Monday, July 27, 2015

Lee Kuan Yew's flawed Singapore miracle

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Lee Kuan Yew, deceased, the man to whom so much credit is given for what Singapore is today in fact had a very simple strategy for the island. The only objective was to create employment for the people. And since tiny Singapore had nothing except some commercial activity, it had to be through foreign investment.

So how to attract foreign investment? Make it so attractive for them that you make them an offer they simply cannot refuse. And what is that offer? First you silence all workers and destroy independent unions. Instead union leaders are in fact government ministers.

Second you make strikes illegal and anyone who dares  either faces jail or bankruptcy.

Third you dismantle the Constitution. Henceforth speaking in public, assembling in pubic, forming associations are all illegal activities.

You create a huge apparatus of secret police and informers who spy on everyone else to ferret out any opposition.

And then you make sure that no one ever hears of the Constitution or rather the watered down version. Students are not taught the Constitution and no one has ever heard of it.

And then you silence the lawyers. I am proud to say that I have been disbarred from practicing law in Singapore because I criticized their Kangaroo judges among other forms of oppostion. Today Singapore lawyers are good as comatose. They are afraid to say much lest they too get disbarred.

You then successfully end up with a thoroughly subjugated and silenced society. They have no independent opinions. All they do is to go to work, do as they are told, don't talk too much lest you are noticed and quietly live their lives. In other words Singaporeans are zombies or a version of it.

But zombies are exactly what foreign companies are looking for. A population that will not go on strike, will not speak back, will not ask for more money and a people to whom you can pay as little as you want, as there is no minimum wage laws.

At the same time, you need a literate work force. Illiterate workers are no use for foreign companies. So it is necessary to give them a some education. Literacy is all that is necessary. If they can read and write, they can work for an American company in Singapore. So Lee builds schools, not so much because he wants his people to be educated but because foreign companies need it to provide employment.

And finally it is no good if too many people thought they have a right to think and muddy Lee's plans. After all as far as he is concerned he knows best. It is too much trouble if all sorts of people, like myself, were allowed to question his ideas. So you have a state controlled press, which only publishes his point of view. If you wanted to write about the virtues of the American constitution, you would be shown the door. They are not interested in Constitutions. They are only interested in attracting foreign investment and giving a few bucks to the miserable Singaporean.

Naturally this plan worked. After all for Nike, all that matters is profits. They are not interested whether the poor Burmese or Singaporean worker is paid $1 an hour. True, the wages in Singapore are somewhat higher because it has gone somewhat high end but the principle still remains the same. Squeeze the Singaporean worker for as much as you can for the glory of American investors. Isn't it a paradise for foreign companies? A workforce that cannot go on strike, cannot question, no right to free speech or expression and a worker who can be fired anytime, no questions asked.

But it should be obvious to anyone why such a stratagem, although it can attract jobs is devastating and thoroughly deleterious to the individual. I was born, lived in Singapore, was an opposition politician there and contested 2 elections. I should know. The average Singaporean is a voiceless submissive mindless digit as Lee Kuan Yew once called them. If not he is a hypocrite.

You see university professors, high executives walking around in ties and shirtsleeves in the midday sun, behaving as if they were Europeans. They can talk the talk. They claim to have illustrious university education. Obviously they are educated. But yet, while they go around in their shirt sleeves and ties behaving as if they were in London, they seem to have no interest at all about the way they live under this government. Isn't that odd? They are aware they have no right to free speech, no right to assembly, in an island which they know has no rule of law and where the entire media is state controlled. But yet they behave as if they are not aware of any of this, but go on with their lives talking the talk in their ties and shirt sleeves in their air conditioned offices.

In fact they have successfully tweaked their brains not to think of any of this, but only their work and their lives, as if they have finally decided that Lee Kuan Yew's son will rule over them and that is that.

I can tell you this zombification of an entire society is bad, not only for your mind but also for the future of the island. The state imposed philosophy which the entire population has permanently adopted is this. You do your work and mind your business. To progress, you please your boss. The more your boss likes you the better you advance. And since your boss is a Lee Kuan Yew collaborator, he is not going to like anyone spouting any fancy ideas about anything. The good Singaporean is the quiet obedient Singaporean.

Unfortunately a society like this, which is only thinking of pleasing those above, and conforming their thought process to please the powers above, is simply useless for progress. There isn't any vibrancy, any courage, any strong opinions, any independent head. Their heads are capable only of obeying authority simply because any attempt to think otherwise lands you in trouble.

The Singapore society is an unhealthy society. They are unhealthy in the head. They are today totally incapable of thinking independently. Anyone like me who has had an education in Europe and some self respect is a misfit in the island. I was born in Singapore and I have a stake in the island. I refuse to be pushed around by some tin pot tyrant who thinks only he has all the ideas and no one else. He would either get into trouble like I have had or he will descend into a state of melancholy depressed and a feeling of being useless. So most independent thinkers would probably find life thoroughly depressing sooner or later and emigrate to the West, like I had, leaving behind the mindless conforming Singaporeans who have abandoned their right to think.

There are many Europeans and Americans who work in Singapore.  Understandably they take no part in any of this. Why should they? After all Singapore is not their country and they are there only temporarily for work. If I were in Nigeria today for work it would be unnecessary for me to question their government.

Far more important than being able to live in a pigeon hole apartment block and go to work in the subway is freedom of thought which the Singaporean living under Lee Kuan Yew's son today does not have.

Progressively the island is turned into a mindless brainless society who are forced to live under the dictates of the Lee family bereft of a thinking population. I do not think that a society such as this who are literally hypocrites, behaving as if they were in a Western city, with their shirt sleeves and ties, but at the same time living no better than sheep can expect any real success. Singapore cannot hope to be a great nation ever, as long as the people are forced to eat humble pie as they do now.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean by birth
Now a proud American
Tel: 510 491 8525

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore government is like a criminal gang running a city

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Lee Kuan Yew Singapore government, now with his son in charge is run more or less along the likes of a criminal gang. Harsh words but true.

In Singapore city, you have one supreme government which controls everything and everybody including their Kangaroo courts, the ever willing police force, all government agencies and the entire parliament. The only way to survive is to accept the authority of the regime and any attempt to challenge results in destruction through arrest, and punishment in the Kangaroo courts.

The drug cartels in Mexico can be looked at for similarities. The Caballeros Templerios or the Knights Templar Drug Cartel of Michoacán Mexico and the Sinaloa Cartel of Sinoloa State run a similar racket. They control their localities, they reward those who support them and kill those who are foolish enough to oppose. They control the courts, the prisons, the police force and almost everything and everyone in their area of control.

To highlight the absolute control that these criminal gangs and the Singapore government wield, is the need to submit or face the music. Regardless of who you are or where you work in Singapore island, submission and loyalty to Lee Kuan Yew's PAP ruling party is mandatory. Any government servant or anyone working in the private sector or in his own business would be foolish to openly challenge the regime. The result would be Lee Kuan Yew's thugs, just like the drug cartel's informers, report you to the regime which results inevitably in your career prospects being dampened or worse still, arrested or sued for defamation. This leaves anyone in Singapore island no choice but to submit for survival.

Similarly this leaves the populations of the areas controlled by these drugs cartels in Michoacán and Sinaloa no choice but to submit for fear that they may be killed. Similarly the Singapore population is so terrified of losing their livelihoods and becoming destitute forces them to submit or else.

Those who actively seek office in these drug cartels are the worst sort of human beings one can imagine. They know they are joining a criminal organization and they know it is wrong. But because they have no scruples, they do it for the money.

It is no different in Singapore. Those who publicly join the Lee government and seek high office similarly know they are doing wrong. They know this government has dismantled the constitution and the laws of the island. They know that the Lee government has deprived the citizens of their human rights, with no free speech, the right of free expression or assembly. They know that the total control of all news organizations is illegal. They are fully aware that the repeated use of defamation laws to silence dissent and the criminal laws to jail and punish detractors is unacceptable. Yet they willing lend their hand to the regime because there is a chance to get unimaginably rich by joining them.

The leaders of these drug cartels are paid astronomical rewards running in the millions. Similarly in Singapore any minister chosen for office is paid $3.7 million a year and even more millions secretly. In addition they can look forward to secure employment for life regardless of whether the Lee government still needs them. If they are not in government, they are sent to work for the multitude of government linked companies where they can continue to reap the millions. It is the worst sort of human being in Singapore who willingly seeks to join the regime; they do not for any altruistic purpose but to please the Lee government. As long as they show their undivided support, they can continue to reap their dirty millions.

So one begins to ask what sort of people are these in the island who do anything for the money. The island of Singapore is populated overwhelmingly by ethnic Chinese who initially came to the island as small time shopkeepers. Their goal was to be principally left alone to make some money. For these ethnic Chinese, questions such as the need for rule of law, a constitution or democracy and freedom of the individual made little sense. As long as they made money, it was immaterial who ran the place or whether they had any freedoms.

Looking at the geography of the region, it was understandable why they are so. It is the same sort of attitude you see in neighboring Indonesia or Malaysia. Both these countries had majority Muslim populations where they were minorities. So understandably it made sense to keep their mouths shut and join whoever happened to be the rulers and hope for some crumbs.

Singapore was slightly different. Unlike the neighboring countries Lee Kuan Yew was ethnic Chinese and his plan was to place the Chinese before anyone else. So the Singapore Chinese start with an advantage, as the best jobs are for them before anyone else. And then comes the possibility of becoming millionaires simply by supporting the Lee regime regardless of what they stand for.

Singapore's situation is similar to that of the Nazi Germany if you equate Germans as the equivalent of the Singapore Chinese. Just as in Nazi Germany it made sense to be a Nazi and please Adolf Hitler, in Singapore it made sense to join Lee's PAP and please the Lee regime, regardless of what the Nazis stood for and regardless of what the PAP stood for. In the Singaporean case, unlike in Nazi Germany, the prime motivation was the ability to become very rich through the patronage of the Lee government. Since the Singaporean Chinese are primarily motivated because of their history to look for money, being descendants of small time mom and pop street corner shopkeepers, it made sense to get rich through the Lee's thug like government for want of any better.

The result of this sort of control is unfortunate. It reduces the character of the average Singaporean and turns him into a meek subservient opportunist, lacking any spine and principles. If you go today to Lee's island of Singapore, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who is willing to stand up openly to the regime, and instead tacitly accepting this illegal and unconstitutional regime where the individual has no rights and has to constantly look over his shoulder lest his true intentions are found out.

The Singapore state controlled newspapers have, a few days ago, announced that the 5 yearly monkey clown show is about to begin once again. I mean of course the so called elections. Anyone with a head on his shoulders and a brain within it should know that these elections are a farce. Just like the Mexican drug cartels have no intention of losing power, Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore has no intention of that ever happening either. So they allow these island wide circus of so called politicians to stand on make shift wooden platforms in the humidity and sweltering heat to make speeches for and against the government. The comments against the government will understandingly be muted for fear that they would be arrested on the spot or sued for defamation in the Kangaroo courts. I am not sure how long they allow this clown show but it is about 10 days or so before the elections. In the end the Lee's will naturally win again or if necessary they will tweak the electoral system to make sure only those sympathetic to them to ever speak.

In any case, the average Singaporean has been put through 50 years of behavior training to unconditionally submit, so much so that even if the government raped their daughters before their very eyes, nothing will happen. The same even in the unlikely event of a few opposition men coming in. The average Singaporean simply has lost the ability to stand up for their rights. Fear has permanently overcome normal human psyche.

After the 10 days of this clown show, naturally the Lees would win again and the poor Singaporeans are subject to another 5 years or rather 50 years of Lee's rule. And neither do I expect the drug cartels in Mexico to hand over power peacefully and gracefully go.

And finally what is disgusting about the whole thing is that it is not I alone who is privy to this knowledge, the entire island is aware of it as well. But unfortunately they choose to do nothing about it, citing the need to keep their jobs and the need to feed their children. Altogether  a spineless people.

* If you wish to comment on this blog please have the decency to tell us who you are. If you do so anonymously, may I suggest that you don't respond at all as it is more honorable to remain silent.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean by birth
Now a proud American citizen
Fremont California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Some light amusement. What if Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew PAP government is sent Athens to sort out the Greek economic crisis.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

After all the late Singapore dictator Lee Kuan Yew had all the answers. After all he claimed to have transformed a fishing village of Singapore (never mind it was the most prosperous and advanced port city in all Asia in the 1950s) into the skyscraper city that it is today. And as expected in all dictatorships, his son runs the place after his father died.

Well what would Lee Kuan Yew's son do if he is to be made Prime Minister of Greece to sort out their problems?

His principle objective would be to destroy all opposition and turn Greece into a dictatorship like Singapore. After all what better system can there be to run a country?

So I suppose the first thing to do is to introduce Singapore style Internal Security Act in Greece. Which means like in Singapore, he can arrest any Greek and throw them in jail indefinitely without trial. That should surely frighten the Greeks and stop their incessant complaining.

The second thing would be to abolish the free press and introduce legislation on the lines of the Singapore Newspapers and Printing Presses Act. Which means abolish the Greek free press and replace it with a state controlled press like they have in Singapore and North Korea. Lee's son would probably warn all journalists to publish only articles approved by the PAP Greek government and any journalist not following orders is to be thrown in the clinker. So in Greece under the PAP the news would be always good as in Singapore. The subject matter of Straits times Greek edition would be something like this daily, as is the case in the Singapore edition, 5 up skirt photo cases, 5 molestation cases, 3 articles of advice from Ministers that Greeks should behave themselves in the Athens subway, and 1 case of a Greek doctor who overcharged his patient. Nothing more than that. The Greek journalists would be advised that like in the Singapore version, the less news that is put out there the better.

And then of course like in Singapore, I suppose you have to break all independent trade unions. In their place like in Singapore, henceforth a Greek minister would be in charge of unions and members are warned that they should not expect any wage raises as it would discourage foreign investment. Of course to make it as rosy as possible for foreign investors, the Greek minimum wage would henceforth be abolished and employers would be permitted to pay $0.50 cents per hour if they want.

A very important part of wage and union regulations would be to criminalize any strikes or work stoppage. Greek workers would, like in Singapore, be seriously warned that if they ever went on strike, they would be imprisoned for an indefinite period. This will teach the Greek worker not to lazy and become hard working like Lee's Singapore slaves.

A most important step that has to be taken is to completely dismantle the Greek constitution. Like in Singapore, never mind the Constitution referring to such things as freedom of speech. Henceforth there would be no more freedom of speech expression assembly. Simply no nothing. If any Greek tries to protest again, he has to be jailed and would be lucky if he escapes caning.

While this is being done, Lee Kuan Yew's son, the new Greek Prime Minister would prepare his marketing flyers to attract foreign companies to invest in Greece. It will mention that Greece is the most attractive place for investment. There is no minimum wage, workers cannot strike and they can be dismissed anytime the employer pleases. Surely this would attract foreign investors as it does in Singapore.

Lastly the population of Greece has to be changed. According to the late Lee Kuan Yew, the best among the human race are the Chinese. They are hardworking, obedient and most of all are unaware of human rights. Therefore they won't be holding placards demanding free speech. The Greeks like the Indians and Malays of Singapore are not only lazy but a troublesome bunch. So from henceforth they are going to import Chinese from Communist China in the plane loads into Greece and turn the locals into a minority like in Singapore.

And most importantly abolish the independent Greek judiciary and appoint Kangaroo courts and place Kangaroo judges as in Singapore. And anyone criticizing Lee Kuan Yew's son would be promptly prosecuted by the Greek Attorney General and bankrupted as well with a million dollar penalty.

And of course Lee Kuan Yew's son as the new Prime Minister of Greece would now be paid $3.7 million in official salary as in Singapore and a further undisclosed number of millions every year. Not only for him but all his family members and relatives who would now assume all ministerial positions. And if anyone objected, he would be brought before the newly appointed Kangaroo courts and sued for defamation and promptly bankrupted.

That should teach the Greeks to behave for once. Only one problem. This sort of nonsense would not work in Greece. For one simple reason. In Greece there is a population of men, not mice. Whereas in Singapore you have a population of monkeys or sheep who would accept anything thrown at them because they are simply afraid. And Greeks are not afraid. If Lee Kuan Yew's son tried this nonsense there, they would shove the stake into his backside the next minute, Greek style.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A former Singaporean by birth
But now a proud American citizen
Fremont California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525

Something about me. Chasing a dream.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I wasn't the ordinary boy in Singapore. I was fascinated from a young age, as I still am, of adventurers who climbed unclimbable mountains, crossed the treacherous oceans and died trying. My heroes, as any boy would I imagine, were these extraordinary men who lived extraordinary lives.

But the lives of the generation of my parents and others at the time in Singapore was nothing like extraordinary. Most of them like my parents were immigrants, mine from India and others from China and a few from other places. For my parents generation, survival alone was enough. Climbing mountains and conquering the waves were for Englishmen and others more fortunate who lived in Europe and the West.

Of course for me, being lucky just to have 3 meals a day and go to school was all that was possible. To even think of such pursuits such as sailing the world was simply impossible. I would not even be able to enter a yacht club let alone being able to sail.

But one adventure was possible even though it meant absolute lunacy or total recklessness at the time considering my circumstances. And that was leaving Singapore, a third world country at the time, with no prospects whatsoever and travel to the paradise that was England and the West like what it appeared in the Hollywood movies and TV which was available for me in Singapore. Lo and behold, how wonderful it was to be like a cowboy in California riding horses and all the glitter and gold there was out there.

I always wanted to  go the West and to paradise, which I imagined was out there. I was 23 years old, and just competed national service. Although I did very well in my O levels, I had failed miserably at my A levels. I had nothing to hope for in Singapore in my circumstances.

In the meantime, my elder sister had married an Indian who worked for the British forces in Singapore. With the pullout of British forces east of Suez and Singapore after the 1968 British elections, my brother in law opted to go to England with my sister. My mother followed leaving me in Singapore. I had applied and had been accepted at Bradford College in Bradford West Yorks to study A levels. But my plans to go to England were dashed by the denial of a student visa for England because of the presence of my mother and sister there. They thought I had immigrant intent and would not return after my studies.

If there were a single event that forced me to take, to some, almost that reckless decision to move to Europe alone without anyone or any money, it was my watching 2 movies that I love to this day. One was Lawrence of Arabia with Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif and the other was the James Bond movie, You Only Live Twice. Lawrence does the impossible, crossing the Namib desert to reach Aqaba which he was told was impossible. And in the James Bond movie, the song which says you only live twice and let your dream come true affected me greatly. Why not live your dream and make it come true.

And then realizing that I cannot go to England minus the visa, I am doomed to live a mediocre life like any other boy in Singapore till I die. That was impossible to accept. Then again what is the worst that can happen to me if I go the Europe without anything, I might die, but at least I would have died trying. This was my thinking at the time which made me do what I did.

So in April 1973, I finally decide I am going and that was that. I didn't tell my mother or my sister in England or my brother in Singapore. They didn't want me to go. I was just going and that was that. Since England was no longer possible I had written to a Mount Allison University in New Brunswick Canada and got acceptance to study business. It was a university which accepted O levels for entry. The plan was to go to Germany first, work for some time, earn enough money and then travel to Canada in September that year. At that time Germany did not require visas for Singapore passports and they did not need a return ticket.

It was all fantasy but then what's wrong with some fantasy?

With a one way ticket to Brussels Belgium , on Sabena Belgian Airlines stopping at Bangkok Bombay, Athens, Vienna and Brussels, with a one day lay over in Brussels and the next day, Lufthansa from Brussels to Frankfurt.

I remember sitting in Singapore's Paya Lebar airport in a suit and tie, 23 years old, my bags already on board and waiting for the announcement to board. I must admit I had a panic attack and cold sweat. It was the moment, and the moment had finally come. Should I board the aircraft or should I call it off. But then it was too late to change my mind anyway. My bags were already on board. The die was cast. What in Heavens was I doing just going to Europe like that without knowing what is going to happen next. I had just $500.00 in my pocket.

Anyway to cut a long story short, I did manage somehow. It is known as schrwarz arbeit in German, which translates as "black work". In other words I was working illegally without a work permit. My plans for Canada didn't work out, and I was running short of money. I had the address of the Singapore embassy in Brussels, as Germany at the time did not have one. I could if desperate go the Singapore embassy in Belgium and request they repatriate me back to Singapore. But this wasn't necessary. I told my mother I was in Germany. She then filed an immigration appeal in the Leeds Immigration Tribunal against the decision of the British High Commission Singapore denying me the visa. I won. The British Consulate in Frankfurt issued me the student visa and I traveled by train to England. It was the Transalpino Express which came from Vienna Austria to Frankfurt calling at Wiesbaden Mainz Koblenz Bonn Cologne Liege Brussels Ghent St Peters and Ostend Belgium. And the Channel crossing by boat to Dover England

I was jubilant. I succeeded after all. the adventure was successful. I passed the A levels, was awarded a local authority grant to study law at Hull University and the Bar finals in London, became a lawyer and returned to Singapore, a country's politics about which I was totally ignorant.

I thought that Singapore politics was like any other country. Like England. One could work hard and climb the ladder. Little did I know that Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore was not what I thought it was. It wasn't a case of working hard and climbing the ladder. It slowly dawned on me that working hard was only one part of the equation. The other more important part was your willingness to support a totalitarian regime despite the fact that it runs contrary to your core beliefs and conscience. Just like joining the Communist Party under Stalin or the Nazi party under Hitler.

In realized that in order to succeed, you have to accept the fact that you have no individual human rights. No right to free speech expression assembly or any other beliefs that you may have as a result of your education. Great men are those who stood by their conscience and principles. But in Singapore anyone who stood by his conscience is punished and branded a criminal, while Lee Kuan Yew's bootlickers sycophants and spineless followers are made leaders and placed on a pedestal. Like Samuel Butler's Erewhon, an imaginary island, where being sick was a serious crime while stealing is not.

It simply did not make sense to me. And being the way I am, I simply refused to be another Lee Kuan Yew Singaporean specimen. So I decided to fight them openly. I joined the Workers Party (not to be confused with the present Workers Party who are merely the government's minions) and openly campaign against the regime. I contested 2 elections. I was repeatedly sued and charged with criminal offenses obviously in an attempt to bring me in line, which they failed.

And then I decided I had enough. I am not going to waste my time in a country where the people appear content to live as slaves. Since I refuse to be a slave, I simply did not fit in an island of slaves, which Singaporeans are content with.

And then my second adventure, the United States, and California in particular. Doing some research, I knew that United States is the quintessential democracy. The entire country is kept together by a document held sacred almost as it was the word God, the Constitution. It was not just another statute but a document which every single American swears by which they respect and cherish. This to me appeared how men should live, the courage to believe in certain principles and even the courage to die for it.

So I travelled to the United States with a few thousand dollars and a tourist visa. The plan was to find a job, settle myself and bring my family over. Unfortunately getting a job was not as easy as I thought. Many Americans have very little knowledge of Singapore or British qualifications. And furthermore, not knowing anyone here made getting a job impossible. But I had a second option. I was persecuted by Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore for my political beliefs and that gave me a possibility of asylum. I applied for and got asylum. And then of course was my getting licensed as a lawyer. I had to pass the Bar. And California Bar exams are the most difficult among the entire 50 American states.

But since I always thought I was superman, after all I had made it all the way to Europe, and to England, became a lawyer all on just $500 when I left, surely the California bar exams is not going to stop Gopalan Nair. So I studied. It took me a few tries before I succeeded but I nevertheless did. I was in the clouds. Here I was that small boy in Singapore who had watched Lawrence of Arabia and James Bond, and packed his bags and made it across the world and survived.

I have been practicing law in Fremont California for 20 years now. It is a miracle that I have managed to keep going at the Bar, someone who had come from nowhere and competing with Americans born a bought up here in their own turf. I practice mostly immigration law. It is a practice similar to that of an English barrister. I work alone and do the cases that I get with a secretary to make the client appointments and do the books.

American practice is somewhat different from the English. In England to be a barrister, you have not only to pass the bar but also serve pupillage, a sort of apprentiship  for at least a year before you go on your own. In America there is no such requirement. The moment you pass your Bar, you can put out your shingle and practice. In other words you get thrown in the deep end immediately while in England you get some training before that.

A life such as mine can be lonely at times. You get the case, you read up the law if necessary and you do it. I file immigrant petitions for relatives, students and the whole litany of other categories. I file asylum applications and work for companies who want to move people from some other country to the US. I represent illegals from Mexico Guatemala Nicaragua El Salvador who are caught at the US borders of Texas and Arizona. I represent deportation cases where immigrants or aliens are caught committing serious crimes. And then I do some criminal work both in state and federal courts especially in cases involving undocumented aliens since my knowledge of immigration law comes in handy in their subsequent immigration proceedings. And then there are the usual family law cases that come my way.

The lure of the law for me is strong as it is for anyone. One reason being that the law is a bottomless well. There is so much to learn that one can go on forever and each case can be a challenge other than the routine ones. Of course the main reason why I enjoy the law in America is because I have hope. I don't need to tailor my opinions and principles to correspond those of President Obama. I can call Obama a liar if I want and still succeed at the American bar, something I cannot do in Singapore.

That alone is all the reason for me to love  America.

I haven't sailed the oceans single handed, and neither have I climbed the mountains. But in a way my life has been an adventure of sorts no different than if I had stood on the summit of Everest. Adventure can taker many forms and my journey is nothing short of that great adventure, thanks to Lawrence of Arabia and James Bond's You Only Live twice. Of course I was also born with a sense of adventure unlike the timid souls you have in Singapore today, thank God.

The average Singaporean today is nothing short of a spineless coward. They live their lives which is governed the powers up there, which is a small family of the Lees who control their lives, yet they are powerless to stand up and object. Unlike the Greeks who stand up against the mismanagement in their country, the Spaniards the Italians the Argentines and brave young men who dare to stand up and be counted, the Singaporean is consumed with cowardly fear and his courage extends only to writing anonymous complaints in Facebook or to write anonymous comments in this blog. They are nothing more than sheep in an island where decisions are made for them which they willingly accept. A shameful people in a shameful island. Although I was born there, I am proud to say I am not part of it.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
Former Singapore
Now proud American citizen
Tel: 510 491 8525

Sunday, July 12, 2015

It is useless to fight for democracy for Singaporeans. They are simply too afraid to demand their rights.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is simply useless for anyone to fight for democracy for Singaporeans. Why, because Singaporeans simply do not want it. This wasn't clear to me over the decades until recently when I finally realized it is simply hopeless. You can take a horse to water, you simply can't make him drink.

If there are Singaporeans who seek democracy, their willingness to fight for it only extends to writing anonymous complaints on Facebook or the Internet. Or for a handful of protesters to go to the government designated secluded spot of Hong Lim Park, a patch of grass no bigger than 100 feet by 100 feet to silently hold signs while covering their faces. The totalitarian dictatorship of Lee Kuan Yew's son simply ignore all this and they (the government) continue on their merry ways, as if nothing happened.

And then there are those who erroneously believe that they have to wait for the next elections, held every 5 years, to throw this government out and bring in their paradise, not knowing of course that firstly Lee Kuan Yew's son has made sure he will always win or if not he will have his proxies to do his bidding. And even assuming the unthinkable happens and they get thrown out, no government coming in would willingly create a democracy obviously because it is much easier to rule through Fascism as now.

If you did not already know, let me tell you what it is. Singaporeans, or the vast predominantly ethnic Chinese society, are literally slaves. You can criticize as much as you want within limits, the limits being the government is not really threatened. Otherwise you face defamation action in Kangaroo courts where there is no rule of law, you stand to be fired from your job, your career prospects are eternally destroyed and you are as good as history. You not only know this dire fact, the government goes out of their way to remind you that they don't practice the rule of law and Roy Ngerng who criticized has lost his job and he will soon be bankrupted with a million dollar defamation award, not intended to make him pay of course, since after all they know he doesn't have a million dollars. It is instead intended to destroy him for life.

Let me also remind you of the other stark basic realities under which you live. You have no constitutional rights, no free speech, no freedom of the press, no right to protest, no right to assembly, no right to protest except at a secluded government designated 100 feet square grass patch called Hong Lim Square provided they give you permission.

Obviously Singaporeans are happy to live this way. The ordinary Singaporean, 80% of whom are ethnic Chinese have had no complaint living this way for the last 50 years or so under this Fascist regime. Frankly, if you do not care about your individual liberties and do not believe that the government is accountable to you and not the other way round, life can be quite pleasant. If you are not a threat to them, for the most part they leave you alone, to find a job and mind your own business. And then there are those who are a growing number seek opportunity and success by being sycophants and bootlickers of the fascist regime. They stand a chance of being selected for high office and unimaginable wealth. It is the same in China where you work for the Communist Party and achieve high office and bribes through their Peoples Liberation Army connections.

If you did not know, the Singapore government is the most corrupt in Asia if not in the world. Lee Kuan Yew and now his son pay themselves no less than $3.7 million a year officially. Besides this they siphon off even more millions secretly. This corruption and nepotism does not extend to just the Lee family but throughout their government including all ministers. In any other society, the people would be up in arms against this, but Singaporeans simply do not have the courage to stand up to this corruption.

Singapore is no different from Communist China. There are beautiful skyscrapers built everyday and Chengdu and Shanghai have excellent infra structure and beautiful spaces. In Singapore too the infra structure and the city is beautiful. The commonality between China and Singapore is this, you get to live in a beautiful city but you have no part in deciding how it is run. In China if you complain too much the Peoples Liberation Army would probably shoot you. In Singapore you would be arrested, you lose your job and branded and victimized for life. You may be even locked up for life under detention without trial laws and probably even shot.

The ethnic Chinese society of Singaporeans appear to be quite happy to live in a society where their lives are decided for them and they simply mind their own business. This is not how the original makers of the Constitution intended which was based on a Western style democracy based on the Greek philosophy where the state is accountable to the people, not the other way round. Singapore today has transformed into a Chinese or Stalinist style system where you mind your own business and let the government decide what is best for you.

We have had proof of the islander's preference for the last 3 decades. JB Jeyaretnam the opposition politician came around and championed for rights. But when he was unjustly and illegally imprisoned and bankrupted and destroyed, Singaporeans had nothing to say, except perhaps writing on Facebook. There followed a series of transgressions of rights, from the Marxist conspiracy where innocent libertarians were jailed and tortured, Chee Soon Juan being simply ill treated and lately Roy Ngerng the blogger and 16 year old Amos Yee being persecuted. But Singaporeans can do nothing more beyond writing anonymous Facebook articles.

The Singapore government cannot be forced to restore democratic rights under the Constitution unless and until they are compelled to do it. Writing Facebook articles is not going to do the trick. The only way you can force this Fascist government to do the right thing is to have mass demonstrations to force their hand. This obviously the people of Singapore are either not prepared to do or too afraid to be more exact.

Therefore  unfortunately the prognosis for this cowardly society is they have to continue to live the way they do, under this Fascist dictatorship, as they have done for the last 50 years. And no one including me can persuade them otherwise, because they simply don't want to or they are too afraid. One undeniable truth of history is this; nowhere in the world have people achieved freedom without the courage to fight for it. So far since 2006 I have been writing blogs in the hope that the people of Singapore can be persuaded to stand up for their rights. I now realize that this was all along a forlorn hope. You cannot force a horse to drink if he doesn't want to.

I have tried but it is useless. Perhaps sometime in the distant future, there may be some event that forces this predominantly ethnic Chinese society that has been so far subservient and cowardly to stand up for their rights. I say cowardly intentionally. Because they are not the way they are because they are ignorant. They are the way they are despite full knowledge they live as slaves. But I am not holding my breath on any possible change. But even if they do stand up eventually, surely it is not on my account.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
Formerly Singaporean, now American Citizen
Fremont California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525