Gopalan Nair, 58 a California based US citizen of Singaporean descent was arrested by Singaporean authorities for allegedly accusing a judge of "prostituing herself" as reported by Agence France-Presse published in the Inquirer. His lawyer Chia Ti Lik told AFP that blogger Gopalan Nair was arrested in the city-state last Saturday and was charged with "insulting a public servant," geeez I wonder if that is exactly what their law says. But then again it is a dictatorship so it comes as no surprise when blogger Gopalan Nair was arrested for daring even taunting the Singaporean authorities what they intend to do with his numerous posting at Singaporean Dissident . A blog which he set up as the name implies, a pain in the neck for the Singaporean leaders. As he says his blog is gaining interest and reposted in other blogs within the island and although I am not in any way near that place it piqued my interest too. So who is this man who dared to defy a "benevolent dictator," here is what his blog says:
Determined to find the Truth. Born in Singapore, educated Winstedt School 2 (next to Monks Hill in Newton, Singapore) Raffles Institution, National Service, some travel in Europe, then law studies England, return to Singapore, practiced for 10 years, active Workers Party member, stood elections 1988 and 1991 in Singapore, was harassed and persecuted by Lee Kuan Yew for my political beliefs, left for USA, obtained asylum and admitted California State Bar, practice law ever since in Fremont California near San Francisco.According to the news report Gopalan Nair is charged with "insulting" Justice Belinda Ang Saw Ean by sending an email saying "she 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". Nair's lawyer said that the comment was essentially a repetition of what Nair posted in his blog, to quote the latest post dated 5/31/08:
Relinquished Singapore citizenship 2005 because I was not prepared to permit Lee Kuan Yew to unjustly retain my CPF funds if I remained Singapore Citizen. On principle, the only correct thing for me to do was to give it up, for my CPF funds. I am an American Citizen as of 2005.
In my last blog post, I had narrated the shameful spectacle of Lee Kuan Yew and his Prime Minister son abusing the legal system for their political ends through their lawyer Davinder Singh and a compliant judge, both compliant and suppliant to Lee Kuan Yew's demands to abuse the law, Belinda Ang, to punish his political opponents Dr. Chee Soon Juan and Chee Siok Chin.In total defiance taunted Singaporean leader ending his post with this:
I repeat the threat that Lee Kuan Yew had made on day two of the show trial during the last 3 days in the High Court. When asked by Dr. Chee whether he will sue those who write on the Internet defamations against him, I mean defamations in the Singaporean sense, his definitive unequivocal answer was that he will sue them. There is no doubt in the Singaporean sense, I have defamed him and his Prime Minister son, not only in my last blog post but in almost all my blog posts since my blog's inception in December 2006.
My posts have attracted great popular interest throughout Singapore and has been repeatedly and widely re-posted throughout the island in other blogs and political forums. A wide section and spectrum of Singaporeans have read them and interest in them increases daily. And as Lee Kuan Yew has himself said with both bravado and gusto, a lie has to be nailed because otherwise through dissemination people who matter, Singapore citizens, will begin to take it seriously.
Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, you have called Dr. Chee a liar, a cheat, a scoundrel, a criminal and various other abusive epithets. Let me tell Mr. Lee Kuan Yew that these words that you have uttered apply to you and your son, not to Dr. Chee Soon Juan.
Not only in my mind but in the minds of countless Singaporeans, Lee Kuan Yew and his Prime Minister son are men so weak that the only way they can stay in power is through fear and intimidation of their citizens through the abuse of legal process and other shameful means.
Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, look here. I am now within your jurisdiction and that of your corrupt police and your corrupt judiciary who will do anything you want of them, however criminal and illegal.Nair was charged in court for “insulting a public servant,” a “crime” that carries a maximum fine of S$5,000 (3,660 US) or one year in prison. If that sticks which is more likely if we stay silent and not call the attention of international bloggers and human rights group to protect one of our own. Then evil will prevail once more and a bad precedent for harassing bloggers expressing their opinions. I say free Gopalan Nair! Drop the ridiculous charge of insulting a public servant, geez really is that even a crime?
What are you going to do about it?
May 31, 2008