Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Why I am very proud of being disbarred (struck off the Rolls) from practicing law in Singapore

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Under any other circumstances, a lawyer wouldn't be jumping up for joy if he was disbarred in any jurisdiction. Being disbarred is usually not a good thing, unless of course you are disbarred from Nazi German Courts, North Korean courts or Singapore.

That's why I am proudly displaying what they call a court order in disbarment in 2011. It is taken from their Singaporean website. http://www.singaporelaw.sg/sglaw/laws-of-singapore/case-law/free-law/high-court-judgments/14650-law-society-of-singapore-v-gopalan-nair-alias-pallichadath-gopalan-nair-2011-sghc-191

But strangely enough, for a Singaporean like me who was born in that island and now proudly practicing law in California and US Federal Courts, it is indeed turned out as a sense of pride for me to say, I was disbarred in the Lee dictatorship of Singapore island. Shouldn't I be proud!

Here is the judgement of the Singaporean Kangaroo courts against me

Law Society of Singapore v Gopalan Nair (alias Pallichadath Gopalan Nair)
[2011] SGHC 191

Suit No:   Originating Summons No 947 of 2009 (Summons No 1404 of 2011)
Decision Date:   22 August 2011
Court:   High Court
Coram:   Tan Lee Meng J, Tay Yong Kwang J, Lee Seiu Kin J
Counsel:   Peter Cuthbert Low and Han Lilin (Peter Low LLC) for the plaintiff; Defendant absent and unrepresented.

Subject Area / Catchwords   
Legal Profession – Disciplinary Proceedings

22 August 2011

Tan Lee Meng J (delivering the grounds of decision of the court):

1       The Law Society of Singapore (“the Law Society”) applied under s 82A(10) of the Legal Profession Act (Cap 161, 1990 Rev Ed) (“the LPA”) for an order that the defendant, Mr Gopalan Nair alias Pallichadath Gopalan Nair (“GN”), be “struck off the roll, prohibited from applying for a practising certificate, censured and/or otherwise punished” for misconduct unbefitting of an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession. We ordered that GN be struck off the roll and now give the reasons for our decision.

2       GN, who was admitted onto the roll on 10 August 1980, is a non-practising advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore. He is presently an American citizen residing in California, USA.
3       Although GN is a non-practising advocate and solicitor, he is still subject to the control of the Supreme Court as s 82(A)(2) of the LPA provides:
All Legal Service Officers and non-practising solicitors shall be subject to the control of the Supreme Court and shall be liable on due cause shown to be punished in accordance with this section.
4       Pursuant to ss 82A(4) and (5) of the LPA, the Law Society applied in ex parte Originating Summons No 947 of 2009 for leave from the Chief Justice for an investigation to be made into a number of complaints about GN’s misconduct. On 4 September 2009, the Chief Justice appointed a Disciplinary Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) comprising Mr Toh Kian Sing SC and Mr Tan Jee Ming, under s 90 of the LPA.
5       The following 5 charges of misconduct were preferred by the Law Society against GN:

1st charge
 That you on the 4th day of July 2008, at or about 10.35 pm, near the junction of Bukit Timah Road and Race Course Road, Singapore, which is a public place, did use abusive words towards certain public servants, namely, police officers of the Singapore Police Force, in particular Senior Staff Sergeant Kang Wei Chain and Sergeant Noor Azhar, by shouting:
(a)“Fuck off you policeman, don’t waste my fucking time. You go and do your job properly and go catch thieves and I did nothing wrong. I am waiting for the fucking taxi”;
(b)“Fuck off, forget about my name, you fucking bastard.
(c)“You fucking Malay bastard”.
at the said police officers in the execution of their duties as such public servants, and you had thereby committed an offence punishable under section 13D(1)(a) of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act, Chapter 184, for which on 5 September 2008, you were convicted and sentenced to a fine of $2,000 in default two week imprisonment, and you are hereby guilty of conduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession which warrants disciplinary proceedings against you within the meaning of section 82A(3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Chapter 161).
2nd charge
 That you on the 4th day of July 2008, at or about 10.35 pm, near the junction of Bukit Timah Road and Race Course Road, Singapore, which is a public place, did behave in a disorderly fashion to wit, by gesticulating with your hands and shouting loudly, and you had thereby committed an offence punishable under section 20 of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act, Chapter 184, for which on 5 September 2008, you were convicted and sentenced to a fine of $1,000 in default one week imprisonment, and you are hereby guilty of conduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession which warrants disciplinary proceedings against you within the meaning of section 82A(3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Chapter 161).
3rd charge
 That you in your blog post at http://singaporedissident.blogspot.com dated 29 May 2008 entitled “Singapore, Judge Belinda Ang’s Kangaroo Court”, did make the following offending statement insulting the judiciary of Singapore, namely, the Honourable Justice Belinda Ang:
“The judge Belinda Ang was throughout prostituting herself during the entire proceedings by being nothing more than an employee of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his son and carrying out their orders.”
and you had thereby committed an offence punishable under section 228 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, for which on 17 September 2008, you were convicted and sentenced to 3 months imprisonment, and you are hereby guilty of conduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession which warrants disciplinary proceedings against you within the meaning of section 82A(3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Chapter 161).
4th charge
 That you in your blog post at http://singaporedissident.blogspot.com dated 28 November 2008 entitled “Hello from Freemont, near San Francisco, California”, did make the following offending statement amounting to contempt of court:
“…. I am defying the undertaking that I gave in court on September 12, 2008 when I admitted being in contempt of court. .. I had also given an undertaking to remove the 2 blog posts, of Sept 1 2008 and Sept 6, 2008 which referred to my trial and conviction before Judge James Leong in the Subordinate Courts for disorderly behaviour and insulting a policeman, charges entirely made up by the police to discredit me. I will be re-posting those 2 blog posts and stand by every word that I had written in them …” (Sic).
and you are hereby guilty of conduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession which warrants disciplinary proceedings against you within the meaning of section 82A(3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Chapter 161).
5th charge
 That you in your blog post at http://singaporedissident.blogspot.com dated 30 November 2008 entitled “Justice Judith Prakash, Another Kangaroo Judge”, did make the following offending statement insulting the judiciary of Singapore, namely, the Honourable Justice Judith Prakash:
“Judge Judith Prakash of the Singapore High Court has prostituted herself in the hearing of the Kangaroo T shirt case on November 24, 2008 by being nothing more than an employee of Lee Kuan Yew and his son, whom he appointed Prime Minister. By her actions in sending these young men to prison and making them pay crippling court costs of $5,000 each, she has shamelessly disgraced herself, her office as a judge, disgraced the Singapore Constitution and disgraced Singapore.”
and you are hereby guilty of conduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession which warrants disciplinary proceedings against you within the meaning of section 82A(3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Chapter 161).
6       GN sent, by way of emails to the Disciplinary Tribunal Secretariat, his Defence and his Amended Defence on 1 December 2009. However, although he knew that his case was being heard by the Tribunal on 20 and 21 September 2010, he did not appear for the hearing.
7       The Tribunal found GN guilty of all 5 charges brought against him and determined that there was cause of sufficient gravity for disciplinary action to be taken against him. The Chief Justice then appointed Mr Peter Low, the plaintiff’s counsel, under s 82A(10) of the LPA to make the present application in Summons No 1404 of 2011.
Decision of the Court
8       GN did not attend and was not represented by counsel at the hearing before this Court on 25 July 2011.The Court was satisfied that he had been duly served the requisite papers and that he was fully aware of the hearing scheduled for 25 July 2011.
9     The issues before this Court were whether due cause for disciplinary action against GN under s 82A(3)(a) of the LPA had been shown and if so, the appropriate penalty to be imposed on him.
Due cause

10     As for what constitutes “due cause”, the relevant part of s 82A(3) provides:
Such due cause may be shown by proof that a Legal Service Officer or a non-practising solicitor, as the case may be —
(a)has been guilty in Singapore or elsewhere of such misconduct unbefitting a Legal Service Officer or an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession ...
11     The Law Society rightly submitted that for the purpose of considering whether there has been “misconduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession” under s 82(3)(a) LPA, the meaning accorded to the identical phrase in s 83(2)(h) LPA should be adopted. As such, both misconduct in the solicitor’s professional capacity as well as misconduct in the solicitor’s personal capacity are relevant to this inquiry (see Law Society of Singapore v Heng Guan Hong Geoffrey [1999] 3 SLR(R) 966 at [24]). The same standard applies to non-practising lawyers.
12     The Law Society relied on the findings of the Tribunal to support its assertion that “due cause”, as defined in s 82A(3)(a) of the LPA, had been shown.
13     The 1st and 2nd charges against GN concerned his conviction with respect to two offences under s 13D(1)(a) and s 20 of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act (Cap 184, 1997 Rev Ed) for uttering vulgarities when speaking to officers of the Singapore Police Force and for behaving in a disorderly manner towards the police officers who had enquired why he had knocked a number of times on a police vehicle bearing the registration number QX501H. The gravity of his use of abusive and obscene language was stressed by the Tribunal in its report at [28]-[29]:
28    It is clear beyond reasonable doubt … that the Respondent uttered vulgarities towards the two policemen after he was stopped by them.All this happened in a public place in the full glare of members of the public. [T]he Respondent behaved in a petulant manner and apparently took grave offence when he was stopped by the police. His reaction was entirely unprovoked. Even if the Respondent was unhappy about being questioned by the police, he should have acted with self-restraint and moderation. In the entire episode, he displayed neither virtue. If he had responded to the questions in a co-operative manner, his subsequent arrest could possibly have been avoided. In our view, these vulgarities which the Respondent spewed were not only profoundly offensive, but also had the effect of lowering the dignity and professionalism of law enforcement officers.
29    We further find the racist outburst directed at Sergeant Daud to be wholly reprehensible and deserving of condemnation in a multi-racial society like Singapore. It demonstrates a callous, unpardonable disregard for the sensitivities of the different races that make up our society. It is not behaviour that one would expect of a member of the legal profession.
[emphasis added]
14     In regard to his disorderly behaviour in the presence of the police, the Tribunal noted at para [39] of its report:
39    Creating a ruckus in a public place, gesticulating wildly (even if a non-threatening manner), spewing vulgarities towards public officers shows a very low level of restraint and self-control as well as a complete lack of respect for law enforcement officers. Simply put, the Respondent had made a complete nuisance of himself in public. The fine of $1000 (or one week imprisonment in default thereof) may be marginally less serious as compared with the Respondent’s offence in MAC 3211.Nevertheless, such unruly, petulant and disorderly conduct (in full view of the public) is unfitting of an advocate or solicitor as an officer of the Court and as a member of a honourable profession. After all, a solicitor is expected to exercise a high level of self restraint and a bad tempered solicitor can only bring disrepute to the legal profession.
15     As for the breach of the undertaking referred to in the 4th charge, the background for the undertaking given by GN is as follows. When the case regarding GN’s abuse of the policemen, as outlined in the 1st and 2nd charges pressed by the Law Society against him, was heard before District Judge James Leong (“DJ Leong”), GN made several offending statements in open court. For instance, on 25 August 2008, he said:
... I frankly do not have any faith or belief that I will get a fair trial in this Court. Any attempt on my part to recall these witnesses would only be a waste of my time since I believe the result will be the same in any event.
16     Subsequently, GN authored two blog posts dated 1 September 2008 and 6 September 2008 on http://singaporedissident.blogspot.com. These were entitled, “Another classic case of trying to use the courts to silence dissent” and “Convicted” respectively and were replete with statements which attacked DJ Leong. For instance, he stated:
As for Mr. James Leong, I have this to say. I have begun to know him pretty well since it took 18 days of trial. He is a good man at heart; there is no doubt about it. If he had his way, there is no doubt he would have acquitted me immediately. But alas he is weak. He cuts a pathetic figure. A man, because of his circumstances, having to do things that he does not really want to do. He knows that his employment as a judge in the Singapore courts depends on the patronage of Lee Kuan Yew and his friends. He also knows that Lee Kuan Yew demands his judges to punish political opponents of the government. And therefore to keep his job as a judge, he has no choice but to find me guilty....
17     GN’s statements prompted the Attorney-General to make an application under Originating Summons No 385 of 2008 for an order of committal for contempt. When the hearing commenced on  12 November 2008 before District Judge Leslie Chew (“DJ Chew”), GN admitted that he had made the offending statements, apologized for his behaviour and gave an undertaking to the Court not to make similar offending statements and to remove the blog posts dated 1 September 2008 and 6 September 2008. As such, DJ Chew only reprimanded him and ordered him to pay the costs of the proceedings. As soon as GN left Singapore and returned to California, he breached his undertaking to the Court.
18     What was truly unacceptable was that GN subsequently declared that he never had any intention of abiding by his undertaking and that he deliberately breached the undertaking at the first opportunity. The Tribunal stated as follows at [62]:
By flagrantly flouting his undertaking to the court in such a defiant manner, the Respondent displayed absolutely no remorse or contrition for what he had done prior to leaving Singapore for the United States. He was simply trying to make a mockery out of the entire affair. The apology he made and the undertaking he gave were both quickly withdrawn once he was safely out of Singapore. Clearly the apology and undertaking was an expedient way to a lighter sentence – the Respondent by his own admission, never intended or believed in either.
19     As for the offensive blog post regarding Belinda Ang J on 29 May 2008, which was the subject matter of the 3rd charge, that blog post was in the context of a defamation suit brought by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong against the Singapore Democratic Party. For this charge of contempt of court, GN was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment by Kan Ting Chiu J. The sentence meted out gave a clear indication of the seriousness of the contempt. Yet, in his blog post in relation to Judith Prakash J on 30 November 2008, who had, at the material time, found a number of persons in contempt of court for wearing T-shirts depicting a kangaroo in judges’ robes, GN continued to abuse the judiciary.
20     After taking all the circumstances into account, we found that the Law Society had shown that there was due cause for disciplinary action to be taken against GN. As such, we proceeded to consider the penalty that ought to be imposed.
The appropriate penalty
21     Disciplinary action is intended to punish the errant solicitor for his or her misconduct, deter others from misbehaving in the same manner, and protect public confidence in the administration of justice: see Law Society of Singapore v Tham Yu Xian Rick [1999] 3 SLR(R) 68 (at [18]) and Law Society of Singapore v Rasif David [2008] 2 SLR(R) 955 (at [28]).
22     Although GN had been convicted of a number of offences, which were referred to in the charges preferred against him by the Law Society, it should be borne in mind that in Law Society of Singapore v Wee Wei Fen [1999] 3 SLR(R) 559, the Court observed (at [25]) that it cannot be that every violation of the criminal law implies a defect of character which renders the offender unfit to be a member of the legal profession and that the nature of the offence is clearly material. Similarly in Law Society of Singapore v Wong Sin Yee [2003] 3 SLR(R) 209, the Court stated (at [12]):
We would, at the outset, make it quite clear that conviction of criminal offence does not per se imply a defect of character rendering an advocate and solicitor unfit for his profession. It is the nature of the offence, and the circumstances under which it was committed, and in turn the punishment imposed, which are likely to be determinative…. The offence must be of such a nature that it is expedient for the protection of the public and the preservation of the good name of the profession to remove the solicitor from the roll or from practice.
[emphasis added]
23     The offences in respect of which GN had been convicted and the circumstances under which they were committed lead to the conclusion that a serious penalty must be imposed. Apart from abusing the police with foul language in public and behaving in a disorderly manner in the presence of the police, GN was imprisoned for contempt of court in relation to his blog post regarding Belinda Ang J on 29 May 2008.Furthermore, he openly defied the undertaking he had given to the District Court shortly after he was convicted by Kan J for contempt of court. He then posted offensive statements in his blog about Prakash J on 30 November 2008.
24     When considering whether or not to strike an advocate and solicitor off the rolls, it is worth noting that in Law Society of Singapore v Amdad Hussein Lawrence [2000] 3 SLR(R) 23, the Court held at [11]:
The earlier decisions in Law Society of Singapore v Ravindra Samuel [1999] 1 SLR(R) 266 at [15]; Law Society of Singapore v Tham Yu Xian Rick (at [18]; Law Society of Singapore v Suresh Kumar Suppiah [1999] 2 SLR(R) 1203 at [18]; and Law Society of Singapore v Heng Guan Hong Geoffrey [1999] 3 SLR(R) 966 at [28]-[29] have consistently affirmed and applied the following principles on disciplinary sentencing:
(a)    where a solicitor has acted dishonestly, the court will almost invariably order that he be struck off the roll of solicitors;
(b)    if he has not acted dishonestly, but is shown to have fallen below the required standards of integrity, probity and trustworthiness, he will nonetheless be struck off the roll, as opposed to being suspended, if his lapse is such as to indicate that he lacks the qualities of character and trustworthiness which are the necessary attributes of a person entrusted with the responsibilities of a legal practitioner.
[emphasis added]
25     In the present case, the relevant question is whether or not GN should be struck off the roll on the basis that he lacked the necessary attributes of a person entrusted with the responsibilities of a legal practitioner. After taking all the charges into account, we were of the view that he lacked the said attributes. In particular, the facts in the 3rd, 4th and 5th charges disclosed a contemptuous disrespect on the part of GN towards the judges concerned. Such egregious misconduct is totally unacceptable. As there were no mitigating circumstances to persuade us that he merited a less severe penalty than striking off the roll, we ordered that he be struck off the roll of advocates and solicitors of the Supreme Court of Singapore and awarded costs to the Law Society.
I don't think there is much for me to add here except to say those accusations of my swearing at policemen are accusations pulled out of a hat by 5 policemen who all testified in orchestrated parrot fashion that I had swore at them in a public place. But even if I did so what, they deserve to be yelled at behaving like thugs as expected. And in no country in the world do you disbar a lawyer for hurling insults at policemen of all people, except perhaps Nazi Germany.
But I love the part where it says I should be disbarred for having no respect at all for these Kangaroo courts. And that part I am proud to say is all entirely true. Yes I don't have any respect for judges like you whose main occupation is to persecute anyone who has the guts to stand up to the Singaporean dictatorship.
Finally if you note, they have ordered costs against me in the judgement. It clearly says "and awarded costs to the Law Society". But you won't be surprised to know that till now they have not demanded any money! And it has been 7 years since the judgement. Why if they believe, as they claim that they have indeed a real legal system. This is not a legal system. These are Kangaroo Courts. And I am very proud that I had this opportunity in 2008 when I visited Singapore to write a blog stating publicly that Singaporean judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean "prostituted herself and her office" in punishing Chee Soon Juan a government critic exercising his right to freedom of speech.  And I am very proud of resisting an unlawful arrest on July 4, 2008 in Little India Singapore while walking peacefully on a public street.
And finally if the Singaporean authorities are so sure that I am unfit to be a lawyer, why have they not made any attempt to alert the State bar of California, where I am now in active law practice, to commence proceedings against me or the Bar England and Wales where I am still on the Rolls? Perhaps they are not so sure they will receive the same verdict as in their Singaporean Kangaroo courts.

And as for their claim that I was "absent and unrepresented" at the hearing in Singapore, did they really believe that I would travel to Singapore from California again after what they have done to me! It is like asking a zookeeper to go into a tiger's cage voluntarily after I had just escaped after an attack! What do they think I am, insane?

And let me say I enjoyed every minute of my escapade with these dictators and their Kangaroo courts in 2008, being arrested being thrown in jail, being accosted on the streets, being held in solitary confinement, refusing to break. It was all great fun. I wouldn't have had so much fun even in the darkest corners of the African jungle. Thank you, you bunch of goons, you made my day. I will never forget the experience. And best of all, you have given me an opportunity to continue making fun of your courts and your country.

If you had been wiser, you could have just deported me and no one would have been the wiser. But thanks to the stupidity and shortsightedness of your Attorney General Walter Woon, you had me arrested where clearly it was a wrong decision. And you successfully made my case known throughout the world and the opportunity to put your Kangaroo courts in the spotlight of the world.  
Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont San Francisco California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The wasted minds of Singaporeans under a dictatorship.

updated 10/31/2017

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore is a dictatorship where dictator Lee Hsien Loong whose father was the island's dictator before him. It is a place where everything is literally controlled by the state and him. The people have no human rights. Despite Constitutional provisions free speech is prohibited, even one man peaceful demonstrations are illegal, all newspapers are controlled and owned by the state, rule of law does not exist and judges behave more like state appointed politicians rather than independent arbiters of justice. Any similarity between them and judges is just the black robes they wear and there ends any connection with the law. The police are there to carry out the orders of their superiors. Whenever they see anything suspicious they immediately get out their cell phones to their superiors. If ordered to arrest they do so immediately. And if it happens to be anyone who was known to have criticized the rulers, arrested without question.

Judges police civil servants and anyone in authority in Singapore invariably punish known political opponents, whenever they have an opportunity. No need to have done anything wrong.

If they didn't persecute known critics, their jobs are on the line. 

You have in this society a climate of fear and the need to be either left alone. So you stay as quiet as possible or better still join the state apparatus, called Peoples Association. It is like joining the Communist Party in Stalin's Russia. If you show support, you stand to gain but if you are seen to oppose, you are persecuted. This system is based on the old Chinese practice called "You kill a chicken to frighten the monkeys". The government comes down hard on critics mainly because this  discourages others, much less to punish the political opponent. This was how it is done in Communist China, it was how it is done in Russia and it is how it is done in Singapore island.

The government has done very well over 50 years of rule instilling fear across the island where today the citizenry have been effectively brainwashed into a state of hopelessness. Every Singaporean willingly accepts the life of a sheep or a tamed animal who understands that to survive, the best thing is either to openly sing praises or at least keep your mouth shut.

But it takes a large dose of hypocrisy and mental gymnastics to pretend everything is fine when you know you live at the mercy of the rulers. As a result it causes a man to lose sight of his own thought process and become someone other than himself. This is a sad wasted life, not only for yourself but also for the state. As a result of the fear their talents, imagination, ideas are all wasted because it is dangerous to be too public about what you may think. A nail sticking has to be immediately hammered. Result, an entire society all thinking alike and no one had a mind of his own.

The law course in England which many Singaporeans take, naturally includes Constitutional law, the right of citizens to be free, human rights, the right to free speech and expression, the rule of law.  They also know that when men are free, they as a society come up with new ideas, a better way to live, encourages change in society because change is good thing by itself. It is through change that a society gets better and the educated who are more capable of improving society and their law degree helps not only themselves society as a whole. 

Singapore lawyers do the routine stuff. In what they call a law practice, they represent a client in an accident case, insurance case or debt collection. But where it really matters, where men's civil rights are denied, where a man is falsely accused of defaming the Prime Minister, they are nowhere to be seen. They will not under any circumstances represent a political opponent of the Lees. They know full well that the Constitution provides for free speech and expression, yet they will not dare to claim that Lee Kuan Yew or his son are persecuting opponents.

They shut their minds on Constitutional rights of their people because their masters would punish them if they did. The question is then, why pretend that you are a lawyers if all you can do is debt collection and accident cases? Are you not bound as a lawyer to uphold the rights of your client beyond just defending him in a debt collection matter? The entire legal community in the island are sadly the same, afraid to do what their training requires of them. Nay, afraid of even being human beings. An example of this was clearly seen when Chee Soon Juan, the main opposition politician, was sued for defamation, some years ago by the Prime Minister abusing the law once again.  Despite diligent efforts, Chee was unable to find a single lawyer there to represent him. As a result Chee had to represent himself. It is as bad as that.

Unfortunately just as every other fellow Singaporean, lawyers are consumed with fear. Although they know full well, they are prohibited from openly criticizing the state for denying their human rights, they know they has no right to free speech, expression, assembly and that they could be arrested anytime. They know all this is wrong but they simply cannot pick up the courage to speak their mind.

Singapore lawyers pretend they are actually practicing law and what they see in their courts are actually judges. They dress up in fancy black lawyers garb in a shameless state of hypocrisy when they know these are not courts at all but state institutions to subjugate their subjects. In any other society lawyers would have been up in arms demanding the restoration of Constitutional rights, free speech and expression. Singapore lawyers on the other hand are like a lion in the circus. They has lost their ability to roar. They are caged animals with their dictator holding the whip. And for a lawyer of all people to be like that is indeed a disgrace, but that is what a society like Singapore does to its people.

You can see why a society such as this where people have to tailor their lives to appease  state authority have wasted lives. The purpose of an education is to be able to think and formulate ideas and principles, to promote those ideas for your own good as well as society. Education is supposed to embolden you, not make you a mouse. But when a society is prevented from doing this because it would displease their master, you have a society who are using just half their brain. It is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde existence. It is a theatrical performance. It is a pantomime.

Singapore lawyers are incapable of publicly proclaiming that their society is a rotten dictatorship which should be changed. Singapore lawyer is naturally afraid to do this because he knows the moment he is seen as a threat, his masters would claim he has just raped 20 women, or some other preposterous accusation, send him to jail and disbar him. That is what dictatorships do because they can do anything they want, punish anyone anytime. Singapore lawyers  only use half their brains to do their mundane work, while incapable of doing anything about the miserable way they live.

Can you imagine an island with everyone thinking like that. Everyone simply go about their lives, do their work for a living and behave as if nothing was wrong, because even if it was wrong, there is nothing you can do about it. And if you did you are punished.

Once the state openly proclaim you as a political opponent, from that point every single judge, every single government servant, every single private company, every single private individual is required to deny you a normal life. If you are a lawyer, you will lose every single case, if you are a citizen you would be denied every single request.

Sadly Singapore lawyers just as the ordinary layman just want to be left alone as far away from the wrath of their rulers so they can go home to their three meals a day and watch their television in peace. It is a truly a wasted life.

For a lawyer to remain in Singapore and submit to this nonsense of a profession is disgraceful. They should either stand up to the regime, or if this is not possible to leave the island for settlement elsewhere and to hold their heads up high. There is no honor in remaining and submitting to this your entire life. And worst of all pretending you are a lawyer when you are not. You are working under false pretenses.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont San Francisco California
Tel: 510 491 8525
Email: nair.gopalan@yahoo.com

Sunday, October 15, 2017

It is a pity. Too late for Singapore to ever be a real democracy

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I think it may be too late. Singapore may never be a real democracy. And its people may never enjoy the freedoms that one would naturally expect in  America or Western Europe.

First of all we have to agree that democracy is a good thing. I do. It is a system which as far as possible leave people alone to develop your full potential. The state only interferes if you harm others unlike in a dictatorship like Singapore where the state punishes you if you espouse ideas not to their liking. Democracies believe that the engine for change and betterment is the people while in dictatorships like Singapore it is the dictator who decides how you live.

For a country to be a real democracy, its government must accept that democracy is a good thing and consequently the State should create the necessary institutions to enable it. Take USA as an example. USA from its inception embraced democracy as the best form of government, created a constitution to enable it, and actively ensured that its provisions are obeyed, through the deliberate setting up of civil society, the rule of law, a free press and fundamental human rights. This is the case too in Western Europe, Canada Australia and New Zealand.

In Singapore on the other hand, since its inception more than 50 years ago, the government has deliberately and progressively sustained its policy of denying a free society. The rule of law is maligned with corrupt judges beholden to the government and used as tool to silence dissent, the papers are state controlled and have become an instrument of state propaganda, all freedoms are denied and anyone criticizing openly is liable to arrest and imprisonment. Although Singapore derived its political system from England, it deliberately suppressed any part of it that relates to democracy.

Under such circumstances unless the people are themselves aware of the need for democracy and are willing to stand up to this dictatorial government, there is no way that the system will ever change, mainly because people in a place such as Singapore, over years of behavior training by the government, are not even aware of what democracy means. And if they don't know what democracy is, how does anyone expect the people to fight for it or the society to become democratic?

Those who did not wish to live in a society like this Singaporean dictatorship have mostly left the island for settlement in the West. I too did not want to be a "digit" under Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore, as he once called the ordinary Singaporean. So I left. As a result over the years, the island has been depleted of people who know what it is to live in freedom. The education system in the island makes sure that students are never taught anything of Constitutional law or democracy. As a result they go through an entire school life not knowing anything about democracy, a topic which is almost taboo. In order to replenish those who have left the island seeking freedom, Singapore government continues to bring in large numbers of immigrants and offer them instant citizenship. Their main source for the immigration as expected is Communist China since the government knows that these Chinese from Communist China don't have a clue as to what freedom is, and would be quite content to live without any rights in Singapore, as they did in Communist China.

Unfortunately this does not prevent many immigrants from other countries such as Australians or some Europeans of coming to Singapore to work which they do just for a living. By and large these immigrants who don't really consider Singapore home would be willing to work anywhere regardless of the political system, since all they want is a job temporarily. As soon as they manage to get a job back home, they leave, as do the thousands of workers who work in Dubai.

Therefore as time progresses , with more and more people with any idea of democracy leaving and those left behind are totally unaware of freedom while supplemented with hoards of Chinese nationals quite happy to live under any dictator, I think it a little too late for the island to ever be free.

My observation of the ordinary man is that he does not necessarily have any desire for such imaginary concepts as freedom. Most people usually just want a job and be able to live a comfortable life and be left alone. This is why until and unless the state appreciates that democracy is a good thing and actively works to towards creating a free society, there is no real hope that people would ever know what it is to be free. For instance you cannot expect Syria, Egypt the  Congo and all the hundreds of countries around the world to have true freedom if the basics for it, unless created and championed by their rulers, do not exist.

One will clearly see why an American thinks very differently from a man from Singapore. Its because  he is taught and is aware that he has a right to the rule of law, freedom of speech expression and assembly. Which is why an American would be outraged and aghast if you told him that judges would use their office to eliminate opponents of the ruling party like they do in Singapore; or if they were told that they have no right to freedom of expression as is the case in Singapore. On the other hand in Singapore the government routinely uses their judges to abuse their judicial office to eliminate political opponents but yet most Singaporeans have no complaints whatsoever to this abuse going on. Neither does the average Singaporean complain about the fact that he has no rights at all.

In the end, it is the state itself that has to take the effort to promote democracy. If they don't, like what we have in Singapore, it will never be free and its people can never live free and independent lives. They will always be at the mercy of the Lee family and their dictatorship. You are creating in Singapore a robotic society whose only goal in life to be able to work and go about their own business with the blessing of the all embracing ever watchful Big Brother.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont San Francisco California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525
Email: nair.gopalan@yahoo.com