[Singapore Dissident] Singapore's false sense of calm extracted through threats intimidation and repression
- Ladies and Gentlemen,
Singapore's state controlled newspaper Straits Times of Aug 23, 2013 has the story "PM Lee describes being ubnashamed and thick skinned as elements key to online resilience".
He says "one must not be ashamed of doing what is right and one must be thinck skilled". Please see http://www.straitstimes.com/archive/friday/breaking-news/singapore/story/pm-lee-describes-being-unashamed-and-thick-skinned-elements-key-online
Very wise words indeed, but Lee Kuan Yew's son is once again not telling the whole truth, is he?
For one thing, the newspaper here, like all others in his island, are all state controlled. Which means of course he can order them to come running to him anytime he wants and write anything he wants. This report is not so much a news report but rather more like a notice put out in a company news bulletin board intended to inform it's workers.
Second, he conveniently fails to mention that criticism of him, within his island is not only muted, it is entirely anonymous. No one in his right mind in Singapore would dare to openly criticize him, his father, his government or anyone associated with him simply because any such criticism is illegal and the perpetrator liable to arrest.
The only reason I, Gopalan Nair, can do this is because I am writing from California, and obviously he is not so confident in winning a lawsuit against me here.
Throughout it's history, anyone who criticizes him is immediately either sued for defamation, brought before his Kangaroo courts whose job is to carry out his orders, who would then find the citizen promptly liable and ordered to pay several millions dollars, or in other words, he would be bankrupted. If this method of punishment is not appropriate for him, Lee would instead have him arrested, charged and convicted of sedition or some other law and imprisoned.
In Singapore where despite great danger of open criticism in the island, Lee's son still concedes in this report that there is indeed a sizeable number of people who are critical of him, albeit anonymously.
Since despite the terrible dangers one still finds so many of it's citizens still willing to brave the dangers and criticize him, can you imagine how many more Singaporeans would openly come out with their open opposition and anger if they could do so without danger to themselves?
Lee Kuan Yew's son is fooling himself if he thinks his island is peaceful and calm. If there is peace and calm, it's peace and calm not because it's citizens are happy but because they are not allowed to openly protest their grievances. Singapore uses defamation laws, contempt of court laws, sedition laws and a litany of other laws to prevent any open criticism against their rule.
It has laws to criminalize any form of demonstrations or even peaceful protest. In fact even a one man protest is illegal and the peaceful protestor is liable to arrested and thrown in jail.
As the old adage goes, just because the water is calm, does not mean there are no crocodiles.
Singaporeans have a great deal to be unhappy about. About their lack of freedoms. About their lack of a free press. About their inability to criticize. About their unattainable housing needs which has become simply unaffordable. About racial discrimination. No possibility of car ownership. Jobs going to foreigners. The island being flooded by foreigners.
You have a groundswell of dissatisfaction only waiting for the right moment to explode, and that moment is soon to come.
Singaporeans will not be content to live under Lee's son when Lee Kuan Yew who will soon die. Singapore is not Syria where Bashar al Assad takes over when his father Hafiz al Assad dies. Syria never had a British constitutional parliamentary tradition unlike Singapore island.
Singapore is not a Chinese dynasty where the job of emperor goes to the son when the father dies.
Lee Kuan Yew's son should realize very clearly that his government is simply illegitimate. He came to power, not by free and fair elections but through his father rigging the elections and disqualifying or destroying any political opponent to facilitate his son's election and subsequent appointment as Prime Minister. He lacks not only moral but also legal authority to rule.
If Singaporeans are simply going to accept his government upon his father's death, this would mean their accepting an illegitimate government to carry on passing over control from one dictator to another. I don't think Singaporeans are going to allow this.
I think not only Lee Kuan Yew's son the prime Minister but the entire island should brace themselves for some very unsettling times the moment Lee senior dies, which is going to be very soon. If Lee's son feels complacent and confident now, he should realize he is on thin ice. Island wide dissatisfaction against his government and policies is only waiting for the right time to explode into more open and sustained protests and demonstrations. You are going to see thousands who have been denied jobs by the recently arrived foreign workers taking to the streets. And many others with their grievances are going to join in.
If Singapore is calm today, it is a false calm extracted through threats, intimidation and repression. Once Lee Kuan Yew dies, Singaporeans would no longer be constrained to take this repression lying down. Then you are going to see the real fireworks. And with the fireworks this small tiny island with a miniscule population reliant on foreign investment may entirely unravel. This is a scenario very likely to happen.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 491 4375
Posted By Blogger to Singapore Dissident at 8/24/2013 12:36:00 AM