Thursday, December 15, 2005

LEE'S LAW - how Singapore crushes dissent

This book by Chris Lydgate is introduced by Geoffrey Robertson, international law expert and human rights advocate.

"Lee’s Law is a case study of the perils of dissent in Singapore, as it traces what befell the country’s most prominent opposition politician, JB Jeyaretnam. The book follows Jeyaretnam’s stellar career as an ambitious young lawyer, prosecutor, and judge, and shows how he became disenchanted with the system that promoted him. It recounts his stunning political breakthrough at Anson in 1981, and chronicles the devastating consequences of his questioning — let alone, opposing — Lee Kuan Yew and his government.

"From the haughty smoked-glass office towers of its financial district to the spotless order of its crowded streets, the city-state of Singapore represents an unprecedented feat of physical, social, and political engineering, orchestrated over five decades by Lee Kuan Yew and the ruling People’s Action Party. But Singapore’s prosperity has been purchased at a steep price: the erosion of human rights, the rise of the ‘nanny state,’ and the creation of a political system in which individual freedoms are subordinated to the greater good — as defined by the government."

"For almost half a century Jeyeretnam stood for universal values of decency, fairness, and transparency against the so-called ‘Asian values’ of hierarchical order, submissiveness, and censorship imposed by Lee Kuan Yew and the PAP machine.”'
—Geoffrey Robertson

I encourage Singaporeans to read this book (although doubtless it will not be on sale locally) and to learn something about the regime they live under.

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