Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Singapore dictatorship's greatest worry. How to handle the troublesome lawyer M Ravi

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For the last 52 years or so, first father Lee Kuan Yew and now with his son, the Prime Minister have run the island, a totalitarian police state, entirely their merry way, I mean doing just about whatever they want and getting away with it as well.

The island that you see now, Singapore, is principally the result of that. They built as many skyscrapers they want, they built as many roads they want, and up till now, they put away anyone they want they didn't like with no questions asked. Singapore was theirs to do whatever they want.

Up till now political opponents like JB Jeyaretnam were bankrupted and jailed with trumped up charges through willing Kangaroo judges, Chee Soon Juan was bankrupted and destroyed merely for asking questions and I was sent to jail for 3 months for writing a blog they did not like.

They have simply turned the Constitution of Singapore into a mere scrap paper and discarded at will with all fundamental freedoms such as free speech expression and assembly denied. Up till now no one except the handful like JB Jeyaretnam had dared to question their actions and the fear factor that consumes the entire nation has turned the island into a society of mice, afraid of the bully fat cats Lee Kuan Yew and Son.

But in the recent past everything appears to be changing because here comes M Ravi the lawyer who wants to shake the very foundations of the Lee Kuan Yew edifice built up the way Adolf Hitler built the most successful nation in pre-war Europe Nazi Germany. Adolf Hitler just like Lee Kuan Yew and Son brooked no criticism of his plans. He built whatever he wanted and did whatever he wanted. And the result was the most economically, technologically and advanced nation in Europe.

If there was a M Ravi around in Hitler's Germany, he would have simply been shot. But M Ravi now in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore appears undaunted in questioning the way things are run. A while ago, he filed a lawsuit against the Lees demanding by-elections in constituency left without a Member of Parliament. He then challenged the constitutionality of an anti gay law arguing it is unconstitutional. And most recently in the process of representing the hacker who hacked into government websites, James Raj Arokiasamy, he has filed a motion in court demanding access to his client to whom he claims he is being shut off. Please see article in the blog The Real Singapore dated Nov 13, 2013 titled "Court Application filed to challenge denial of access to lawyers"

In the past, up to even a few years ago, if any lawyer had done any of this, he would have been promptly removed by some trumped up charges. But strangely M Ravi is being left alone. Remember in my case in the 1980s I, while in Singapore as a lawyer,  was suspended from practicing law for 2 years merely for writing a letter to the Singapore Attorney General about a political matter of public interest.

It is interesting to note that M Ravi has filed a criminal motion to demand his right to see his client even naming the police officer who denied his request!

M Ravi's legal activism has thrown the Singapore government completely off balance which has so far relied on the people's submission and obedience as a crucial tool of government without which they would not have been able to do all that they did in such quick time.  This is because without the fear factor they are simply useless, they would simply unravel and collapse.

Lee Kuan Yew's government is not based, as you can see, on any legitimacy; it is based entirely on the infliction of fear and the assumption that no matter what they do, they are always right, because there is simply no legitimacy when you deny free speech when the law allows it, when you deny assembly when the law allows it, and when you control the press when the law demands free newspapers.

But M Ravi now by his criminal motion is calling a denial of the right to access to a lawyer for his client unconstitutional. He is challenging the very basis upon which this government has gone on their merry way all these years.

There are several consequences to the government if they allowed these legal challenges unchecked. If M Ravi has now begun to question the government procedures on criminal detention and access to counsel, what will he do next? Will he file a motion in the future for his client demanding the right to free speech and expression as guaranteed by the Constitution? Will he next challenge Lee Kuan Yew's salary of $3 million a year as a violation of the equal protection clause? Will he represent peaceful protesters and demand that his clients have a right to free assembly under the Constitution? And will all this be discussed openly in the numerous blogs and chat rooms in the Internet to the acute embarrassment of the government? And what will happen to the fear factor which the government relies so much on to govern Singapore?

And as both Lee Kuan Yew and son had repeatedly said in the past, they sue for defamation of character because if people could say what they want, they lose their moral authority to rule like a Chinese Emperor. So will not their moral authority to rule be eroded by M Ravi's actions?

And there is another even worse consequence to think of. So far it has been only one lawyer with the balls to do what he is doing, M Ravi. If the government takes no action to silence M Ravi now, will other lawyers so far silenced through fear, be emboldened to do what he is doing? And if indeed even more M Ravis come out challenging the government how will the Father and Son government manage to rule the island much longer?

In Stalin's Soviet Union, lawyers who defended the government political opponents where themselves charged and removed. In fact even Russia's Putin does this to this day.

The government is in fact in a quandary as to what to do with M Ravi. On the one hand, if they disbar him by trumped up charges, there will be an outcry among the people over the injustice. On the other hand if they did nothing, they would find themselves even more embarrassed by their actions than they are now.

England's Henry II is reported to have said the words "Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest" referring to his desire to have Thomas Beckett, Archbishop of Canterbury  murdered for not supporting his crown. I suppose Lee Kuan Yew and his son are now saying the same about this meddlesome lawyer M Ravi.

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


Xmen said...

The most troubling aspect is James Raj Arokiasamy may be a victim himself. A smart hacker would launch an attack from a hijacked computer to cover his trails. In this case, the Singapore government may not have caught "The Messiah." But given the stake, the government will do whatever it takes to extract a "confession" from James Raj Arokiasamy. Otherwise, Mr Lee Kuan Yew's son will look at a fool and become the joke of the town. But that's the (stupid) gamble that he made when he took on the Anonymous Collective.

Anonymous said...

40 under 40.
Young people who are changing the world.

See below.

LKY's scholar system castrates Singapore's best and brightest as they have to come back and serve LKY.

The non-scholars are disadvantaged by having to serve NS and in-camp training.

In today's Internet-world that is rapidly changing, the young have to get out of college by 22 and go try things. Build wrecking balls to knock down the walls that are protecting the old industries and models.

If it doesn't work, you have had great experience and are still young to try new things.

A Singapore male does not come out of university until 26+. They can't take the risks that a 22 old graduate can take. (And culturally, Singaporeans are kiasu and dare not take risks, except at the Casino.)

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous who said

"40 under 40"

What you say is plain utter nonsense. You don't have to be 40 to change the world, you can be 75. But if you think that is what you are capable of, you should get out of this blog and join the PAP.

Your lamenting about having to do national service only shows how weak and miserable you are. Don't flatter yourself by thinking you are capable of anything, you are not.

Merely because you graduate at age 22 instead of 24 shouldn't make any difference to anyone with any self respect or self confidence. You have none.

National service teaches you firearms, builds muscle and strength and gives you adventure. It is good.

I am not against national service of 2 years. If there is anything unfair, it is the long years of reservist intended to hold you back in Singapore. Even so, if you have a job abroad, it does not prevent you from staying away.

You are a cowardly weak sissy. I don't like you. Stop writing to this blog. You don't have the balls to do NS and neither do you have the balls to even identify yourself.

Maybe you look alike a girl too, I am sure. Get out of here. You are not welcome

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous who said

"40 under 40"

I forgot to mention, what you need is a good beating to make you a man. If I were to see you, I promise I will give you a beating myself.

Not that I agree with Adolf Hitler's practices but I understand in the Hitler youth, boys were made to fight, take punches and stand up to a beating without crying. That is what you need, you sissy.

Anonymous said...

Read the commentators words more closely to understand his point, if you can!

Forest Person said...

Ravi is daring for sure, but I also believe he is easily manipulated. Kenneth Jeyaratnam was concerned that he may be overworked and worsening his bipolar. But I guess one's kind intention can be easily misinterpreted.

I enjoy your blog Mr Gopalan! Definitely your innermost and heartfelt feelings for the condition of our country!