedented bus driver strike in the island authoritarian police state run by the Lee Ruling Family who each pay themselves $3.7 million a year and even more secretly, they have come out saying in their state controlled newspapers that the strike has upset the industrial harmony in the island.

Let me tell them this. Harmony extracted through fear, intimidation, threats of arrest and deportation is not harmony. It is slavery. And if Singapore Island has calm in the workforce, it is the silence of the cemetery.

Singapore Island does not have a minimum wage law, union leaders are appointed by the state to represent not workers but employers, any attempt to strike is illegal and subject to arrest and imprisonment, there are no laws against discrimination of race religion or gender; it is simply a paradise for both local and multinational employers to extract every inch of blood from the low wage powerless workers.

Singaporeans have over the years simply accepted this because they had no choice. What else can they do when they face arrest? With no social security of any sort, no unemployment assistance the poor workers are faced with the dire choice of either accepting their terms or they and their families starve.

This is the very reason why Singaporeans, the vast majority of them have said in a recent survey that given a chance, they would emigrate to the West for the betterment of their families. In fact that is what the able and skilled are doing in increasing numbers, forcing the government to resort to increasing numbers of foreigners, which creates this sort of unexpected reaction through strikes.

Unwittingly, these Chinese bus drivers have done a bundle of good for Singapore and Singaporeans. They have brought home the message that not everyone will be pushed around by these state bullies. And the reaction by the state in arresting them has also a done a great deal of good since we once again see that the Lee Ruling Family like a horse in blinkers know only one thing and one way, which is intimidation and instilling fear. They don't seem to realize that such ruthlessness really doesn't work in this day and age and is truly counter productive.

By their behaving like thugs once again, the consequences working against this tiny island of no more than 2.5 local born citizens is magnified even more. The world has now seen at what cost labor harmony is extracted in the island. Even more Singaporeans are angered by such state bullying. Even more Singaporeans will leave the island. Even fewer babies will be born and even faster will Lee's miracle island population dwindle even further. And what should be worrying the most for these Lee Ruling Family thugs is the strong likelihood that other workers emboldened by the courage of the Chinese bus drivers may do exactly that. Then what will they do, imprison everyone?

Gopalan Nair
A Singaporean by birth in exile
Attorney at Law
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 491 4375

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Singapore. Unprecedented strike by Chinese migrant bus drivers open a can of worms for Lee Kuan Yew's authoritarian government

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For Lee Kuan Yew's authoritarian police city state of Singapore, the unspeakable but long expected event has finally happened. Chinese migrant low wage bus drivers have finally gone on strike, demanding equal wages paid to others doing the same job and equal living conditions.

About 4 days ago, about 200 Chinese bus workers went on strike. This news went viral throughout the world, since such activity was unheard of in that tightly controlled island.  When they were threatened with police in riot gear with guns and truncheons, some 100 of those caved in but not the remaining 100 who continued against all odds. Now the island's state controlled newspaper reports that 4 have been arrested and charged in the criminal court and face fines and imprisonment extending up to a year. See

The Singapore government is repeatedly using words such as "criminal" and "illegal" to represent the actions of these drivers. Calling someone criminal does not make him one. His action should be criminal and in this case, they are simply not criminals. They were simply asking for fairer treatment and equal wage for equal work. Nothing criminal about that.

The government's argument is, like all their other nonsensical arguments, is that because bus driving is an essential activity; the law requires them to first give notice before they took strike action. But any one with any common sense also knows that if the law itself is unlawful there is no need for anyone to comply. This law requiring notice is unlawful under the Singaporean context because we all know that it would have been useless for the workers to have given notice since all that the government would have done is simply to cancel their visas and quietly send them packing to China. When a law is useless on its face, the need to comply no longer exists. The Chinese bus drivers were within their rights not to comply with the notice requirement.

Going on strike should not be an earth shattering event in any other country; workers all over the world do it. It is a fundamental human right. But not in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore where there has not been one for the last 30 years. In the past, up till now, local born Singaporeans have all been successfully cowed and intimidated never to go against authority, which has managed to keep this totalitarian one party police state in power for so long.

But the problem with the Lee Kuan Yew government when they insist on making people obey them is that they have lost their legitimacy to rule. Lee Kuan Yew and each member of his family pay themselves each $3.7 million a year which they call a salary and a further undisclosed amount through corruption. Any worker such as these men who earn a measly sum of less than about $800.00 per month would naturally be aggrieved when their rulers corruptly get away with millions at their expense. This is exactly why the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution happened. The revolutionaries were not criminals, they were heroes. They were standing for justice.

Secondly with a corrupt government and a corrupt legal system in the island which merely pass down dictates to prop up the Lee Ruling Family, no one would be expected to follow the laws in industrial action, since you simply cannot get justice.

Lee's government is already having it very hard for a very long time. The local population is simply not procreating with the lowest birth rate in the world. To make matters worse, the island itself only has about 2.5 million local born Singaporeans, a number which is falling by the day from the low birth rate, high emigration rate and an aging population. In addition, the government has built up an overly large economy which requires a large labor force relative to its size which it does not have. It therefore has no choice but to continue relying on foreign labor.

But foreigners are not Singaporeans. The Chinese from China have a long tradition of protests which is part of their Communist ethos. That is how they brought down the capitalists in 1949, by a revolution. And mini revolutions happen every day throughout China for better living conditions.

The arrest and criminal charges against the 4 have, like a can of worms, will result in huge painful consequences for the Lee government. For one, everyone can see that the Chinese drivers were in the right. Their action is justified. This creates even more hatred against the government for this bullying cowardly tactics against innocent workers who were asking only for their just rights. Which means even more people would emigrate, even fewer babies would be born and worst of all for the government, encourage others to join suit. In this case, the Lee government would simply be helpless. They simply cannot send everybody to jail or send everyone back home; because if they did, who will do the work for them.

On the other hand, the Lees simply cannot loosen up either. If they did what they should rightly do, by stopping these arrests of workers, decriminalizing strikes and work stoppages, stopping the theft of millions by the Lee Family in corruption, and making sure that you have rule of law, the people would be happy and content in the island. But doing this would also mean the end of this totalitarian corrupt dictatorship.

The Lee Ruling Family have been caught in a vice of their own making.

No, it is simply too late for the Lee regime. These proud courageous Chinese bus heroes have done it. They have done the unthinkable in Lee's tiny island. This would mean the start of other strikes of Bangladeshis, Filipinos, Indians and even Singaporeans who would now be emboldened to finally say enough is enough. Yes, the striking Chinese bus drivers have indeed opened a can of worms for the Lee Kuan Yew administration. It will be interesting to see whether they can carry on bullying their people and if so for how long.

A reminder. I am able to write this from the safety of California, USA. The Singapore government has not had the courage to demand from the foreign Internet provider of this blog, to try to stop its entry into Singapore which explains why I can continue to write. Had I wrote this from within Singapore, I would have been arrested the next instant as I was in 2008 in Singapore.

Gopalan Nair
A Singaporean by birth in exile
Attorney at Law
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 491 4375

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Singapore's champions for human rights come from the most unexpected quarter, Chinese migrant bus drivers

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For the last 3 days, Singapore's state controlled newspapers have been reporting of something almost unheard in the island city state run as a dictatorship by the Lee Ruling Family, worker strikes, which finally ended when the bus driver workers returned to work after being threatened with criminal charges and arrest. See

But seeing their actions, local Singaporeans who would never have the courage to even imagine going on strike, an action which is normal behavior in any other civilized country, should not only be inspired by it, they should also be ashamed.

The Chinese nationals who are my heroes, had legitimate right to complain. Malaysian and Singapore bus drivers in the island were given higher wages while Chinese nationals were paid less even though they were doing exactly the same work. About 170 workers initially refused to work. After the government brought dozens of armed police in riot gear ready to attack them, they eventually gave up and agreed to continue working. The exact terms of the settlement were not reported but we expect the strikers to have won in their wage demands and living conditions. 

The manner in which Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore makes use of these foreign workers to do low wage jobs in the island so as to keep wages low, is beginning to backfire. The government which is trying to take advantage of these foreign workers should understandably be very worried by what has happened. They should also realize that worker unrest is now going to increase and make it increasingly difficult for them to abuse their workers. The writing is on the wall. This is only the beginning of Lee Kuan Yew's problems. It may well be the beginning of a revolution.

The mistakes of the Lee regime in using cheap foreign labor are many. He mistakenly thinks that foreign workers would be as docile, timid and submissive as his Singaporeans. Not true. China's history is based on a revolution for better wages and living conditions. Protest is part of the culture of the Chinese in China. And by brining them to Singapore to do cheap labor, Lee did not realize that they would behave the same as they would in their country and would protest if you treat them badly. In fact there are thousands of protests each day throughout their country, a daily occurrence. If Lee wanted cheap workers who are both docile and cheap as well, he should have looked elsewhere although I don’t think there is even a single country where people are both submissive and cheap. 

Second, he houses them in dormitories together with cheap labor workers from many other countries. By doing this, it enables disgruntled workers at any one time, to let others know of their grievance and persuade others to join. This housing arrangement is a perfect recipe for mass demonstrations. As to this particular protest, by now it must be certain that the Chinese bus drivers have already spread the news of their strike to several other hundreds of workers, who are now aware of their plight, and who may now themselves consider going on strike. 

Third, foreign workers are not as desperate as the local timid Singaporeans. They don't really have to take any nonsense. They came to Singapore to work, and if their working conditions turn bad, they could always go home or even go to another country such as the Middle East. Wages are no better in Singapore than anywhere else.

Fourth, this sort of courage to stand up to an unfair unscrupulous employer becomes an example to local Singaporeans who would see them as their champions. They would begin to feel that if the Chinese nationals could do it, so could we. 

Finally it draws home the ruthlessness and cruelty of these Singapore employers by threatening to arrest and jail harmless workers who are only asking their fair share just as anyone else would. This sort of disgraceful behavior adds fuel to the anger that many Singaporeans already have against the Lee Ruling Family who can only manage to rule through fear. This means even more skilled and educated people who are outraged by their government's behavior will add to the already high rate of emigration to the West. It's already small shrinking tiny population of 2.5 local born, through mass emigration, falling birth rate and ageing population will shrink even further and the government will have to resort to bringing in even more cheap foreign labor, thereby only worsening the problem.

Thank you Chinese bus drivers. You have contributed greatly towards advancing human rights in Singapore Island

I am glad I am in California which enables me to write this without fear of being arrested and the realization that even more people both in Singapore and the rest of the world can read it. I would not have been able to do this had I been within Singapore.

Gopalan Nair
A Singaporean by birth in exile
Attorney at Law 
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 491 4375 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Singapore Island. Living in Denial

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let not the gleaming skyscrapers and the clean roads lull you into thinking all is well in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore Island. Underneath the glitter and the glamour, it is really not looking too good at all.

First let us not forget what the island is. It has no more than 2.5 million local born Singaporeans. The island is crammed beyond imagination, perhaps one third the size of London, with another 2.5 million foreigners, mainly Chinese from China to the chagrin of the other races of Malays and Indians, mostly Tamils.

You would have thought this alone, a tiny miniscule society, is bad enough, and any great pressure from any direction would end up in this tiny island's economy and existence completely destroyed.

And yes, the island is suffering from pressures from all directions, bad enough for a country with millions of people like Russia but for a tiny island with no more than 2.5 million locals, I see no hope whatsoever.

Now let me list the bad news. First you have a continuing falling birth rate. It is one of the lowest in the world with its population unable even to replace themselves. The reasons for this are numerous, both social and economic. The locals are unhappy because they live under a dictatorship with no fundamental human rights to speak of, such as freedom of speech or expression. They have lost faith in their legal system because it is corrupt by being a mere mouthpiece of the government. The elections are rigged so that only government politicians get elected. There is what appears to be a minuscule opposition in parliament but they are no more than agents of the government party, no more than mere imposters.

Then we have the problem of poverty. The income gap between the rich and the poor is one of the highest in the world. There are several reports that show the island to be the fourth most expensive city in the world, even more expensive than New York. Yet there are many who earn less than $1500 a month for a family of 4. They end up either not eating or eating one meal a day.

The suffering of the poor is heightened by the fact that there is no social security money available. And to make the plight even more intolerable, the island does not have a minimum wage law. The reason the government puts out for this is competition. They claim that unless they have cheaper labor than Bangladesh or the Philippines, they will lose out in the world. This according to them justifies their paying workers Bangladesh wages. Now anyone can see that if you pay Bangladesh wages in a city which is more expensive than New York, it is simply not possible to exist. But the government cares not. It is a government that does not allow citizen participation in how they run the island. If anyone protests too much they would be arrested, jailed and bankrupted through Lee's corrupt courts.

The island is run more like a large company, and its newspapers, all state controlled function more as a newsletter. Everyday the islanders read of the latest government polices and changes that have been enacted. The citizen’s duty is to just follow and obey whatever is decided. It can be equated to Communist Chinese wall poster which the Communists stick up daily on public street corners for its people to read what has been decided for them.

Singapore Island's parliamentary debates are shown on local TV. One look at the faces of the people's representatives, a misnomer because the people had no real say on who represents them, gives one the impression that they are all suffering from a bad bout of constipation. They all look very grim and serious, a look which is almost telling you that they will take no nonsense from you. As far as the people are concerned, on the whole, they care 2 hoots for these people or whatever they are speaking about since in the end, it makes no difference one way or another. They will still have to obey.

A recent survey held in the island last year showed that more than half the people surveyed would emigrate to the West if they can. An earlier survey of students also said, alarmingly for any island with only 2.5 local born people, that they have no loyalty to the island and that they would rather study in the West than in Singapore island.

In fact the rate of emigration to the West, particularly to Australia is staggering. Thousands of Singaporeans with their families leave Singapore for settlement abroad each year. And those who have settled abroad bring their relatives and friends over as well. And those leaving are those very ones the island most needs, skilled professionals, such as doctors lawyers and engineers, an intolerable situation indeed for an island that has no more than 2.5 local born citizens.

Having lived in Singapore, I have the distinct impression that the average man cares two hoots for his government or his island because none of what they think really matters. Lee Kuan Yew and his family who run the place think that they are the professional politicians and rulers, something like a King, they will do the thinking, planning and deciding while the average Singaporean is nothing but an idiot who is required simply to obey and comply; or somewhat like a military garrison where the commander will give the orders and the men will obey.

To make it worse, Lee Kuan Yew, the man who is supposedly putting all this together is in his nineties. If he drops dead, which is very soon, there will be a vacuum, chaos, unrest and even violence. But it seems, the government does not have any plans to avert this impending catastrophe. Frankly, I don't envy them. There is simply nothing they can do. They have driven themselves into the bog and there appears no escape.

You may well ask if you did not know how is it that I can write this criticism and still get away with it. Well, it is because I am writing it from Fremont, California, near San Francisco, United States. This Lee Kuan Yew government are a bunch of cowards who would have arrested me the next minute and tortured me as they did in 2008 in Singapore when I wrote while physically within the island. But now, they are unable to do anything officially because to get me, they would have to face an American judge, whom they know is unlikely to decide in their favor. They can of course get a hit man and finish me off, but I suppose they see danger for them in that too. So they do nothing, but get you only if you’re within their reach.

Gopalan Nair
A Singaporean by birth in exile
Attorney at Law
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 4375

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Singapore. A society lacking character.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Reading the newspapers of Singapore, a tiny island at the tip of the Malay peninsula with a tiny shrinking native population of just 2.5 million and foreigners, another 2.5 million, newspapers which are all state controlled as the totalitarian police island state's government run by Lee Kuan Yew and his son do not allow independent newspapers, you will instantly get the impression that this is an island made up of thugs, embezzlers, child molesters and crooks.

Today’s Sunday Times has the story "3 students charged with robbing 52 year old cleaner";  In the past 2 days there were these, "Man jailed 2 1/2 years for slashing friend over dispute with ex-tenant"; in today’s popular sex story in the island of a government officer negotiating a government contract and having an affair with his client "New Witness takes witness stand for Ng Boon Jay"; where a Singaporean and his Filipino wife were running a prostitution ring "Couple on Vice Charges remanded with more offences"; and so on and so forth.  It is a long list of shame and it goes on. See:

You see this sort of thing every day in the local state controlled papers and if anyone is trying to convince the public into claiming Singapore to be a law abiding society, he has to have his head examined. Remember the island's population is a tiny 2.5 million locals and another 2.5 million foreigners and with a crime rate like this, in a small tiny place, it can beat the worst slums and ghettos of Tegucigalpa, Honduras at midnight.  

The general trend observing the crimes committed has this pattern. Mostly you have white collar crime, such as stealing, cheating, embezzlement of banks and customers and confidence tricksters. Second you have the sex criminals, a huge number of pedophiles having sex with children and other sex offences and lastly you have violent crime, where people appear to attack others with knives for even minor occurrences such as staring or for road rage.

You could on the whole come to the conclusion that this is a crass, uncultured, unprincipled society lacking in probity or integrity which would cheat you at the next opportunity if you were not looking.

If a people are to take their guidance from their leaders and to look up to them, Singapore’s problem is that their leaders who are supposed to be model citizens, are themselves the biggest crooks. If Lee Kuan Yew, the leader of Singapore with his son whom he appointed Prime Minister are supposed to be the island's model citizens, we might as well give the Mafia the Nobel Peace Prize and equate them with Mother Theresa and Florence Nightingale.  

Lee Kuan Yew pays himself $3.7 million dollars officially and perhaps triple that amount secretly. So does his son and every member of his family and the top people in his government. And if anyone challenged him openly on this, he would use his police to have you arrested, charged and convicted for libel, sent to prison and bankrupted. Also he denies the people the right to a free press, denies freedom of expression and criminalizes even a one man peaceful protest. Such a man can honestly be described no better than the worst sort of a thief, a tyrant and bully. One word that best describes him is dictator.

Yet in Singapore, this man is their model citizen whom people have to respect and emulate. He is described as the father of Singapore. If this is supposed to be good moral behavior, surely his people have a right to be that way too. If Lee Kuan Yew has succeeded through cheating and abuse of power, then surely others would want to be like him too and succeed the way he did; perhaps even outdo him at his dirty game.  

Unfortunately there are some parents who see that this is the way to success. They make their children sing praises to this man and serve his political party in the hope that the father and son team would bestow benefits on them too.

And unfortunately you see rampant crimes of cheating and embezzlement on a daily basis with Singaporeans trying to make it rich the way the Lee family has done.

I have no hesitation to say that Singapore is a bad place to bring up children. In Singapore, in their formative years, with the teachers being afraid of the Lee government not to criticize, they as well as their parents are unable to teach their children the most important truth, more important than all the sciences, arts and social sciences, which is this; the need to have principles and character. What use is it for a child to be taught all the knowledge in the world without teaching the child the importance of the truth, honesty and integrity?

If Lee is in fact a dictator, the courage of a child to state openly on record that he is in fact a dictator. Such a child will grow up a leader of men. Not the cowardly children with their Singaporean cowardly teachers and their cowardly parents who collaborate with a regime because there is profit in it.

If there is one advice to parents in Singapore, it is this. If you can send your children abroad for an education from a young age, do it. If you have to go with them, then do that too. You are hurting your child's character development by raising him in Singapore. It is simply an island run by thugs who rule through placing fear in the minds of its people. You don't want your child to grow up a hypocrite. If you are looking for a child with integrity and principles, you will not find it in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
Singaporean by birth in exile
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 491 4375

Friday, November 23, 2012

Singapore Island. A society of slaves

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore Island, a tiny place at the tip of the Malay peninsula with a native population of about 2.5 million and another 2.5 million foreigners. It is ruled by Lee Kuan Yew and his son, whose family have continuously ruled the island people for the last 50 years. Throughout that time, its people have lived no better than slaves of the Lee Ruling Family as they do now.

Just like slaves, the people of Singapore have no control over their lives. The government controls it. The entire island’s news media is completely controlled by the government. No bit of information which the government has not censored is released to the public. In this manner, the government is completely able to control the lives of its citizens.

Here is an example. Yesterday's Straits Times, a state controlled newspaper has this article, "New Minimum Standards for Taxis" Nov 23, 2012. The following is part of this article:

"Cab operators will have to ensure that their taxis are plying the roads during peak hours and clock a minimum mileage everyday.
These new standards, aimed at making it easier for passengers to get a cab during peak hours, take effect from January.
The six operators must ensure that 70 per cent of their fleet clock an average daily mileage of 250 km a day from next year. This standard will be upped to 85 per cent in three years.
They must also have 70 per cent of their fleet on the road during peak hours. In three years, the standard will be upped to 85 per cent."

Please see

As you can see, without any debate whatsoever, the government by themselves had decided, whether the taxi drivers liked it or not, that they are required henceforth to drive additional hours at specific times. Just like that. The drivers are not asked what they thought of it, the people are not asked what they thought of it, and no one else was ever asked what they thought of this. Just like that, drivers would have to do as they are told, or else stop driving a cab.

It is like this with every aspect of life of every person in Singapore Island living under Lee Kuan Yew's rule. You are simply told that your lives have changed tomorrow and what you think is totally immaterial.

It is not much different from living under a King. Just like a King, Lee and his friends at the top decide on how to live your lives, and all you have to do is obey.

Had this been considered for taxis in San Francisco, firstly, the plan to promote this would have been made public, the taxi associations would be invited to comment, the public would be invited to comment, the newspapers would carry headlines on this, radio shows would be conducted for the public to speak on this, and after all this, the city councilors would call town hall meetings with the people and only after this would the debates be held to finally vote one way or the other. That is why San Franciscans are not slaves and this is why the people of Singapore are nothing but slaves.

And this is why, Americans are proud human beings, a free people, who are proud of their lives as human beings and proud of their country as a democracy. It is the feeling that your life counts, your views counts and you are a respected member of society. It is this same good feeling that the British, the French, the Germans and every other citizen of democracies in the world. The ones who live like the people of Singapore are the citizens of Communist China, North Korea and Cuba. Like the citizens of Singapore Island under Lee, they too have no control over their lives.

It is like this everyday in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore. Yesterday Lee's state controlled newspapers also carried a story of car license fees hitting sky high (COE fees). No one was ever consulted. Lee Kuan Yew's people are just required to obey and pay.

The streets of Singapore are filled with foreigners who steal jobs from locals. The locals hate this policy. But no local is ever consulted. The government will simply bring in as many foreigners as they like, simple as that.

I hope the reader appreciates the picture I am painting of Singapore. The Lee Ruling Family simply feel that they can do whatever they want, anytime they want and the people simply have to accept them. They have no other choice.

So what do people think of living like this? Well, it will depend on who you ask. If you ask an Australian foreigner who is temporarily working in Singapore, he would probably simply laugh. He thinks Lee Kuan Yew is a clown for behaving like this. Of course he does not care one way or another. He is in Singapore only temporarily to make some money. Singapore is not his home and he will go home to Australia soon anyway.

But as for the locals, most of them don't even realize that they live as slaves. They know no other way of life. There are some locals who have travelled abroad, and they are the ones who hate this sort of life and leave for settlement in the West in increasing numbers, leaving those unable unwilling or incapable behind as Lee Kuan Yew's slaves.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney t Law
Singaporean by birth in exile
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 491 4375

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Singapore, a paradise for foreigners, a hopeless struggle for Singaporeans

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Someone unaccustomed to Lee Kuan Yew's uniquely Singapore might be surprised at the title of this post. What, Singapore, a paradise for foreigners and a hopeless struggle for its own people? Surely that can't be? But sadly it is.

This is what is happening in that tiny island of no more than 2.5 million local born people, and a shrinking number at that, with another 2.5 million foreigners and growing; total of 5 million.

In it, Lee Kuan Yew who is literally a dictator with his son whom he appointed Prime Minister because he was getting on in age, have been running the place as if it belongs to them. He tolerates no criticism because he thinks he knows everything, and this is the main root cause of its people’s problems.

Somewhere down the line, he decided that because the place is a tiny island with no resources, he was going to grow the economy and the GDP any way he can. So he invites  anyone in the world to come to his tiny island to start businesses and live there, with low tax rates and other advantages.

Of course if foreign businesses come in, you need the labor too. And to make labor competitive, he has to keep wages low. But here lies the problem. Singaporean labor is no longer low, a situation he himself had created by increasing housing costs for government housing (remember every Singaporean lives in apartments built, owned and managed by his government), increasing every other expense such as transport (which he controls) and every thing else you can imagine. So through no fault of the local born Singaporean, unless he is paid a certain minimum amount he cannot survive in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore. Costs have gone up.

So Lee Kuan Yew, in his brilliance ( I mention this with sarcasm) decided that as he needs cheap labor at any cost, he is going to allow unlimited numbers of mainly Chinese people from Communist China (he thinks the Chinese are superior to the local Malays or Indians) and a few others to flood the market with low cost labor.

In Singapore, unlike in other countries, unbelievably, a foreigner can he hired for a job regardless of whether locals are unemployed and displaced. In this circumstance, you can see that any employer, both government and private in the island would prefer foreigners to locals obviously because they can pay them less. A foreigner can accept less because unlike a Singapore born citizen, he doesn’t have a family to support in the island, he probably pays just $10 per month for a bed space in a room occupied by 10 others; he eats cheaply and spends less, hoping to send whatever he gets to his impoverished family in remote parts of China.

As for Lee Kuan Yew, naturally he has done well for himself in these circumstances as is evidenced by the fact that he pays himself several millions of dollars per year which he calls a salary, and so does all his family members and his politician friends. It has been documented that he earns 5 times the salary of President Obama. There is no other word for this but corruption.

The foreigners do very well too. The businessmen make money in Singapore with very little tax, and so does the hordes of foreigner cheap labor you see in Singapore. Multitudes of foreign maids, shop assistants, factory workers, salesgirls in malls, the airport, everywhere you look. You don't see Singaporeans working anymore; only foreigners in Singapore. And Lee Kuan Yew calls this competition because this cheap labor from China keeps Singapore competitive.

But for the local Singaporean there is sadly nothing to cheer about. It does him no good because he cannot find a job, as the foreigner has just taken it. Which explains why a large percentage of local Singaporeans cannot find work of their choice, underemployed or underpaid.

You may well ask, why then is there not a revolution. But revolutions and such courageous acts are beyond the ability of the meek and submissive Singaporean, because any attempt at this would mean being arrested by Lee Kuan Yew’s police, deprived of earning a livelihood and forever harassed and victimized. No this won't do. The plight of the local Singaporean is to simply accept anything thrown at him by the almighty Lee Kuan Yew and his family.

Of course he has a choice if he qualifies. He can leave for settlement in the West. Which is why the island is bleeding its people, as even more leave its shores principally to Australia.  

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean by birth in exile
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 491 4375

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Singaporeans and the Lee Kuan Yew Family; a one big happy family

Ladies and Gentlemen,

If you were to have been a native born Singaporean like me, and have lived in the West as well, you will know that Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore is a unique place with its own set of societal norms, completely different from what you would expect in any other democracy.

And the architect of this was none other than Singapore’s dictator Lee Kuan Yew who wanted to create a system which would ensure his rule over his people in perpetuity.

As for the local people, they don't realize that they are being denied a system of government which the Constitution has given them which enshrine their rights and instead they are living merely at the discretion whim or fancy of the Lee family. In the Singaporean system, you don't particularly have any rights. If you feel aggrieved, you can approach the Lee Family through their agents for help, which they may or may not give.

Let me explain. In any democracy with laws and independent judiciary, grievances are solved through lawyers and the courts which have a set of laws dealing which each type and category. For instance, in the US, if you have a grievance dealing with social security, you have special courts set up with independent judges to hear them. Similarly with landlord and tenant, motor vehicles and other administrate courts which are dealt with through lawyers.

It is not like that in Lee's Singapore. There you have a system which is created to make the citizen subservient and submissive to the rulers, where you go to the Lee's when you need help, and hopefully, like benevolent parents, they will help you as they would help their children (at least that is the hope that people have when they approach the Lee Ruling Family).

This is how it is done. There is such a thing called a Resident's Committee and Citizens Consultative Committees which have offices in the crowded government housing estates where they live packed like sardines in multi story housing blocks.

A Singaporean who has lost his job and suddenly finds himself unable to feed his family will stand in line at these offices on certain designated days a week when Lee's representative, the Member of Parliament will be present and he will literally beg for help. He might weep sob or cry or go on all fours being watched by Lee's representative who will then decide whether to give the man any money or none at all after which he goes home, either happy that he got some money or miserable because he didn't get any.

This disgraceful procedure, no different from begging is adopted in almost all problems that people have. You would stand in line here and ask for help if you neighbor in your housing block is bothering you with too much noise, if you wanted to change your apartment for somewhere else, or if you need a job because you have none. The government representative becomes something like a lord, to whom a peasant would go to beg for help in rural China.

The immediate reaction among Singaporeans, which Lee Kuan Yew has successfully created over the years, is for people to turn to the government (or their masters, Lee and Company) for any problem they have, while the Lee Ruling Family try to portray themselves as some sort of all powerful emperors who have the power and will over their subjects.

Since the people have to turn to the government for help, it would make no sense for you to oppose your rulers because this will obviously hurt your chances of being helped. Indeed at these lineups at the Resident's Committees are lurking large numbers of government spies and informers who report on those who seem loyal and supportive and those who are seen as trouble makers. Since once information is passed on that so and so is a trouble maker, you are going to see trouble; therefore understandably people take great pains to appear obedient, submissive and pleasing to their government officials.

This practice of making the people look to their government to solve their problems, which the Lees have cultivated over the years, creates a society which has no choice but to conform and obey since any other behavior will only mean misery.

What they are trying to do is to create blind total conformity among its people and the more the people are so, the easier to rule over them and the result is a sure guarantee that the Lee Ruling Family will rule forever.

In the US, if one needs help one doesn't stand in line outside the office of a Senator or Congressman although this can be done, but they consult a lawyer who will try to seek redress for his client through the courts. Although in Singapore it is still possible to go to the courts, the courts are literally empty except for criminal cases. This is because, in their determination to make the society subservient to the government, they have made access to the courts almost impossible through astronomical fees. I understand that to sue someone, you would have to pay several thousands dollars in court fees which makes litigation deliberately out of reach of the ordinary man.

The Lees seem to think that Singaporeans are all fools and wouldn’t realize that they are being treated like children begging for handouts at these Member of Parliament housing block session line ups. It destroys human dignity and reduces a man to no more than a beggar at these housing block sessions with the government official.

It is only the ordinary man who has no understating of anything else except Lee Kuan Yew style of government who is so helpless as to stand in these lines and beg for help. People, who have the means to avoid this sort of paternalistic nonsense, do the next best thing. They simply pack up and leave for the West for settlement, where they know they don't have to stand in line and beg and be treated like a child.

Gopalan Nair
A Singaporean by birth in exile
Attorney at Law
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 491 4375

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Singapore's model citizens, unscrupulous, indifferent or dumb

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew who runs the island with his family and close friends has made his position abundantly clear, which is, that he knows exactly what is good for Singapore which he has run for the last 50 years or so. Therefore he doesn't want anybody coming around and telling him how and what he should do, and if you persist, he will have you arrested or sued and bankrupted by his judges.

What he wants is for people to agree with him and work for him. If they do that, they can expect very good lives in his island. Otherwise bad luck if you find yourself miserable.

Who are these people who succeed in this sort of a society anyway? Well firstly there are the overly ambitious ones. These people generally do not have any scruples. From the outset they have decided that the best way to succeed under the Roman Emperor is to be liked by him and do as he says. Since the island needs educated people, they make sure their children pass the necessary exams, usually in the sciences, and some in law to run his courts which are used to distort the law and destroy the opposition. Therefore, to realize their dreams of great wealth under Lee Kuan Yew, they do well in school, obtain scholarships to prestigious universities and return to Singapore Island to serve Lee.

Of course they are aware that Lee has a one party totalitarian police state, which denies fundamental human rights, denies freedom of expression and jails people without trial. But governed entirely by greed to realize their ambition, they willingly discount these things and serve their master, Lee Kuan Yew. They are on the whole unscrupulous characters that happen to be very rich thanks to Lee Kuan Yew.

Then you have the masses that are simply indifferent. They do well too. Lee appreciates them too because they have no opinions about anything important, and even if they do, deliberately shut their minds to it. Since they don't come in the way of his plans on how the island is run, he has no problems with this group. You can find them in government offices and companies and businesses all over the island. They form the largest majority. Mindless opinionless robots.

Then you have the dummies, people who don't really know that Lee is taking them for a ride. For instance they are not aware that the police should not be going around harassing anyone they please. They are not aware that freedom of speech is not only a good thing, it is a right that they have. They are not aware that judges are supposed to be independent and follow the rule of law, thinking that since they serve Lee, they can do anything he pleases. Lee Kuan Yew likes this group too, since they are simple people who will do as they are told, without bother.

The ones who have a hard time in Singapore are those who bother to think. It is not a good idea to be going around reading books on democracy or philosophy and trying to push your views on Lee's one party totalitarian police state. He simply doesn't like that. You would simply be in the way of his grandiose plans. Such people shouldn't waste their time in Lee's Singapore because it is not going to pleasant. If you are a thinker and have some strong views which may not be entirely similar to that of Lee Kuan Yew, which by the way is entirely normal human nature, I suggest you bypass Singapore for somewhere else. Go to Australia or the US or Canada where they appreciate thinking discerning people with ideas and ideals, which may or may not comport with those of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew.

On the other hand if you don't think too much yourself, with no strong views about anything big or important such as the society you live in, somewhat like a poodle, then Singapore is the place for you. You can look forward to a long and pleasant life under the rule of Lee Kuan Yew and Company provided you do as he says.

Gopalan Nair
A Singaporean by birth in exile
Attorney at Law
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 491 4375

Monday, November 19, 2012

Singapore, Lee Ruling Family's one party state turns into an unworkable mess

Ladies and Gentlemen,

One truth which history has taught us is that sooner or later, one party totalitarian dictatorship always gets it wrong, because they refuse to listen to anyone but themselves. Absent the advantage of open discussion and debate on issues, totalitarian regimes lack the benefit of examining problems from multiple angles, and thus, the lack of any thorough investigation inevitably leads to failed policies and failed governments. And this is what Singapore is facing today, which it would not be, had it been a democracy which allows open debate.

I was just reading the opposition Singapore Democratic Party's articles on the failed housing policy of the government. See It is shocking indeed to read that even a small 3 room HDB apartment, government owned housing, in which 99% of Singaporeans live, cost as much as US $600,000.00 which the citizens rent on mortgages on 35 year leases.

While the average person in Singapore earns no more than US$1,000.00 or so per month,  how is it possible for an ordinary citizen to find a roof over his head if this is the only premises available to him?

What sadly happens in reality is that these poor ignorant people are fooled into thinking, through the use of a state controlled press, that a 99 year leasehold such as these are in fact investments, making them buy them and be shacked for the rest of their lives in these crippling mortgage payments. In any case since almost all residential property is owned by the Lee Kuan Yew government they have really no choice in the matter. In the end, after being made to pay these exorbitant rents, they have nothing in their pockets and live hand to mouth to their graves while the Lee Ruling Family which run these agencies make unimaginable wealth.

Take the case of the unrestricted number of foreigners in the island, a consequence of the absolute open door policy of inviting foreign businesses into the island. Due to the falling birth rate, aging population and mounting emigration to the West, the government finds themselves forced to bring in unprecedented large numbers of Chinese from China to work these businesses. This causes an intolerable strain on the land scarce tiny Singapore Island thereby pushing residential property prizes even higher.

Now of course with the prices as high as they are, they simply cannot find any solution to bring it down to acceptable levels. If they did, those sitting on these apartments worth their weight in gold would turn worthless the next minute. On the other hand, if these property prizes remain as they are, the people simply cannot afford them leaving only rich foreigners to get these 99 year leases.

And what is the average man to do, without a shelter over his head? He tries to rent some cubicle somewhere in the event of his losing his job, and stranded with no income or insufficient income, with no government social security whatsoever, he does the next best thing. He takes his own life. This explains why the island has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world, the preferred manner being to jump off these high rise apartment blocks, a tragic irony because it is these very housing blocks that have driven them to it.

It is an island simply gone wrong. It is a place almost like Alice in Wonderland or fantasy land where a foreigner finds it easier to get a job than a local. A place where foreigners live in comfort in government housing while the locals for whom these apartment were built in the first place are left stranded without any housing. It is a place where despite the glass towers and skyscrapers and beautiful roads and manicured laws, 80 year old local Singaporeans are forced to continue working cleaning tables at food courts literally until they drop, because there is no social security and no money. It is a place where the government politicians pay themselves 5 times the salary of the President of the United States and if anyone complains, they are sued and bankrupted by corrupt judges who abuse the law.

Singapore has ceased to be an island which anyone can call home and has turned into a metaphorical hotel with a revolving door, where foreigners come in for a few years, set up a business and take advantage of the low tax rates and money laundering services and go home when they have had enough only to replaced by others who pop in for a while, make some money and head out.

Singapore has gone too far in the direction of being an international city for money launderers, tax cheats, and Indonesian bank crooks. It is no longer an attractive place for a native Singaporean to live. And that too is a tragic irony.

Gopalan Nair
A Singaporean by birth in exile
Attorney at Law
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 491 4375

Friday, November 16, 2012

Singapore. There is no honor in living under a dictatorship.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

An observer from abroad will notice that Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew and his family who run the island appear to think that as long as the citizens are given their basic needs, they will be grateful, happy and loyal citizens.

So it seems, in Singapore, the Lee family will do the thinking, the planning and the running of the island, building roads, skyscrapers, providing jobs, building schools, while the people are supposed to obey, listen, comply and work at their jobs.

Unfortunately, other than the fact that such a life is terribly boring, not to mention even slavish, in fact the ordinary human being capable of normal independent thinking, will find such a life rather distasteful.

Surely men don't live merely to eat and sleep, they want to exercise their minds as well, which the Lee family is unwilling to allow.

In the past, he has told people dabbling in opposition politics that they should mind their own business and work at their jobs; stating that if they wanted to engage in politics, they should apply to his government to form a political party and become a politician! Otherwise they shouldn’t be involved in politics!

Human nature, being different from what Lee thinks it is, I am sure he finds it rather surprising and disappointed to say the least, to see such a large number of Singaporeans from an already tiny population, eagerly trying to escape from his island to the West for settlement, in spite of the fact that the islanders are not too badly off compared to their more impoverished neighbors.

It is quite clear that he does not realize this fact since he has repeatedly in the past gone to the Western capitals of the world to which the fleeing Singaporeans have gone to try to coax them to return, and finding that not even a single one wishes to do so, he appears surprised.

Surely any person with the normal intellect can understand that simply giving a job to someone and demanding that he shut his mind off completely to his surroundings is something which most people would find unacceptable.

So you find in Singapore, with the Lee dictatorship determined to carry on in their mindless system of demanding obedience, you have a strange phenomenon of their citizens wanting to flee the island in spite of the glass buildings, skyscrapers and modern roads walkways.

It appears that Lee Kuan Yew has simply run out of ideas in either trying to retain his citizens, increase the almost non existent birth rate or somehow or other try to endear themselves to a people increasingly becoming hostile to them and their style of government which is, "you listen to me or else".

Well one thing is quite clear. The Lees have run out of ideas. All we have to do is to sit back and observe the local citizenry completely lost through emigration or lack of childbirth or dead; to be replaced entirely by foreigners being brought in by the planeloads to fill their places. Then we will see how they demand obedience from a bunch of foreigners. It is going to be very exciting times indeed.

Gopalan Nair
A Singaporean in exile
Attorney at Law
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 491 4375

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Singapore's Lee Ruling Family's total grip on power by total control of the press

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Lee Kuan Yew Ruling Family's total grip over Singapore Island since self government in 1959 can be almost solely attributed to their disgraceful practice of totally  controlling the media and information in the island. Any newspaper wishing to publish in the island has to obtain a government permit under the Newspapers and Printing Presses Act. Naturally any paper which is not a government mouthpiece will not be allowed and the violator promptly arrested and imprisoned in Lee Kuan Yew’s jail.  

Every single newspaper, TV station, radio and every other local news organization in the island is completely controlled by the government. Every Singapore news media are allowed to report news only which is acceptable to the government. In this way, the government is enabled to put out what they want people to hear and completely shut out anything which they dislike. You could say, it has Lee Kuan Yew’s Pravda or Izvestia, like the Soviet days.

Although people can buy foreign publications in the island, since they do not normally cover the local island news, Singaporeans are left no choice but to rely only on this government vetted and approved news agencies which dish out daily government supportive news and propaganda.  

In this disgraceful way, the Lee Kuan Yew government has successfully kept their citizens away from anything that government critics or the real opposition, like Chee's party, the Singapore Democratic Party has to say. This ongoing and longstanding practice of blacking out opposition views results in the government being enabled to carry on with misguided and wrong policies, in their top down, you listen to me style of government, which is now beginning to have a disastrous consequence on the well being of the island.

For instance, you can read Chee Soon Juan's Singapore Democrat blog, which reports on a well written treatise on the mismanagement of government housing by the Lee totalitarian administration and the well reasoned solutions to this problem which effect the vast majority of Singaporeans, but yet, the state controlled media completely neglects to mention any of this, denying Chee the opportunity to make this publicly known.


Besides this report on housing, the Singapore Democrats blog has numerous articles and reports of alternate viable solutions to Singapore’s major problems today, such as unaffordable healthcare costs, the problems consequent on uncontrolled immigration among many others. Again none of these views that will contribute hugely to the well being of Singaporeans and their island is ever allowed in print. This shameful and disgraceful policy of abusing their powers to keep out news that is not agreeable to them serves the purpose only of keeping the Lees in power; it does no good for the island of Singapore or its people.

Unfortunately today, it appears that Chee and the Singapore Democratic Party, except for  complaining about this misuse of power by the Lee family in their blog and speeches and writings, are not prepared to do more. Surely Chee should realize that this illegal refusal by the Lee Family government in deliberately and illegally shutting out contrarian views of state importance cannot be tolerated and should be resisted at any cost.

If there is one main reason why the Lee Administration is illegal, it is because of this, the control of the media. I would urge Chee and his Singapore Democratic Party to do the right thing now and publicly protest island wide against this illegal manipulation of the news media and demand that unless the people are allowed their freedom of expression without government interference, he will carry on peaceful protests island wide until his demands are met.

If there is one thing that cries out for mass demonstrations and peaceful public protest, it is this; the denial of the freedom of the press and free expression. Chee and his party must accept the responsibility that by their inaction and passively standing by, the island is slowly descending into chaos and decline.

I have referred to Chee Soon Juan and his Singapore Democratic Party only because they are the only ones who are truly standing for the principles of democracy and freedom in the island of Singapore, and for whom I have the utmost respect. The other opposition people are simply a waste of time.

Gopalan Nair
Singaporean by birth in exile
Attorney at Law
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 491 4375

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Singapore. Advice to young men who want to avoid national service (military service) in Singapore

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There are many reasons why Singaporean young men would want to avoid national service, the main one being Singapore Island has turned into a personal possession of the Lee Ruling Family, without the rule of law, no fundamental human rights and a corrupted judiciary. It is also an island which treats foreigners better than local citizens. The island has simply gone to the dogs, and any person serving this island is in fact merely enabling the Lee Kuan Yew dictatorship to remain in power.

These few facts may help in making up your mind to refuse to serve and go abroad.

1. Refusal to do national service is not an extraditable offense. Singapore cannot force you to come back if you don't want to.

2. If you leave, unless your parents have signed some bond with the government, they will not have to suffer any loss.

3. It is best for you to give up your Singapore citizenship once you have obtained permanent residence in your adopted country. If you need to travel, your host country can provide a travel document, even though it is not be a passport. No need to wait until you get citizenship of your host country.

4. Living in Singapore narrows your mind and makes you timid and incapable of thinking independently. A life in the West opens your opportunities and allows your aspirations to fruition, unlike in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.

5. Once you fail to serve, it would mean that if you ever returned, you will be arrested. But this is no big impediment since you can go freely anywhere else in the world, and it is no big loss not to be able to visit Singapore.

6. The Lee Kuan Yew administration is obviously very upset with what I am doing here in criticizing their corrupt regime through the Internet. But as you can see, there is nothing they can do if you are abroad because you are protected by the laws of the free world, and dictatorships like that of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew or Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe really doesn’t mean a thing. Except for when you are within their country, they are as weak as a lamb.

Good Luck and Pursue your Dreams

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

It is an honor to be deported from Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore. His latest victim, Australian Anglican priest and author, James Minchin.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Among a long list of illustrious names who were deported from Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore Island where he brooks no criticism, the latest victim was the Australian Anglican priest and author of a book on Singapore, "No Man is an Island", James Minchin, who was on Wednesday last, Nov 14, 2012, turned back at Singapore airport and deported.

His crime, stating in 2011, that "in Singapore the rule of law was bypassed and corrupted". He has also "questioned the integrity and independence of the (Singapore’s) judiciary"

Last year another author, this time British, Alan Shadrake had written a book Once a Jolly Hangman in which he had said that Lee Kuan Yew who runs Singapore with his son, selectively apply the law to execute drug mules who have no government connections. He was sent to prison for 6 weeks, fined and deported to the UK.

A few months ago, Robert Amsterdam, a Canadian human rights lawyer who had represented Chee Soon Juan, a Singapore opposition politician was also deported at Changi Airport. His crime was calling the Singaporean legal system and judiciary corrupt and publishing it internationally.

In 2008, when I wrote a blog accusing Singapore Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean of prostituting her judicial office to destroy and bankrupt Chee Soon Juan to please Lee Kuan Yew, I was prosecuted and sent to a Singapore jail for 3 months. After that I too was deported at Changi airport to San Francisco, even though I am a Singaporean by birth although a naturalized American citizen.

Besides the above discerning and respected individuals making this charge, we also know that for decades now, JB Jeyaretnam who has since died has been repeatedly prosecuted, bankrupted and jailed for nothing more than ordinary criticism of Lee Kuan Yew's use of his judges to destroy political opponents.

We also know that Chee Soon Juan himself, among a long list of other Singaporeans through the decades, has been repeatedly jailed, fined and bankrupted (he was lately released from bankruptcy) again for nothing but normal legitimate criticism.

And anyone with eyes can see that Lee's government is a dictatorship where their principle tool is their compliant and corrupt judges who are used to silence dissent and destroy political opponents.

Yet Lee Kuan Yew wants the world to believe that we are all wrong and he is right, and Singapore’s judges have impartiality and integrity. It is like telling us that pigs can fly and that anyone who disagrees is wrong and must be punished and deported.

Isn't Lee Kuan Yew stupid to think anyone would be frightened by his bullying? In fact I consider myself honored for being deported from Singapore which makes me in the company of such illustrious people as James Minchin. Thank you very much, I am honored. Thank you for deporting me from Singapore.

Gopalan Nair
A Singaporean by birth in exile
Attorney at Law
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 491 4375

Monday, November 12, 2012

Singapore's Chinese Parliament

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I suppose by now, Peoples Republic of China have behind closed doors, according to their practice, selected who is to rule over their country and the people have been informed accordingly. In their country, the people have no part to play in the decision; in fact they have no part to play in how their country is run at all.

As for the Chinese people, they seem to be quite content to be told what to do by whomever their party decides, as simple as that. And by the way, these rulers will also decide how much to pay themselves for the opportunity, and very handsomely, as Wen Jiabao, the Prime Minister has done by amassing a handsome 1 billion US dollars in foreign bank accounts.

Now compare Singapore. It too like their Chinese partners in China has a one party state and a one party parliament. There is no opposition at all. The Workers Party who claims to be opposition with 6 seats has been found out to be collaborators working to advance Lee's ruling party interests.

Like the Chinese in Communist China, Singapore’s Lee Ruling Family too decide on their leaders behind closed doors, present them at parliamentary elections every 5 years and force the people to elect them. After their election, just like they do in Chinese parliament, decide on whatever they will do for Singaporeans, who like the Communist Chinese simply accept without objection. And they decide to pay themselves anything they want; Lee and every member of his family make officially no less than $3.7 million a year and a further undisclosed amount as they chose. Singaporeans have no right to question this.

Why do the Chinese in China accept this nonsense? We can understand their plight somewhat. They never had a history of free elections since 1949 or even before. They were not under western colonial rule and never had experience of such things as democracy.

But why do Singaporeans accept this nonsense when they do have a Western style constitution with all the enshrined human rights as well as the English language. As Singaporeans have been under Lee Kuan Yew or what we can now say the Lee ruling Family with his son, for the last 52 or so years of it's short history, they have had sufficient behavior training like a dog, to comply without objection.

But the Internet and free and fast worldwide information threw a wrench into the spokes of Mr. Lee's ambitions. He obviously did not anticipate this. Now it is becoming increasing difficult for the either Lee Kuan Yew or his son to strut around like a prize rooster and bully everyone in sight. Singaporeans today have a choice, they can either accept this nonsense and stay behind or get out and live in the West as free men and women, which they are doing in increasing numbers.

As long as the Lees continue to abuse the rule of law for political ends, as long as they continue to control the media, as long as they persecute anyone who openly speaks out against them, more and more people will resist or leave, which will slowly make the island simply ungovernable. Humpty Dumpty would have had a fall.

Moreover the Chinese from the Peoples Republic who are brought in to work in Singapore as Lee Kuan Yew's superior race (Lee considers the Malays and Indians who are Singaporeans, as inferior to the Chinese) in even larger numbers bring with them the practices, such as protesting for higher wages, working conditions or the environment. Lee's government which is unaccustomed to protests suddenly find they are unable to handle these protests in Singapore and especially since it is hard to deport everyone who engages in such practices. Moreover the locals begin learning from the Chinese and are beginning to do it themselves thereby creating a new problem.

With the stresses and tension pulling from many angles at the small Singaporean society of just 2.5 million local born and another 2.5 million foreigners, the population is simply too small to withstand these pressures.

With the increased awareness of rights, the Singapore society is simply disintegrating and the prediction is that it will break up sooner than later but definitely once the 91 year old dictator Lee Kuan Yew dies. So my advice to everyone in the island is to brace yourself, check your seatbelt, lower your heads and prepare for a hard landing.

Gopalan Nair
A Singaporean by birth in exile
Attorney at Law
Fremont, California USA
Tel 510 491 4375

Friday, November 9, 2012

Lee Ruling Family's Singapore, a crisis of confidence

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Since 1959, Lee Kuan Yew, and until recently his son, while he continues to rule by remote, has ruled the island Singapore as if it was their personal property. Despite their protestations to the contrary, it remains a one party totalitarian police state where everything and everybody depends on the patronage of this one family. Hence my reference to Singapore’s government as the Lee Ruling Family.

Today, the similarities with Communist China which is now going through their  elections, draws striking parallel to Singapore island.

In Communist China, there is no rule of law, just as in Singapore. There, the Communist Party decides what punishments are meted out in their courts to their critics. The same in Singapore. The punishments meted out repeatedly to Chee Soon Juan the foremost critic of the Lee Family in crippling million dollar libel judgments, the punishments to the late JB Jeyaretnam even more than Chee, the 3 month jail term to Gopalan Nair (myself) for writing a blog criticizing one of their judges for corruption and my disbarment in the island, are all decisions of the Lee Family; not based on any set of laws in the real sense whatsoever.  

In China, the government and the Communist Party are one and the same. Similarly in Singapore, all privileges and benefits are handed out by the Lee's Peoples Action Party and petitions for help are made to them, not through any administrative laws and rules. If you need help with your government owned apartment, you line up at one of the offices of the Party, just as in China, you go to the Communist Party office.

All leaders in China are created through the Communist Party. There are none who can be independent. Just as in Singapore, anyone aspiring to be a leader joins Lee's Peoples Action Party or one of their branch organizations such as the Resident's Committee. Loyalty to Lee's party and government is rewarded with promotions in their careers, opportunities to achieve higher office and even high political office. In Singapore civil servants are monitored to discern their loyalties. Those who contribute actively to Lee's grassroots organizations are rewarded and those who refuse sidelined or even dismissed.

In Chinese elections, the people have no part in it. Leaders are selected behind closed doors and their identities announced and they are thrust upon their people. In Singapore, it is no different. With the state control of all newspapers and media including all TV stations and radio, the only information one gets is that of Lee Ruling Family's People Action Party. Except for bad news, the Singapore Democratic Party, the island's only real opposition party is completely blacked out. No one knows anything about them, unless you deliberately make an effort in investigation. In any case, there is no incentive for one to do it, since any association with them can result only in serious harm to the person financially and otherwise. Much better to go to Lee's PAP because that can benefit you in many ways, for a peaceful secure and prosperous life.

Just as in Communist China, Singaporeans do not have a free press, no freedom of expression, no right to criticize and no opportunity to become leaders unless it is done through the Lee Ruling Family's Peoples Action Party.

Just as in China, in Singapore an ambitious young man or woman is constantly seeking recognition and approval by Lee’s government and party, as this is the sure way to success just as one would do in China with Communist Party recognition. An independent mind has no part to play in either Communist China or Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore; in fact it can be a serious obstacle to success.

But strange as you might think, despite the fact that Communist China has modern cities, even more modern than Singapore’s with high speed trains, beautiful glittering skyscrapers and modern amenities, somehow, both in China and Singapore a huge portion of the population, usually the well educated and successful, in fact you may even say the majority of people want no part of it, and are desperately trying to escape to the West!

Let us make no mistake on this. Singapore is a very modern city state. It has beautiful skyscrapers, an up till recently an excellent mass transit system, modern telephones and amenities. Yet its state controlled newspapers repeatedly report that even though its native local born population is tiny, not more than 2.5 million, almost every single young man and woman wants no part of it, and is urgently and desperately exploring the possibility of emigration to the West.

In fact the cities of Sydney, Melbourne, London and other major cities throughout the English speaking world already have huge (relative to the island's small size of 2.5 million native born) numbers of former Singaporeans, most of whom have already adopted the nationalities of their host countries.

Similarly in China, a large percentage of their millionaires have already illegally moved their Renminbi to the west and are no longer in China. If it was easier, there is no doubt that China would have lost all it's educated elite.

This sort of phenomenon, where human beings leave despite having a reasonable standard of living is surely because there is a now a crisis of confidence in both these countries.

In China, Hu Jintao, the President makes a speech recently where he decries the rampant corruption in his country. Yet only recently was Wen Jiabao, its Prime Minister reported to have corruptly amassed no less than $1 billion stacked away in foreign banks. This can mean only one thing that Chinese leaders are above the law and entitled to be corrupt but not the ordinary Chinese citizen. In Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew's government repeatedly prosecutes and jails anyone even for taking even a $1 in a bribe. Yet he pays himself and every single member of his family millions which he has declared as a salary! What is the average Singaporean to make of it? Only this. The Lee Ruling Family can be as corrupt as they want but not anyone else.

Almost daily, Singapore’s Lee government put out the mantra thorough their state controlled press proclaiming the rule of law. Yet Chee Soon Juan gets punished merely because he dared to criticize the Lees. What is the average Singaporean to make of it except this; one law for Singaporeans who obey, another for those who dare to question.

When a country says one thing and does another, it loses respect and there becomes a serious crisis of confidence. And this is what both China and its conscientious student Singapore are now suffering from.

The irony of people wanting to leave Singapore is not only tragic, it is painful to see. You hear of thousands of Singaporeans leaving every year to the West and cutting all ties with the island. As soon as they are eligible, they renounce their citizenships and become Australian. At the same time, I have received numerous enquires from Indians in India who want to settle in Singapore. Obviously what this means is this; Singaporeans who are desperately trying to leave the island know something about Lee's island paradise which these Indian Indians do not know. Whenever I get such queries, I usually ask them to check out North Korea first before trying Lee's Singapore Island.

Gopalan Nair
A Singaporean by birth in exile
Attorney at Law
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 4375

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Singapore's Tamil Law Minister K Shamugam praises retiring Lee's attack dog, Judge Chan Sek Kiong

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore’s state controlled newspaper Straits Times of Nov 5, 2012 has the story "Shanmugam pays tribute to retiring Chief Justice". Chan Sek Kiong the chief justice of Singapore or rather the man to ensure that no one challenges Singapore’s Ruling Family is finally retiring.

And Singapore's Minister for Law, a Tamil, in a predominantly ethnic Chinese island naturally has flowing praise for him, surely. What else did you expect? All these characters such as this Tamil Minister for law and the retiring Chief Justice don't have any legal acumen in any sense of the word, as they have done nothing to further the citizens’ rights, in their entire career. Instead they have made sure that anyone who criticizes the Lee Ruling Family for whom these characters really work, are promptly destroyed by bending the law to any extent necessary for the dirty work to be accomplished.

The report says

"The changeover of Chief Justice will see the office pass from one of Singapore's top jurists to one with a track record that few here can match.
Law Minister K. Shanmugam, commenting on the change, said CJ Chan Sek Keong "had achieved everything a lawyer can hope to achieve".

The 75-year-old will retire on Tuesday and Judge of Appeal Sundaresh Menon, 50 - who takes over on the same day - will be sworn in as the new Chief Justice on Wednesday.

CJ Chan " is an outstanding jurist whom history will undoubtedly record as one of Singapore's most brilliant jurists", said Mr Shanmugam in an e-mail response to The Straits Times on the changeover."

Very nice words indeed for this fellow Chan Sek Kiong. Unfortunately for him, none of us can ever recall any instance, not a single one, of average jurisprudential competence , let alone excellence, that this Tamil Minister finds. Indeed what we remember of him is a person who either completely lacks any understanding of the law or that he is a complete rascal, ever willing to abuse the law to please his masters.

Recall 1997, Cheng San (a constituency in the island) elections in Singapore. Everyone who has been following Singapore is aware of Chan's utter disgrace. Singapore Parliamentary Elections Act prohibits any politician from coming to within 100 feet or so of a polling station during elections so as to prevent undue advantage to anyone by persuading electors to vote for them. A very rational and logical piece of legislation. In complete violation of this law, the Prime Minister and several other government ministers were not just found within 100 feet of the polling station on polling day, they were actually found within it, a complete violation of this law. At this time, this man, Chan Sek Kiong was the Attorney General.

When an opposition politician JB Jeyaretnam, now deceased, complained to the Parliamentary Elections Body over the government ministers violation of the law, Chan wrote an opinion claiming, incredibly, that the Prime Minister had not violated any laws!

He said, believe it or not, that it was perfectly legal for them to enter the polling station because the law only made it illegal to come within 100 feet of the station. Presumably, according to him, as long as politicians can somehow cover the distance of 100 feet or so without being detected, and enter the polling station, they will no longer be in violation. It would appear from his reasoning that the trick lies in covering that short distance undetected, since once it is crossed, you are perfectly within the law!

And this man according to this Tamil Minister is none other than "is an outstanding jurist whom history will undoubtedly record as one of Singapore's most brilliant jurists",

Mind boggling indeed! If this is the great legal brains that we need, what need then for idiots.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean by birth in exile
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 491 4375