Sunday, December 28, 2014

Singapore's languishing military. Singapore's National Service, a total flop

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore island today, a tiny piece of real estate 16 miles North to South and 26 miles East to West and slightly smaller at high tide, with a population packed like sardines, one on top of the other in high rise apartments, all 5 million of them, has a defense system based on conscription (national service) which for all intents and purposes is today totally dead.

They simply can't enlist enough people and the barracks are literally empty. In desperation, about a month ago, their state controlled newspaper Straits Times had reported accepting volunteers to serve in the army and a mere half a dozen had applied. As of today, it is uncertain whether even the six are still there or simply left. They had also said that women, hitherto exempt can volunteer if they want. About 6 women were reported, with a picture of one in jungle fatigues, to have joined but again, we are not sure if they too have left. Since that last report, we have not heard anything more from the state controlled newspaper. I assume the attempt has failed.

There are several reasons for this.

Although on paper, it is supposed to be a parliamentary democracy, it is in fact a fiefdom belonging to the Lee family and their relatives and friends. In other words they do anything they want. So, Lee Senior, who is now 92 and bedridden and about to die, some decades ago, decided, never mind the Constitution, that the ethnic Chinese population in the island has to be increased because like him, the Chinese race are hardworking, and smart while the other races are all stupid.

So he continues to bring in plane loads of Chinese nationals from Communist China to boost the numbers, resulting in today, the population is 75% Chinese, a tiny smaller proportion Malay and a small handful Indians. But he obviously forgot to think over this racial question when introducing conscription. The Chinese are coastal Chinese from China who traditionally were involved in small businesses and shop front retail business. They have a traditional dislike for all things military and getting a Singapore Chinese into a military uniform is like trying to make a cat take to swimming. As a result every single local Chinese male is trying his best to get out of national service.

Many go abroad for studies and never return. Others try to feign physical or biological incapacity or illness. I came across one ethnic Chinese gentleman this year who met me in my Fremont California office. He said he got away because he was able to be declared mentally unsound. He did this by working up a history with his doctor over a full year finally convincing the army medical board that he was indeed mad. One Malay gentlemen escaped during service this year and is presently in California. He tells me he has no intention to return. I advised him that Singapore cannot obtain his extradition.

The other cause is the shrinking population. According to CIA statistics on fertility, Singapore has the world's lowest, which is 1.2, meaning that a couple has either one child or none at all. Singapore's true native population, by which I mean people born in the island whose parents and grandparents came to the island, is at most 1.5 million if not less. There are other Singapore citizens who were brought in recently within the last ten years. Other than them the others making up the balance of 3.5 million are all foreigners. With this demographic pattern, in just one generation, the entire true blood Singapore citizens will die off completely leaving hardly anyone to be conscripted. They are trying to increase the numbers of immigrants and force their children to serve, but the records show that half of these immigrant children simply give up their residence status to avoid service and those who do serve do so very reluctantly and eventually get way anyway.

You can see the fallacy of this policy. Immigrants come to Singapore looking for work. They have no intention of serving in the army for 2 years. Naturally if you force them, they are either not going to come or find every way possible to get out of it. Which is precisely what is happening today.

Also Singapore is no Israel which has arguably a historical political religious and nationalistic reason which makes conscription attractive to many. Singapore on the other hand has none. It has no enemies and it is run by a father and son dictatorship.

And then you have the phenomenon of ethnic Chinese women in Singapore who treasure marrying European or American men so as to settle in the West. It appears that some of these Western men have some difficulty in getting wives where they are, and go to Asia like Singapore where Chinese women are aplenty waiting for the opportunity. So when they marry, they go the West and have children there which means one less Singapore male for Lee's army.

I receive numerous letters from these Western gentlemen, who have either children born with their Chinese wives in Singapore or children of the woman from a prior marriage, who now want no part of national service because they have no intention of living in the island.

And who can blame them. If you can live in Frankfurt Germany and raise your children there, why in Heavens would you want to bring them up in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore for the brainwashing to be turned into an imbecile at the end of it.

What happens in these cases almost always is that the government remains firm in demanding they serve, which means that if they are in Singapore, they somehow try to leave the island and never return or if they are abroad, never return to the island. If they do, they know they will be arrested and jailed. In this manner, there is no doubt that Singapore loses a large number of young men, highly educated in foreign universities because they have not done national service and are afraid to return.

The other reason why national service is failing is Singapore's political system. It is a compete one party dictatorship devoid of any fundamental human rights, no free speech, no right to free expression, no free press, no rule of law; simply an island where the Lees and their friends can do anything they want. Young men who are increasing educated, and have travelled and have the Internet, are aware of their lives in Singapore, no better then slaves. Why should they, be spending time to serve these dictators?

Also they see the injustice being done to them in many ways. Foreigners who come in do not have to do national service. Foreigners get preference in jobs because employers do not employ those who are encumbered for 20 years in reservist obligations, of 2 weeks each year. As a result, in their own island, foreigners have work and Singapore males are unemployed.

One major reason why they demand national service is the 20 year obligation to remain in Singapore. The brain drain from the tiny population is so large making the government desperate to try any means possible to retain their young men, army reservist obligation being one of them. This is because passport validity for these men only extend up to their next reserve obligation. If they don't return their passports are not extended and they end up illegal in that foreign country.

This is not a problem if you are in the US since you can obtain work permits without proving that you have a valid passport since your situation can be easily explained as a consequence of a dictatorship's desperation.

The whole system is failing and will soon collapse. Like North Korea which controls information, Singapore's state controlled newspapers make no mention of the dire state in which national service is today, for fear that if they admitted this, a core institution of state, it may cause panic and encourage even more to leave.

Problems of this huge scale, are usually suffered by dictatorships, not by democracies which allow citizen participation. In Singapore, just as in North Korea, the dictators can do anything they want and therefore they make laws at the whim of the moment, not realizing that other characteristics of the country may have adverse effects in the policy. It is as if, one hand does not know what the other is doing, a state of affairs typical of all dictatorships.

As a result dictatorships have constantly to correct the errors they have made, thereby creating even more errors until the whole system becomes a joke. This is exactly what is happening today in Lee Kuan Yew and Son's Singapore not only in their failed national service policy but in every other branch of government policy.

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

Friday, December 26, 2014

Singapore's brave young David William Grasskov and the movie The Scent of a Woman

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Yesterday I posted on this blog the story of the 18 year old boy David William Graaskov who did something extraordinary in Lee Kuan Yew's son's Singapore island.

He did the unthinkable, in the Singaporean context, a one party state devoid of free speech, expression, assembly, the rule of law or a free press.

Please see State Controlled newspaper Straits Times article of Dec 24, 2014 here

18 year old Graaskov, with some friends of his climbed atop a HDB (Housing and Development Board) government housing apartment block and wrote the words "Democracy" and "Freedom" and words in similar vein critical of the repressive one party state which denies its citizens any fundamental right.

Obviously he felt strongly, the denial of his rights in his country and wanted to change things. An honorable sentiment, undoubtedly.

What he did was not a crime of moral turpitude, there was no personal gain for him; only that as a person of strong principles and convictions, he felt he had to do something about it. And having courage, he did what he felt he should do. Hardly any young men in that orchestrated one party state island, has even an iota of the courage and character of this young man; I can say that without any hesitation.

Instead of being a criminal as the Singapore government is treating this young man, he is a hero, a young man of character and an abundance of spine.

Had he done the same in London, Paris or Rome or any other city in any other respectable country, people would not even have batted an eyelid. But he is not in London, Paris or Rome. He is in an island run by Lee Kuan Yew's son, where any criticism is immediately answered with arrest, imprisonment, a defamation lawsuit, bankruptcy, shaming in the state controlled press and other cowardly acts. 

For his trouble, he has been repeatedly portrayed in headlines on their state controlled press with his picture as if he was a dangerous criminal of the worst kind imaginable.

He has been shown in headlines over many days in shackles and chains under police escort, a plan deliberately to depict him as a criminal of the worst kind all because he wrote some anti government slogans.

The purpose of course is not so much to punish him but more importantly to relieve the fear of this dictatorship that others would dare to do the same and they would be toppled the next minute.

This is not so much an exercise of law enforcement but and exercise of inflicting fear in others who may even consider such a course. Imagine what would happen to these dictators of their one party state if there were thousands of David William Graaskovs holding up signs critical of the Lee government!

So the problem has to be nipped in the bud, and a harmless young man who is merely seeking freedom has to labelled a hard core criminal as if he had only yesterday murdered 100 Singaporeans in broad daylight and boasted about it.

Please see my blog post of yesterday here: A brave young Singapore boy with courage character principles and leadership, David William Graaskov

And it here that I am reminded of the Al Pacino movie The Scent of a Woman and a striking similarity of the boy in the movie with young Graaskov. In it, some boys in a school had thrown some paint over a teacher in a caper. This boy knew who they were. When questioned by his teachers, he refused to name them feeling a sense of moral responsibility not to betray his friends, even though he was faced with expulsion from the school. The scene is a school auditorium with Al Pacino sitting with  the boy at the inquisition. An excellent piece of acting by Al Pacino.

You can see it here.

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

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A brave young Singapore boy with courage character principles and leadership, David William Graaskov

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Straits Times picture above shows 18 year old David William Graaskov, on the right his father, left his attorney, and presumably behind him, his mother.

Please refer to the Straits Times article, "Teen is first among five in Toa Payoh graffiti case to plead guilty to theft, criminal trespass"

David William Graaskov, 18, is no ordinary Singapore young man. He is one of the few young men and women, far too few unfortunately in that island, who has the character and courage to stand on principle. No one can say that he does not have courage, character or integrity, qualities that most young men and women who have grown up under Lee Kuan Yew, the Singaporean dictator and his son, the Prime Minister, utterly lack.

Any father or mother should be proud to have a boy like him. And in his journey in life ahead of him, one can see the making of a leader unlike the vast majority of others in that island who can only live their lives in fear and obedience.

Singapore is a repressive island, devoid of basic human rights such as freedom of speech, assembly, association and anyone engaging in any such activity is liable to be arrested and imprisoned, loss of job and career and victimized the rest of his life by a government determined to keep their citizens under control.

Since the consequences of any attempt to assert their citizens rights under the Constitution will result in harsh and serious consequences to their life and liberty, most Singaporeans do not dare to criticize the government openly or demand their rights for fear of certain retribution, as is the case in Communist China.

This courageous young man David William Graaskov is not among the general cowardly population that you find in in the island of Singapore. On May 07, 2014, he and 4 other young men of his age, climbed atop a HDB Government Housing Residential Block and wrote slogans such as "Freedom" protesting the lack of basic human rights of the citizens. Since as mentioned Singapore laws makes it illegal to protest, he and the others were charged for vandalism which under Singapore law not only results in imprisonment but also caning (whipping) a very brutal and inhuman form of punishment which leaves the victim suffering permanent injury and scarred for life.

Yesterday, December 22, 2014, young Graaskov pleaded guilty to theft and criminal trespass in Lee Kuan Yew's sons Courts in Singapore. He will be sentenced at a subsequent date.

Graskov is clearly a hero. He need not have bothered to do this. He has nothing to gain from doing this. Like the other cowardly young men and women who are satisfied to live in bondage, he could have done nothing and merely went on with his life. But not Graaskov. He felt that this is wrong. And when something is wrong, it is courageous who stand up to it. It is honorable act. It shows character and leadership.

In fact he has much more integrity and leadership than even his ethnic Chinese lawyer walking next to him, a member of a legal profession that has shown it has no intention to do any real lawyering. Very probably his lawyer , undoubtedly a very timid fellow would have advised him to plead guilty and not antagonize the judge. To show how timid these Singapore lawyers are, you might want to know that opposition politician Chee Soon Juan, when sued for defamation of character some years ago, by Lee Kuan Yew and his son, was unable to find a single lawyer to represent him in that entire island! That explains volumes of the lawyering capacity of these Singaporean lawyers.

If I was Graaskov's lawyer, I would have advised him to fight the charges. Of course I realize that there is the possibility of caning, but this government today is so maligned and has lost so much respectability that it is most unlikely that they would cane 18 year old Graaskov.

Of course it is certain that he would lose at any trial but the publicity that he generates by mounting a Constitutional right of free speech and expression , would result in Lee's son, the Prime Minister who controls everything including the courts,  suffering much more loss to his reputation, while Graaskov would come out the hero, a David who stood up to the one eyed Goliath.

We all come to the cross roads in life's journey. At that point those with courage and leadership take the right path, even though it is hard. Others take the easy path although they know it is wrong. Here we have Graaskov, standing up to what is right regardless of the consequence, while other lesser mortals remain quiet and submit.

If I had to follow a leader, I can say without hesitation that it will be Graaskov, not the hundreds of thousands of young men and women who are incapable of doing anything but going back from school to their TV sets as if nothing is happening around them.

Making a prediction, I say, 18 year old Graaskov, would one day be a leader of men.

I would also suggest that Graasskov's parents should try to send him to the West for his higher education. He is surrounded by an entire island of submissive and cowed population and this is not good for his upbringing or his education. His Singapore teachers themselves terrified of the government would be telling him to be like the others and submit in silence. His parents, if they are Singaporeans would probably be telling him the same thing. And the Singaporean mindset is itself bad because it considers submission and obedience as virtues while challenging authority is a crime.

Graaskov has shown extraordinary courage even while living under such suppressive and repressive climate as Singapore island. Imagine how much more he will progress if allowed to live among people who have their heads screwed on right and know that it is heroic and honorable to stand up to an unjust regime, and submission to injustice is cowardly.

Well done Graaskov. You have guts.

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

Monday, December 8, 2014

Video. Singaporeans should break unjust laws

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please watch my latest video December 7, 2014 titled "Singaporeans should break unjust laws". Best Wishes from Fremont, California, USA.

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

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Singapore's blatant discrimination against ethnic Indian and Malay businesses

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am grateful for this article to Surekha Y Yadav's "If you aren't Chinese, you can't compete in Singapore" dated Nov 30, 2014.

Blue Diamond is a little Indian Biryani Restaurant along Buffalo Road off Serangoon Road in Singapore's Little India. It's owner is Abdul Hameed Mohammed Farook. He was prosecuted for violation of Work Permit regulations for hiring a non-Chinese worker in his Indian restaurant!

It is quite hard to believe for a so called modern city state but these are the facts.

Singapore's Ministry of Manpower controls the employment of foreigners. Although Singapore's tiny population comprises of no more than perhaps 1.5 million local born with the rest 3.5 foreigners, the laws relating to employment, indeed in every other sphere, is clearly slanted in favor of ethnic Chinese, primarily Chinese from Communist China. This advantage given to the Chinese over other races is clearly in violation of the Constitution's Equal Protection clause, but when have the tiny island's tin pot dictators ever obeyed it?

Briefly this official racial discrimination in the island appears to originate from Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's retired Prime Minister's personal views. The Chinese, he said, are hardworking industrious and intelligent people, whereas the Malays are lazy and inefficient while the Indians are good enough only to incessantly argue and cause trouble. Therefore the Chinese are preferred and everything possible to help them must be done and the Hell to the lazy Malays and the troublesome Indians.

I think Hitler said something similar. The Germans are the best and the Jews are simply trouble. So you help the Germans and you kill the Jews.

Abdul Hammed Mohammed Farook of Blue Diamond needed workers. His is an Indian restaurant. He doesn't speak any Chinese.

According to the Ministry of Manpower, the Services Sector is comprises of

"Restaurants, coffee shops, food courts and other approved food establishments"

A Work Permit unlike other Visa categories such as the Employment Pass and S pass comprise of unskilled and semi skilled work which require lower salaries. All Farook needed was someone to help him in his restaurant with simple jobs, i.e. work permit, not someone with a PhD in culinary science.

But the law requires that work permits in the service sector can only be issued for applicants from Approved Countries and the Approved Country is principally Communist China. See below

Approved source countries/territories
Services sector companies can recruit workers from the following countries/territories: Malaysia People's Republic of China (PRC) North Asian Sources (NAS): Hong Kong#, Macau, South Korea and Taiwan. # Note: The foreigner must be holding a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Passport.

In other words, even though Blue Diamond is an Indian Restaurant whose Tamil speaking owner speaks no Chinese or Korean, in effect what the law says is that he has to employ someone from Communist China or Korea or Malaysia to help him in his Indian Restaurant and he may not under penalty of the law employ an Indian national, which would be the most logical thing in his Indian restaurant, as anyone can see!

Please see Ministry of Manpower laws here

Farook could not find anyone to work in his restaurant from among the handful of Indians still remaining in the island. It's tiny dwindling numbers are only about 7% of the already tiny local population. Facing either closure of his business or bend the law a little to survive, he did the next best thing. He employed an Indian under the S Pass category principally for technicians and similar workers who must be paid a minimum of $2,200.00 per month since this category does not prohibit Indian nationals. 

Unfortunately Farook was discovered using the wrong work visa category and has been prosecuted. He is clearly being prosecuted under an unjust law, which has no logical or rational basis.

Firstly it is clearly discriminatory on racial lines. Chinese restaurants and food establishments have no problem as they can employ as many Communist Chinese nationals as they want.

On the other hand Malay and Indian restaurants cannot employ Indians and are forced to employ Chinese nationals who cannot speak their language and totally detrimental to their business. They have to employ Chinese even though the owner speaks no Chinese and the Chinese applicant speaks no Indian.

Secondly this is a clear violation of the Constitution which requires equality between the races, by preferring Chinese over others.

Thirdly Singapore is run on a apartheid basis, not too different from erstwhile South Africa. Indians are allowed to work in construction as coolies but not allowed to work in hotels. Filipinos can work in hotels but not in construction. Filipinas can work as maids and hospital workers but not in restaurants. And so on and so forth according to whims and fancies of the Lee Kuan Yew, the dictator of Singapore and his tin pot tyrant, his son and their close friends who form the business in the Alice in Wonderland City state. A country that limits your privileges not according to your merits but according to how you look and what is your race.

You can see the rot and corruption seeping in the administration. This is what happens in any dictatorship which has been in power so long that they are now omnipotent. They are no longer open to question or even common sense. They simply can do what they want. They are totally impervious to however silly they may look. And this is what you eventually get, utter nonsense.

If Mr. Farook is being unjustly punished, Lee's Singapore is paying an even heavier price for the state sanctioned racial discrimination. The article by Surekha Y Yadav is being widely read in the very countries from which these workers come. Singapore is getting a well deserved image as a tin pot dictatorship whose laws are even more comical than those of Alice in Wonderland. The damage is by attrition. Slowly but surely the name of a pariah state banana republic is becoming entrenched. And this won't do either for this government or it's people.

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

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Video. Singapore's Kangaroo Courts hurt the economy and business

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please watch my video titled "Video. Singapore's Kangaroo Courts hurt the economy and business".

Click the link

Thank You.

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

Friday, November 21, 2014

Video. 91 year old Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore does not have the foundations to last beyond him

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is my video. Hope you like it.

"Video. 91 year old Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore does not have the foundations to last beyond him"

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

Monday, November 3, 2014

Video. Tiny Singapore's uncertain future after 91 year old strongman Lee Kuan Yew

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My video "Tiny Singapore's uncertain future after 91 year old strongman Lee Kuan Yew"

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

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Singapore is not North Korea. Lee Kuan Yew's one man one party state is not sustainable. It will very soon collapse.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There are and have been enduring dictatorships, many very brutal, but yet manage to remain for decades.

Take the case of North Korea. Unless something extraordinary and completely out of the blue happens, the dictatorship, as brutal as it is, can be expected to merrily go on for some considerable time.

It has the necessary elements to enable this. It has 24 million people, its borders are closed, it is not possible to obtain passports, the language is Korean and not English, the Internet is completely closed, the people believe the state propaganda that theirs is the best country in the world and the slightest criticism of their leaders would lead to arrest torture and even death.

Singapore is not North Korea. It does not have the structures in place to keep its citizens silenced and helpless, because they are not. Consider Singapore's circumstances. It has a mere 1.5 million local born citizens. The remaining vast majority are foreigners. It has the English language, its border's are open and anyone desiring a passport can get one. English makes the people mobile and facilitates emigration. Internet unlike North Korea is not banned enabling its people to know exactly what is happening around the world. It is not possible for Lee Kuan Yew's son to tell his people that they have the best country in the world, because it is simply not, and they know it.

Under these circumstances, it is not possible to govern a country like Singapore with brute force alone as can be done in North Korea. For a country like Singapore, the governors can only govern with the support of the people. Once that support collapses the dictatorship falls.

In 1959, when Lee Kuan Yew first got Singapore a plan was devised to dismantle civil society for the sake of economic advancement. At that time, it obviously worked. After all, then people needed jobs, not democracy. As long as they had something to eat, they were content.

But circumstances are no longer like that now. They are better educated. Many are well travelled, more sophisticated. They are no longer the sort of people who would be content as long as they had something to eat.

But the problem for Lee Kuan Yew and his son's government is that while Singaporeans have changed, the government has not. Even in this sophisticated society, free speech is illegal, there are no free and independent newspapers, assembly is illegal, protests are illegal, there is no rule of law, the judges are Kangaroos, and government supporters are rewarded while critics are persecuted. And the people are bitterly aware of their slavish lives. In fact it would not be incorrect to say that the entire population have no respect for their leaders whom they consider nothing but dishonest opportunists looking for their own pockets, not the peoples welfare. Every one of these leaders corruptly receive as salaries several millions dollars each year.

Since open revolt would result in arrest and imprisonment, the people do not resort to this. Instead they vote with their feet. Singapore has the highest brain drain in the world. It is bad enough for any country to lose their best and brightest but it is fatal for a island this size with a local population of just 1.5 million!

Another manifestation of their anger at their government is the almost zero fertility rate, the lowest in the world. And to make things worse, they have a large senior citizen population which is dying off in increasing numbers. One look at the Internet shows how bad the situation is for this government. It is impossible to find a single piece of writing from Singaporeans supportive of their government. The huge numbers of foreign companies there who primarily employ foreigners may be happy but it does no good for the locals. The foreigners aren't interested in human rights. All they want is a buck, dictator or no dictator.

There are numerous reports of the island's very low productivity rate, which should not be surprising. An unhappy population and an unhappy workforce, never gave their best. The idea is do the least for the buck for these dictators who pay themselves millions while they get nothing. Why should they work hard for a government such as this, they ask.

I think it will all unravel when 91 year old Lee Kuan Yew dies. Although he is senile and bed ridden and useless, his very presence in the island gives legitimacy to his son, whom he made Prime Minister. Upon his death the sons legitimacy no longer exists.

Despite the state controlled newspapers publishing daily both the real and imaginary exploits of the son, as far as the people are concerned, he is simply the son of Lee Kuan Yew and nothing more.

His education, his meteoric rise in the army within perhaps 5 years to general, his winning elections and promptly made Deputy Prime Minister, then Minister means nothing to the people. He is simply not a leader. Were it not for his father, he would probably now be quietly working at the Bank of China along Battery Street, pushing a pen and looking at invoices.

I think there will be a power struggle when the 91 year old dictator dies. The son would probably be kicked out. Whoever else claims the seat is not going to be respected by Singaporeans since there are no leaders in Singapore, merely scholarship students who passed exams and then given jobs as Ministers at top salaries to do Lee's bidding. None of these characters would have the dedication, daring, courage and loyalty to run the risk of politics, especially under these uncertain circumstances. In all probability they would probably pack up and leave the country.

There are no Fidel Castros, Che Guevaras, Martin Luther Kings or Gandhis in that island. Their so called leaders would probably shiver and shudder in fear, even if it was just thunder and lightning.

I don't see much hope out there. This one man one party dictatorship style does not work in a society like this. Despite all his claim for great wisdom and foresight, Lee Kuan Yew failed to realize that in a society with greater sophistication and ability, it is not possible to run the country like they did in 1959. But it doesn't seem they are going to change anytime soon. And that would be their undoing.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Tel: 510 491 8525

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Singapore Lee Kuan Yew's Son is terrified of his 91 year old father dying

Ladies and Gentlemen,

If you read Singapore's state controlled newspapers, (all newspapers, TV and the entire media are state controlled), you would never ever suspect that Lee Kuan Yew's son, whom he appointed Prime Minister in his place, is terribly worried about what would happen to him when his father dies. After all his father is 91, according to official sources (perhaps a few years more from other sources), and is already bed ridden and his batteries are losing their shelf life.

He would not be worrying now if he was the Prime Minister of any democracy with a well entrenched civil society with laws democratically enacted through a legitimate Parliament. After all, when Lee Kuan Yew goes, there is a system in place respected by the people to hand over to a new government and Prime Minister.

But Singapore was never a democracy. It has always been a one man, one party dictatorship for the last 50 years under his father and now by proxy his son. Civil society does not exist. Rigged elections are conducted every 5 years when Lee Kuan Yew's men always win. Having won, they enter Lee's rubber stamp Parliament where any law he wishes passes smoothly and without hitch.

The courts are an extension of his ruling party who whenever necessary pass verdicts against government critics destroying them with million dollar damage awards. The result is that they are either impoverished through bankruptcy, jailed or exiled. No Singaporean has any respect for these Kangaroo judges and if they can, remain as far as possible from them.

All the Members of Parliament and Ministers are minions and stooges of Lee Kuan Yew and now his Son. They have no independent view at all. All of them have only one view, that of the ruling party. And the ruling party's view which they extol has to be, one party dictatorships are good and democracy is bad; freedom of speech and assembly and peaceful protest are bad and simply accepting the dictates of the government is good; and so on and so forth. You get the message. You can also see why such a message is not going to resonate in any society, not even a Singaporean one after Lee Kuan Yew.

Political activity is appreciated, as long as it is pro government. Local citizens as well as foreigners are welcome to join and actively participate in the string of organizations of the ruling Peoples Action Party, which include Peoples Association, Residents Committees and Citizens Consultative Committees. In fact there is a great deal to be gained from serving in these organizations, such as promotion in your career, chosen for top jobs and even being chosen as Ministers with a million dollar pay. On the other hand political activity for anti ruling party is prohibited. If caught you may lose your job and as a foreigner, deported for interfering in local affairs.

Both the government and the entire population have turned themselves into hypocrites and opportunists without character, principles or moral uprightness. Both the Ministers and the people would swear under oath if necessary that they truly support the government. Privately the Minister would tell you that they do it for the millions they are paid, and the citizen would say, it promotes his career prospects.

Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela are not part of the syllabus of school children. Under the Singaporean doctrine of what is good and what is bad, these are bad men who overthrew governments. Imagine what would happen to Lee Kuan Yew's Son, if Singapore has a Mahatma Gandhi. Therefore any reference to these leaders are either blocked or skimmed over. Teachers are told to warn their children the dangers of following them. Instead the Chinese traditional Confusion values of prostrating at your Emperor's feet is promoted. In this case the feet of Lee Kuan Yew's son.

But things are not moving the way the Son wants. Unfortunately Singaporeans are educated in the English language and not in Outer Mongolian, which makes access to the Internet very easy. As a result, in the Son's eyes, the Singapore population is being poisoned by undesirable information such as democracy and freedom from outside which today has infiltrated the entire English speaking society of the island, which is 99%. And the people are not happy with their lives under a dictator, this time the Son, benevolent or otherwise. In Haiti, you had Papa Doc and then Baby Doc. In Singapore you have Lee Kuan Yew and then now the Son.

What the Son's worry is this. First the island is tiny with an even tinier population. The local Singapore born population who understand the island and the way of life has been reduced from a previous 3 million to no more than a miniscule 1.5 million now, through the lowest fertility rate in the world, mounting mass emigration to the West and the old people dying. The island's population of 5 million therefore consists predominantly of foreigners, many of who have taken citizenship primarily for jobs. All these foreigners have no intention of sinking roots in the island and would leave either at the first job opportunity elsewhere or the slightest unrest of any kind.

Tiny Singapore island with a tiny population is obviously the last choice of these migrants. After all who would trust their lives in a place as tiny as this with no democracy whatsoever. In fact all these migrants, many who have got citizenship are there simply because they were rejected from emigrating to countries of their choice. In desperation before their own people become extinct, the government has been accepting these third rate rejects.

All these Ministers and Members of Parliament are merely handpicked appointees, and none have any real support on the ground. And no one has any independent opinions of their own. When Lee Kuan Yew departs, none of them is any different from the other, capable of only parroting the long established government line which we all know, leaving one no better or no different from any other. And worst of all none of them have any legitimacy or respect of their citizens, who consider them nothing more than hand picked political opportunists.

To give you an example, in England, there are leaders who are in favor of immigration, others against; leaders for greater participation in Europe, others isolation; some who want the Euro, others the British Pound and so on. Any discerning Englishman can support the leader of his choice to promote his viewpoint. In this way the public can choose, this way or that. Englishmen respect their politicians and their judges. This situation does not exist in the Singapore island where everyone thinks alike and the judges are kangaroos.

No one knows what is going to happen at Lee's death. If the government continues today, it is because Lee Kuan Yew is still alive, in coma or otherwise. But when he dies the fear factor that maintained the island in one piece for so long unravels.

In that scenario, it is uncertain what will happen to the Son. Will he continue as Prime Minister or will he travel to his holiday home in Bermuda (I don't know if he has one there) and never come back? Will the other power hungry ethnic Chinese run around seizing power? Will there be martial law to silence the unhappy population? Will the foreign banks take out their money and go to Vanuatu? Will the economy collapse? And will the entire population capable of leaving depart to Australia Canada, South Africa, New Zealand or even join the Bushmen of the Kalahari?

One never knows but we will soon find out, if the reports of the 91 year old dictator's poor health are true.

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

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Singapore today at the cross-roads. Continue repression and alienate the entire population or allow freedom and be overthrown

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All dictatorships in the world sooner or later reach a point of reckoning. They have to decide either to continue their dictatorial rule and antagonize their entire population or face reality and liberalize. Unfortunately either path leads to their destruction.

Singapore's short history had known only one man, Lee Kuan Yew who is now 91 and bed-ridden. Since 1959, he strutted around as the superman, on a sustained programme of building state owned high rise apartments, no bigger than a cubicle, and housing almost the entire population, almost 90%.

He provided cheap labor for foreign companies who set up manufacturing and assembly line workshops where the island housewives worked for pennies. In order to facilitate the foreign investors, he criminalized strikes, dismantled trade unions, silenced free speech and expression, destroyed the free press and abolished the rule of law.

Singaporeans it appears went along with it. After all he was making things better for them. There were no more riots, civil unrest, and everyone was cowed into submission and obedience. He said listen to me, for I alone have all the answers.

So did Hitler who managed to endear almost the entire German population before the war. He said, I will make you great again. And true to his promise, he improved the economy, destroyed the communists and made life for the industrialists profitable.

Just like Lee Kuan Yew, he told the Germans that he alone had all the answers. There is no need for Cabinet meetings, discussions and debate. And for a time he delivered what he promised. He occupied Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland and the whole of Western Europe. Like Lee Kuan Yew, he appeared invincible and the people simply loved it.

But history doesn't stay the same. Things change. Today Lee Kuan Yew and by extension his son, have no more accomplishments to trumpet. There are no more Communists to fight, no more anarchists, no more trouble makers on the streets, no more opportunity to say that I alone am the superman.

At the same time Singaporeans are becoming more educated, the Internet enables the citizens to know at anytime what is happening in the Middle East or Ukraine. It has pictures of young students in Hong Kong and Europe demanding rights, freedoms and justice, while they are not allowed to do any of this.

For the first time, Singaporeans are no longer satisfied with their lot. They don't have to live like this anymore. The island wide quiet of the cemetery has become suddenly boring. They need some zest in life. They want to have their say. They demand representation for taxation.

This is where the problem lies. Dictators survive by always having some enemy or other. If there is none, they have to create one. Only by funneling the anger at the enemy can dictators hope to retain their people's support. But the time has no come, where there are no longer enemies, seen on unseen; and it is difficult to create one.

Rationally Singapore today does not have a legitimate government that any people would respect. It has literally abolished the Constitution. Rights of free speech and expression, assembly, peaceful protest or the rule of law are all openly abrogated. It is rationally and logically impossible for any society to show respect and loyalty to an administration that does this, absent any emergent reason. Today if they are arguing that they have to do this, because otherwise foreign capital would flee and they would all be unemployed, it is an untenable one. Foreign capital is attracted not by making slaves of its citizens. It is an argument that simply does not fly.

Over decades now the Internet is awash with anti government writings. It is almost impossible to find even one that favors the government and if you do, it is very probably put up by paid government agents writing under false identities.

Over the entire history of Singapore under Lee Kuan Yew and now his son, the principle has always been, either you are with me or against me. There has never been any room in the island for those who thought otherwise than the ideas and policies of Lee Kuan Yew.

In Germany under Hitler, it was Eine Reich, Eine Volk, Eine Fuhrer, or one country, one people one leader as it was in Lee's Singapore. The plan today is to make the whole of the island following one political philosophy, that is Lee Kuan Yew.

If you complied and did the dance, you stand to live unmolested, your career advanced and a life without trouble. Although unlike Hitler, Lee doesn't shoot his opponents, he will make your life miserable. You literally become an outcast if unwilling to play his tune. You stand to lose your job, sometimes even arrested and bankrupted. For anyone not wanting to live a life of penury, it makes sense to join the bandwagon.

Although you are not arrested and targeted for punishment if you complained on the Internet incognito, no one who has dared to proclaim his opposition openly has ever been left unscathed. From the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, it was JB Jeyaretnam who was the target for destruction. After that it was Chee Soon Juan who suffered a similar fate. Other than these 2 citizens, there has really been no one else who has dared to stand up and be counted. The entire population have simply accepted their fate and have accepted the reality that is Singapore.

As a result of the almost universal anger towards their tormentors, they refuse to have children bringing down the fertility rate in the island to the lowest in the world, they refuse to marry, they leave for settlement abroad, leaving the already declining population to no more than perhaps just mere 1.5 million of local born citizens, not counting the million or so recently born citizens who are the children of recent immigrants. This dictatorial intolerant rule has completely destroyed the way of life in the island for their citizens, who are today mostly from somewhere else brought in to replenish the local population which s literally going extinct.

You don't see any numbers of citizens daring to stand up to this one man one party rule but occasionally there are exceptions. Today the targets for Lee Kuan Yew and son marked for destruction is a blogger Roy Ngerng and a 22 year old blogger and activist Han Hui Hui. Recently Ngerng had claimed in his blog that Lee Kuan Yew's son, the Prime Minister was responsible as head of the state run retirement fund CPF's inability to account for citizen's funds. The son, brooking no disrespect, commenced a court action against him for damages for defamation. Please see the state controlled newspaper article here.

Recently the court heard his case on a motion by the Lees for summary judgment but instead of giving judgment immediately, they reserved judgment for an unspecified date in the future. The only reason for their adjournment has to be fear that if they went ahead and found against him, the already intense dislike for them would only become worse. They think that by postponing it, they may be able to contain the growing anger island wide.

As for Han Hui Hui, she spoke on many occasions criticizing the government for the same. Although she has not been sued like Ngerng, she has been ordered to appear at the police station for long periods of interrogation, no doubt to intimidate her into silence but also to discover the identities of others who were involved for similar harassment.

An Internet search lately for the names Roy Ngerng and Han Hui Hui suddenly discloses numerous writers criticizing their actions. This is what happened. Recently at the Speakers Corner, they had approached a Minister who happened to be there, Teo Ser Luck to confront him on the government's repressive measures.

Unbeknownst to them, some mentally backward children were performing some show on a stage whom the government claims were stressed as a result of the encounter. Although both Ngerng and Han stated that they were not aware of the children's incapacity since they appeared normal and capable of performing on stage, Lee's 5th Column, or his cyber brigade went into full gear to write of their insensitivity and irresponsibility for deliberately harming mentally handicapped children.

Even though Ngerng and Han had apologized, it still wasn't enough to satisfy these supporters of  the dictatorship, determined to vilify and defame these unwholesome critics of Singapore's great leader Lee Kuan Yew and Son.

Their hope of course is to throw as much mud as possible at them in the hope that they not only would give up, no one else would dare to do what they did.

Of course such sustained persecution and prosecution of critics who have done nothing more than challenge the policies of the dictatorship is a double edged sword. On the one hand they may manage to silence these 2 brave individuals. On the other the island wide anger against this establishment can only get worse.

Singapore's dictatorship today has reached a fork in the road. Do you take the road that continues the repression and persecution and continue to rule through fear, and thereby antagonize every single Singaporean? Or do you take the road of restoring democracy and the peoples freedoms. Either way the Singapore dictators don't stand a chance. By cracking the whip even more, you sow the seeds for an overthrow. And if you allow their freedoms, you do the same. It is a no win situation for these tyrants as it is everywhere. It is a hard rock or a hard place and nothing in between.

Singapore's state controlled newspapers can go on as if nothing is amiss. But we know that there is a great deal amiss in that tiny island with a tiny population.

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

Monday, October 6, 2014

Singapore's headline news and "bowel incontinence". A disgusting business.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

If you want to know how bad the quality of Singapore's local news in their state controlled newspapers have become, you may want to read the headlines news, I mean it, headline news, in the Straits Times today titled "Bowel incontence is not part of ageing" says SGH doc". You can see a picture of the famous patient, worthy of headline news only in Singapore I must add, and her doctor below.
I don't want to upset anyone's appetite. You can read this Singaporean "headline news" for yourself. It is simply that this woman had diarrhea for a decade and suddenly comes this Singaporean doctor who tells her that she hasn't any diarrhea but "stomach incontinence" instead, whatever that is, and this happens to be in the Singaporean sense, their headline news!
 If you wondered why the Singaporean journalism is given a abysmally low standing of 150th among the world's newspapers for being the least free, by Reporters without Borders, in the world, now you see why.
This happens in every country in the world which are run by dictators, in Singapore's case Lee Kuan Yew the father and now the Son,  who control their media and turn it into propaganda sheets. There is no real news about the country, their policies, political debate, new ideas about economy, politics, simply nothing. Just as in North Korea, Lee Kuan Yew's state controlled Straits Times would put out each day what they intend to do, such as building a road somewhere in the island, and when they don't have anything else, well report on the woman with the 10 year diarrhea who has now finally taken the right medicine.  
Better still take the picture of the disgusting 10 year diarrhea woman standing next to her diarrhea doctor and stick in the state controlled newspaper as headline news.
A mucky bit of news to say the least.
Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Is there turbulence and instability under the quiet calm of tiny Singapore island

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Winston Churchill the illustrious Prime Minister of England once wrote "Dictators ride to and fro on tigers from which they dare not dismount." Quotation from his book "While England Slept" 1938.

The dictatorship in Singapore is a classic example of Winston Churchill's quote.

Although on the surface, thanks to the state controlled propaganda media, nothing seems amiss in the minuscule tiny island of Singapore of calm and quiet with just 2 million or less of native citizens and the majority being foreigners who have been recently granted citizenship to compensate the abysmally tiny and declining population, there are serious faults in the system which cause one to seriously doubt whether it will last beyond the 91 year old dictator Lee Kuan Yew's fast impending demise.

If Singapore island, a tiny speck with a tiny population continues to function normally today, it is only through brute force of the police and the state controlled courts which will punish any detractor causing any trouble.

But for any country to survive, it has to have the respect and support of their people.

This the Lee family government simply do not have.

Every pillar of society and government has been thoroughly discredited and the people have no respect at all in their government.

The Singapore government openly abuses the law courts for their political purposes, through defamation actions intended not to compensate the victim but to destroy and intimidate political opposition.

The repeated use of these defamation actions over the entire 50 years of Singapore's existence under the Lees has effectively destroyed any respect for their legal system.

People do not challenge authority because they are simply afraid.

Singapore lawyers have been so intimidated that they are afraid even to represent any political opponent.

Some years ago, when Chee Soon Juan was targeted for destruction as a political opponent, he could not find a single lawyer in the entire island to represent him.

When he complained to the judges and requested a foreign attorney, his request was denied, leaving him in the end to have to represent himself!

As for the media in that minuscule island for 2 million locals, it is entirely state controlled.

You need a government permit to print and publish any newspaper, run a radio or TV station and only government supporters are granted licenses.

The only media now free is the Internet leaving this the only avenue for the islanders who want to read independent news.

The police are free to do literally whatever they want.

No universally accepted fair and impartial police procedure applies.

Anyone can be questioned anytime at their fancy, and especially government critics are totally at their mercy and liable to any amount of trumped up charges and put away.

On 4th of July 2008, I was arrested in Singapore initially because they claimed I had knocked on a police car in a street, which I obviously didn't. Since the car didn't have any damage or my fingerprints, they dropped that accusation.

When I denied it, they came up with a charge that  I was disorderly and had shouted obscenities at them.

Eventually no charge of ever knocking on a police car in Little India, a Singapore district, was ever brought and after an 18 day trial when I enjoyed myself cross examining every one of their witnesses who carefully orchestrated their evidence, I was naturally found guilty and fined $3,000.00.

I was surprised why they didn't send me to jail for this, but I subsequently knew why.

They had already planned to send me to jail for writing a blog criticizing their judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean who had sent the aforementioned Chee Soon Juan to jail and fined him several thousand dollars for criticizing Lee Kuan Yew and his son, a trial which was scheduled to be heard some months ahead. So there was no need to send me to jail just yet!

You see, I was a critic of their government.

The law had to bend to punish me harshly.

And this entire travesty of justice was daily splashed across their state controlled press and media.

I wonder who benefited more from the exercise and that wide publicity.

On the one hand, they may have succeeded in instilling fear once again in the population not to ever challenge their authority.

But on the other hand, it gave an excellent opportunity for me once again to expose the Kangaroo courts in the island, thereby destroying any little respect anyone may still have in their judicial system.

In order to make sure there is no possibility whatever for any challenge to their authority, laws have been enacted to literally abolish the Constitution.

There is no freedom of speech, expression, assembly or the right to even peacefully protest.

Singaporeans are not fools.

They are an English educated tiny population.

They are fully aware that they are living under slavery and at the complete mercy of the dictatorship.

This is why the island is suffering from a threat of existential proportions from which they have no solution, their disappearing citizens.

Even from this tiny local population of perhaps just 2 million, it has one of the highest rates of emigration in the world, mostly to Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

It has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world where there are insufficient children born to even replace their parents.

As if this was not bad enough, it has a fast ageing population.

Some years ago, in order to desperately stem the abysmally falling birth rate, this government even went to extent of showing soft porn on their state controlled TV stations at late night in the hope that couples would watch and immediately engage in sex and make babies thereafter. That too failed.

Then Lee Kuan Yew, his son and several of their ministers who are corruptly paid multi millions of dollars went out hat in hand to the capitals of the world's Singapore diaspora to plead for them to return playing on their loyalty to the country of their birth.

That too failed, as no one returned. Today they are resigned to the fact that the population will simply continue to decline and disappear and there is nothing they can do about it.

This dictatorial rule has also completely destroyed their state security apparatus which they rely upon through conscription.

The vast number of young men who have to do national service are simply against it.

As a result they find every way possible way to avoid it and if they can leave the island, do so and never return.

In fact the numbers in the armed forces have diminished so much, the government recently announced in an desperate attempt that even permanent residents and women, hitherto not liable, can if they wish voluntarily join the army.

Once again that too is a complete flop as no one has come forward. The barracks are literally empty.

You can see why this government is a total disconnect with their tiny population.

Any government expecting their people to play their part in society has to be respectable.

If you lose every single iota of respect, how can you expect them to feel a sense of belonging and patriotism to their home and country.

You don't need to be particularly bright to know that a denial of free speech, expression, assembly or the rule of law will not endear any people to their government.

If they manage to rule today, it is not because they have good governance, it is despite it.

It is a society which is governed entirely by fear, a society which runs on the rule of "you listen to me or else".

This is a government which like Winston Churchill said, is riding a tiger and they are afraid to dismount because it will devour them if they did.

Lee Kuan Yew is now 91 years old.

So far he has run his country on this principle and fear.

It does not have free and fair elections and every single minister and government official is not freely elected but appointed through rigged elections under a climate of fear.

There are no leaders in Singapore, only followers who parrot the Lee Kuan Yew doctrine.

When he dies, the question is what next.

Will his son, who presently is in power entirely because of his father continue to argue that free speech is bad, free and fair elections are bad, an independent judiciary is bad and the rule of law is bad and expect his people to go along with it?

The tiny population of Singaporeans simply do not have a sense of belonging to their society, a patriotism or feel that they have a stake in their country. They feel it is not they who own Singapore, the Lee family who pay themselves and their cronies millions, do.

There are no strong civic institutions in the island that is essential to stability and seamless succession from one government to another.

No one has any respectability or legitimacy to galvanize any society in Singapore for action, since no one can claim to be a leader in that society. There is only one leader. Lee Kuan Yew himself.

If they claim to be leaders as is printed in the sate controlled press, it is only because of Lee Kuan Yew and what he will do to you if you disobey.

This lack of strong and stable civic institutions will be the very cause of instability and collapse in a society especially as tiny as this.

Upon the demise of the 91 year old Singapore dictator, I can envisage an even greater flood of Singaporeans leaving the shores of the tiny island with just perhaps a miniscule 2 million locals.

As for the recent arrivals who have been given instant citizenship to boost the numbers, they would be the first to leave as they, just as any economic migrant wouldn't really care if they lived in Singapore or some other place, as long as it is stable and money is made.

And with it you will also see an outflow of capital of both locals and foreigners and with that you can say goodbye to Singapore.

You can see this sort of a disastrous scenario is bad enough for any country.

It is devastating for a tiny miniscule island with just 2 million or so native population with the ability to pack up and vote with their feet if they want.

As for the Singapore dictators, they are behaving as if nothing is amiss.

Reading the Singapore state controlled press, you wouldn't think anything is wrong.

Singapore's handpicked leaders and their 91 year old dictator are simply living in denial.

I suppose they think if there is nothing you can do about it, it serves no purpose to talk about it.

As Churchill said, the Lee family who run Singapore are riding a tiger. They are afraid to dismount lest the tiger devours them.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Tel: 510 491 8525

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Tale of Two Cities. Hong Kong Chinese, proud, courageous, jealously guard their freedom. Singapore Chinese, cowards, suppliant, submissive, servile and supine

Ladies and Gentlemen,

  • People pass out food and drink at a pro-democracy protest on Nathan Road, a major route through the heart of the Kowloon district of Hong Kong, on Sept29, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
  • A woman holds a protest sign at a pro-democracy protest on Nathan Road, a major route through the heart of the Kowloon district of Hong Kong, on Sept 29, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
  • People sit next to an abandoned bus at a pro-democracy protest on Nathan Road, a major route through the heart of the Kowloon district of Hong Kong, on Sept 29, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
  • Nathan Road, a major route through the heart of the Kowloon district of Hong Kong, is seen empty of traffic as pro-democracy protesters gather on Sept 29, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
  • Volunteers wetting towels in preparation for tear gas or pepper spray. -- ST PHOTO: LI XUEYING
  • The growing crowd in Admiralty at 3pm. -- ST PHOTO: LI XUEYING
  • Police taking a break. -- ST PHOTO: LI XUEYING
  • A bus marooned. -- ST PHOTO: LI XUEYING
  • Wednesday, September 24, 2014

    Englishmen, Frenchmen, Welshmen, Scotsmen, Irishmen, Dutchmen, Flying Dutchmen, Turkmen, Indiamen, Bombay Duck and Chinamen

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    It is no offense to call someone an Englishman, a Frenchman, a Welshman, a Scotsman, an Irishman a Dutchman, a Turkmen. But you cannot today call a Chinese man a Chinaman. They take offense and consider it pejorative and insulting.  I wonder why.

    In fact it was never so always. The word was not considered offensive in the past and many prominent Chinese people were proud to call themselves Chinamen. The word took derogatory connotations after the discrimination against Chinese people in the United States and Europe when today, it is generally accepted as an insult to a Chinese person to be called Chinaman when the Englishman Dutchman or Irishman has no problem with the name.

    An interesting story is the word used in the game cricket. There is a style of bowling called "Chinaman" which happens to be a perfectly acceptable use of the term. It is a style used by left arm unorthodox spin bowlers by using a wrist hand action to spin the ball which turns from off to leg side of the pitch. The term is believed to have been first coined when Ellis Edgar "Puss" Achong, a Chinese cricketer born in Trinidad and Tobago when he played for West Indies at Old Trafford in England in 1933. After he knocked out the stumps of English batsman Walter Robbins by his unique bowling technique, it seems Robbins said to the umpire "fancy being done by a bloody Chinaman"! Probably from that time this unique bowling style became known as a Chinaman. Today bowlers who use this style include the legendary Gary Sobers of the West Indies.

    The Flying Dutchman was not, by the way, a Dutchman at all. It was meant to refer to a ship in folklore which was doomed to sail forever, never calling at port. It portends ill omen.

    The East Indiaman was similarly not a man at all. It referred to ships that traded with the Far East during the days of the English East India Company.

    And the Bombay Duck was not a duck at all. The name refers to a fish found principally in the seas of Mumbai India. The name it appears came from the days of the British Raj when this small fish was caught and dried and transported on the Indian Railways from Bombay to Calcutta. The British it appears called this rail transport the Bombay Daak. It seems the fish smelled so badly when dried and had to be kept enclosed during transport, which is why when someone used to smell, they used to say "He smells like Bombay Daak". Over time the word was corrupted to Bombay Duck which is consumed today all over the world, both fresh and salted.

    Funny how over the years the connotation to some words change and why Chinese today should have no objection to be called Chinamen when it was perfectly proper in bygone days.

    Chinamen should be proud of being Chinamen.

    Written by me, an Indiaman, Gopalan Nair.

    Gopalan Nair
    Attorney at Law
    Fremont, California, USA
    Tel: 510 491 8525

    Tuesday, September 23, 2014

    Singapore. A total disconnect between the authoritarian government and its people. A regime that simply cannot last.

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    With each day passing, Singaporeans are increasingly alienated from their government. In fact, a large section of its people viscerally hate their government and are only waiting its downfall.

    This fact can be clearly seen throughout the Internet. Since the entire media, newspapers, television and radio are all state controlled, it is impossible for Singaporeans to show their angst against the regime in them. The only avenue available is the Internet which unlike the other totalitarian regimes in the world are still uncontrolled. It is here that you see the real anger of the people to this government.

    Examples of this in the Internet are many. Take the well read TR Emeritus Every single comment there is a visceral attack against the ruling PAP regime. It seems so widespread today that although the government could if they want discover their identities and bring upon the usual defamation lawsuits, it seems they have decided it is just too extensive and too common  to control. And these insults and attacks against the government goes on everyday, ever increasing in their intensity, while the government simply does nothing. Another blog is the Online Citizen and The Real Singapore

    The reasons for their alienation and distrust are obvious. Here we have a government that simply believes that the Constitution is irrelevant, the people are there simply there to enrich the rulers, they have no rights and have simply to obey the daily dictates that are enacted as laws by their rubber stamp Parliament. Singapore's rulers have decided long ago that the Constitution is simply of no use to them. The rights in them, free speech, expression and assembly are completely denied. The press is totally controlled and the courts are just Kangaroo.

    This leaves the average citizen no recourse to redress injustice. A man who is denied a HDB flat has nowhere to turn; unless of course he takes the law into his own hands. A Malay or an Indian Singaporean denied a job because of his race simply has to take it lying down. A Chinese Singaporean renting a HDB flat is free to take advantage of his Indian Singaporean neighbor. The laws allow beating as an official punishment for crimes and many victims bear an intense hatred against their government for life.

    Any other country with laws to allow grievances to be aired and redressed have people that trust and respect their government. In Singapore the average person feels that he is totally at their mercy. They have no control over their destinies, the government has. There is no accountability or transparency with the government. They simply tell you whatever they want or however they want to twist it in their state controlled press. As for their legal system, the average person has no respect whatsoever. Most of their work is involved in punishing criminals.

    The situation in Soviet Union or former East Germany was not dissimilar, but with one difference. They were large countries with large populations and closed borders. Any attempt at political criticism was severely punished, and you could not leave if you wanted to. Even if many people were against their government, it could still manage as their populations were large and there are still millions who would obey. But in Singapore on the other hand, the population is tiny, perhaps just 2 million local citizens and a vast number of foreigners. Equally important is the fact that passports are readily available, the borders are not closed and anyone who cannot stand the system is free to leave.

    Can you imagine what will happen if a large portion of the 2 million of that tiny population leave? It would cause unimaginable turmoil, instability, a run on the banks, massive outflow of capital and literally doom. Even the departure of a few large investors with their money will trigger a flood. A tiny island with a tiny population such as this simply cannot withstand this.

    With the demise of the 91 year old dictator Lee Kuan Yew who has very cleverly not left any state or civic institutions worth its salt to see through a smooth transition, there will be total chaos. No one knows who will be the new Prime Minister or will it still be his son whom he placed on the throne. Sadly for him no one has any respect as most see him nothing more than his father's son.

    Singapore today does not have the strong civil institutions that is needed for stability and political transition. If it has lasted this far, it is only because everyone feared his father. When he dies there will inevitably be a power struggle among the hopefuls with the people on their part not accepting anyone.

    Remember every one of these government Ministers are mere handpicked bureaucrats, not real leaders. I predict the only way these oligarchs can remain in power would be to use increasingly repressive measures to subdue the tiny population.

    Just like Saddam Hussein could remain in power, the Singaporean hopefuls would have to use massive arrests, torture and prosecutions as their only weapon. But unlike Saddam's Iraq, Singapore has a tiny population and everyone has passports, which they would surely use to get out the moment this government turns increasingly ruthless. And there would be no one left to subdue, since they would have all left with their money.

    This situation in Singapore is not something that can last.

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

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    Singapore island city state government is just like any China city.

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Despite official claims of having a Constitution and a parliamentary democracy, Singapore today is just another China city of the Peoples Republic of China.

    Although the Constitution of Singapore allows for a multi party democracy, it is no different from China, where it is a one party state under the Communist Party.

    In Singapore Lee Kuan Yew has decided a long time ago that his party, the People's Action Party alone will rule Singapore forever.

    To enable this, every elections held in the island is a farce. He has carefully cultivated a climate of fear by repeatedly arresting and suing anyone who stood against him, resulting in the vast majority of educated islanders having no desire in any opposition politics.

    The handful of those who dare, are only capable of muted protestations and really have no credibility as true courageous politicians, standing on principle.

    Just like in China where all newspapers are state controlled, Singapore's newspapers are the same.

    The requirement of a government license effectively prevents any free and independent newspaper from ever happening.

    One difference between China and Singapore is that China also controls the Internet, while Singapore doesn't enabling the people to get the opposite view if they took the trouble.

    Just as in China where the Communist Party has offices all over in both cities and villages, Singapore has their ruling party offices all  over the island, under both their own names and various other names such as Residents Committees, Peoples Association and a litany of others.

    In China, the way to succeed is to volunteer your services at the local Communist Party agency and hope to catch the eye of the big wigs. If that happens and your work appreciated, you will be promoted up the ladder, and receiving more money, more benefits, career security, power and fame. It is questionable whether any one of these people do what they do out of altruism or is it for personal gratification, I mean money.

    Singapore functions exactly like this. Every Singaporean wanting to succeed in life in Lee Kuan Yew and Son's Singapore should first of all join the local government organization, rub shoulders with the other party supporters, pretend to be doing good work in various social and political projects for the citizens, hope to be selected by Lee Kuan Yew and Sons headhunters, and thereafter hope for better prospects, more money and a better life, thanks to the generosity of their benefactor Mr. Lee and Co.

    In Singapore those who serve in these government agencies are conveniently called "Grassroots Leaders". On the other hand if you were one who stood around promoting human rights and free speech, you are labeled a thug.

    But you can see the hypocrisy in both the Chinese aspirant in China and the Singaporean one.

    Both would claim openly that they are doing all this because they love China or Singapore respectively and it all because of pure civic consciousness.

    But the problem is when you question what they are working for. China is a one party police state where everyone is required to parrot the government line and behave like a zombie.

    Singapore is no different. It is also a one party state under Lee's Peoples Action Party, a country that denies free speech and expression, prohibits public protests and anyone who publicly advocates opposition to the regime liable to be arrested under the various laws enacted to prevent any opposition to the regime.

    Anyone in Singapore who dares to challenge the government openly is branded a thug, a criminal and an enemy of the state. Support of the Peoples Action Party is praised as loyalty to the country while opposition to it tantamount to treason and sedition.

    The path to success through supporting the one party police state in Singapore is well known on the ground. Every single Chinese immigrant who lands in Singapore today in planeloads immediately heads to one of these state agencies in the island to volunteer their support, a practice that they were well accustomed to in their erstwhile home in the Peoples Republic of China. I guess it wouldn't matter to them if the government were a bunch of monkeys, as long as they have power and control.

    Surely and steadily the plan is to create an entire island of Lee Kuan Yew one party police state supporters while at the same time marginalizing and destroying anyone who thought he had a head on his shoulders and a brain inside it.

    Throughout the 1980s while I was living in Singapore, the country of my birth, I realized the Singapore of Lee Kuan Yew is simply wrong in principle and something which I had a duty to oppose.

    It is wrong for any country to deny their citizens fundamental human rights and rule as if the Constitution does not exist.

    A country can only hope to advance if their people were allowed the right of self determination and fighting for what was just was not only a right but a duty which every human has.

    For my troubles, I was systematically subjected to a series of government reprisals, sued for contempt of court, my reputation maligned and literally prevented from practicing my profession of law.

    Two years ago, I was disbarred from ever practicing law in the island and branded a thug and a criminal, a reputation which I wear proudly on my shoulders.

    As a result of this sustained political education in the island, the entire population of the island, a tiny 2 million or so of locals Singaporeans and another 3 million foreigners, have been reduced to a cowardly, hypocrite and opportunist society where one behaves according to what the state requires.

    An average Singaporean is no longer able to engage in any discussion honestly about anything that relates to how he lives and what he thinks.

    Any judge you meet in the island would publicly tell you that he is fiercely upholding the law but privately say that he has no respect whatsoever in what he does, which is none other than a rubber stamp for government dictates.

    The same with any civil servant, any government employee or for that matter anyone else. Everyone in the island is actually doing, thinking and acting according to the template set out for them by the state, not according to what he or she really believes.

    In recent years, the government despite all it does to put their citizens in a straightjacket both in mind and spirit have begun to discover that the election results show an increasing number of Singaporeans voting for the opposition.

    Since the government have decided that they alone should rule forever, they had to invent a scheme where even the opposition is actually working for them.

    They have done this by actually promoting and co-opting the Workers Party, an opposition party having first of all made a pact with them, that they will in effect support the Peoples Action Party but outwardly appear to the people as an opposition.

    At the last election a few years ago, they won as many as 7 seats in Parliament but regardless of how many seats they capture in future elections, they would only be a pseudo Peoples Action Party committed to further their interests, a plan which would serve the regime very well.

    It is not I alone who is aware of this perfidy committed against their citizens, many other educated Singaporeans are also fully aware of this state re-education.

    Because passports are easily available and an English education system, thousands refusing to live under a one party police state where success requires one to prostitute one's beliefs and principles, they are leaving in droves to the West.

    The number of students opting for an education abroad continues to grow and those who have left are not returning to their island. Also, those who have already emigrated are pulling their friends and relatives to join them and this huge brain drain is literally emptying out the local Singapore born educated and skilled leaving only those who are incapable of leaving remaining in that island.

    And mind you with a tiny population, not more than perhaps 2 million native born, the island would be hard pressed to withstand anymore of this.

    Every single Minister in Lee Kuan Yew's cabinet today is an unmitigated opportunistic cowardly hypocrite.

    Take the case of K Shanmugam, the Tamil Minter of Law. At a young age his parents advised him to sacrifice his soul and his mind to the Lees as a sure but disgraceful way to succeed under the regime.

    So he assiduously does everything to please the dictatorship. He joins all the necessary government agencies and works hard as a "grassroots leader", Lee's definition for sycophants and bootlickers.

    He goes to the Singapore university and either by design or hard work, no one knows which, he passes all his exams and is promptly made a Minister.

    In his job, the passes laws to completely criminalize protests or any opposition to the government. In return he is labeled a great lawyer, a great politician and a string of other accolades too numerous to mention.

    But does he really believe in denying a free press, fundamental human rights and turning his fellow citizens into a society of slaves? Probably not. But he does this anyway because both he and his parents felt that success should be achieved at any cost, never mind one's principles. It is the same with every other Minister cringing and crawling at the feet of this administration because you achieve success, at any cost.

    Today Singapore does not have any thinkers, or even men of principle. They have no chance in Lee's island. You can if you want oppose the system and fight for what you believe and end up miserable broke and living under the bridge somewhere in the island.

    But the good news is that even if no one had the courage or naivety, depending on your point of view, to stand up to this administration, the forces prevailing in the island today will under its own volition destroy this regime.

    With ever increasing educated and thinking Singaporeans leaving their shores the quality of the average Singaporean will continue to decline.

    What will be left in the island is an entire society of people, all of whom are cowards, hypocrites and opportunists and who are poorly educated and unable to think beyond their work and what they will watch on TV that day.

    Such a society cannot expect to advance and succeed among the nations of the world which are free, democratic and allow their citizens to think and form opinions on their own without fear of prosecution and arrest.

    It will become a society of followers and not leaders and such a society has no hope to achieving even a iota of what the free peoples of the world can achieve.

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