Friday, May 10, 2013

Very nervous Singapore threatens Malaysians

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There is no doubt, Lee Kuan Yew's one party police state lives daily under their one biggest fear in crowded Singapore; of peaceful protesters who may once and for all topple their illegitimate regime. The Arab spring of protests and regime change throughout the Middle East from Egypt to Libya was bad enough. Yesterday's huge Malaysian protests in the wake of their disputed of national elections at their very doorstep was the last straw for the jittery and nervous one party state island dictatorship.

When just one hundred Malaysian workers in Singapore, many of them recently naturalized Singapore citizens had yesterday gathered at Merlion Park at the Singapore waterfront, to peacefully lend support to their fellow citizens across the causeway, the police were deployed to break it up, immediately followed by the state controlled TV to announce that the "illegal" protest was broken up, and the peaceful people there were all warned about their "illegal" gathering with threats that their work permits would be revoked and they deported.

Please see state controlled newspaper Straits times report "Merlion Park Protest, nine people warned, work and visit passes reviewed"

You may begin to wonder why Singapore Island government acts with such force and deliberation against a mere 100 peaceful protesters, going to such great lengths, repeatedly branding their peaceful gathering "illegal" and threatening to deport them or revoke their work permits. And why the need to give such extensive publicity on all state controlled national TV and newspapers about this totally innocuous non event, and labeling it "illegal"? And why "illegal"? Have they gone out on a riot and created mayhem? All they did was to peacefully gather and sing their national anthem; nothing more.

The reason for Lee Kuan Yew’s high handedness is very simple if you knew Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore. They are terrified of their own people. They know that if only their people managed to work up even the slightest courage to protest, their entire make believe Alice in Wonderland government would fall like a house of cards.

And they know the only way they can remain in control is to use brute force and violence against their own people each time at the slightest indication of any dissatisfaction to shut them up; lest it gets out of hand and Lee Kuan Yew becomes history. Their one and only weapon against their own people is fear and so far they have managed to hold the reins using it. The moment their people manage to work up that little courage to stand up, their government will fall, and they know it.

Singapore Island government’s fear arises out of the fact that their entire system is based on illegitimacy. For one, they don't have the rule of law, a constitutional violation. They don't have the right to free speech expression and assembly, all constitutional violations. They don't have a free press, a constitutional violation. They openly practice racial discrimination against the Malays and the Indians, a constitutional violation. It is simply a police state where you can be rounded up, arrested and searched entirely at their whim. The island laws are there to protect their dictatorship government, not you.

The end result of these violations is, it's entire tiny population, thanks to the Internet as well as my writings here, (which is read daily in Singapore), has had the effect of causing their people to lose all respect for them, who have managed to hold on to power so far, only by threats, intimidation and brute force.

Everyone knows, a government to remain in control has to demand the respect of their people. Governance through threats, intimidation and shameless constitutional violations is really not sustainable in this day of the Internet, although it may have worked in the past.

Unfortunately for Singapore’s dictatorship, these expressions of unrest seem to be recurring far too often. Only last week  Mohamad Khalid Mohamad was arrested for writing the words "Democracy" across a monument at the island sea front. A few days ago a cartoonist Leslie Chew was arrested for a drawing which depicted the racial discrimination against the Malays. Not long before that Alex Au, a blogger was sent a lawyer's letter for exposing corruption and nepotism in the government in a computer equipment sales case.

At the rate these protests and acts of disobedience in the island are recurring with increasing frequency, I am sure this peaceful protest would not be the last. Tomorrow or even next week, you may see another protest, another cartoon, another blog post which attacks the one party police state government.

The cause of this is the modern information age. Singapore English educated islanders become acutely aware of their miserable lives under the yoke of a crushing intolerant government and they want change. They are aware of their boring regimented lives. They can see what is happening in the West where people are free. Where people can be themselves. They don’t have to live the way they do under the father and son government (Lee Kuan Yew and his son).  So they rebel.

Lee Kuan Yew and his son cannot really expect to silence these protests and dissatisfaction which are recurring with increased frequency. It is the result of changing times. And Malaysians are not the sort of docile conformists that many Singaporeans have been although many are managing some sort of courage.

My advice to Lee Kuan Yew and son is to see the writing on the wall. And use your head. They are not going to stop me from writing this from Fremont, California. And neither are Singaporeans going to be stopped from reading it. In the past you could have stopped me but not today. The world has changed. The Internet has changed it.

Realize your situation. You simply cannot win by force without legitimacy. You cannot break every rule and still insist on and demand obedience. The sea of democracy is coming; you cannot stop it. Accepting it is the only way for you. Singapore will change, whether you like it or not.

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

1 comment:

Porter said...

A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people. John F Kennedy