Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Singapore politicians, Lee Kuan Yew style

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore tries to portray itself to the rest of the world as a democracy. It is nothing of the sort. It is simply a one party totalitarian police state run by the 91 year old Lee Kuan Yew and his family through their Peoples Action Party, running the tiny island of 2.5 million locals and another 2.5 million foreigners since 1959, about the same time as Fidel Castro came to power in the Communist island of Cuba.

Here is a background of 91 year old Lee Kuan Yew's island.

Although the Constitution of the island requires a free press, all the newspapers including the entire media are state controlled. Independent media is not allowed. The government releases only the information that they would want to release to the public.

Although the Constitution guarantees free speech, expression and assembly, by statute all these rights are denied. You can be arrested for making a speech in public without a permit and arrested for assembly without a permit. No permits are granted if the intended speech is against the government.

It is a one party state. Of the 87 seats in Parliament, far too many for an island which is a mere 16 miles vertically and 26 miles horizontally, 81 are government and 6 opposition in name only. The Workers Party which these opposition is have a pact with the government not to mount any real challenge.

Police powers are unlimited. Any policeman can stop search or arrest anyone merely on the word of the officer. The courts do not respect the right of privacy, the right to be free from searches and seizures or any other individual right that one expects in a free society.

Workers have no protection. The laws do not provide a minimum wage nor gives any power to the unions which are represented by government representatives instead of workers. The unions protect employers and not the other way round claiming the need to do so as a national interest to be competitive in the market.

Critics of the government are routinely arrested, jailed and bankrupted by courts which are corrupt and allow themselves to deliver unjust judgments to benefit the government and destroy political opponents. The people have lost respect in their courts.

Although the Constitution provides for elections every 5 years, they are a farce. It is impossible for anyone critical of the government to be elected let alone allowed to enter Parliament to oppose the Lee Kuan Yew administration. Using the government's police and secret agencies, any real political opponent will be denied employment, threatened with law suits and if he persists, will be charged with criminal offences, jailed and bankrupted.

The government has allowed an opposition political party called the Workers Party to enter Parliament and make mild criticisms against the government. This is done to give the impression to the rest of the world that it is a democracy. The Workers Party is beneficial to Lee Kuan Yew's government party because it gives Lee Kuan Yew legitimacy by allowing them to claim they are a multi party island. In reality this is not so as the Workers Party is in fact working for Lee Kuan Yew's PAP party both directly and indirectly.

There are numerous other opposition parties but they all fear to challenge the government head on. The Singapore Democratic Party had in the past held protests and demonstrations  for which they were repeatedly arrested. It appears now they have given up protests and demonstrations. Today they write critical articles in their blog the Singapore Democrat which the government ignores. Unless they demand justice by street protests like they had done before, it is unlikely that the government would take any notice of them.

There are several more so called opposition parties which do nothing throughout the intervals between elections except to make periodical complaints which the government ignores. In any case the only criticism they may have is mild and moderated because they live in constant fear of being victimized, harassed intimidated, sued charged and bankrupted in Lee’s courts. They like their fellow citizens literally live their lives in fear.

There is no incentive for the average man to take any notice of these opposition parties as every citizen depends on Lee’s government for his everyday needs. He turns to the government representative for his housing needs, for financial help, for jobs, and every other eventuality one can imagine. They stand in line outside their government representative weekly in Meet the People Sessions and request favors. Since the opposition has no mandate or the means to do anything for anybody, it would make no sense for anyone to look up the  opposition.

As the government has complete information about every single person living in the island, through the identity cards issued and through the various government agencies in government housing estates throughout the island, anyone who criticizes the government is targeted for scrutiny by the secret police. Similarly it is easy for the government to threaten and intimidate people to vote in a certain way to prefer the government. In fact in the 2011 elections, the government actually went around demanding that the people vote for the  Workers Party candidates as they needed a few to masquerade as opposition in Parliament. It was becoming embarrassing for them to be known as a one party state. Without the government deliberately going from apartment to apartment demanding that people vote for the Workers Party, they could not have won.

The government always will get their desired result in elections. If not they would simply stuff the ballot boxes for the result they need. If anyone were to complain about it, they would be promptly sued, charged and bankrupted in their corrupt Kangaroo Courts.

The only way anyone aspiring to enter politics is to apply to join Lee Kuan Yew's Peoples Action Party. If selected, they would be deployed to run government grassroots organizations at the government housing estates where every Singaporean lives. In their position, they would be required to report on their fellow residents, their political sympathies and how loyal or disloyal anyone is. This information is then sent to the secret service organizations who will then use various means to break the will of the individual if possible.

It is not possible to have views openly held which are contrary to those of the government. It is not possible to organize themselves into groups who hold contrary views from that of the government. The only way possible for one to enter politics and at the same time be safe and secure, and not be sued and bankrupted is to be accepted by Lee Kuan Yew's Peoples Action Party.

Lee Kuan Yew's government does not want thinkers and philosophers who may view life differently from that of Lee Kuan Yew. It is impossible to espouse the values of John Stuart Mill or other libertarians and try to implement such thinking in the island. It will not be allowed. Lee Kuan Yew does not appreciate this sort of thing or these types of people. What he wants his people to do is to simply obey and do the work you are supposed to do, and just shut up. As far as he is concerned, he has all the ideas and he does not need any from you.

If I was presently within Singapore now, I would not be able to write this and not be arrested and sued, or fired from my job and made a bankrupt. By being physically in the US, Lee is unable to do what he would have done to me, had I been there. And since the Internet enables this writing to be read within Singapore, he is of course furious, but there is nothing he can do.

Being beyond Singapore island not only allows me to write this, but also to identify myself as the writer. There are some who are critical of the Lee administration within Singapore but any writing they do has to be anonymous without exposing themselves to arrest and libel actions. Lee will not permit anyone to openly criticize as he feels this would somehow undermine his authority as an Asian emperor.

These blogs continue to expose what Singapore really is; for the one party police state which it is, which continues to persuade ever more Singaporeans to become disillusioned with the island causing them to emigrate in increasing numbers to the West.

It is tragically ironic for Lee Kuan Yew and his Peoples Action Party that he has finally come to realize that the force of science technology and mass communication has overtaken his one party police state and have made them literally helpless before the Internet. Singapore can go the way of China if they want and limit Internet access but they realize that they are helpless to do it. With a large part of their economy dependent on trade and commerce, limiting Internet access would harm them much more than they can tolerate.

This blog is read throughout the world and slowly but surely, the farce and pretense that is Singapore is being revealed and the one party totalitarian police state that it is comes up as a stark and frightening reality.

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

1 comment:

אלון הראל said...

I am flying there on sunday. I was not aware of all this. I started reading today about its politics and I am somewhat shocked.