Monday, December 23, 2013

Singapore Little India riot deportations. A third Minister warns foreigners they will be summarily deported.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the aftermath of the Little India Singapore riots of Dec 8, 2013 when lowly paid and ill treated Indian foreign workers went on a riot in an area with the same name, about 25 of them have been arrested while 57 have been arbitrarily and summarily deported to India without giving them any chance to defend themselves.

Obviously this is a gross violation of civil liberties not to mention the laws governing United Nations but this one party police state of Singapore, which it is, if you know it as well as I do, doesn't seem to care what anyone else thinks.

And this time, this corrupt woman, by the way who is paid millions of tax payers money, is weighing in to argue that it is perfectly normal to simply pack away and deport any foreigner you do not like and this is a perfectly normal practice!

It may be normal practice in Nazi Germany but I certainly don't want it to be so in Singapore.

I wonder which other country would consider simply labeling a foreigner "a threat to national security" (it seems that is all what it takes) and then ship him off that minute, no questions asked! I know one other country that used to do that. You guessed it; Hitler's Nazi Germany. Now you know one other country considers doing that perfectly normal too, Singapore.

In an article which appeared in one of Singapore's state owned news agency, ChannelNewsAsia on Dec 21, 2013, she is reported to have said "Due process had been given to the 57 foreign workers who were repatriated following the Dec 8, riot at Little India" according to the Senior Minister for law and Education Indranee Rajah. Please see

I wonder how she arrived at the conclusion that due process was given to them when we all know none of them were given any opportunity to defend themselves!

The police had conducted their own investigations in private and come to the conclusion that these individuals were to be deported and that was that!

I would have thought, and so would a rookie law student that due process, requires natural justice. And natural justice means the ability for the suspects to be given a chance to defend themselves before an independent tribunal open to the public.

Merely interrogating them, and very probably beating them too, because that is what Singapore police routinely do, in private and deciding that deportation was proper and shipping them off that very instant is certainly not what I understand by due process and I am sure, neither do you.

She says "repatriation orders fall under the executive function of the government", as if to say after pulling out the fingernails of a suspect under torture and when questioned simply say "pulling out fingernails under torture falls under executive function of the government"!

My dear woman, listen to this. It is simply not enough for you to say, this or that "falls under the executive function of the government" and simply abuse the rights of your people.

That is simply not enough. Your process should stand up to public scrutiny. And in this case it simply does not.

And then she says " the process had been carefully considered with extensive interviews and investigation". Very clever indeed!

Let me put it this way. Perhaps you know that the "process has been carefully considered" but how do we know that?

And I am absolutely sure that the deportee did not know that either because otherwise there wouldn't be this outpouring of outrage and indignation around the world against these summary deportations.

Let me out it you this way. A man passed a house with a dog which was viciously barking at him. The owner of the dog, noticing the alarm in the face of the man tells him not to worry because "barking dogs don't bite" to which the man very reasonably replies "You know that and so do I, but does the dog know that?"

We have the same problem here Senior Minister. No in this case I don't know that the process was carefully considered unless he had a right to a hearing.

But here is where her remarks become even more alarming. She says "Each country has the right to determine it's own laws. This is a system which we have chosen for Singapore. It has worked for the safety and security of Singaporeans which we place in paramount importance".

This statement should remind someone with any sense of history of Nazi Germany where Hitler tells his Germans that these laws which we have made for you are good for you because we know best! Sends the chill down the spine, I have to say.

Yes each country has the right to make their laws but the laws have to be just.

You can't simply do anything you please and say "you have the right to make your own laws".

This law of deporting people without a hearing in unjust and simply saying that you have a right to do it, does not make it right.

In fact under the law, you "don't" have the right to make such a law being ultra vires the Constitution.

And then I notice that throughout you use the word "we" and that "we" have done this and "we" have done that.

Who is the "we" that you are referring to? Is it the one party state's government to which you presently belong where the elections are rigged and critics removed through defamation actions, which conveniently allows you (the "we") to simply do anything you want?

No I am sorry, it is not good enough for you to say "we" have done this or that because the actions of "we" are not only contrary to the Constitution, "we" does not reflect the will of the people either and what is more, it is an affront to human decency. 

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525

1 comment:

Irene Puah Siew Hoon said...

The ploy of giving your citizens the illusion of wealth is the typical tool of every dictatorial or autocratic regime. The thinking is that as long as your exploited subjects nevertheless believe they have more wealth year-on-year, they will ignore the fact that they have no voice. But you can only inflate asset values, such as property values, to a point. After all, almost anyone selling a property will have to buy another one to live in, so it's a zero-sum game to start with. The problem with inflated flat prices is, of course, that it's more difficult to get onto the property ladder. Anyway, the concept is doomed and, sooner or later, the Lee clan will meet its maker.