Spore’s Nepotism & Legitimised Corruption Defined in Dictionary

Mellanie Hewlitt
Singapore Review
31 May 2005

The next time you have difficulty explaining what “Nepotism” or “FamilyDictatorship” is to someone, try mentioning some familiar names in Singapore’s million dollar ministerial cabinet as examples.

Singapore is now so internationally renowned for its special brand of legitimised corruption and nepotism that the dictionary definition of the term “Nepotism” and “Family Dictatorship” includes mention of Singapore’s First Familee in the explanation. (See also under Successful Transition of Power where Singapore is included with many modern day dictators and despots).

In many On-line dictionaries and encyclopedias, Nepotism and Corruption are now synonymously linked with Singapore’s Ruling Elite and first Familee. The folowing extracts are from Wikipedia, the free on-line encyclopedia.

“Nepotism is a common accusation in politics when the relative of a powerful figure ascends to similar power seemingly without appropriate qualifications. For example, in America, politically powerful families such as the Kennedy family and Bush family in American politics are sometimes accused of nepotism by critics. Recently, U.S. Senator Frank Murkowski, when elected Governor of Alaska, appointed his daughter Representative Lisa Murkowski to fill the remaining two years of his seat and was accused of nepotism. (Murkowski won reelection on her own in 2004.) Families elsewhere have also dominated politics of their homeland, such as Tun Abdul Razak, second Prime Minister of Malaysia and his son, Najib Tun Razak, current Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, or Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew (first Prime Minister of Singapore) and his son, Lee Hsien Loong, who recently succeeded Goh Chok Tong as Prime Minister of Singapore.”

Family dictatorship
“A family dictatorship is a form of dictatorship that operates much like an absolute monarchy, yet occurs in a nominally republican state and is not part of its laws. When the dictator of a family dictatorship dies, one of his relatives (usually his son) becomes the new ruler of the country. This transition often occurs after years of “grooming” the dictator’s successor as heir apparent.”

“Successful transitions of power
Nicaragua: Anastasio Somoza García (1937-1947, 1950-1956) succeeded by his son Luis Somoza Debayle (1956-1963). There was also a third Somoza president, Anastasio Somoza Debayle (1967-1972, 1974-1979), though he did not directly succeed the other two.
Haiti: François Duvalier (1957-1971) succeeded by his son Jean-Claude Duvalier (1971-1986)
Republic of China (from 1949 on Taiwan): Chiang Kai-shek (1928-1975)indirectly succeeded by his son Chiang Ching-kuo (1975-1988)
North Korea: Kim Il Sung (1948-1994) succeeded by his son Kim Jong Il (1994- )
Syria: Hafez al-Assad (1971-2000) succeeded by his son Bashar al-Assad (2000- )
Congo-Kinshasa: Laurent Kabila (1997-2001), succeeded by his son Joseph Kabila (2001)
Azerbaijan: Heydar Aliyev (1993-2003) succeeded by his son Ilham Aliyev (2003- )
Singapore: Lee Kuan Yew (Prime Minister 1959-1990, Senior Minister 1990-2004, Minister Mentor 2004-), indirectly succeeded by his son Lee Hsien Loong (2004-)”

The strange thing is that while the entire world is aware of this glaring injustice and abuse of power, Singapore’s local government owned media are trying hard to avoid acknowledging and discussing this troublesome and embarassing interpretation.


Fraud in Singapore?

The views expressed, [plus the grammar and spelling] below are those of Jorge Alvear, not me. So please send all replies to Jorge Alvear. Email address is provided at the end of the letter. In partiular Jorge would be very grateful if someone could provide some legal advice regarding how to proceed with this matter.

Hi Steven,

Thank you for your reply. Look, my company is a an small company in Quito, Ecuador, South America. I’m the owner and we don’t have a web site because in Ecuador that is not usefull to develop business, just works when your company is really big.

However, I can send you all the information about this case. We are trying to get some results with the Singapore´s police. What do you think about it? do you believe that can I get positive results with them?

In the same way, do you think could be better if I get an advocate and if I start a legal proceedment?

I will appreciate any suggestions from you.


Jorge Alvear

Dear Sirs,

This e-mail is to make a fraud complaint from one of the companies that many web sites promote and recommend to the purchasers from Asia, Singapore exactly..

I have payed $ 32550 USD for a automatic Cd screen printing equipment model SP5-MKV to the [name removed], this are them facts:

[name removed],
BLK 1 [name removed],
06-07 [name removed],
Phone: (65)
Fax: (65)
Contact Person: [name removed],

But after receive the payment, they doesn’t answer my e-mails either my phone calls from one month ago. Then I started to ask about this company, and then I knew that the same company, represented by [name removed], en Singapore have swindled another ecuadorian company on october 2003! foraround $ 40000 USD in a purchase of a similar machine.

In order to get up the reliable image of the Asian Companies in America, please do something about this company, make you to a complaint to them.

[name removed], uses the same address on this three years, and keep makind frauds in a country with less than 700 square kms. and with just 4.5 million people.

On 2003, Mrs. Armijos de Vizcaino, consul of Ecuador in Singapore, got a personal meeting with the Director of the Police of Singapore, who knew about this situation. The answer from him was “we can do nothing, return to your country”. Apparently the owner of [name removed], belongs to a family very good related with the political goverment in Singapore, and this let her to swindle to anyone without any sanction.

I don´t know if this kind of e-mails can help in some way, but let me tell you that my country have a very deep corruption problem, you can find it every day in your life. However, is pathetic to learn every day how to face this problem and do not be so much affected; but, at the moment to make business with one of the most free corruption countries, I loose all the savings from many years of work

Of course I got all the documents to support my accusation, and the consul of my country in Singapore is informed about this situation and we are making a formal complaint from the ecuadorian goverment to the Foreign Affairs Minister of Singapore.

I hope to receive your support.

Jorge Alvear
Galavis # 106 y Valladolid
Quito – Ecuador
Fono: 593-2-2542395
Fax: 593-2-3227129
Cel: 593-9-600-5347

And the Winner Is…

Seems pretty conclusive, [after 100 votes] that Singaporean bloggers feel that Philip Yeo has put the bloody into Singabloodypore for the month of May 2005.

And before everyone starts reminding me of the limitations of the method, its just for fun not part of a social science research project. Call it ‘infantile’ if you like.

Singapore says no climate of fear in city-state


Singapore, May 27, 2005

Singapore defended its media laws on Friday and balked at the suggestion that its citizens live in a climate of fear.

Singapore’s home affairs minister Wong Kan Seng said in a newspaper interview that citizens in the city-state have spoken up at public forums without reprisals and commentaries critical of government policies have also appeared in newspapers.

“What is the consequence of saying something that is challenged? Is the consequence being locked up in jail, disappearing in the middle of the night and you don’t come back?” Wong was quoted as saying in Singapore’s Straits Times.

Detention without trial

In September, the government released two detainees held without trial under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and placed them under orders restricting freedom of movement. It also extended for a further two years the detention orders of 17 other men. In total, 36 men accused of plotting to carry out bomb attacks continued to be held without charge or trial under the ISA. The authorities said that many of the men, who were arrested in 2001, 2002 and 2004, were members or supporters of an Islamist group, Jemaah Islamiyah. The ISA violates the right to a fair and public trial and the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law. Amnesty International Report 2004

“Get real. Come on, we live in the real world in Singapore.”

In an annual report released on Wednesday, rights group Amnesty International slammed Singapore’s human rights record, saying that control on political expression in the wealthy Southeast Asian city-state remained tight despite Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s repeated calls for more openness.

The US State Department, in its 2004 report on Singapore, sharply criticised the country for using libel suits to intimidate opposition politicians, saying the threat of libel has stifled political opinion and disadvantaged opposition.

Early this month, a 23-year-old Singapore student in the United States shut down his personal Web site after a government agency threatened a libel suit for comments he made on the blog.

Wong, who will assume the post of deputy prime minister later this year, also defended a law which bans political videos, saying that the law is applied in an even-handed manner and not designed to stifle political debate.

“Political videos, by their very nature, will be political, will be biased and, therefore, will not be able to allow the listener or the viewer to see a whole range of arguments,” Wong said, adding that proposals for films about the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) were also shot down.

Under provisions introduced to the Films Act in 1998, anyone involved in the production or distribution of “party political films” – defined as films containing partisan references or commentaries on government policies – can be punished with fines of up to S$100,000 ($60,860) or a maximum jail term of 2 years.

The law came under fire this month after local filmmaker Martyn See was summoned for police questioning over a documentary he made featuring prominent opposition leader Chee Soon Juan.

Wong was also asked about whether the law applied to TV stations airing programmes about PAP ministers, following a recent series of one-hour programmes on state broadcaster Channel NewsAsia that featured government ministers.

“That is not a political video. That’s a broadcaster and a content provider doing a job. It is done in other places. The minister is explaining himself, his policies and how he wants Singapore to move ahead,” Wong said.

International free-press advocates have repeatedly criticised Singapore for its tight media control.

The government bans non-commercial private ownership of satellite dishes, and publications need permits to circulate. Films and TV shows are routinely censored for sex and violence.

The government says a high degree of control over public debate and the media is needed to maintain law and order.

“Someone once said, ‘My right to swing my arm must end where your nose begins’. That is the limit of free action; that is the boundary,” Wong said.

Singapore has been ruled by the People’s Action Party since independence in 1965. Its 84-member Parliament has only two opposition members.

The evidence is that Singapore is a city of fear.

ST censors Anthony Yeo’s defence of M.Ravi

First spotted atsammyboy’s forum. Apparently the Straits Jacket refused to print the letter, I am sure it was due to editorial constraints such as space. What other possible reason could there be?

Anthony Yeo
Clinical Director
Counselling and Care Centre

Straits Times Forum

Dear Sir,

I am surprised that the efforts of lawyer M. Ravi in getting the death sentence lifted for drug trafficker Shanmugam Murugesu have come underfire by his legal colleagues (ST, May 15).

It would appear from the reaction of the various legal colleagues that M Ravi was seeking publicity for personal gains in his attempts to be part of a concerted effort to appeal for clemency from the President.

My observations informed me otherwise.

The efforts of M. Ravi has been aimed at helping the two sons and other of Shanmugam Murugesu to garner support for a last ditch attempt at having the death sentence be reduced to life imprisonment.

This laudable involvement of M. Ravi should be applauded as he like many of us are aware that the manadtory death sentence has long been accepted as an inevitable punishment for durg trafficking.

In the process Singapore has earned the distinction of being one of the few nations in the world that has a high rate of death sentences imposed.

The recent article “Death sentence? Let judges decide” (ST, May 9)containing views by two legal authorities, K.S. Rajah and Associate Professor Michael Hor had highlighted the need to review our practice of imposing the death sentence.

What I believe M. Ravi had done is simply to be part of a this voice from concerned people appealing that the government review the practice of mandatory death sentence.

In this instance, the appeal for clemency for Shanmugam Murugesu provides a platform for giving weight to this voice.

It has also been said that getting the sons and mother involved in the process could be damaging to them as M. Ravi would be giving them false hopes as claimed by the various lawyers.

This is a rather unfair criticism as M. Ravi did not act alone although he had invested much time for this cause at his personal expense.

As a mental health professional it is my belief that no one should be denied the opportunity to have hope of any kind. By involving the sons in the appeals they were given the opportunity to do whatever they could to fight for their father’s life.

This can only help with their grief as the death sentence of their father can only become a life sentence for them as they will have to live with the stigma of being sons of a condemned man for the rest of their lives.

At least now the sons can release their father without any need to suffer the guilt of having done nothing for him in a situation they have absolutely no control over.

It must also be acknowledged that a death sentence may put away one life that is supposedly a danger to sociiety, but has disturbing long term consequences for next-of-kin as well.

In light of what has happened including the discussion calling for a review of the death penalty, I would join in appealing that we stop further sentencing and execution where death penalty is mandatory and consider the views expressed.

There is no need to impute motives, political or otherwise to those who are calling for a review of the death penalty, even if the recent forum on death penalty had opposition party members involved.

As a member of the forum speaker to offer a mental health perspective to the issue, I was reasonably surprised at the capacity crowd that turned up at the forum, including folks involved in civil society movement.

It would seem that they were concerned enough to be present to render support to the sons and mother of Shanmugam Murugesu.

I was hopeful that the forum could be the beginning of more public discussion on this matter and urge the legal profession to take initiative in bringing about change to mandatory death sentence instead of being critical of the efforts of their colleague M Ravi.

Anthony Yeo
Clinical Director
Counselling and Care Centre

Related Article:
Character Assassination of Mr.M.Ravi

Amnesty Human Rights Report 2005: Singapore

Amnesty International
Republic of Singapore
Head of state: S.R. Nathan
Head of government: Lee Hsien Loong (replaced Goh Chok Tong in August)
Death penalty: retentionist
International Criminal Court: not signed
UN Women’s Convention: ratified with reservations
Optional Protocol to UN Women’s Convention: not signed

Covering events from January – December 2004

Six people were executed between January and September, according to government figures. Freedom of expression continued to be curbed by restrictive legislation and the threat of civil defamation suits against political opponents. Seventeen men held without charge or trial under the Internal Security Act since 2002 had their detention extended for a further two years. Jehovah’s Witnesses continued to be imprisoned for their conscientious objection to military service.


In August there were indications of a possible relaxation of tight political and social controls as new Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called for an “open” and “inclusive” society. However, a broad array of restrictive laws remained in place, curtailing the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.

Death penalty

In October, the government reported that six people had been executed since January and that 19 people had been executed in 2003. Despite an apparent decrease in the number of executions, Singapore continued to have the highest rate of execution per capita in the world. The death penalty remained mandatory for drug trafficking, murder, treason and certain firearms offences.

Curbs on freedom of expression and assembly

Although some restrictions on indoor political meetings were lifted, strict government controls on civil society organizations and the press continued to curb freedom of expression and were an obstacle to the independent monitoring of human rights.

The threat of potentially ruinous civil defamation suits against opponents of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) continued to inhibit political life and engendered a climate of self-censorship.

In September, a court awarded damages of 500,000 Singapore dollars (about US$305,000) against Chee Soon Juan, leader of the opposition Singapore Democratic Party, in a defamation suit originally lodged in 2001 by two leaders of the PAP. If Chee Soon Juan were unable to pay the sum he would be declared bankrupt, thus depriving him of his right to stand for election.

In April, the former leader of the opposition Workers’ Party, J.B. Jeyaretnam, who was declared bankrupt and expelled from parliament in 2001 following a series of defamation suits, applied unsuccessfully for discharge from bankruptcy. In November the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal.

Detention without trial

In September, the government released two detainees held without trial under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and placed them under orders restricting freedom of movement. It also extended for a further two years the detention orders of 17 other men. In total, 36 men accused of plotting to carry out bomb attacks continued to be held without charge or trial under the ISA. The authorities said that many of the men, who were arrested in 2001, 2002 and 2004, were members or supporters of an Islamist group, Jemaah Islamiyah. The ISA violates the right to a fair and public trial and the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law.

Conscientious objectors

At least four conscientious objectors to military service were imprisoned in 2004, and 20 others continued to serve prison sentences. All were members of the banned Jehovah’s Witnesses religious group. There is no alternative civilian service in practice for conscientious objectors to military service in Singapore.

Making a Bad Situation Worse

From Sg Review

One of the reasons for escalating health care costs in Singapore is a severe myopia on the part of singapore’s million dollar policy planners (and million dollar ministers) who have not been able to address a severe shortage of doctors that has progressively accumulated over the decades.

All the tell tale signs were there form decades. Are Singaporeans paying million dollar ministerial salaries but getting peanut performance?

Peering deeper, it appears that it was the very policies of this bunch of myopic status oriented elitist misfits which attributed to the current shortage in doctors.

“For decades it was common knowledge that there was a severe shortage in supply of doctors in Singapore. This had contributed to escalating health care costs to the extent that the paternalistic government found it necessary to increase medi-save contributions in CPF accounts. One would have expected the Medical Faculty to increase student intake and also increase employment of foreign doctors to alleviate the dismal situation. But they had steadfastly refused to do either, allowing the situation to go from bad to worse. What compounded the situation was the archaic admissions criteria in the medical faculty which placed a strict quota on female graduates who would otherwise be admissible.

The rationale behind this policy can best be described as medieval, resting perhaps on the argument that female doctors will ultimately marry and abandon their medical professions in pursuit of domestic life. This archaic medieval policy was only lifted last year, after being in effect for decades.”

To make matters worst, the government here practises a brand of academic elitism that is unique only to Singapore;

“Does the current system work, or is it making an already bad unemployment situation, even worse? Only in Singapore do we have a government that is so engrossed with the accumulation of paper qualifications, that they have long since forgotten the original objective behind the education system, and have instead identified the means as an end to itself. In their blind pursuit of their version of a utopian society, educational elitetism takes center stage above all else, eclipsing the actual needs of the labour market itself.”

It is no surprise that Mr Philip Yeo (the man who once stated publicly “Got a Basic Degree? Wash Test-tubes”) is one of the major proponents of this brand of flawed logic, which is also endorsed by singapore’s million dollar ministerial cabinet.