Sunday, June 29, 2014

Singapore Prime Minister's defamation lawsuit against blogger. The Prime Minister disgracefully misrepresents the law

Ladies and Gentlemen,

You know what is happening in that disgraceful defamation regime of that island city state Singapore where the rulers stay in power entirely through their Kangaroo Courts by suing anyone that criticizes them.

I am not sure if they are registered in the Guinness Book of records for the most defamation actions by rulers against their own citizens, but if it hasn't, it should.

With such a disgraceful record of almost daily defamation actions to silence their citizens, one can only assume that their rulers are so insecure that the only way they re-assure themselves is through these  daily defamation lawsuits.

This is a country that stays in power through fear, force, violence, threats and intimidation against their people; one such weapon being the all too frequent defamation of character lawsuit.

The Prime Minister, the son of Lee Kuan Yew who started this disgraceful career, disgraces himself, the island republic and their judiciary whom every single citizen considers no better than Kangaroo judges.

The brief facts are as follows. Roy Ngerng, a Singapore citizen had written in his blog Heart Truths among other things that the state retirement funds are being misused and not accounted for and the Prime Minister is himself responsible for this.

Consequent therefore, the Prime Minister just like his father, as expected, commenced a defamation lawsuit before his courts, which always finds in his favor, against Ngerng.

Please see Singapore's state controlled newspaper article of May 29, 2014, "PM Lee commences suit against blogger Roy Ngerng"

Following an outcry from all the free countries in the world including the respected Economist magazine pointing out the disgraceful conduct of this tin pot tyrant suing his helpless citizens into submission, the Prime Minister wrote to the Economist trying to justify the unjustifiable.

In that response he disgracefully misrepresents the law to justify his cowardly action. Please see Singapore's state controlled Today newspaper article of June 19, 2014, "Blogger Roy ngerng case: PM Lees' Press Secretary issues response to Economist article"

I attach Prime Minister's response here in full:

SIR – I refer to the article “A butterfly on a wheel” (June 13th). You referred to an “alleged ‘serious libel’” by Roy Ngerng. This is not an allegation. Mr Ngerng has publicly admitted accusing Lee Hsien Loong, the prime minister, of criminal misappropriation of pension funds, falsely and completely without foundation. After promising to apologize and to remove the post, Mr Ngerng did the opposite; he actively disseminated the libel further. This was a grave and deliberate defamation, whether it occurred online or in the traditional media being immaterial.

What is at stake is not any short-term positive or negative impact on the government, but the sort of public debate Singapore should have. When someone makes false and malicious personal allegations that impugn a person’s character or integrity, the victim has the right to vindicate his reputation, whether he is an ordinary citizen or the prime minister. The internet should not be exempt from the laws of defamation. It is perfectly possible to have a free and vigorous debate without defaming anyone, as occurs often in Singapore.

The Prime Minister disgracefully puts forward a lie and a complete falsity both on the law and the reality of today's world of Internet.

He says

"When someone makes false and malicious personal allegations that impugn a person’s character or integrity, the victim has the right to vindicate his reputation, whether he is an ordinary citizen or the prime minister."

This is a complete misrepresentation of the law and a complete misrepresentation of the reality of today's world of free speech. The law has been clearly set out throughout the free world which follows the principles of  the Supreme Court case of New York Times vs Sullivan.

The principle is that there are 2 sets of standards when suing someone for defamation; one for a public figure (in this case the Prime Minister) and another for an ordinary citizen.

An ordinary citizen when suing another has the burden of only showing that the defendant was at least negligent and the Plaintiff suffered a loss of reputation.

On the other hand the standards for a public figure are completely different. His burden is monumentally higher.

In order to succeed, he has to show in addition to the falsity of the charge, a malicious intention on the part of the defendant as well as actual loss and damage.

In other words he has to show that Ngerng had a personal grudge, ill will or evil intention against the Prime Minister when he wrote the article. Secondly the Prime Minister has to show that he has actually suffered a quantifiable monetary loss or that citizens have actually begun to disrespect him or hold him in contempt or ridicule consequent to Ngerng's article. And those persons have to be named. None of this has been proven or satisfied in the Singapore Prime Minister's case.

Anyone who understands the basis of any free society knows that in the case of a public figure suing for defamation, a balance has to be found between the virtue and the paramount need for public debate  in a free society against protecting the reputation of the public figure.

Additionally, the burden in such cases against the public figure is even greater than otherwise, when the issue involves a matter of public interest and controversy.

Here Ngerng was talking about state run retirement funds, something which touches every single citizen in his country.

He wasn't saying that the Prime Minister had committed adultery or had taken an up skirt picture of a woman on an escalator, which he may or may not have.

No developed or respected country's Prime Minister would think of ever suing a private citizen for talking about the country's state run retirement funds, because no respected country would want to muzzle their private citizens engaging in free debate on government policies that affect their lives and that of their fellow citizens.

I can assure you that the American President, the British Prime Minister, the Australian Prime Minister or any other respected leader of the free world would stoop so low as this to sue a citizen for showing an interest in the way he is governed.

But I know of some state leaders who would; Kim Jong An, the beloved leader of North Korea, the former Saddam Hussein, former president of Iraq and the present president of Syria, Bashar al Assad.

The Prime Minister has argued that he has to sue Ngerng in order to protect his reputation. In fact it is the other way round.

By suing him, it raises serious doubts whether the Prime Minister has indeed embezzled monies from the state run retirement fund; because why else does he find the need to sue.

Only a guilty person would see the need to resort to a court action in circumstances where he knows the Kangaroo courts would find in his favor.

There are many other possibilities why the Prime Minister may be corrupt; perhaps if the  courts were independent, he may not have sued, not knowing the result of such an action? He may be suing only because he knows beforehand he will win in his courts.

If he knew that the ordinary Singaporean did not suspect him of embezzlement, perhaps he would not have sued? Perhaps because he knows that the average Singaporean indeed believes that he is corrupt, that he finds the need to sue?

I can write in my blog if wanted to that President Obama is corrupt, that the British Prime Minister is corrupt and the Australian Prime Minister is corrupt as many times I want, without any fear of being sued.

Why, because they know they are not corrupt and so do their citizens. Indeed if I were to have said this, no one would have even batted an eye. Not in the Singapore Prime Ministers' case. Perhaps he is corrupt after all.

And most importantly the Singapore Prime Minister is not going to sue me. Why, because I live in the United States and his defamation action would not have the predicted result as in Singapore.

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

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am now on Facebook.

My address

I have done this principally to spread Singapore Dissident even further and wider.  So if you don't see much activity from me on it, chatting and doing the various other things it can do, please forgive me. I rather talk to people the old fashioned way which the human race always did in the past, meaning physically in person; not incognito behind a computer screen.

As to the many things Facebook can do, on whether it is something good, I have my reservations. The whole idea of having this wide network of so called friends on cyberspace, chatting with them on the Internet and doing all sorts of things to them and with them, when you will never see a single one of them let alone have a friendship like humans traditionally do, appears weird, and in fact perhaps even an unhealthy path to take.

I fear too much of this, would lead one to live not in this world but the next.

Which leads me to an anecdote I once read in the "Last Lion, Winston Churchill", which I confess is not entirely related to this post. Pardon the digression.

In 1914, when the British were fighting the Turks in Palestine, too many of their soldiers were dying at the front. To boost the numbers joining the British Army, they put up large posters all over England to attract recruitment. One such poster probably in Manchester, carried the words "Join the British Army and see the World". It seems one young man who knew better added the world "Next" before the word "World". So the poster now read, "Join the British Army and see the next World". They would probably be killed and go to Heaven!

Thank you

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

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Singapore's PAP government gives the island population a complete blood transfusion. Locals totally disappear and foreigners completely take over.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thanks to Singapore's rulers and their policies, the island population is now fast reaching total extinction. The locals are disappearing due to a multitude of factors, the principle ones being an almost zero birth rate, a fast ageing population and an ever growing emigration rate to the West. And if you threw in the fact that already the local population stand no more than perhaps 2 million at most, and as these forces continue to change the population's make-up, frankly, it is not going to be long when there are no locals left.

The reason for these unhappy trends are many and obvious, decisions all made by a government who felt no need to consult their citizens.  These are problems unique to dictatorships, like Singapore's which lack the moderating effect of citizen participation.

I am sure no one has any doubt what Singapore is, just a one man one party dictatorship. During it's short history of 50 years, first Lee Kuan Yew and now his son, the Prime Minister are convinced they alone have all the answers and it's people a bunch of dummies. So anyone who thought otherwise has to be removed. And that is exactly what they have been doing.

They decided that they needed to grow the economy. So they brought in all and sundry companies to come in and do business.

Having done that, they need workers to run these businesses. So they bring in any number of foreigners to work these foreign businesses, so much so that foreigners exceed locals and the ratio is widening daily.

At they same time, they educated their locals. But education causes them to think. And thinking citizens would begin to question this sort of government. Remember, it is a government which has no free press, no independent judiciary, no right to speech, expression or assembly, unlimited police powers, a defamation regime, where government support is rewarded and opposition is punished.

Why do you think I am so against the Singaporean system? It is because I have had an education, thanks to the Lee government. If I didn't, I would perhaps be happy to live in my ignorant bliss; in Singapore's state owned housing, listen to his state owned TV, read his state owned newspapers, and live my life quietly under Lee Kuan Yew and his son. So you can see they have made a monumental mistake in my case. It would have been far better for them had they not educated me at all.

As a result of the education, which like me, the government is providing to the entire island, the average Singaporean today is naturally disgruntled. He wants to leave for the West, where he can be free. He is not happy being told that he should only read state controlled propaganda, the reason why the island has one of the world's largest emigration rates. Neither do they want to have any children; the world's lowest fertility rate and the world's fastest ageing population. And if you considered there are only about 2 million natives left, you are talking of a total extinction of the Singaporean race happening within the decade.

And the Singaporean government is now in big trouble. This is why.

Changing the identity and character of a population is a dangerous thing. It has unintended consequences.

Singapore prefers to take in immigrants from China. Lee Kuan Yew publicly claims that the Chinese are better humans because their civilization goes far back thousands of years. In truth I think the reason is because they are easier to control. Can you imagine how difficult it would be for a dictator to control 2 million Australians!

The Chinese from China even though they look like the Singaporean Chinese are a very different animal. China officially is a Communist state. Communist states have no religion. Today with Deng Shou Peng's policy of "making money is glorious" you have a Communist state with a capitalist market place. They are a people inherently without a moral base based on religious values. If they are nice, it is simply good manners, nothing more. And their main concern is to make money, never mind how it is made.

Singaporeans on the other hand do not have a Communist past. You could be a Christian , Moslem or Hindu, or otherwise but you had some religion, even though people are becoming less religious. Even so, you can imagine a Singaporean to be a far more moral or gracious person than the average Chinese immigrant. You can see the damage being done to society by their increasing presence, today already the majority.

These immigrants do not have a background of any civil rights unlike Singaporeans who have the benefit of British traditions of parliamentary democracy, albeit much diluted with the one party dictatorial rule.

The Chinese on the other hand had none at all. In the past they lived under an Emperor and after that under one Communist leader or the other. Their idea of life is to obey your government and complain only if your pocket is affected. All the protests and demonstrations by workers that happen in China everyday are not based on any demand for civil rights, but because they were not paid.

The Indian immigrants from India have no interest in sinking any roots in the island. They may stay for a while and move to Australia if they can. So are the Filipinos who would much prefer to be in America but will make do for the moment in Singapore. You can earn more in Singapore than the Philippines. You can imagine how much loyalty or patriotism they would have to their temporary Singapore home, whereas the ones who really care for their country, native born Singaporeans have all been so much alienated by their own government, they are dying to leave for the West.

If the Lees who thought they knew everything used their heads, they would have known that educating Singaporeans was the worst thing they could ever do. It would have been far better to keep the average Singaporean illiterate if they hoped to rule forever; which I think they do. At least they would have had to deal with one less trouble maker like me, a thorn on their side for decades.

I guess they aren't that clever after all. From the way things are moving in that island, I expect total disorder within a few years, occasioned by a totally different type of population, who do not behave the way expected of Singaporeans. Unfortunately I don't see any good coming out of it, simply because there won't be any Singaporeans left. After all only Singaporeans would care to bring about a better Singapore and there won't be any left.

Of course, if things hold, in the long run these new immigrants  and their descendants could develop a new Singaporean identity, but any new identity formed from a Communist Chinese base, would be far inferior to the character and identity of native Singaporeans of today. In any case the long run is not going to do any good if you are going to collapse in decade if not less!

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

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Lee Kuan Yew's Singaporeans. A thoroughly brainwashed people. Boring, submissive, servile and obedient.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singaporeans on the whole are a strange society of people. Compared to others in the world they would in fact appear weird.

In conversation, they wouldn't have any strong views about anything important, and even if they did, they would prefer to keep it private.

It is as if they have an intense desire to remain incognito. They would rather be in the woodwork than out of it.

It is as if an entire island full of people appear determined not to be noticed but rather remain hidden in the crowd.

They appear as if to prefer obscurity to publicity and actually look down at and consider foolish the handful of their fellow citizens who dare to publicly state who they are and what they believe.

Their entire lives are spent trying to impress their superiors.

It is their superiors who will decide their careers. By extension they make sure they please their ultimate masters, the Prime Minister and his government.

They never question their masters and by extension every other master along the line to their supreme masters the Prime Minister, his family and his government.

They fear, questioning their masters would not only retard their career prospects, it may even get you sued for defamation or even arrested. Not worth challenging their masters. Much better to agree, even if you disagree, to save your future.

One reason why the average Singaporeans is so obedient is because he is afraid of his own shadow. You never know who is watching you and who may be reporting your behavior.

The vast intelligence network of the Prime Minister, the ISD, is everywhere. They know it.

Anyone expressing independent views and thoughts may end up left behind. Punished. Demoted. Stripped of his livelihood, his assets.

Why take the risk. Better to do as you are told and please your bosses and the city state's rulers.

This fear and the need to be silent and hidden rather than in the open stunts innovation, and enterprise.

If you are only capable of following, you will never have novel ideas. Singapore can never produce a Bill Gates, only Yorkshire Terriers. Like obedient dogs waiting for the master's orders to jump.

Singaporeans were not so boring naturally.

They are the product of 50 years of behavior training by the present Prime Minister's father Lee Kuan Yew.

Lee Kuan Yew was unfortunately far too smart for anyone, at least that was what he thought.

He felt a suppliant submissive society is what he needs to create his miracle island.

And he went about creating it with gusto.

Teachers were told to discipline their students if they showed any thinking different from the party line.

Civil servants were told to carry out the ruling party's orders, favor ruling party supporters and disadvantage anyone with independent ideas.

Workers were ordered to support the ruling party and condemn any opposition. This resulted in job promotions and advancement.

Judges who ran their Kangaroo Courts routinely punished anyone who criticized while government supporters breezed their way to the top.

All this behavior training was sufficient in the island to produce the most afraid, most obedient, most submissive society anywhere outside North Korea.

Lee Kuan Yew and his son and their ruling PAP party have successfully and irretrievably destroyed the minds of the average Singaporean and literally made him a dummy incapable of even a single independent thought.

This sort of a society may provide stability and a forced peace upon the land.

But it will not produce a spontaneous independent thinking innovative and enterprising society. It does not produce rational thinking human beings. It produces Labradors.

As a result in todays' competitive world, Singapore island economy would be completely left behind those in other countries who are not afraid to think or to offend their Prime Minister.

You can see what I have said by how they live. They appear to have lost all ability for normal reasoning. Take these examples.

By law they are not allowed to even peacefully protest, assemble or demonstrate except at a secluded location where no one ever goes called Hong Lim Park. This prohibition is nonsensical. Yet no Singaporeans is prepared to protest the rule, not one, where any human anywhere else would have done it without batting an eyelid.

By law, they are entitled to a free press. Yet the Prime Minister has hijacked and controlled the entire press. Yet no Singaporean dares to protest this abuse while anyone anywhere else would have been up in arms throughout the island to change it.

The Malays, who by the way are the original natives of the island have a much greater right to the place than anyone else.

Yet they are relegated to the most menial of jobs and are not allowed to even do national service in the army or even handle firearms.

They are all confined to the SCDC, civil defense force whose job is just to put out fires. Yet they simply accept this without complaint, whereas any other red blooded Malay anywhere else would have run amok and burnt the entire island down including the Prime Minister.

The Internet including this blog Singapore Dissident is full of anti PAP critics. Yet not a single once is prepared to give a name to what he has written and remains anonymous, whereas any person any where else would not only write but would be proud to put his name to it.

Lee Kuan Yew made sure that democratic representative institutions never took root in the island; while his lapdog citizens on their part took no attempt to change things either.

The average Singaporean is totally ignorant of parliamentary democracy or what it means. He is afraid of the government and keeps his ideas to himself. He is afraid of the courts because they could punish him anytime for whatever reason. He is afraid of the police because he believes they have a right to do anything to him.

In the end, the Singaporean is a person who appears to speak English, or a terrible Singaporean form of it, who can write and read English but who does not know anything about his rights because he believes he has none.

This submissive mindless obedience destroys the mind.

Children are brainwashed this way into being dummies, incapable of independent thought.

The longer they live in the Singapore, the more dumb they get.

Many Singapore students leave the island for the West in their early 20s after they have finished national service.

It is too late for them to move to the West. Their minds have already been destroyed.

They cannot compete with the independent thinking confident young men and women in America or the West. As a result most of them end up living the way they did in Singapore, boring uneventful obscure lives.

This sort of mindset always results in failure in the West. They cannot think and neither are they confident.

They suffer from an inferiority complex thinking that only Lee Kuan Yew or his Son have any ability and they have none.

If you want your child to be saved from Lee's brainwashing, you have to take your child out when he is little. Coming to the West in your 20s is useless. You might as well stay behind in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore and please him as a condition to life. Disgraceful but necessary in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.

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

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Singapore Prime Minister buries head in the sand facing mounting citizen anger

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For the last 50 years history of the one party state of Singapore first under Lee Kuan Yew and now his son the Prime Minister, the unquestionable rule has been that the rulers are sacrosanct. No one is allowed to question them under pain of defamation lawsuits, arrest, intimidation under an all pervasive fear. It was fear alone that has managed to keep them in power so long. And they hope today that fear will again do the trick.

And in order to enforce this fear among their citizens, their Internal Security Department, not dissimilar to the Soviet KGB uses large numbers of clandestine undercover agents, both official and unofficial to permeate every layer and level of society, in the schools, the civil service, in the professions, to identify and report daily to the Prime Minister on who is and who is not towing the government line. And what actions are recommended against so and so for disrespecting him.

With the passage of time, greater education and awareness among the newly empowered Singaporean society far too many people are simply not willing to act dead and roll over to please the powers above. Manifesting this, we have seen increasingly frequent protests by citizens wearing T shirts with anti government slogans and showing open defiance. I am sure for the Prime Minister who never expected his citizens to turn against him so boldly, these daily reports of the ISD of more and more people showing open disrespect disheartening.

The truth is that almost daily, you have anti government graffiti, protests and agitation in the island. With a state controlled press and media, the Prime Minister realizing that any publicity given to these disturbances would only encourage even more anti government agitation, he orders the media not to report these instances of civil disobedience, which only buys a temporary respite from the certain collapse of his regime run on fear and repression.

The Prime Minister has buried his head in the sand. Instead of trying to deal with the angry Singaporeans, he has no other idea than that of his father, which is simply to continue persecuting those who criticize him in the hope that somehow, they will still be cowed into submission. He should realize that the days of threatening his citizens into submission are simply over. Singaporeans have become a demanding population. They want answers to their questions and they won't be silenced simply by threatening then with defamation lawsuits.

Unless he does something to arrest the path Singapore is taking with their emboldened citizens, and stop burying his head in the sand and hoping the problems will just go away, the growing unrest will grow like a cancer and bury the Prime Minister sooner than he thinks.

The days of terrorizing Singaporeans with Internal Security Department thugs are over. No one is afraid of the bully boys anymore.

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

Singapore Prime Minister disgraces himself and his country by firing blogger Roy Ngerng from job.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

After Singapore blogger Roy Ngerng recently accused the Prime Minister of misappropriating  state run retirement fund, CPF, clearly with sufficient justification as shown by mismatched interest rates and the total lack of transparency on where the missing money went, he was naturally sued for defamation for which Prime Minister has achieved international notoriety.

Not satisfied with having sued him despite an apology, he has gone on to fire the poor Ngerng from his job in a state run public hospital. Please see the report of the state controlled newspaper Straits Times of June 10, 2014.

Although the hospital naturally says that he was fired for incompetence, we all know what the actual reason is, punishment for daring to criticize the Almighty Prime Minister as is seen from Singapore's shameful past with other political victims.

JB Jeyartnam was disbarred, Chee Soon Juan was fired from his professor position, and John Tan, the Vice Chairman of the Singapore Democratic Party was dismissed from his professorship at Cook University, Singapore, to name a few.

It always works like clockwork. First there is defamation action. Then the humongous damages. Then bankruptcy when you cannot pay. Then making you jobless. This is the shame of the Prime Minister's one party state.

Mr. Prime Minister of Singapore in doing so has not only disgraced himself but has also disgraced his country.

If you were not aware of the dirty business of the Singapore rulers, their principle tool to silence dissent, is the use of defamation lawsuits which, by the way, they always win, thanks to their Kangaroo court judges who double as PAP politicians.

Once Singapore rulers have set eyes on a victim to be destroyed, it is a forgone conclusion, not only of their victory but also the damages, usually several hundreds of thousands intended not so mush to enrich the plaintiffs, since they are already multi millionaires, but principally to destroy the victim and the consequent chilling signal to everyone else not to mess or else.

They are once again killing the chicken to frighten the monkeys.

I am sure the bookies are not going to take any bets on the outcome of the Prime Ministers lawsuit. If there is any betting, it can only be on the quantum; whether it is $200,000.00 or $300,000.00.

I am not sure what the Prime Minister thinks he gains by all this, but surely anyone with a head can see the damage he is doing to himself and the reputation of Singapore by his actions.

To sue a private citizen for criticizing him on a matter of pubic interest and controversy, the state run retirement funds is telling the world that there is no right to free speech whatsoever in an absolute dictatorship.

It shows him as a disgraceful and cowardly dictator and Singapore as nothing more than a banana republic with a Chinese feudal emperor.

If the Prime Minister's plan was to silence dissent through fear and terrorizing his people, if he has any brains, he should by now know that it simply is not working.

The people are being emboldened, despite the terror tactics of the Prime Minister.

Only a few days ago, there was not only a huge crowd of Singaporeans at a protest at Hong Lim Park, the only location allowed for protests, they were also holding up signs and placards in open defiance, directly attacking him and his government, such actions unheard of in the fear ridden island's past.

In fact we should thank this totally clueless Prime Minister for his actions.

Thanks to him, we can expect even more Singaporeans to oppose him, even more Singaporeans to add the flood of emigration to the West, even more citizens to bad mouth the government and their one party dictatorial rule and most importantly add to the increasing numbers of protests against their high handed authoritarian rule.

In this way, the ruling PAP party would soon find the island simply ungovernable and high time to say adios to the Prime Minister and his dynasty.

We are all indebted to blogger Roy Ngerng not only for standing up and facing the punishments thrown at him but for fearlessly daring to speak at the very protest held in his support even though he knows that it will only enrage the infallible Prime Minister even more to order his Kangaroo judges to add a few more zeros to the quantum of defamation damages.

The Singapore Prime Minister is not only a bully. He is also dumb.

And by the way, he is also a coward. He won't sue me because he has no confidence of winning in any court outside Singapore. He only does when he is sure to win. I live in Fremont California and not in Singapore. I am not an easy target.

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

Monday, June 9, 2014

Emboldened Singaporeans openly criticize their Prime Minister at protests

Ladies and Gentlemen,

After Roy Ngerng, a Singaporean had openly questioned the honesty of his Prime Minister's handling of citizens retirement funds, predictably he was sued for defamation of character, his disgusting usual practice to silence dissent and retain control over his people. See Wall Street Journal Article "Libel Suite Turns Singapore blogger into underdog for pensioners"

In his support thousands of Singaporeans headed to the only place in Singapore, Hong Lim Park on June 7, 2014 to express the outrage against the Prime Ministers high handedness and arrogance in suing an ordinary citizen just because he criticized him. See Yahoo news article here.

But what is encouraging is the increased willingness of the ordinary Singaporeans of daring to openly criticize the Prime Minister and his ruling party the PAP, something which was unheard of in the past in that tightly controlled one party state which relied on fear, it's only tool to keep the island citizens subjected and obedient. Here are pictures of the protesters with signs openly criticizing the Prime Minister and his ruling party at the protest at Hong Lim Park on June 7, 2014.

SINGAPORE - JUNE 07: People gather to listen to a speaker during the 'Return Our CPF' protest at the Speakers' Corner at Hong Lim Park on June 7, 2014 in Singapore. The protest was staged to demand greater transparency and accountability from the government on how the CPF monies are being utilized. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images).SINGAPORE - JUNE 07: People react to speaker speech during the 'Return Our CPF' protest at the Speakers' Corner at Hong Lim Park on June 7, 2014 in Singapore. The protest was staged to demand greater transparency and accountability from the government on how the CPF monies are being utilized. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)
SINGAPORE - JUNE 07: Roy Ngerng speaks during the 'Return Our CPF' protest at the Speakers' Corner at Hong Lim Park on June 7, 2014 in Singapore. Roy Ngerng is locked in a legal dispute with the Prime Minister of Singapore about an alleged defamatory article on the Singaporeans' CPF saving posted by Roy. Through crowd funding, Roy has managed to raise more than $90,000 for his legal defence fund within a week. The protest was staged to demand greater transparency and accountability from the government on how the CPF monies are being utilized. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images) 
The Singapore Prime Minister is clearly in trouble. The island has no human rights, no right to protest anywhere other than at Hong Lim Park, no free speech, expression or assembly, no rule of law and no free press. In an island increasingly becoming educated and Internet savvy, the only way the Prime Minister has retained power is through fear and repression. Fear was his principle tool so far to retain control.

From all appearances, it appears Singaporeans are slowly coming out of that fear and prepared to openly show dissent despite the certain dangers of government reprisals and repression. This is a dangerous sign the Prime Minister better start worrying about.

His mistake was allowing peaceful protests at Hong Lim Park in the first place, when previously all protests throughout the island was banned. By allowing these protests at Hong Lim Park, Singaporeans who are becoming increasingly frustrated at their lot of life in this one party police state have finally decided to break free of their fear under which they suffered throughout the history of Singapore.

The Prime Minister has a choice. He has to either to rescind the right to protest at Hong Lim Park, nipping the bud of freedom in time, and hope to retain control a while longer. If his does this he would be even more hated by his people than he already is.

On the other hand if he continues to allow these protests, they are going to become more and more frequent and their citizens becoming even more vocal in expressing their anger at his government. Either way he does not have a chance. He is simply doomed.

The protest culture which was non existent in the past, through their all consuming fear, has clearly taken root. The tempest has been let loose from the bottle. The wind and fire of freedom is raging. The Prime Ministers' days  are clearly numbered. The writing of change is on the wall. It certainly doesn't look good for him now. After all what did he expect? Rule Singapore through fear forever?

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

Friday, June 6, 2014

Singapore and China. 25 years after Tiananmen

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Day before yesterday, June 3, 2014 marked the 25 years anniversary of the massacre at Tiananmen, China. The incident and the time till then of both China's and Singapore's history are uncannily similar.

Chinese thinking is to crack down hard on any dissent to their rule. In Tiananmen Square, when protesters challenged the government's authority, they were brutally crushed. In the entire long history of China, any attempt to challenge the authority of the one party Communist government will and must be crushed. Otherwise in Chinese thinking they will lose face and consequentially power.

Singapore did not have a Tiananmen but it did have JB Jeyaretnam, Chee Soon Juan, Chia Thye Poh, Lim Chin Siong to name a few of Lee's challengers. Although not shot to death like in China, every one of them was completely destroyed, and permanently removed from politics except for Chee Soon Juan, who has been sufficiently tamed to suit the Lee government. Just like in China, no one should be allowed to challenge the authority of Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew, his son or their ruling PAP, and get away with it. If they did, they would lose their Chinese face, in this case, Singaporean Chinese face, and consequently their authority and that simply won't do. 

Both China and Singapore religiously follow the principle of the infamous political strategy of killing the chicken to frighten the monkeys.

This is how it works. You take a government opponent, and then you mercilessly destroy him before the eyes of the entire country. In Singapore's case, the punishment is almost always defamation law suit running into hundreds of thousands of dollars, bankruptcy, dismissal from professional employment such as lawyers license, vilification in the state controlled newspapers and denied employment.

While doing it, you give his punishment wide publicity with photographs of him widely spread out in the state controlled press.

In fact, curiously, the government in fact needs political opponents occasionally to play the chicken role. Only with their help, can the monkeys (meaning the citizens of Singapore) be sufficiently subdued, intimidated and obedient. This way, by slaughtering one chicken, Lee's helpless political opponent, you conveniently silence an entire population.

The Chicken and Monkey lesson worked very well in post Deng Hsiao Peng's China. The Chinese have been sufficiently intimidated and cowed. There hasn't been another Tiananmen incident since then. In Singapore it has worked well too. For a long time both before and after men like JB Jeyaretnam, there hasn't been any real threat to Lee Kuan Yew, his son or his PAP.

And then there is the carrot, both in China and Singapore. In China high ranking Communist Party members are given lucrative positions in employment and government. Many of them have become millionaires as a result. Singapore is no different. PAP support is a prerequisite to bestow lucrative jobs in the legal and every other profession. It is well known that only those supportive of the PAP establishment can ever hope to rise in Singapore.

But the one greatest weakness in this sort of reasoning is the presumption that as long as the government provides better jobs, better housing and better infra structure, the people would quietly obey them. Put in another way, the government will provide the jobs and the houses. In exchange the people have to accept their authority unconditionally. You have seen this playing out in both China and Singapore. In both countries, standard of living has risen exponentially. But the authorities in both countries have come down hard on those who question them.

If we are to accept that human nature is such that citizens would want a greater say in how their country is run no matter how rich they become, then crushing that desire portends trouble in both countries, only much worse for tiny Singapore.

China has nearly one billion people and the West needs China for business no matter how repressive their country is. Without China, American and Western business will collapse even if they are massacring their people daily. Therefore China will still survive despite their human rights abuses. True, many would leave their country for the West seeking more freedom, but this will not materially upset their ability to function, with a billion people in reserve. They can silence the Internet, they can prevent travel, they can do anything they want and still function.

Singapore on the other hand has simply no hope in the face of mounting desire for freedom. The island is too tiny. It has no more than perhaps 2 million local citizens. It has the lowest birth rate in the world and the highest emigration rate. Half of the people in the island are foreigners. It cannot silence the Internet even if it wants to, since this will hurt business which is it's mainstay. It cannot prevent free travel either. And worst of all, unlike China, Singaporeans know English, the passport to a life in the West.

And what is worse for Singapore is this. If Lee goes down hard on his people, all it takes is for a few foreign companies to pull out of Singapore to cause a total collapse of the economy. It is far too small.

If Lee Kuan Yew felt he could play the Chinese chicken and the monkeys game in Singapore, he is terribly mistaken. It simply cannot work in a tiny place which relies on international trade. Secondly he was gravely mistaken in thinking that normal rational human beings would be satisfied with good jobs and good housing alone. A dog might be quite contented but human beings are not dogs.

Unless and until Singapore's Lees understand that the Chinese style is simply not suited to a tiny island like Singapore and unless he realizes that the sooner he treats Singaporeans like human beings and not "digits" like Lee senior once called his citizen's, the island is on tailspin free fall and recovery is simply impossible.

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

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Singaporeans should show solidarity with Roy Ngerng. Peaceful protest now.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As Singaporeans are aware, Roy Ngerng, a 33 year old blogger in Singapore has been sued by the Prime Minister for defamation of character and has become his  latest victim in his routine practice of suing their citizens in the court to silence any criticism. Ngerng has written in his blog Heart Truths, the discrepancy in the figures relating to state run retirement fund CPF which indicated strong suspicion that the Prime Minister is guilty of embezzlement.

As I have said in my earlier blog post, it is immaterial whether Ngerng's allegations were true or false. So long as Ngerng's writings were sincere and reasonably based on the evidence and there is no improper motive on his part, he shouldn't be sued by the Prime Minister. This was so in this case.

Recently a growing number of young Singaporeans have taken to writing anti government graffiti on walls and blogs. Although any form of anti government protest is justified as an exercise of your human right of free expression, it is still an offense to deface public property. A far better course of action is for Singaporeans to engage in peaceful public protest. Although it may be an offense under Singapore dictatorship's laws to stifle dissent, this action is justifiable both under the generally accepted understanding of law worldwide, natural justice and the moral conscience of the people. After all, you are not harming anyone by your actions which would be seen as those of a true patriot heroically standing up for his country.

No doubt you would be arrested and punished but in the eyes of the people of Singapore, you would be truly a hero.

I suggest that you protest in front of the CPF building (state run retirement fund) at Robinson Road , not at Hong Lim Park where they expect you to do it. The requirement of allowing protests only at Hong Lim Park is ludicrous and deliberately intended to dilute your inalienable right to peaceful protest under the Constitution.

Singaporeans should protest, if it is peaceful, throughout the island, anywhere they want and ignore these conveniently passed laws and rules to deliberately stifle dissent.

This way you would be truly showing your support to Ngerng and letting him know that he is not alone and you can stand up to these bullies.

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

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore is completely broken.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Anyone who does not understand Singapore would probably say that my title to this post is simply outrageous; far fetched; that I should be out of my mind. If you knew how Singapore works you would know that it is not so outrageous as you may think.

Singapore today as you see it, replete with skyscrapers and modern amenities is simply a Lee Kuan Yew creation. It is not based on laws or any established system of government. Although it has a Constitution which requires representative government, free and fair elections, human rights and the rule of law, none of this exists. Lee had thought better of this.

And what is Singapore today? It is literally one man one party dictatorship, where Lee Kuan Yew previously and now his son chooses men and women of his choice and appoints them Ministers to rule over the population. The people on their part are expected simply to accept these men and women as their leaders without question, even though they had no say in really choosing any one of them.

Elections every 5 years are just a farce; a forgone conclusion. It is impossible for anyone to become a true leader in the island unless he is compliant with Lee Kuan Yew's policies. If not, the Internal Security Department, Singapore's version of the Soviet KGB will identify him and finish him off even before he has any chance at politics.

In recent elections it appears Singaporeans want an opposition. To overcome this problem and to ensure that Singapore would be forever governed by Lee's ruling PAP party, the opposition Workers Party is deputized to give the impression that they are in fact opposition.

The Workers Party on their part are actually working in the interests of the PAP. This way, a vote for the Workers Party does not upset the PAP's purpose of continuing their grip on power. My charge against the Workers Party is clearly evident from the 20 years or so they have been in Parliament. They have not furthered democracy one bit. In fact the PAP have become even more repressive, thanks to the Workers Party.

As for the country's judiciary, the requirement of the rule of law is ignored. The Singapore judiciary's role is to destroy anyone who advocates the overthrow of the ruling PAP. They do this by abusing the law. Today it can be categorically said that no one in the island has any respect whatsoever for the island judiciary.

Every single constitutional human right is denied. The people are not allowed to protest, speak in public or peacefully demonstrate in public. Any attempt to do any of this results in arrest and imprisonment.

The entire media is state controlled, just as it was in the Soviet Union. The people are fed propaganda and claims of greatness and imaginary achievements on a daily basis. Not a single day passes without the claim that the government has achieved this or other success.

The purpose of this is to constantly keep the people in high spirits and think that the island is functioning after all. If the media was independent, the people would know the other side of the story, which they are not told.

With increasing education and widespread Internet use, the people are day by day becoming disillusioned. They question the need to respect any of these handpicked instant Ministers who have been thrust upon them, and who they had never really elected.

They are angry at the misuse of the law to cow them into submission by Kangaroo judges for whom they have no respect. They question to need to control the press and yearn to read real news which they are denied.

They question why Lee Kuan Yew , his son and the entire senior Ministers should be paid 5 times the salary of President Obama amounting to no less than $3.7 million a year each. This is outright corruption in their eyes.

The problem with Lee Kuan Yew is his failure to realize that for any country to survive and succeed, it has first of all the need to have a system of government based on law and which the people respect. You simply cannot expect to govern a people through dictate.

You simply cannot govern a people based on an individuals idea of what a government should be; in this case Lee Kuan Yew's idea of forming a government with him at the top, (now his son) and some handpicked people of his choice and expect everyone to obey them; just like that. Otherwise you are sued and persecuted.

For a country to survive, it has to have a system of government which the people respect. Leaders have to be elected at free and fair elections, not simply choosing some people of your choice and thrusting down the throats of the people.

This type of government lacks legitimacy under law. And lacking legitimacy it also fails to be respected. And without respect you can govern only by force and progressively even more force to cow the people into submission. History has shown us that a government which exists through the use of force to extract obedience has never lasted.

Today Lee's Singapore exists entirely though the use of force and punishment; not through the respect of the people. If you criticize the leaders, the Kangaroo courts are used to sue and destroy you.

Another such case is happening right now, with private citizen Roy Ngerng being sued for defamation of character, once again, for suggesting that the Prime Minister's figures in the state run retirement fund doesn't make sense.

Ngerng is being sued not just to punish him alone, but also to send a warning yet again to the population that they should never criticize the Prime Minister or the government. Another way of saying it is, the prime minister and his government is simply above the law. This is the practice of the chicken and the monkeys. Ngerng the chicken is being slaughtered while the monkeys who are Singaporeans are terrified into submission, watching the chicken.

As I have said when a country has a citizenry that has lost all respect for their government or their legal system; when they have no longer any trust in their state controlled newspapers, the only way to continue to govern is through force as they do now. Only a government aware that they need to hold the trust and respect of their citizens can hope to remain in control.

You can see the damage to the entire island now. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Singaporeans are deciding that they no longer wish to live in their country of birth. They are leaving for settlement in the West.

As a result the CPF state run retirement fund is losing money at an alarming rate, as the law allows those who leave to withdraw their retirement funds. This fact is expectedly not reported in their state controlled press, but Singaporeans know that their retirement funds are being severely depleted. Some even fear there is no money left.

The huge and mounting brain drain is severely damaging the island's very survival. As it is always the most highly educated and skilled who are able to leave, Singapore is losing it's talent, something which is most important to an island with no resources, at an alarming rate.

At this rate Singapore would soon be bereft of it's own skilled and educated people. In the past Lee Kuan Yew himself and other senior ministers used to visit the capitals of the world to plead with the growing Singaporean diaspora to return, appealing to their sense of patriotism and their responsibility to Singapore.

Unfortunately it has landed on deaf ears. Only 2 years ago, I understand Liu Teck Yew, one of Lee's ministers came to San Francisco, where I am, to plead to Singaporeans to return. I am told that many came for the free food provided at Singapore taxpayers expense and left. Since about 2 years now, it appears Lee Kuan Yew or his son or anyone else have stopped doing this. It seems no Singaporean wants to return.

Singapore's national service system I am told is totally broken. There are hardly anyone wanting to do national service and given the chance to escape, they either fail to return for service or if already in service simply desert.

In fact I am at present helping some young men who have decided to abscond from service and refuse to serve. They are now in San Francisco. These men would be telling their other friends how they did it and it is likely that more would follow suit.

To overcome this manpower shortage in the service, the Singapore government has resorted to some comical measures to attract people into the armed services.

In the last few days, it has been reported that national service has now been opened to anyone including permanent residents and women. If they used their head, they would know that if force is insufficient to persuade anyone to join, why would they imagine that people would voluntarily serve! This new policy is surely no more than a propaganda attempt which is not going to go anywhere.

Lee appears to forget the principle that every action results in an opposite reaction. What did Lee Kuan Yew think when he repeatedly sued and destroyed JB Jeyaretnam, Chee Soon Juan, Chia Thye Poh, Lim Chin Siong and a litany of other brave patriots to keep himself in power?

Did he not realize that Singaporeans too are human beings? Did he not realize that Singaporeans sense of justice would be offended? Did he not realize that this would cause many to leave the country in disgust? Did he not realize that he would antagonize thousands and hundreds of thousands to bitterly oppose him?

I left Singapore for the States in 1991 December. From 1980 to 1990, for having joined the Workers Party under JB Jeyaretnam, I was repeatedly harassed, charged with law society disciplinary charges, charged with contempt of court and my life and career was made miserable and survival became impossible.

But when they began doing this to me, Singaporeans being human beings too could see the injustice. In fact I am told that during those 10 years, a large portion of the legal profession simply left, mainly for Australia. I suppose they thought they did not want to practice in a jurisdiction that would do this to a fellow lawyer.

Today the legal profession is acutely short of lawyers, and they have resorted to take in foreign lawyers to make up the numbers. And mind you, this is the legal profession we are talking about; a highly attractive profession no only in Singapore but throughout the world.

Despite the outward appearance of prosperity and gleaming glass skyscrapers, Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore is simply broken. It is on the slide downwards to oblivion.

Even more Singaporeans would leave. The birth rate which is already the lowest in the world would become even less. The people are getting older and older with no babies being born. Lee is trying to remedy the lack of people by bringing in foreigners.

But this is not a measure that can save the island. Today half the island is made up of foreigners. Should not Lee be wondering why, if his island is so good, why are people leaving, and not having any children.

Lee Kuan Yew's son unfortunately lacks any independent thinking. All he was capable of doing was simply to follow exactly what his father did. After all, his super sized ego father thought that he knew everything and others knew nothing. And his son, with no mind of his own also thought so too.

He, the son, has been in control for almost 2 decades if not more. And throughout this time, other than simply copying the polices of his father wholesale, which is a listen-to-me-or-else style of government, has not been able to come up with anything original.

If Lee's son the prime minister had asked himself whether his father's repressive policies are likely to work over the long run, he may have realized it's weakness. But he never did.

The only way that Lee's son could arrest the slide into decline is to realize that you need a truly representative government. You need the rule of law. You need to do away with the Kangaroo courts. You need to restore democracy. But alas such a course of action is a double edged sword. It may save Singapore, but it will surely destroy Lee Kuan Yew, his son and his entire government. What, God forbid, if they are held to account!

In the state controlled papers we read of the government's attempts to remedy some of the errors. For instance we read that the government has limited the number of immigrants into Singapore. We read of the government increasing university places for Singaporeans.

We read of their paying more money to national servicemen. I hate to tell the Prime Minister that none of this is going to work. It is simply too little too late. The Singaporean beast has been mortally injured and you are not going to save him by these band aids.

I suppose Lee Kuan Yew's son would continue making grandiose speeches and his handpicked minion Ministers would be telling us how to brush our teeth next, but no one is paying any attention.

And by the way, I have repeatedly told Lee Kuan Yew's son to be fair and treat everyone equally. That is, if he is suing Roy Ngerng for having said much less than what I have, should he not be suing me as well. But alas, he will not. I think he knows that suing me in America is a very uncertain proposition. Here we don't have the Kangaroo courts which he has in Singapore.

Here lies the litmus test of his credibility. There is nothing to stop him from suing me in California federal courts. It has jurisdiction. This blog is read in the US as well as Singapore. If Roy Ngerng has defamed him, so have I, multifold. But his failure to sue me here simply shows that he does not have the courage to do what is right. While Singaporeans in Singapore laugh at him reading this blogpost.

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