Monday, September 14, 2015

Singapore Democratic Party's Chee Soon Juan should lead his people

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore's Chee Soon Juan and his opposition Singapore Democratic Party has lost yet again at the polls with a further reduced margin. Under his leadership for 2 decades, they have not won a single seat. If he goes on with the way he has, he will not win the next election. Or even ever win any elections.

It is not for lack of trying. God knows he tried. But it is what he is doing that is the question.

Singapore is not a democracy. It is a Fascist dictatorship. Every aspect of life in the island is state controlled. People live in government housing. Their retirement funds are government controlled. Being the largest employer, the state controls their livelihood. There is no rule of law and judges are appointed to carry out government orders. Freedom of speech, assembly, peaceful protest are all denied. Critics are inevitably sued for defamation, bankrupted and thrown out of their jobs. Except for once in 5 years at election time, public speeches are prohibited. Under these circumstances, it is impossible to challenge government policies in a democratic way.

Chee Soon Juan knows this. Yet he complies with these unjust laws, spends his entire time as a boffin reading books, formulating ideas, giving speeches at foreign universities, and occasionally makes his rounds at public hawker centers asking people to vote for him, and every 5 years contests elections which he inevitably loses, like clockwork. 

There is a glaring flaw in what he does. When the state controls their entire lives, simply writing blogs and asking people to support you makes no sense. Why should anyone support you just because you say so, when it is the government that gives you housing, puts food on the table and decides whether you should get a taxi license or not.

What I am trying to say is this. If Chee wants to be a leader, he should behave like one. From this recent elections, he knows there are serious faults with this government. For one the government's massive inflow of foreign labor has not only thrown thousands of locals out of jobs, it has seriously suppressed wages. So now he has a ready made audience in these oppressed Singaporeans. He should organize protests for these citizens to demand that the government listens.

Another burning issue is the rising cost of living literally pushing locals below the poverty line. So what should he do? He should champion the cause of these poor people by organizing protests and demonstrations to demand that the government make sure there is a minimum wage so people can at least survive.

Like this, through first hand knowledge from the elections, he knows there are crippling issues crying out for a leader to speak for them on the streets to demand justice. And when I mean speak for them, I don't mean writing blogs and learned treatises that Chee does. Instead he should engage in real activism on the ground, through peaceful protests and demonstrations to demand his people's rights.

If I could ask Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Fidel Castro or Che Guevara as to what they would do, I am sure they would say, just that. And mind you they all fought governments that were similar to that of today's Fascist dictatorial Singapore; they did not rise in free and democratic societies.

I know that any mention of peaceful protests in Singapore would immediately attract criticism with such claims as "Singaporeans do not like to protest", or "the Chinese do not like confrontation" etc., and immediately the idea is dampened. And unfortunately despite Chee's great wisdom, he goes along with this, just because that is the going mantra in the island.

Let me tell you that the Chinese or Singaporeans are no different from anyone else. We are all human beings and we will act like human beings, whether white man, black man, Mongoloid or Mulatoo.

And then of course there is the danger of what will befall Chee if he does this. It is certain that he will be arrested and imprisoned and so would his supporters. And it is also likely that his supporters would simply leave and he would be left alone or with just a handful. It is very likely that Chee's Singapore Democratic Party which he has nurtured cultivated and grown would disintegrate.

But then so what? The principle should be that one should do what is right, not what is popular. Even if Chee is imprisoned and his party disintegrates, in the end, no one can question that his action was the right one. And I have always believed that the path of the truth will eventually always prevail even it it takes longer. And the other advantage of this course of action is the people whom he supports would consider him their champion and his popularity on the ground can only increase over time because people will know that here is a man they could turn to who will take action for their rights. Not just a person who writes blogs and meets them occasionally asking for their support.

The other advantage is the fact that the demand for democracy would be kept alive thought the 5 years instead of silence for 4 years and 20 days and then 9 days of political rallies. This is what Chee Soon Juan is doing now and this is why he is not getting anywhere.

I am not suggesting that protests and demonstrations on behalf of his people would get him anywhere soon. But it will build his base, and garner real support, support that is personal that people can relate to, not just arguments and ideas.

He can also provide social services. Volunteer time to give free tuition classes. Provide financial assistance and groceries. Defend them against unjust court actions through volunteer legal services. I can imagine a great many other things he could do. He could demonstrate outside the government housing agency HDB when poor Joe Blokes is facing eviction. He could harass and corral  the government into a corner unable to defend their unjust policies. He will come out a hero, even if a battered hero. He will become Singapore's Gandhi. And as Gandhi he will enter Parliament. But even if he does not enter Parliament, he will nevertheless be a Gandhi.

It will take time and a great deal of pain. But eventually I have no doubt that the unrelenting demand for his people's rights would begin to make a dent in Lee's Fascist dictatorial regime and they would have to concede their actions.

There is no problem in Chee getting sufficient supporters for a protest against massive immigration denying the citizen's jobs and income. There is no problem in Chee getting sufficient numbers to protest against the rising cost of living. Of course I know that such protests are illegal under Singapore's unjust laws. But then there are laws and there are laws. Chee should be ready and willing to break these unjust laws and by breaking them he will be seen as a true leader who is not afraid to stand his ground. Gandhi and Mandela would.

I have written several blogs about Chee Soon Juan. I believe that Chee is the only politician who has sufficient wisdom and experience to be a leader of his people. As for the others who have stood for elections, they are not worth even mentioning. They are just opportunists who crop up once every 5 years. As for Loh Thia Khiang, he is just another version of the ruling PAP. As for those who ran this time, you are not going to hear anymore of them until 5 years at the next elections.

I hope Chee reads this blog. I am afraid that if he complies with these rules that do not allow any political participation in the island, he will not only loose the next elections, he will go into oblivion. I do believe the axiom, when you are in a hole, stop digging.

I am keeping watch on Chee Soon Juan because only he can ensure that one day I can return to Singapore because as long as this Fascist government is in place, I am afraid for my liberty and well being if I ever step in there. But I do believe that I will one day return to Singapore, which can happen only if Chee succeds. I will tell you a story. Many years ago, when I was about 16 and living in Singapore, I was walking along Serangoon Road when I met a fortune teller on the street, seated on a sidewalk and reading your palm. Even then I always wanted to go abroad to Europe. So I asked him to read my palm. I asked him if I would ever go abroad to which he said I will travel to many countries. I then asked him where will I die thinking that I might die in Europe or America. To my astonishment he said I will die in Singapore! I think therefore, Chee Soon Juan might win after all since only through his victory can I ever possibly return!

* No anonymous comments please.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
Singaporean by birth
American citizen
San Francisco, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525

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