Ladies and Gentlemen,
Enough is enough. For 50 years Lee Kuan Yew, the present Prime Minister's father had been bullying his Singaporean islanders by conveniently claiming it is necessary for nation building. And with that excuse which lasted no less than 50 years, he systematically turned the island into a mini version of Nazi Germany, denying freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of peaceful protest, imposing state control over the entire island's media and newspapers and turning it's judiciary into Kangaroos.
And while the convenient excuse of nation building was going on, he managed to be so corrupt as to his immense wealth look as if Bill Gates was just a pauper. He and his family was so corrupt, they had amassed more money than Saddam Hussein, Qaddafi and Mobutu of the diamond rich Congo all put together. Believe it or not, his salary was nothing short of $3.7 million a year and this is not counting even more millions he steals secretly. Not just him but his entire family including his sons, his daughter and all his relatives, both close and extended partake in the ongoing theft.
Realizing naturally that anyone with a head on his shoulders would probably complain at such blatant criminal corruption, he conveniently makes laws that make it completely illegal to criticize him or any of his family members and anyone who does is brought before his Kangaroo judges and instantly put away.
Since he was looking very silly and going on record as the dictator who ruled over his island nation even longer than Fidel Castro, so as not to embarrass himself in the world any further, he conveniently stepped down in 1990 and put a figurehead errand boy of his called Goh Chock Tong to pretend as Prime Minister till 2004 after which he appointed his son Lee Hsien Loong, whom he wanted to appoint to the post all along anyway, in 2004.
But even though he technically stepped down entirely for show, his minion Goh and his son were running around doing exactly what he did, which is, bullying anyone who disagrees. The most recent candidates for punishment are Roy Ngerng who criticized Lee's son for mismanagement of the state retirement funds. He is being sued for defamation, Lee's preferred tool for punishment. Amos Yee is the latest victim. He is 17 years old teenager. He made a video recently and posted it on line in which he called Lee Kuan Yew a horrible person and the target of many expletives which need not be mentioned. You see the video here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TZPdM3xn24
Lee Kuan Yew's son is deluding himself if he things he could continue behaving like a thug, the way his father did, going around beating up anyone who criticized. Singaporeans today are not the same as they were 50 years ago. Anyone who is educated today and has the bare minimum of common sense even for a Singaporean can realize that you simply cannot go around jailing and suing people just because they said something you did not like. It just doesn't make sense. And if it does not make sense to me, it does not make sense to most normal human beings.
And Lee Kuan Yew's law that says you cannot peacefully protest anywhere in the island except at a small secluded corner of downtown Singapore called Hong Lim Park, a patch of grass no more than 100 feet square, does not make sense to anyone, not even to a Singaporean. It does not make sense to an Australian, Englishman or even to an Hottentot in the Kalahari, South West Africa. So why should someone obey such a ridiculous law anywhere in the world, including Singapore.
You can put thieves, robbers, rapists and fraudsters in jail. Completely understandable. But you cannot put a man in jail who just peacefully holds a placard in downtown Singapore with the words "Down with the idiot son Lee Hsien Loong". And if he jails you for this, it is he who is looking bad, not you.
If you feel Lee Kuan Yew's son is simply a clueless person placed there by his father, like I do, you should protest now. He is so weakened now as is seen by the demonstrably overwhelming opposition to his rule in the Internet, it is quite clear he will not be able to arrest anyone for these clearly nonsensical laws and get away with it. After all how many is he going to arrest and jail, 20, 30 40, 50 all for peacefully protesting? If he was silly enough to actually arrest anyone for peaceful protest, the opposition against him would only become greater.
The days of Lee Kuan Yew's son bullying anyone are simply over. The sooner he realizes it the better.
Singaporeans should now come out and protest these unjust repressions such as suing Roy Ngerng or arresting Amos Yee. You should do the following:
1. Make T Shirts with slogans "Release Amos Yee" and "Stop suing Roy Ngerng" and other similar anti-Lee T shirts.
2. Organize peaceful protests either alone or in groups, not just in Speakers Corner but throughout the island demanding the release of 17 year old Amos Yee. I expect the government to deploy their thugs as agent provocateurs to provoke you into violence but remain calm and not fall for that trick. As there are more and more peaceful protests in the island, the dictatorship will be forced to release Amos Yee and stop persecuting Roy Ngerng.
3. Protesters should continue to demand democracy and the end of the dictatorship.
Remember, the Lee Kuan Yew dictatorship run by his son, simply will not give you democracy because you asked for it. Democracy in Singapore means this dictatorship can no longer continue to be corrupted as they are and take $3.7 million a year each, and they are never going to allow that. The only way you can achieve democracy is to force them to submit and the only way to do that is through street protests and civil disobedience.
If you want to see a freer and more democratic Singapore and not the dictatorship that has been going on for the last 50 years, you have to do something and do it now. And that something is street protests. Doing nothing and waiting for the next general elections would simply mean seeing the same old ways for another 50 years. Elections will not give you democracy, street protests will.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525
"Nobody doubts that if you take me on, I will put on knuckle-dusters and catch you in a cul-de-sac," he said. "If you think you can hurt me more than I can hurt you, try."
Admitting in his somewhat quaint Cambridge English that he was a ruthless political street-fighter, Lee went on to say something even more revealing: "There is no other way to govern a Chinese society."
To prove the point, Lee was admired nowhere more than in Beijing, where the Communist Party shared his conviction that Chinese society is somehow so uniquely pesky as to require an iron fist.
Throughout his dominance of Singapore for almost 50 years, China's leaders were mesmerized by Lee's ability not only to run an efficient authoritarian one-party state, but his finesse in making that respectable in Western capitals with a confection of Confucian ideas and what he called "Asian values."
As Deng Xiaoping was launching the dramatic economic changes that rescued China from the catastrophic misrule of Mao Zedong, he was impressed by what was being called the "Singapore model" during a visit to the city-state in 1978.
Later, in 1992, jump-starting the frenetic Chinese development that continues to this day, Deng reassured hardline colleagues who feared losing control by pointing again to Singapore.
"The social order in Singapore is quite good," he said, "They run things strictly, and we should borrow from their experiences, and run things even better than they do."
No gum chewing
Of course the tens of thousands of Chinese officials who have been sent to study Singapore in the past 20 or so years are aware that the place is smaller than a city district in Beijing, and that many of the things that make it work cannot conceivably be replicated in the vastness of the Chinese mainland.
Still, it is the idea of Singapore, more than the reality, that resonates.
Although Lee was a devout anti-communist, the structures of his People's Action Party and the Communist Party of China are almost identical because both were based on Lenin's Vanguard Party as vehicles to gain power, stay in power and decide everything.
They share the autocratic instinct to order the minutest details of peoples' lives.
Chewing-gum is famously banned in Singapore, and there are fines for not flushing a public toilet.
Move over to China and this month alone there have been edicts from Beijing ordering that the characters in video role-playing games must obey the country's single-child policy; and that the public dancing that is a favorite form of exercise for elderly Chinese "will no longer vary from community to community but will instead become a nationally unified, scientifically arranged all-new activity that brings positive energy to the people."
The party even extended its grip to the afterlife. When the Dalai Lama mused that he might not reincarnate after his death, Beijing ruled that would be illegal, ordering him to reincarnate, or else.
In Singapore, Lee locked up opponents without trial, and used the courts to bankrupt critics and defamation suits to bully the international press into silence.
In 1994, the New York Times issued a groveling apology to avoid colossal damages after suggesting that the Lee family was one of Asia's political dynasties.
Lee had insisted that his son became prime minister, which he is still, and his daughter-in-law head of Singapore's sovereign wealth fund not through nepotism, but because they just happened to be the best candidates.
Publications that do not have local offices to sue have been braver, describing Singapore as "Disneyland with the death penalty" and "Pyongyang with broadband."
But for all his authoritarian ways, Lee was not murderous, was not an egomaniac and he does not make it to the major leagues of dictatorship where cruelty and kleptomania abounds.
Gift of prosperity
Lee's extraordinary economic legacy is not in doubt. As Prime Minister Steven Harper put it: "His memory will live on in the stability and prosperity of the peaceful and dynamic Southeast Asian nation to which he contributed so much of his life."
Canadian politicians can only dream of being as popular as Lee was in Singapore.
Of course they might be if Canadians' incomes had increased by almost 10,000 per cent in 50 years. The average income in Singapore, $500 a year in 1965, is more than $50,000 today.
In my view, Lee would have been re-elected time after time, had he not indulged his arrogant and vindictive streak.
In fact, the truly negative side of his legacy is his contempt for his fellow Chinese.
Lee's assertion that "there is no other way to govern a Chinese society" is simply another way of saying that Chinese people do not deserve the same human rights as others, that they are unworthy of democracy.
Such ideas may be popular in Beijing, but they are hardly visionary or statesmanlike.