Today is One Year since I was Sued for Defamation by the Singapore Prime Minister

Roy Ngerng One Year Defamation

Today is one year since I was sued for defamation by the Singapore prime minister.

Since then, the government admitted for the first time that it has been taking Singaporeans’ CPF retirement funds to invest in the GIC. Previously, the government has kept denying this.

Also, more and more has been revealed. The government claims that Temasek does not invest our CPF but it has been found that the government had taken our CPF to fund the construction of infrastructure then gave them to Temasek to manage.

After I trawled through the government websites to dig up these evidence, I was told to take down two articles I wrote about these and the government then changed and deleted the information on these websites.

We now know that the prime minister, deputy prime ministers and several ministers and ex-ministers also sit on the board of the GIC but the GIC still claim that the government does not interfere in it and the government still claims likewise. But how can that be possible when they are run by the same people?

In the past, many Singaporeans would cry out about the CPF. Indeed, Singaporeans have one of the least adequate retirement funds in the world and we also have the lowest returns on our retirement funds in the world.

However, the GIC and Temasek Holdings which take our CPF to earn are the among the top 11 richest sovereign wealth funds in the world. We still do not know how much their management pay themselves using our CPF monies, because there are no full reports from the GIC and Temasek Holdings.

We continue to demand that the PAP government be transparent and accountable to Singaporeans but the PAP has simply ignored Singaporeans. Once, Lee Hsien Loong also told The Telegraph newspaper that the funds are accountable to the government. But who is the government accountable to? He said that he does not believe that transparency is everything.

But if transparency is not everything, then what is? Today, many elderly Singaporeans cannot retire because they simply cannot earn enough to do so. Not only that, several academics and even government officials have also estimated that 30% of Singaporeans are living in poverty today, which means that a third of Singaporeans cannot even earn enough to pay for basic necessities.

Last year, Khaw Boon Wan finally admitted that the government controls the construction of the HDB flats. He also admitted that the PAP fixes the prices of the flats.

Today, we know that of the money that Singaporeans pay into the CPF, as much as three quarters are spent having to pay for the flat mortgages. The PAP claims that the flats are affordable. Why then are Singaporeans paying for the most expensive public housing in the world? The PAP Old Guards wanted to build truly cheap flats so that Singaporeans can have a home. But the current PAP has instead turned the flats into money making machines for themselves.

Yet, the PAP would dare claim that it is losing billions by building the HDB flats. But we have found out instead that the government has not declared $20 to $30 billion in surplus every year to Singaporeans, because of the money it earns from the land. And then, the PAP makes Singaporeans pay 60% of the flat prices into land, even though we will not get to own the land and even though the PAP has bought the land very cheaply from Singaporeans in the 1960s and 1970s. This is a lot of money that the PAP is earning from us.

Indeed, the tens of billions in surplus that the PAP earns from Singaporeans every year would enable Singaporeans to have free healthcare and education, all the way from childcare to university, and still have a lot to save. However, the PAP refuses to do so. Instead, it does not even declare this surplus that it has earned from Singaporeans.

Today, Singaporeans are made to pay for one of the most expensive university tuition fees in the world, if not the most expensive. We are also made to pay possibly the most expensive childcare fees in the world. Yet, the PAP would not take care of our own children, but would spend $400 million every year to give out free scholarships to foreign students. And then, Singaporeans are made to pay $400 million to study in our own universities. The money that the PAP gives to foreigners will be able to educate our children. But the PAP does not want to take care of Singaporeans.

Not only that, the PAP also spends the lowest on healthcare among the developed countries, so much so that Singaporeans also have to pay the most out of our own pocket to pay for healthcare, in the world. What’s the point of having nice-looking hospitals when many Singaporeans simply cannot afford to go there and have to sell their homes to pay for their medical bills or even choose to die?

But even so, the PAP and their cronies keep telling Singaporeans to live within our means. For goodness sake, Singaporeans are already trying their darnest to live within our means. But how else does the PAP expect Singaporeans to do so, when the PAP would not even let Singaporeans earn enough to even live?

Today, Singaporeans earn one of the lowest wages among the highest-income countries. The poorest in Singapore also earn the lowest among these countries. However, the PAP would pay themselves the highest salaries in the world. It wants to earn high salaries, so it asks Singaporeans to foot the bill. And to do so, it claims that this is to prevent corruption and to have capable leaders.

But what a fluke. Today, Singaporeans are seeing the worst leaders we have ever seen since independence. The trains have been breaking down for many years now and the walls in new HDB flats crack as soon as they are built. The PAP’s only solution to grow the economy is to depress wages and import cheap substitution labour, and allow Singaporeans to languish, as we are forced to accept depressed wages and where many of our degree holders are forced to lose their jobs and have to compete with people who have degrees from degree mills. And even then, the PAP would still defend these degrees and say it is willing to overlook them.

This is the PAP. This is the capability that they want us to pay for them. And yet, they want us to keep letting them to run the country. Sure, that is if we want to continue to let them run the country to the ground.

It is clear to most Singaporeans by now that all the PAP care about is money and profits for themselves. The Economist has also ranked Singapore as 5th on the crony capitalism index, which means that Singapore is the 5th easiest place in the world for the rich to get rich, if they are affiliated to the government. Indeed, the rich in Singapore has gotten richer – the share of income that goes to the richest 10% in Singapore has grown from 30% in 1995 to 42% in 2011. The richest 10% most probably owns half of the income in Singapore today.

However, the rich-poor gap has only kept growing bigger and bigger. Today, Singapore has the highest income inequality among the developed countries and Singapore also has the highest poverty rate among the developed countries.

And this has resulted in many social problems. Because Singapore has the highest income inequality among the developed countries, this has resulted in Singapore having the highest rate of prisoners, after the United States. We also have the lowest level of trust, after Portugal. Singapore also has one of the lowest social mobilities among the developed countries.

The PAP keeps wanting to psycho Singaporeans to make believe to us that it is taking care of Singaporeans. But it has been revealed that the PAP spends the least among the developed countries on social protection, and on healthcare and education, for Singaporeans.

In fact, Singapore is one of very few countries in the world which still do not a minimum wage and we are still one of very few countries in the world which still do not have unemployment protection for Singaporeans who have lost their jobs.

But the PAP would let themselves and the rich among them earn higher and higher incomes. In fact, the PAP reduced income tax over the years so that it can allow itself and the rich with it to pay the lowest tax among the developed countries, and one of the lowest in the world. Yet, the PAP then forced Singaporeans to pay the highest social contribution rate in the world, into the CPF.

The PAP wants to let itself keep its own income while making Singaporeans lose ours.

The PAP keeps claiming that the CPF is not tax and should not be lumped together with tax. But do you know that the PAP gives Singaporeans the lowest returns on our CPF, among retirement funds in the world, so much so that if we have $200,000 inside our CPF, there is at least another $100,000 that the PAP should have returned to us but which they have taken to earn instead – Singaporeans are being robbed of as much as half of our CPF which is rightfully ours. The interest that the PAP has taken to earn and not returned is known as implicit tax. The PAP is making Singaporeans pay implicit tax on our CPF.

Not only that, the PAP fixes the housing prices and keeps increasing the prices, thus forcing Singaporeans to lose even more of our CPF towards buying them. The PAP has also made Singaporeans pay more than $70 billion into the Medisave but only allow Singaporeans to use less than 1.5% of it every year. And when Singaporeans grow old, the PAP takes the rest of our Medisave to put inside MediShield. In short, the PAP has found many different ways to lock up our CPF, so that they can earn for themselves. And this is not forgetting the CPF Minimum Sum (now known as the Full Retirement Sum) which the PAP keeps increasing to lock even more of Singaporeans’ CPF inside.

In short, the PAP is perhaps right to say the CPF is not tax. It is a goldmine for the PAP. Your money and my money is being taken by the PAP to earn heaps of money for itself. Meanwhile, the PAP forces Singaporeans to work the longest hours in the world, and earn one of the lowest wages among the highest-income countries, and force Singaporeans to struggle and fight among ourselves, in order to survive. But for the PAP and the rich among them, Singapore becomes their playground as the rest of us languish beneath them.

This, my friends, is what some of you had voted for. This is what we have allowed to control us and take advantage of us. We allow the PAP to become our masters and us their slaves.

A study funded by NASA showed that all unequal societies in the world have all collapsed in history, because as the elites grew richer and more arrogant, they started enriching themselves and started to become detached from the common people. They become out-of-touch, as the PAP has today. Then as the rest of the population suffer and fight among themselves for the leftovers, the elites remain oblivious to the problems until the problems become so big that it is too late, and the whole society collapses.

This is what Singapore is going through today. Many Singaporeans keep quiet and pretend that everything is fine. We choose to keep our heads down and hope that if we don’t think about these things, they will all go away. They will not.

In fact, if we don’t do anything about it today, it will be your children and their children who will suffer tomorrow.

So, my friends the question to you is, are you willing to take a good look at what is happening around us today and admit that things are in need of dire change? If we wait any longer, we might not have much else to wait for by the time comes.

The opposition parties have proposed many policies. In fact, the academics and think tanks have also proposed many solutions that need to be implemented in Singapore real soon, in order for us to turn Singapore around. However, the PAP refuses to do so. The PAP refuses to define a poverty line, implement minimum wage, reduce rents, reduce their own salaries and increase subsidies for healthcare, education and retirement so as to kickstart domestic consumption and the economy – these are the most basic solutions that need to happen in Singapore soon but the PAP refuses to implement them.

My friends, if we want our families, our children and our future to be protected, there is only one solution. We need to vote the PAP out.

We need to vote in the opposition parties to form a new government. We need a new government that will be willing to take care of and protect Singaporeans.

Only then will Singapore continue to have a chance. Only then will we continue to have a new lease of life.

The answer is clear. But it is up to us to be willing to see what is going on in Singapore and for us to be willing to see the PAP for what it is.

We no longer have a government in Singapore. The PAP is not a government. It is a bunch of businessmen who only have their own self-interests at heart. They do not care for Singapore and will not care for Singaporeans.

The PAP Old Guard cared for Singapore. Under their leadership, in the first 20 years of Singapore, wages went up, the CPF interest rates went up and income inequality went down. Singapore was becoming a better place. We were indeed moving from the Third World to the First.

However, under the current PAP, Singapore is already moving backwards, from the First World back into the Third World.

So, my friends, it is no longer the time for us to pretend and put our heads in the sand. It is time for us to look up and look to the future. It is time for us to face up and look at the possibilities that stand in front of us.

For our country and our children’s future, there can only be one answer. This current bunch of PAP does not care for Singaporeans and do not have our interests at heart. It is time to stop hoping that they will do anything for Singaporeans. We waited for 30 years. They have made used of us for 30 years.

This coming general election, let us finally stand on our two feet. Let us finally put our feet down and decide once and for all that we want to protect ourselves and that we want to do what is right for ourselves. Let us fight for our future and let us give our children a hope and a dream to look forward to.

It is time we take control of our own country. It is time we stop letting someone else take over our country and leave us in the dust. No, we will take back our country. We will own our country.

50 years ago, our forefathers fought for the independence of our country.

Today, as Singapore goes into the 50th anniversary of our country, we will renew their fight and we will take back our country.

We will renew the fight for independence and regain our lives back.

For ourselves, our own future, our families and our children, it is time we stand up and we start anew, as a promise to ourselves and as a respect to our forefathers, to let our country regain the hope that it once was, and start ourselves in a new journey for our country, and for ourselves.

It is time, my friends. It is time we take a stand.

My next hearing will be held from 1 to 3 July to determine how much I would need to pay the prime minister in damages.

This is How the PAP Started Turning against Singaporeans from the Mid-1980s

In 1981, PAP got the Rothschild to help set up the GIC, which manages Singaporeans’ CPF retirement monies.

1 How the PAP Started Turning against Singaporeans from the Mid-1980s @ Rothschild

Then from the mid-1980s onwards, the PAP started to decrease the CPF interest rates, increase housing prices, reduce healthcare subsidies and increase university tuition fees.

You can read more about the Rothschild here and here or do your own search about them online:

The Rothschild used to control large swaths of the banking industry in Europe and effectively controlled their governments.

In 1982, the PAP started working with them.

2 How the PAP Started Turning against Singaporeans from the Mid-1980s @ 1982 Constitution

When the PAP was set up in 1954 (55 years ago), it said that it wanted to “abolish unjust inequalities”.

It also wanted to ensure social security for the sick, infirm, those in old age and those who can no longer work.

This was outlined in the PAP’s constitution.

But in 1981, the PAP got Rothschild to help set up the GIC, to manage the CPF monies of Singaporeans.

And then in 1982, the PAP changed its constitution.

It removed the intent to “abolish unjust inequalities”.

In its place, the PAP said that it now wanted to create a “self-reliant society”.

Things started to go downhill for Singaporeans since then.

From the mid-1980s, the PAP started reducing health subsidies, it started to increase housing prices and university tuition fees. From the mid-1980s, the PAP also started coming out with ways and creating schemes to make money off  Singaporeans.

And from the mid-1990s, the PAP started to depress the wages of Singaporeans and the CPF interest rates.

From the mid-1980s, the PAP started to turn against Singaporeans, after it sought advice from Rothschild and then changed its constitution and removed the focus of equality.

Today, the PAP spends the lowest on social security on Singaporeans, among the developed countries. Many Singaporeans today can no longer afford healthcare and have to work until their deaths. And more Singaporeans are becoming unemployed but there is no unemployment social assistance for them – Singapore is one of very few countries in the world which does not have unemployment protection for its citizens.

Whatever the PAP old guard built for Singapore in the first 20 years of Singapore was thrown out the window. From the mid-1980s, the PAP old guard were also first thrown out of cabinet, and then out from government.

Meanwhile, Lee Kuan Yew threw them out but let himself stayed on. Then he brought in people who started making money off Singaporeans.

Today, the PAP ministers earn the highest salaries in the world. The share of income that goes to the rich also increased from 30% in 1995 to 42% in 2011.

Meanwhile, it is estimated that 30% of Singaporeans today live in poverty and Singaporeans also earn one of the lowest wages among the highest-income countries.

This is what the PAP did to Singapore. It started turning against Singaporeans since the mid-1980s.

3 How the PAP Started Turning against Singaporeans from the Mid-1980s @ Medisave shortened

In 1984, the PAP created the Medisave to start trapping Singaporeans’ CPF. Today, Singaporeans have been made to pay more than $70 billion into the Medisave but we are only able to use less than 1.5% of it every year.

This was what Mr Toh Chin Chye, the former PAP Chairman, had to say about the Medisave:

“(The Medisave) Scheme… is a taxation, and it is a recessive tax for the simple reason that those who are at the lower income level, because their CPF contributions are lower, will have to pay the full amount, whereas those with higher incomes do not pay the full percentage of their income towards the CPF because there is a ceiling. It is recessive. I feel that all this is a very short-sighted myopic view.

Has the Minister for Health, who was in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, who was in cahoots with the Minister for Finance, taken the trouble to investigate how he is going to get the money to run his Ministry? The first responsibility of the Minister for Health is to ensure the availability of health care services. That is his first responsibility, that he must go round and nag at the Minister for Finance for the money. But he is taking on the job of the Minister for Finance. I totally disagree with the approach of Medisave.

The Minister for Finance is extremely concerned with the amount of money being locked into CPF, reducing the liquidity in commercial banks. I think that is a very genuine concern which, as the Minister for Finance, he ought to be very worried out. He should not allow his Minister for Health to dip into the CPF or to increase the CPF, because this is a social problem that is popping up. It must be thought out in breadth. We must have a vision which encompasses breadth. Do not have tunnel vision.

I think fundamental principles are being breached. The fundamental principle is this. The CPF is really a fixed deposit or a loan to Government, which can be redeemed at a fixed date when the contributor is 55 years old. If I were to put this sum of money in a commercial bank and, on the due date I go to the bank to withdraw the money, the manager says, “I am sorry, Dr Toh, you will have to come next year”, there will be a run on the bank! It is as simple as this, that the CPF will be kept for Medisave and you cannot withdraw that, even if you were to die.” has lost its credibility, the management of it. This is fundamental.”

4 How the PAP Started Turning against Singaporeans from the Mid-1980s @ University Fees shortened

In 1986, the PAP started increasing university tuition fees by several hundred times. Today, Singaporeans are made to pay one of the most expensive, if not, the most expensive tuition fees in the world.

This was what the Singapore People’s Party’s Mr Chiam See Tong had to say then:

“I notice the (university) fee increase is almost twice or three times. Is there a necessity for this big jump, rather than increase it by stages?… I have been told that some foreign students are currently getting half-grants from our local University. What is their position then?

The other question is: why are we charging the foreign students rather low tuition fees at only 50% extra when compared to our own students? When you go to foreign universities, you find that their own students go into their universities almost free, with a lot of liberal grants, but foreign students are charged probably 10 times the amount. So why are we charging only 50% more? Can we not charge our own students less and, perhaps, increase the fees for foreign students?”

This was also what Mr Ow Chin Hock had to say:

“This increase is not entirely due to the increase in costs but because over the last two years the increase in expenditure has been only about 20%… In 1987, the Minister for Education in announcing a hike in tuition fees in the House said that he would not like to see another major increase in tuition fees. But no sooner had he said this that in the course of a short two years, there is another increase in fees by 30% to 85%. This is in comparison to the fees in 1987. If it is compared with the figures in 1986, the increase rates are 117 to 454%, according to the figures given by Dr Aline Wong. Some students were hit twice by such fee-hikes. I hope the Minister would think about the plight of the families of these students… It seems the university is beset with a sadistic complex. This is incongruous with the benign and compassionate manner in which the Budget was presented by the Finance Minister.”

5 How the PAP Started Turning against Singaporeans from the Mid-1980s @ CPF Minimum Sum shortened

In 1987, the PAP created the CPF Minimum Sum to trap Singaporeans’ CPF.

This was what the Singapore People’s Party’s Mr Chiam See Tong said then:

“CPF savings are the workers’ money, it is often said. All CPF money belongs to the contributors. Therefore, I say to the Government, it has no business to hold back any money belonging to the people. The Government should now, in clear terms, state whether or not it intends to return all CPF money to contributors when they reach 55 years.

Why do we need to have this minimum sum scheme? Why do we need it? Are you saying that a person on reaching 55 years is unable to take care of his own money? That is exactly what the Government is saying, “Look. We are not going to give you back all your savings at 55 years in case you just have one good spree and all will be lost.” But I do not think so. There will be a few but the majority of Singaporeans are definitely hard-headed and I am sure they know what to do with their money when they reach the age of 55. I think it is an insult to our workers to have that point of view and say that they do not know what to do with their money when they reach 55.

The amount in the CPF is a big sum. I hear it has come to about something like $26 billion and I think this issue of CPF will always be with us because it is the employees’ money and there is a massive amount of money. It is not millions but you are talking of billions. This issue of CPF should be included in the National Agenda because it concerns every employee and the workers have the right to discuss it and to ask the Minister what kind of safeguards they will have to make sure that at the end of 25 years, every dollar they have in the CPF will be returned to them when they reach the age of 55 years.”

6 How the PAP Started Turning against Singaporeans from the Mid-1980s @ Land shortened

From 1987, the PAP started increasing housing prices to earn more money from Singaporeans. Today, Singaporeans are made to pay for the most expensive public housing in the world and one of the most expensive housing in the world.

In fact, the PAP makes Singaporeans pay 60% of HDB flat prices into land, even though Singaporeans do not own the land.

Then-Minister for National Development S. Dhanabalan had said:

“After 99 years the (land is) reverted to the Government. They cost zero. Does it mean that flats which are built on that land should have land valued at zero? Obviously not. So land has got to be valued at market rates. The fixing of the sale price of the flats,… we hope over the years to move the prices closer and closer to what the market price should be.

If the land costs $2 out-of-pocket and the market value is $80, the land will be sold at $80 to HDB. If the HDB is able to recover only $60 by fixing the price at affordable levels, then the $20 is a subsidy. The Government has to give the $20 as subsidy. It is not just a book subsidy. By no means.

If not for the Robin Hood operation in which the Government is involved, public housing would not be possible.”

But Mr Chiam See Tong rebutted Mr Dhanabalan and said:

“You say “Robin Hood”. My goodness? Please explain what you mean by that. I really cannot understand your logic. Please explain what you exactly mean by “Robin Hood”. You are taking from the landowner at $2 and you are selling to the poor HDB flat purchasers at $80, and who is the Robin Hood? The Government pockets the vast profits out of the sale of the flats, and now you say that you are giving these flat purchasers a subsidy. I really cannot see your logic. Now we are sure that there is no out-of-pocket subsidy. It is only a book subsidy. I think this position is very clear now.

We do not want some book subsidy. “Subsidy” means actual money taken out from the pocket and paid to the HDB, and not some accounting or juggling with the accounts gimmick or a transfer of high pricing of land at so-called market value.”

7 How the PAP Started Turning against Singaporeans from the Mid-1980s @ MediShield shortened

In 1984, the PAP came out with the Medisave to do so and in 1987, it created the CPF Minimum Sum.

Then, in 1990, it came out with the MediShield.

Then, Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Lee Siew-Choh who was from the Worker’s Party (and once a leader from the Barisan Sosialis), had said:

“In spite of MediShield insurance, a person stricken with a catastrophic illness finds that he will have to pay either the whole or the greater part of the hospital bill out of his own pocket through Medisave or by cash. He gets very little benefit from the medical insurance even when he most needs help from Government. So we must ask: what sort of MediShield insurance is this that the insured person has to pay such a high percentage of the hospital bill? Does MediShield really insure the people against serious illness?

It would appear that MediShield’s first responsibility is not to the insured person, but to MediShield itself, to ensure that it will not involve the Government in any extra financial expenditure… It operates just like private commercial insurance companies. It operates with the object of sure profit and no loss. Yet, it provides less benefits than private commercial hospital and surgical schemes.

But Government MediShield does not have to operate like a commercial business undertaking. Government has a responsibility to look after the aged and the sick. Therefore, it should ensure that MediShield is a truly low cost medical insurance for the aged, that it truly accepts full responsibility in the care and treatment of those stricken with serious illnesses.

When medical services have been made more and more expensive by frequent Government increases in fees and charges, now compounded by so-called restructuring of hospitals, and when most people have only small sums in their Medisave accounts, a government that claims to be a good caring government should live up to its duty and responsibility to look after the welfare of the people and especially of the sick and the aged. But it would appear that the PAP Government believes in passing the buck to the people themselves, in making the sick and aged look after themselves, first, through Medisave and now through MediShield and in making the people pay more and more. All this must be changed.”

8 How the PAP Started Turning against Singaporeans from the Mid-1980s @ Ministerial Salaries

In 1994, the PAP then went all the way and increased its own salaries. After they did that, the share of income that went to the rich increased from 30% in 1995 to 42% in 2011.

Today, the PAP ministers earns the highest salaries in the world.

The Worker’s Party’s Mr Low Thia Kiang said then:

“When I heard the Prime Minister’s speech in this House yesterday, I was very shocked. It seems like the future of our country will be determined by how much salary we give to our Ministers and top civil servants.

The logic of the Prime Minister is that the higher the pay the better we can attract the top talents to govern the country and there will be continuous growth in the economy, more safeguards to the people. Otherwise, the future of the country will be bleak.

He went on to point out that corrupt practices among politicians in the United Kingdom was due to their salaries being too low.

On this question, my intuitive reaction is that I do not want people who look to money to run the country. These people will be weighing their losses and gains in terms of money and the policy they embrace will surely be profit-oriented. Even if it results in huge economic growth year after year, and the Government coffer greatly enriched, the livelihood of the people need not necessarily be improved because the formulation and results of their policies will be determined purely from the angle of economic benefits only.

If … the people with potential to be Ministers whom (the Prime Minister) contacted were not prepared to come forward to serve the nation due to the salaries being not sufficiently attractive, then I would suggest that he look again for some others who have the vision and are prepared to dedicate themselves to the nation.

If, after so many years of nation building, we cannot cultivate some talented people with dedication to serve the country, then I must say with great regret that our country is a failure.

If our country is facing this kind of problem today, the elites among our younger generation now would only look at money, then the PAP Government should make an overall review on whether their philosophy of running the country is out of balance, and whether it has been putting too much emphasis on utilitarianism and elitism.”

9 How the PAP Started Turning against Singaporeans from the Mid-1980s @ Old Guards

After the PAP got Rothschild in to help set up GIC in 1981, the PAP then changed its constitution in 1982 and no longer wanted to “abolish inequality”. It stopped taking care of Singaporeans and started creating policies to earn from Singaporeans.

Then, from 1981 onwards, it started getting rid of the PAP Old Guards one by one. By 1988, all the Old Guards were kicked out of government.

Lee Kuan Yew even said to Ong Pang Boon: “… I agree with you. You also had misgivings (about some newcomers), as had the late Dr Toh Chin Chye, over the speed of self-renewal and the effect it was having on the morale of the old guard MPs.”

But they were kicked out anyway.

Then Lee Kuan Yew allowed himself to stay as Senior Minister until 2004 and Minister Mentor until 2011 and was only asked to leave Cabinet after that. After the Old Guards were kicked out, Lee Kuan Yew allowed himself to stay for another more than 20 years.

After the Old Guards were kicked out, they no longer could create good policies to protect Singaporeans.

From the mid-1980s onwards, the PAP started creating policies to earn money off Singaporeans. From the mid-1980s onwards, the PAP started turning against Singaporeans.

Slide2

SAY NO TO PAP

SAY NO TO PAP CROPPED

The Inequality that PAP Created Has Resulted in Social Problems in Singapore

Today, Singapore has the highest income inequality among the developed countries. The PAP also spends the least on social protection, healthcare, education and pension for Singaporeans among the developed countries, and one of the lowest in the world.

1 How the PAP's Inequality Created Social Problems in Singapore @ Inequality

Chart: A Handbook on Inequality, Poverty and Unmet Social Needs in Singapore

In fact, because the PAP spends so little but makes low- and middle-income Singaporeans earn the lowest wages among the highest-income countries, Singapore also has the highest rich-poor gap.

On top of that, every time the PAP increased its own salaries in 1984, 1994, 2000 and 2007, income inequality increased as well. So did the income share that went to the rich. The share of income that went to the richest 10% in Singapore increased from 30% in 1995 to 42% in 2011.

The PAP keeps increasing its own salaries that today, it earns the highest salaries in the world. Meanwhile, Singaporeans earn one of the lowest wages among the highest-income countries and have the lowest purchasing power.

And because Singapore has become the most expensive country in the world, where Singaporeans have to pay the most out of our pockets for healthcare and education, have to pay for the most expensive public housing in the world and have one of the least adequate pension funds in the world, 30% of Singaporeans today live in poverty.

The income inequality and social problems in Singapore are all created by the PAP. The PAP no longer cares about Singaporeans and have allowed Singaporeans to languish in our own country.

2 How the PAP's Inequality Created Social Problems in Singapore @ Social Protection Expenditure

Chart: International Labour Organization World Social Protection Report 2014/15

It has been shown that higher expenditure in social protection can reduce poverty and income inequality.

In fact, the more a country spends on social protection, the lower the income inequality.

However, the PAP spends the lowest on social protection among the developed countries and one of the lowest in the world.

And because of that, Singapore’s income inequality is also the highest among the developed countries and one of the highest in the world.

However, Singapore is supposedly one of the richest countries in the world and there are tens of billions in surplus that the PAP does not declare to Singaporeans every year, which would be able to give all Singaporeans free healthcare and education, and still has a lot left in surplus.

However, the PAP refuses to give this money back to Singaporeans, yet makes Singaporeans earn one of the lowest wages among the highest-income countries and make Singaporeans also pay the most out of our own pockets for healthcare and education in the world.

3  How the PAP's Inequality Created Social Problems in Singapore @ Diversity

Chart: The Economist Goldilocks nationalism

It has been shown that in countries which are more homogeneous, their governments would spend more on their citizens.

However, Singapore has been ranked as the most diverse country in the world. As such, the PAP also spends the lowest on public spending among the developed countries.

It has also been shown that smaller countries also tend to spend more on social protection for its citizens.

However, even though Singapore is one of the smallest countries in the world, the PAP actually spends the lowest on social protection among the developed countries and one of the lowest in the world.

Why is it that even though Singapore is small, the PAP still spends so little on Singaporeans when it can afford to spend a lot more? Where has all the money taken from Singaporeans go to?

Also, is the reason why the PAP spends so little on Singaporeans because Singapore is diverse? What then is the PAP’s attitude towards Singaporeans?

4  How the PAP's Inequality Created Social Problems in Singapore @ Growth

Chart: International Monetary Fund Equality and Efficiency

It has been shown that the higher the income inequality, the lower the economic growth in a country.

Indeed, because Singapore has the highest income inequality among the developed countries and one of the highest in the world, this has also resulted in one of the lowest levels of economic growth.

In fact, this has also been shown to be true by the OECD which said that ,”Rising inequality is estimated to have knocked more than 10 percentage points off growth in Mexico and New Zealand, nearly 9 points in the United Kingdom, Finland and Norway and between 6 and 7 points in the United States, Italy and Sweden.”

However, the PAP refuses to reduce income inequality in Singapore. In fact, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong claimed that income inequality has stabilised and the PAP even fudged the income inequality statistics to make them look lower.

The PAP refuses to reduce income inequality but continues to allow themselves to get rich, while more and more Singaporeans become poor.

5  How the PAP's Inequality Created Social Problems in Singapore @ Self Enhancement

Chart: Association for Psychological Science Economic Inequality Is Linked to Biased Self-Perception

It has been shown that the higher the income inequality, the higher the rates of self-enhancement.

And because Singapore has the highest income inequality among the developed countries, we also have the highest rates of self-enhancement.

This means that Singaporeans are more likely to view themselves as being better than another person.

The reason is because the income inequality in Singapore forces Singaporeans to compete with one another, and to outdo one another. We are forced to believe that someone else is not good enough, so that we can climb over them to get ahead.

Because the PAP makes Singaporeans earn one of the lowest wages among the highest-income countries but lets the rich earn the highest salaries among the developed countries, this has forced many Singaporeans to become more self-centred so that they can earn more than another person.

But this inequality and competition has forced Singaporeans to become more self-centred and uncaring. In fact, in the World Giving Index in 2013, Singapore was the second least willing to help a stranger in the world.

The PAP has thus created policies that have forced Singaporeans to become more inward-looking, stressed up and self-centred.

6  How the PAP's Inequality Created Social Problems in Singapore @ Trust

Chart: The Equality Trust The Spirit Level

Because Singapore has the highest income inequality among the developed countries, this has also led to the lowest levels of trust, after Portugal.

Singapore used to be a caring place, where people of different different ethnic groups and cultural backgrounds could get together and speak the languages of one another.

However, Singapore today has become very divided. The PAP has created policies that have caused Singaporeans to fight among one another, where we have to fight to do well in school and fight to get promoted at work.

Where Singaporeans used to trust one another and help one another along, today we have become more wary of one another and do not trust one another’s intentions.

Because we are forced to fight among one another to get ahead and for survival, we have learnt to only look out for ourselves and to be less trusting of another person.

7  How the PAP's Inequality Created Social Problems in Singapore @ Social Mobility

Chart: Brookings Thirteen Economic Facts about Social Mobility and the Role of Education

Because Singapore has the highest income inequality among the developed countries, we also have the one of the highest social mobilities among the developed countries.

In fact, educational resources are not equally distributed in Singapore. The PAP gives “better” schools more resources than the other schools.

Also, the rich-poor gap in Singapore is the highest among the developed countries, where 30% of Singaporeans live in poverty. In fact, more and more Singaporeans are falling into poverty over the past 15 years.

And this is going to get worse. Today, Singapore is the most expensive country in the world and where the PAP makes Singaporeans pay the most out of our own pockets for healthcare and education.

Meanwhile, the PAP also makes Singaporeans earn the lowest wages among the highest-income countries.

As such, poorer Singaporeans are likely to be stuck where they are while more and more middle-income Singaporeans fall into poverty.

8  How the PAP's Inequality Created Social Problems in Singapore @ Imprisonment

Chart: The Equality Trust Imprisonment

Today, Singapore has the highest income inequality among the developed countries. We also have the highest prisoner rate among the developed countries, after the United States.

It has been shown that the higher the income inequality, the higher the prisoner rate.

The Equality Trust said that, “The proportion of the population imprisoned in a society is influenced by four things: crime rates, conviction rates, the tendency to give prison sentences rather than fines or community service, and the lengths of prison sentences. Some societies use imprisonment far less, and when they do imprison people, they put more emphasis on training and rehabilitation so that re-offending rates are also lower.”

In recent years, questions have been raised about the fairness of the law in Singapore, where there is increasingly the perception that the PAP is more likely to be lenient towards a well-to-do person, as opposed to a poorer Singaporean, when offences of similar nature are committed.

There is a growing perception that the PAP is also more likely to adopt institutional violence rather than work towards rehabilitation.

9 How the PAP's Inequality Created Social Problems in Singapore @ Hours

Chart: University of Massachusetts – Amherst Emulation, Inequality, and Work Hours: Was Thorsten Veblen Right?

Because Singapore has the highest income inequality among the developed countries, this has also led to Singaporeans working the longest hours in the world.

The Equality Trust explained that, “people in more unequal societies work much longer hours to keep up appearances. They spend more, save less, get into debt more and aspire to ever higher incomes.”

But because Singaporeans earn one of the lowest wages among the highest-income countries but also live in the most expensive country in the world, this has forced Singaporeans to have to work long hours just to earn enough to even spend on basic necessities.

In fact, for 30% of Singaporeans, they cannot even earn enough to use and have to spend 105% to 151% of their incomes. Also, two-thirds of the middle-income can only earn enough to spend on basic necessities and not on anything else.

As such, the majority of Singaporeans simply cannot earn enough even to save. Many poorer Singaporeans even have to take up several odd-jobs just to be able to feed their own families.

The income inequality and social problems in Singapore are all created by the PAP. The PAP no longer cares about Singaporeans and have allowed Singaporeans to languish in our own country.

SAY NO TO PAP

SAY NO TO PAP CROPPED

The PAP has Caused 30% of Singaporeans to Live in Poverty

Several academics and economists have estimated that Singapore has a poverty rate of about 30%. Their research is compiled in this article.

This also means that Singapore has the highest poverty rate among the developed countries.

5 Do You Know that 30% of Singaporeans Live in Poverty @ Highest

However, the PAP-run government still refuses to define a poverty line. Then-Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing erroneously claim that defining a poverty line will lead to a “cliff effect”.

Also, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong also claimed that income inequality in Singapore has “stabilised” when the truth is that, Singapore today has the highest income inequality and widest rich-poor gap among the developed countries.

The PAP also spends the least on social protection among the developed countries, so much so that the poor in Singapore continue to remain poor and are left to fend for themselves.

Meanwhile, there are fewer and fewer middle-income Singaporeans, as more and more of them fall into poverty.

Yet, today Singapore is the most expensive country in the world. The PAP refuses to implement a minimum wage and the $1,000 that lowest-wage workers earn in Singapore is the lowest among the highest-income countries.

The PAP also makes Singaporeans pay for one of the most expensive healthcare, education and housing in the world and our CPF retirement funds are also one of the least adequate among the OECD and Asia-Pacific countries.

In short, the PAP does not want to take care of Singaporeans. At the same time, the PAP pay themselves the highest salaries in the world, even as many Singaporeans cannot earn enough to even have a basic living and have to live in poverty.

Read more:

1 Do You Know that 30% of Singaporeans Live in Poverty @ Yeoh Lam Keong

Chart: A Handbook on Inequality, Poverty and Unmet Social Needs in Singapore

From Yeoh Lam Keong’s research:

“The Average Household Expenditure on Basic Needs (AHEBN) is a figure calculated by the DOS. This is a measure of minimum household expenditure on essential needs such as food, clothing, and shelter for a household in a one- or two-room HDB rental flat. The resulting figure is then multiplied by 1.25 to account for other household needs (e.g., transport, education). The most recent available AHEBN estimate, as of this writing, is from 2011, and calculated to be SGD 1,250 per month for a four-person household.

Yeoh Lam Keong, former chief economist of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (now known as GIC Private Limited), argues, based on internal reviews of the AHEBN measure, that the measure provides a conservative estimate of absolute poverty. According to him, the costs are not explicitly accounted for by the AHEBN measure, but are included in the multiplier of 1.25 (e.g., transport, education, medical costs). They tend not only to increase more quickly than the expenditures on food, clothing and shelter, but are also necessary for work, school and social activities. Take for instance the mobile phone: it is a very helpful item to have when seeking employment, but such an expenditure is only one of many for which the multiplier of 1.25 is meant to account. Furthermore, Yeoh points out that actual transport and medical costs are taken into account for similar measurements in countries such as Hong Kong and Canada, indicating that there are precedents for their inclusion.

He discusses other problems in Singapore’s AHEBN calculation. First, it does not take into account costs related to investments in human capital, in that there are no out-of-pocket education expenditures, or costs related to continuing education, training, and access to information and communication technologies. Such educational endeavors are necessary for minimal social mobility and so have a significant bearing on poverty. For example, if people lack the means to increase their levels of education, because they cannot afford the costs of education itself, or the related costs of transport, materials, etc., it is far more difficult to climb out of the poverty trap. Finally, by only including families in one- or two-room flats, the AHEBN calculation does not account for those families living in threeor four-room flats who are receiving social assistance. Overall, according to Yeoh, the AHEBN calculation likely accounts for only a fraction of those Singaporean families living in poverty.

Yeoh used the AHEBN range of SGD 1,250 to 1,500 per month, applied it to the 2011 DOS Key Household Characteristics and Household Income Trends 2011 report, and found that there were approximately 110,000 to 140,000 resident households that have great difficulty meeting basic needs.

According to Yeoh, if the AHEBN calculation were adjusted to include the costs of transport, education, health care, and the training necessary for social inclusion, it would likely reveal that the bottom 10 to 20 per cent of working households are struggling to make ends meet in a way that could be defined as a form of absolute poverty. The bottom 20 to 30 per cent of working households, according to Yeoh, are probably barely able to meet basic consumption and human capital investment needs but have little in the way of retirement savings, leaving them vulnerable to falling into poverty in their lifetime.”

2 Do You Know that 30% of Singaporeans Live in Poverty @ Tilak Abeysinghe

Chart: Living Affordability in Singapore by Income GroupsA Handbook on Inequality, Poverty and Unmet Social Needs in Singapore

From Tilak Abeysinghe’s research:

“The households in the lowest 30% of the income ladder spend more than their income.”

“We define the middle class here as those earning approximately the median wage. Like the least advantaged Singaporeans, the middle class saw a lengthy decrease in wages followed by a very recent reversal of this trend. Although Singapore’s economy continued to grow at the same pace that it had for decades (averaging 7.3 per cent per year in the 1990s and 5.1 per cent in the 2000s), median wages slowed, and in some recent years reversed, after the year 2000. From 2000 to 2010, taking inflation into account, wages grew only 1.3 per cent per year, rather than the average rate of growth of seven or nine per cent in previous decades. In mid-2013, it was reported that, when inflation was taken into account, wage levels actually decreased in 2012.

Second, as economic restructuring moved to higher value-added industries, lay-offs have begun to affect professionals, managers, executives, and technicians (PMETs) at higher rates than low-skilled workers. The Straits Times reported that PMETs made up more than half of the workers who lost their jobs in 2013, at 56 per cent. This is a significant increase from the 35 per cent of PMET job-losses in 2010. In addition, the manufacturing and construction sectors also laid off more workers in 2013 than in 2012, while the service sector let go fewer workers in 2013 than in 2012. Again, this suggests that the situation began to improve for the lowest deciles before the trend affected the middle class.

Finally, two recent studies suggest that the backdrop for Singapore’s high Gini coefficient and lengthy period of wage stagnation is a city that is becoming increasingly less affordable. The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Singapore as the world’s most expensive city in 2013. Singapore was positioned sixth in the previous year, but its appreciating dollar has since pushed it to number one in the world. The EIU report looks at the prices of various goods and services in different countries (e.g., food, clothing, and transport) and uses New York City as a baseline. Around the same time that the EIU released its report, the National University of Singapore (NUS) economics don, Tilak Abeysinghe, published a study and extrapolated from data from the DOS, which found that 30 per cent of Singapore’s households have had to cut back on “flexible expenditures,” based most likely on the rising costs of big ticket items such as housing and health care. His study, quoted in Today, suggests that the bottom 30 per cent of households require “extra attention in the government’s welfare programmes.”

3 Do You Know that 30% of Singaporeans Live in Poverty @ Tommy Koh

Chart: Three wishes for the New YearBroader financial support doesn’t mean more students are poor

From Tommy Koh:

“I am disturbed by the inequality in Singapore. We have one of the highest Gini coefficients in the world. I am unhappy that many of our children are growing up in poverty. About a third of our students go to school with no pocket money to buy lunch.

As a trustee of two education trusts, I am reminded each year of the large number of needy students in our schools and tertiary institutions. I was shocked when the president of one of our universities told us recently that 60 per cent of his students need financial assistance.

At the other end of the spectrum, I am worried about the growing number of the elderly poor. Many of them are in poor health and have inadequate savings. Many of them live in loneliness, having no family or been abandoned by family and relatives.”

“Still, one cannot deny that student poverty exists. The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund helps more than 10,000 students each year.

I am a trustee of the Lee Wee Kheng Charitable Trust. Each year, we donate about $1 million to help needy students in our schools. The Ministry of Education helps identify the 100 schools with the highest number of needy students, and we give $10,000 to each of the schools.

I am also a trustee of the Tan Chay Bing Education Trust. We give bursaries and scholarships to needy students in the universities, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, LaSalle, Shatec, the Intercultural Institute and others. The bursaries are a lifeline to some. Without our help, they would most likely have to abandon their studies or work part-time. The needs exceed our ability to help.”

4 Do You Know that 30% of Singaporeans Live in Poverty @ Mukul G. Asher

Chart: An Assessment of Singapore’s Policy Responses to Ageing, Inequality, and Poverty

From Mukul G. Asher:

• Singapore has no official poverty line

• Absolute poverty is based on the Minimum Household Expenditure (Actual expenditure for subsistence budget x 1.25). Approx. 35% of households.

• Relative poverty is half of the median per capita household income. Approx. 27% of households.

• Working definition ‐ the poor / low income group is basically bottom 30th percentile of households, that is with average monthly household income from work equal to $1862 or below. Approx 227,400 households.

• Singapore has a limited public assistance program.

• Less than 5% of households in the low income group are beneficiaries of state funded systems; and only 0.07% of the population received public assistance in 2004.

• The amount of assistance is kept deliberately extremely low at around 5‐8% of per capita income.

• The end result of these social policies has been to make individuals and their families bear disproportionate risks of old‐age and low incomes with grossly inadequate social risk pooling.

• It is now reluctantly acknowledged in Singapore that the CPF system will not be adequate to meet the ageing challenges.

• There are several reasons for this inadequacy. A single‐tier, involving mandatory‐savings, can never provide adequate replacement rate; or address inflation and longevity risks; or provide survivor and disability benefits

6 Do You Know that 30% of Singaporeans Live in Poverty @ Hui Weng Tat

Chart: A Handbook on Inequality, Poverty and Unmet Social Needs in Singapore

From Hui Weng Tat’s research:

“Levels of relative poverty can be estimated in various ways. A common way of estimating the incidence of relative poverty involves using the median wage as a benchmark, and those whose income is less than half the median wage are considered poor in the relative sense. Irene Ng suggests that using this measure to estimate relative poverty in Singapore is difficult, because income distribution is reported in deciles. Nevertheless, Ng proceeds by assuming that the reported mean incomes fall at the midpoint of each decile, and estimates that around 20 per cent of Singaporean households are poor by these standards.

Hui Weng Tat provides a different estimate of households living in relative poverty in Singapore, using a similar way of measuring it. Hui understands this relative poverty line to be set at 60 per cent of the national median equivalised income. According to his measure, the incidence of relative poverty is around 35 per cent in Singapore. Both Hui and Ng argue that the number of Singaporeans living in poverty, according to relative measures, is in general increasing. However, some of this trend may be currently reversing.”

SAY NO TO PAP CROPPED

Is this the way a government should run a country? The PAP is no longer a party that cares for Singaporeans. The PAP is no longer a government.

It is time Singaporeans do what is right and vote for a new government to protect ourselves.

SAY NO TO PAP

#FreeAmosYee Campaign: Singapore Government, Release Amos

Free Amos Yee Video Poster

Over the past one month, the Singapore government has persecuted a 16-year-old boy, Amos Yee.

He was persecuted for speaking up and criticising Singapore’s first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who has recently passed away.

Amos made a video and called him a “horrible person and an awful leader to our country”. Within two days after Amos posted his video online, Amos was arrested by the Singapore government. Within just another day, he was charged.

He is now currently being held in remand in prison while his case is pending judgment. He has been inside for a total of 18 days now even though he is still innocent. While attending court, Amos was also shackled with chains and cuffs which have eaten his legs and caused him a lot of pain.

The judgment on him will be passed today.

Many people in Singapore and around the world feel that Amos’s persecution is unjust. His persecution has also been seen as being politically motivated as members of the current ruling party, People’s Action Party (PAP), have said worse things than Amos but have gotten away scot-free.

However, Amos has been punished by the PAP just for criticising the PAP’s “founding father” Lee Kuan Yew. But even as Lee Kuan Yew had said worse things than Amos, Lee was never arrested or charged.

However, Amos, who is still only a child, has been subjected to continuous state-violence. This is unacceptable.

More than 100 people from Singapore and around the world have taken photos of themselves to make a video in support of Amos and to call on the Singapore government to release Amos Yee. You can see some of the photos that were taken here.

You can also watch the video campaign below.

The Singapore government’s abuse of a child and their human rights transgressions and curbing of the freedom of speech is wrong. Please help us call out the Singapore government and to ask for the release of Amos Yee.

If you cannot watch the video above, please watch the video below. The original version above with Bob Marley’s Redemption song could not be readily viewed, so I have used another music.

My Message of Support at the Vigil for Amos Yee

image

Thank you everyone for coming to today’s vigil.

As we gather here today, Amos sits in his cell in remand, within four walls and bright lights.

But Amos has not done anything wrong. He does not deserve this treatment. He does not deserve to be charged.

More so, he does not deserve to sit in jail. He has been inside for 17 days now. And even more so, he should not be shackled in chains and cuffs.

He is still innocent. And he is innocent.

Amos is a child. Where is the humanity when we treat Amos as a criminal when he has not even been sentenced?

Where is the humanity when even many people do not think he has done anything wrong, but he has been unfairly persecuted?

How would the PAP ministers think if it were their own children who are put behind bars and locked up in chains?

But this isn’t even a question. We know they would not let it happen to their own children.

Then why do they allow another parent’s child to suffer such a fate?

Have they thought of Amos’s parents? More importantly, have they thought of Amos?

Have they thought of the child and the state’s responsibility to the child?

Amos is a child. No matter what we think of him or what he has said, it is disproportionate to want this kind of state violence meted on him.

If we do not have the patience, kindness and compassion for a child, how then can we call ourselves a society? How then can a people govern if they lack even this most basic instinct, to love, to understand and to forgive?

Yes, Amos said some things. But he said some things.

Many among the PAP have said worse. An ex-PAP member posted a photo of a bus with Muslim children and posed the question if they are young terrorist trainees. A PAP supporter wanted to cut off Amos’s penis and put it into his mouth. A man even physically attacked Amos and smacked him in his face because he said that Amos has criticised Lee Kuan Yew.

Amos has now suffered this abuse simply because he spoke about Lee Kuan Yew.

But Lee Kuan Yew has said even worse things than Amos about the Malays and Muslims. Yet none of the PAP members and supporters have asked for him to be arrested, charged, jailed or caned as they have wanted Amos to be.

Instead, they take what Lee Kuan Yew said to be the gospel truth.

Amos said that the PAP supporters worship Lee Kuan Yew without logic. And he was punished for it.

But what Amos said is true, isn’t it? The PAP supporters do worship Lee Kuan Yew without logic, don’t they?

In fact, if they would stay silent even as Lee Kuan Yew said worse things but would want Amos persecuted, then it clearly shows that what they are really upset about Amos is not what he said about Christians, isn’t it?

Truth is, they were hurt and “wounded” because they were upset with what Amos said about Lee Kuan Yew.

It is about Lee Kuan Yew. It has always been. Nothing else.

Some people said that these PAP supporters are using religion as a front to mask their displeasure against Amos. I am inclined to agree. It is obvious.

But there are no laws in Singapore where it is illegal to criticise Lee Kuan Yew. There is no law in Singapore where one can be found to have committed a crime because of having intentionally wounded the feelings of Lee Kuan Yew supporters.

These supporters have abused the law for their own purpose.

But Singapore is not the PAP. To the PAP supporters, they think Singapore belongs to them. They will tell you to leave the country if you are not happy with the way the PAP run their country.

But they have forgotten that the reason why Singapore can succeed today is because of the hard work and effort of all Singaporeans, and people who live in our country.

It is not just because of the PAP. It is not just because of the PAP supporters.

It is because of the many Singaporeans who are willing to earn low and depressed wages to help Singapore grow, even as the PAP supporters and the rich among them take away the high profit for themselves and leave Singaporeans with too little.

But this is what Amos said in his video too. Amos spoke about the income inequality in Singapore.

He spoke about how a “great leader” is one who will take care of Singaporeans.

Amos was right. Why was he persecuted?

Amos said that Lee Kuan Yew is a “horrible” person.

But Lee Kuan Yew is. Amos spoke the truth.

From the 1960s to 1980s, Lee Kuan Yew and the PAP arrested thousands of Singaporeans and imprisoned them without trial. Some of them were jailed for more than 10, 20 or even 30 years.

Their families suffered. Tens of thousands of their families suffered. But did Lee Kuan Yew ever apologised for it? Did the PAP ever apologised for it? Instead, the PAP continues to pretend that what they did was right. The PAP continues to claim that they were trying to protect Singapore, when it has been proven that the PAP had arrested and detained these innocent Singaporeans unfairly and unjustly.

The PAP simply doesn’t have a valid reason to do so, but they did anyway.

And the PAP never stopped. Today, Amos has become another victim in the PAP’s persecution of Singaporeans, just as I was and still am.

But the PAP is not Singapore. And Singapore is not the PAP.

We have allowed the PAP to be too comfortable with abusing their power in government for too long.

I got to know Amos about a month ago. After he made his video and was charged for it, I became concerned.

With how they treated him, I saw all the hallmarks of what I went through when I was sued for defamation and I did not want to see Amos go through what I did.

Not without support.

I needed to show him support. I want to show him support.

It is a lonely journey when you believe in something and want to fight for it.

But I am glad that this is not the case for Amos. I am glad that there are friends in Singapore and around the world who cares for Amos.

For in Amos, the conscience of Singaporeans have been awoken.

Never have I, in my living memory, seen so much support and outpouring from Singaporeans who feel so aggrieved that they have sent in their photos to support Amos for the #FreeAmosYee campaign.

This is a first for a political campaign in recent times.

I asked Singaporeans to send in their photos on Saturday, on my birthday, and in 2 days, I have received more than 60 photos, from even our neighbours in Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar, as well as from The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Never before has there been a cause that has rallied together Singaporeans so strongly against the atrocities of the PAP.

Today, I am starting to see unity among Singaporeans.

I finally understand that Singaporeans are also feeling, enough is enough.

But Amos cannot see any of this because he is still in remand.

Tomorrow, his sentence will be passed. But what will happen to him?

We can only hope for the best, and that is why we are here today.

Amos did not do anything wrong. Amos has to be released.

#FreeAmosYee

Amos is my friend. Even though we have known each other for only a short one month, in fact, shorter since he has been spending most of the time in prison, I feel that I can understand him.

I see in him the honesty and truth that I uphold for myself.

I see in him the justice and fairness that I believe.

But Amos is more.

It is funny that a 16-year-old boy can teach you lessons, even when you are 34 – I just turned 34 on Saturday!

But Amos has. He has told me several times to be honest with myself. But Amos doesn’t just say it.

He does it.

This is why even though we know how important freedom to us is, Amos is willing to go into prison to fight for our freedom.

We do not know it but it is in his courage and his unbending spirit, that he has exposed the hypocrisy of the PAP and how it has bent the law for itself.

Amos has taught us the real value of freedom, of justice and of truth.

He is a friend and a teacher, even at 16.

I see the courage that he has put himself through, I see his determination.

I see his honesty.

I see the man for who he is.

Today, thank you for coming to this vigil. Amos cannot be here. But if he was, he would appreciate this.

But it is not just Amos that we are here for today. It is for courage, honesty and freedom.

And today, we have stepped up, stepped up to fight for him and for ourselves, because Amos stood up and he showed us the way.

And now, it is up to us to lead the way for him.

Thank you, all.

The PAP has Abused the Law to Persecute Amos Yee but Protect its Own Members

Over the last one and a half months, 16-year-old Amos Yee was arrested and charged, and has now been held in remand for 17 days in total now.

All because he said something about Lee Kuan Yew. You can read more about his persecution here.

The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), or the government’s lawyers, charged Amos and said that he drew something obscene and wanted to intentionally wound the feelings of Christians.

Have you seen the image that Amos drew? You can Google it under “Lee Kuan Yew buttfucking”. To be considered obscene legally, the image must make you feel tempted to act out your sexual fantasies and want to have sex. Go take a look at the photo and see if you would actually want to do so.

Then you will know why Amos needs to be released.

Not only that, government-controlled companies, such as Mediacorp, have even created TV shows which would rightfully be classified as “obscene” but they have never been charged.

Will AGC Charge Mediacorp for Obscenity 1

Will AGC Charge Mediacorp for Obscenity 2

In fact, Mediacorp’s FHM magazine would be considered even more “obscene”. If they need not be charged, surely there are simply no grounds for Amos to be charged, isn’t it?

Will AGC Charge Mediacorp for Obscenity 4

Will AGC Charge Mediacorp for Obscenity 3

Will AGC Charge Mediacorp for Obscenity 5

Then why was Amos charged? If Amos was charged, then it is clear that it is not the image that he did that is the issue, isn’t it? Clearly, he PAP wanted to persecute Amos because of what he said about Lee Kuan Yew.

But Amos is a 16-year-old boy, for goodness sake. Even if the PAP feels insecure about its own power, a 16-year-old, really? The PAP would persecute a mere child because it is scared?

On the charge of wanting to intentionally wound the feelings of Christians, many Christians have spoken up for Amos.

Amos’s own bailer, Vincent Law, said that he is Christian but not offended by what Amos said. 65-year-old John Loh also told Reuters that he is not offended too.

Unjust Amos Charged 5

In fact, a petition set up a Christian Singaporean has now garnered more than 4,000 signatories where many Christians have also spoken up in support of Amos.

Unjust Amos Charged 6

Unjust Amos Charged 7

Unjust Amos Charged 8

Unjust Amos Charged 9

Moreover,  even though there were 32 people who made police reports against Amos, the AGC did not call up any of them to stand as witnesses in court.

In fact, even the police reports that were made against Amos were not revealed. Then how can we verify the veracity of these reports?

Amos’s lawyers also pointed out that of the two reports that they were able to access, two of them reported against Amos because they were upset with what Amos had said about their “founding father” or Lee Kuan Yew.

received_10153811916218502

In fact, two of the people who made police reports were Lionel de Souza and Chia Boon Teck, and they have been found to be affiliated to the People’s Action Party (PAP).

Lionel de Souza is a PAP member.

Sketch286233349-2_20150422141620845

And Chia Boon Teck is also related to the PAP and had written into The Straits Times Forum Page and said that he does not tolerate those who make “disrespectful comments” about Lee Kuan Yew.

Chia Boon Teck Amos Yee

Clearly, the persecution of Amos is because he had spoken about Lee Kuan Yew. The persecution of Amos is political.

In truth, it was not because he wounded the feelings of Christians. It was because he wounded the feelings of the PAP members or supporters.

Who do the PAP members think they are? God?

Do they think Singapore belongs only to the PAP and other Singaporeans who do not side them should be subjected to being second class and bullied by them?

The PAP supporters keep claiming that Amos should be persecuted because he spoke about Christianity.

But when PAP members have also made insensitive remarks about religion or ethnicity, nothing happened to them.

Unjust Amos Charged 2

The PAP supporters keep saying that Amos should be persecuted but they would keep quiet when it is their own members who said the same things.

If the PAP supporters keep saying that what Amos said is a crime, shouldn’t many of the PAP members be thrown into jail? Why didn’t this happen?

In fact, when an ordinary Singaporean made a police report on one of the PAP members and tried to follow up on it, the PAP used the government agencies and police to intimidate him instead. You can read more about Abdul Salim Harun’s persecution here and here.

Unjust Amos Charged 1

What happened to the rule of law? Is Singapore now a lawless place where only the PAP’s law matters?

Must you be a PAP member to be safe in Singapore, and if you are not, will you, your children and their children never be safe? All because we don’t support the PAP?

Not only that, look at what Lee Kuan Yew had said before.

Unjust Amos Charged 3

If Lee Kuan Yew had said things much worse than what Amos had said, shouldn’t Lee Kuan Yew have been thrown into jail?

Unjust Amos Charged 4

Why was Lee Kuan Yew allowed to walk around freely? Why was he not punished, jailed and caned like many of the PAP supporters want to be done to Amos?

In fact, why did the PAP supporters not smack Lee Kuan Yew in the face, like how some of them cheered when a man physically assaulted Amos and smacked him in the face.

What are the PAP supporters trying to say? If you say something against Lee Kuan Yew or the PAP, you are a criminal. And if you do not support the PAP, physical violence can be meted out on you and the PAP supporters will think is acceptable?

Meanwhile, Amos has been remanded in prison for a total of 17 days now and has been handcuffed in chains and shackles, which have eaten into his legs and caused him to be in much pain.

Not only that, when Amos appeared in court, he wore a shirt with the words, “Prisoner”, on the back to humiliate him.

Amos Yee Court

All because he said something about Lee Kuan Yew.

Has Singapore become PAP? Is it now illegal to give your opinions about Lee Kuan Yew or the PAP? Does the PAP think this is North Korea?

Why is the PAP taking over the country as if Singapore belongs to the PAP?

If you are a PAP member or supporter and you say something, you will never be charged. You will be allowed to go scot free.

But if you are not a PAP supporter, the PAP will not even wait to charge you. The PAP will charge you immediately.

Amos was charged within a day of being arrested. This is how the PAP treat Singaporeans.

If we don’t support the PAP, they will “fix” us. It is no longer about fixing the opposition. All Singaporeans who do not support the PAP now will be fixed.

But is this the kind of Singapore you want? Is this the kind of government you want?

If you are a PAP member or supporter…

The PAP no longer cares for Singaporeans. It only cares for itself.

It is scary that Singaporeans would still allow the PAP to be in government.

If I were you, I will vote to kick the PAP out of government. They have abused their power for too long and now, even turned against Singaporeans.

In fact, after Lee Kuan Yew died, the PAP has now attacked Singaporeans even more. Not only did it attack Amos, it is trying to shut down the “alternative” online news sites to prevent Singaporeans from being able to read “alternative” news.

Within a month after Lee Kuan Yew died...

The PAP wants us to only read its propaganda, to only read the “right thing”, as Yaacob Ibrahim said before.

What is happened in Singapore now is terrible. Do you want Singapore to go down this road, where the PAP is king and where they make Singaporeans second class citizens and bully Singaporeans?

Does this worry you?

But it is clear that Singaporeans are not happy. Within a month after Lee Kuan Yew died, there have already been several acts of civil disobedience.

Within a month after Lee Kuan Yew died... 2

But the question is, Singaporeans, when will we rise together?

MAY DAY PROTESTS IN ASIA 2015

But it is not just that. Even when we know that the PAP is taking our Central Provident Fund (CPF) pension funds to use while it denies it, why do we tolerate it? Lee Kuan Yew said in 2001 and 2006 that “GIC does not use CPF funds”. But last year, the PAP finally admitted that it does. Why didn’t Singaporeans fight back?

Why wasn’t Lee Kuan Yew charged?

2 How the PAP Government Tried to Hide the Truth about the CPF @ 2001 2006 2007

Also, when we know that the PAP also puts itself on the board of directors of the GIC, which takes our CPF money to use and earn from, but yet claim that the PAP-run government does not interfere in the GIC, why do we still allow them to whitewash us? Why do we allow them to bully us? Why, Singaporeans? Why don’t you fight back?

4 How the PAP Government Tried to Hide the Truth about the CPF @ GIC Board of Directors

Which is why I am doing this for Amos. And which is why many of us are doing this for him. Amos spoke up about the truth in Singapore and the PAP decided to persecute him for it. He spoke up about the income inequality and how he wanted a better Singapore.

“It is by how he creates a place where people are able to live happily and prosper, based on their own unique attributes,” Amos said, when explaining what a great leader should be.

I have thus started a campaign to support Amos and demand for the release for Amos.

You can take a picture of yourself holding a message of support and send it to me at royngerng@gmail.com. I started this campaign on Saturday evening and in just less than 2 days, more than 40 people have sent in their photos. You can see my previous post for them.

Roy Ngerng

Please send your photos to me by tonight (Singapore time). Amos’s judgment will be given tomorrow. I hope to compile the photos into a video to show support for him.

Amos did not do anything wrong. He has to be freed.

This evening at 7.30pm, the Community Action Network will also be holding a candlelight vigil for Amos at the Hong Lim Park. If you would like to come and show your support for Amos, please come.

I will be going as well.

You can go to the Facebook event page here.

What is happening to Amos is wrong. And how the PAP is taking over government to protect its own interests is also wrong. We cannot allow this to keep going on.

Amos is innocent. He has to be freed.

#FreeAmosYee

Candlelight Prayer for Amos Yee Short 2-1

Send Me Your Photos for the #FreeAmosYee Campaign

Last Saturday was my birthday. I made a wish that Amos would be released and that change would come to Singapore. It would be my greatest wish come true.

Amos Yee has been arrested and charged by the Singapore government, or more specifically the People’s Action Party (PAP)-run government after he said something about Lee Kuan Yew, their late leader. You can read more about his persecution here.

I also posted a photo to ask for Amos to be released and to ask everyone to send me their photos in support of Amos as well.

Roy Ngerng

In just less than 2 days, I have received more than 40 photos already, some from even as far afield as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Thailand and Myanmar. This is fantastic! The support for Amos is amazing!

Please keep them coming. We need more support for Amos. Amos did not do anything wrong. He should be released.

You can take a photo of yourself and send it to me at royngerng@gmail.com. I will be compiling them tonight (Singapore time) into a video, to release it tomorrow before the judgement for Amos comes out.

(If you have sent in your picture but I did not put it up, please let me know! I might have missed it!)

This evening, the Community Action Network will also be holding a candlelight vigil for Amos. I will be going. Please come as well.

You can go to the Facebook event page here.

Candlelight Prayer for Amos Yee Short 2-1

Amos did not do anything wrong. He should never be charged and arrested. He should not be politically persecuted for what he said about Lee Kuan Yew.

Amos has to be released.

#FreeAmosYee

So far, I have received photos from Christians who said that they were not offended by what Amos said.

received_452310291596369

received_452312174929514

Merv

Girls

FB_IMG_1431261762406

FB_IMG_1431253469367

FB_IMG_1431260653668

IMG-20150510-WA0007

FB_IMG_1431259740301

FB_IMG_1431244507597

FB_IMG_1431244503328

Ray

A Muslim friend also sent a photo to show his support.

Hassan 1

I have also gotten photos from Singaporeans from all walks of life, from young to old, parents, children and their families.

Daryl Tan

FB_IMG_1431266003320

20150510_184503

image

Jess C Scott

Willie Tan Willie

received_10153269698805097

Stephen Koh

received_1080805371934205

Shelley_20150509224604920

Jessica

FB_IMG_1431262103154

received_917331891636037

Bruce

Janet Low

IMG_3840

received_10152759834095723

received_1448321042131992

image1

IMG-20150510-WA0013

And surprise surprise, all the way from London, Tan Wah Piow and his friends have also sent in a picture in solidarity with Amos. Tan Wah Piow was imprisoned for one year based on fabricated charges by the PAP-run government and is now in exile in the United Kingdom.

Tan Wah Piow and Friends

And from the Reform Party, Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam himself has also take a photo to support Amos.

Kenneth 3

Even friends from overseas have sent in their photos to support Amos!

M

Australia

Faiz

Malaysia

received_634643806670387

Myanmar

20150510_181949_resized

20150510_181822_resized

20150510_181640_resized

20150510_181552_resized

Thailand

freeAmos (1)

The Netherlands

Lee Lifeson-Peart

United Kingdom

received_10153337204684853

United States

Please keep sending your photos in to me at royngerng@gmail.com. I will be putting them together into a video tonight!

Amos did not do anything wrong. We have to help set him free. Tomorrow, Amos’s judgment will be passed. Let’s wish him all the best.

#FreeAmosYee

Candlelight Prayer for Amos Yee Short 4-1

This was How Amos’s Trial in Court Went Today

image

Hello everyone, this was what happened in court for the second day of Amos’s trial today.

I got to the State Court at about 1pm today even though Amos’s trial was supposed to start at 2.30pm. But by then, there was already about 20 people in the queue.

By the time Amos’s trial was to start, there were already about 80 people in the queue. According to someone who has gone to several trials previously, he has never seen so many people come to attend a hearing before.

Many Singaporeans are concerned about Amos’s situation.

The trial started late again. It only started at about 3pm. (Yesterday, it started after 1 hour 30 minutes.)

image

When Amos walked into the courtroom, he was once again bounded in chains and shackles. He still wore a shirt with the words, “Prisoner”, on his back. Amos walked with a limp and was dragging his feet. According to his mom when Amos spoke to her yesterday, the chains were very heavy and were very painful as the chains were eating into his legs.

image

Amos’s lawyers started their defence first. Ervin Tan was the first to defend Amos. He explained that on the charge of Section 292 of obscenity, a person cannot be charged on a mere assertion.

Obscenity can only be ruled when a person who is likely to see an image might be depraved or corrupted. In other words, a person who sees an image should want to engage in a sexual act or that it must lead to sexual fantasies and cause a person to be “tempted” to have sex.

Mind you, this charge is in relation to the image of the drawing which featured Lee Kuan Yew and Margaret Thatcher.

So, erm. Well, you get the picture.

Ervin did not say this, but it is clear that what could be said is that the picture clearly does not encourage anyone to want to have sex, and cannot thus be viewed as obscene and Amos should therefore be acquitted of the charge.

Ervin also argued that when it comes to the Internet, a person would have to take certain steps to want to search for something. So in order to be able to view the image, they would have to do a search of “Amos Yee”, for example. Just because an image is online does not mean that it can be viewed by anyone, Ervin defended by saying. Ervin also explained that it is this group of people who would take such steps who are likely to be able to view the image and who would know what they are searching for and what to expect.

Ervin thus argued that it is unlikely that people who viewed the image would find it “obscene”.

On the contrary he explained that it could be possible that a youth who viewed the image might become political and learn to critique political leaders. Ervin stopped short of going further. The suggestion is that Amos is being persecuted for the picture not so much because it is “obscene” but because it contained an image of Lee Kuan Yew.

Ervin also explained that if someone did not like the pictures, they could use other tools, such as defamation and the protection against harrassment act if they wanted to take action. However, he pointed out that the two people in the image are deceased, which also explained why the AGC had stood down the charge against Amos under the Protection against Harassment Act, in relation to Lee Kuan Yew, he added.

By still charging Amos under Section 292 for obscenity, this is an abuse of the law and extending the use of the law, Ervin posits. He explained that if parliament finds that there is a new mischief of offending the dead, then it is up to parliament to pass a new law.

image

Amos’s second lawyer, Chong Jia Hao, was the next to defend Amos on the charge of Section 298 which is about the “deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of Christians in general”.

Jia Hao defended Amos by saying that there is no evidence that Amos’s words have wounded the feelings of Christians. He argued that Amos’s main purpose is to critique Lee Kuan Yew and even then, those are just his opinions.

Jia Hao also explained that if Amos’s comment on Christianity is a crime, then many thousands of people and books on the shelves would all have also committed crimes.

Jia Hao also explained that Amos’s critique about Lee Kuan Yew is really aimed at Lee Kuan Yew’s followers. Amos’s critique, Jia Hao explained, is that the followers should follow “sound logic or knowledge about him that is grounded in reality,” where otherwise they would be “completely delusional and ignorant”, which Amos had said.

Jia Hao added that religion teaches tolerance.

He pointed out that there have been many Christians who have also said that their feelings have not been hurt. One example is Amos’s bailer, Vincent Law, had said that he is Christian but is not hurt. Also, there has been a petition going around and which has been signed by nearly 4,000 people, many Christians, who have asked for Amos to be released.

Jia Hao also revealed that there have been 32 police reports made against Amos but none of them have taken to the stand as witnesses.

In fact, only one police report has been made available and even then, this report makes mention of the “founding father”. He also spoke of another report by Grace Tan which only made mention of Lee Kuan Yew and Margaret Thatcher.

What evidence does the AGC have that these people were wounded by what Amos said, Jia Hao asked. The AGC does not have evidence that Christians were hurt. There were no witnesses. There were no police reports.

Jia Hao also said that the court must consider the impact of the freedom of speech which is protected by the Singapore constitution and cannot just look at the interests of an overly-sensitive group of people. (He should be referring to the supporters of Lee Kuan Yew?) He added that if Amos is found guilty, it is a curtailing of Amos’s right and that of a significant proportion of Singaporeans.

Jia Hao then said that it is clear that Amos made the video because he wants to state his views on Lee Kuan Yew. He said that Amos had realised that Lee Kuan Yew is a “horrible” person after reading up and decided to make the video as it would opened up critical channels for discussion. It would also encourage people to make fun of their political leaders and result in positive change, Amos had hoped.

Amos’s intentions of making his video is thus noble because he wants progress for Singaporeans and to encourage discussion on Lee Kuan Yew, Jia Hao explained.

“Even the title is directed at Lee Kuan Yew: “Lee Kuan Yew Is Finally Dead!”, Jia Hao said.

“If he wants to hurt Christians, he would have titled the video, “Jesus Is Finally Dead!”, Jia Hao explained.

Amos’s aim is to really challenge the reputation that Lee Kuan Yew generally enjoys, Jia Hao added. “It is patently clear that the centre of the critique is around Lee Kuan Yew,” Jia Hao concluded.

Moreover, he pointed out that the AGC only took issue with 10 sentences in the video, which lasted a much longer 8 minutes and thus in view of the title and the content of the video, there is clearly no intention to hurt Christians. It is really about Lee Kuan Yew.

Finally, Jia Hao also said that people can choose to ignore the video if they don’t like it, but they had chosen to watch it.

image

The highlight of the trial was when Amos’s third lawyer, Alfred Dodwell, who has been on the forefront on his case, spoke.

Alfred wanted to submit an evidence but the AGC did not allow him to do so.

Alfred that this evidence is “critical”.

However, AGC rebutted and said that the evidence should not be submitted as it can be taken out of context (as if the AGC has been taking everything in their context – NOT!).

Finally, after a back and forth with the AGC, the judge finally allowed Alfred to submit the evidence.

The audience roared in response and clapped at the judge’s decision.

Alfred then read out the evidence. It was a recorded statement from Amos where he had stated that he had no intentions of wounding the religious feelings of Christians and his intention was to really critique Lee Kuan Yew.

Amos should thus be acquitted.

This piece of evidence is indeed crucial. Alfred explained that it would “vindicate” Amos.

Now, why did the AGC not allow this evidence to be submitted? Why did the AGC want to block it?

When it came to the AGC’s turn to put out their case, I was actually expecting a proper argument. But it was very poor, and I am being objective here.

AGC insisted that Amos’s intention of the image is to corrupt minds (meaning, to make them want to have sex). To remind you, this is the image of Lee Kuan Yew and Margaret Thatcher.

AGC also said that one day, 200 years from now, the image might not be “obscene” but for now, it is obscene for the person on the MRT train or coffee shop.

To be honest, I could not follow AGC’s arguments. AGC just kept harping on one point – that Amos has the intentions to hurt Christians, and then they kept trying to rehash their arguments just to justify their point.

AGC then said that Section 298 is meant to protect the social fabric of Singapore, and then once again repeated that Amos has the intentions to hurt Christians.

In summary, AGC made a very weak case. The guy just kept saying that Amos has the intentions. Actually, I don’t have to tell you that the arguments are weak. None of the media controlled by the PAP fully reported about the case, because there is very little material that they can report on from the AGC side and they wouldn’t want to report on the arguments brought up by Amos (because the media is controlled by the PAP), which you can see is quite substantial and well thought out.

Finally, the AGC concluded with the most out-of-the-world statement ever. This one takes the cake.

He said: “You know it is obscene when you see it.”

And with that, AGC concluded their case. I just rolled back and laughed. You call this a conclusion?

Honestly, if the court were to rule against Amos, I would be disappointed. Amos’s lawyers made a very strong case and the AGC simply didn’t make good.

At one point, Amos left the court and returned. And when he walked back in, in chains, his supporters outside court see him and started cheered and clapping for him. The door was open and Amos could see them. They then chanted, “Famous Amos”.

Amos looked surprised but I thought there was a look of relief on his face. I don’t think it’s a good experience for a child to be remanded in prison. It has been 14 days that he has been inside, in total now.

I hope this ends quickly. Today when we saw Amos, he looks a lot more tired. He looked paler. Amos still tried to smile at us when he saw us but you could see that he is exhausted.

Amos is only a 16-year-old boy. He is being unfairly persecuted by the PAP. And he has to be let go. There is no reason why Amos should be charged as he has not done anything wrong.

I told The Straits Times something along these lines: “Amos did not do anything wrong. Amos is being unfairly persecuted by the state because the laws are unfair. And if the laws are unfair, it is the state which should review the laws and not continue to use the unfair laws to persecute him (and Singaporeans).” But they did not want to report on this comment.

In the end, it is clear and sundry to all Singaporeans and to the world that Amos’s persecution is political and he should not have been charged at all for what he did, not least because there have been many PAP members and supporters who have done and said worse things than he has but nothing has happened to them.

Tomorrow is my birthday. All I wish for is that Amos will be freed and all the charges dropped against him, and that we can start a new beginning for Singapore. This was what Amos wanted and this is what we need for Singapore.

All the best to Amos. Please pray for him.

The judge will pass her judgement on Amos on next Tuesday.

How I Learnt Honesty from Amos Yee and Why I Support His Stand

image

I waited eagerly for my meet-up with Amos. It was just about a month ago that I met Amos for the very first time, on 11 April 2015.

I was in awe, and I was excited to meet him.

Before this, I have not watched Amos’s videos or heard of him. But like many, after watching his video about Lee Kuan Yew, I watched some of his other past videos and realised how intelligent a person he is.

It was going to be an honour to meet him. I don’t have many heroes in my life and I actually felt like I was meeting one.

I sound like a fan boy, I know, but I was. And still am.

When Amos appeared, he was dressed casually in his black T-shirt, which by now seems almost characteristic of him, just like how Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg would always attire himself in the same outfit.

We greeted each other and proceeded to where we were heading to. Both of us looked nonchalant.

On my part, I did not want to make it look like a big deal. Amos made a video, the whole world knows him now, but it wasn’t like he is any different from anyone else, and I did not want to make him feel uncomfortable. I know, because this is how I feel about myself. After I was sued for defamation by the Singapore prime minister a year ago, I just wanted to get on with my life. I wanted to still be on the streets and to walk around freely, and to be myself.

And so, I did not want to make it awkward or any different for Amos. And as I got to know Amos more later, I realised that he thought the same. To Amos, he made a video, in fact he made several and even won an award for a short film he made, but it was never about his ego.

Amos is not a proud person. He doesn’t want to show off. He just wants to be himself.

To Amos, he likes making videos, he has something to say, and he wants to share it. This is his way of commenting on society and sharing his thoughts, just like it was mine on my blog.

And thus even though I had never met Amos before, I felt like I already knew him.

He wanted to be honest, to be true to himself, he tells me. In fact, he says this to me a lot.

“Pick the honest one Roy, the honest one is always better than the supposed sucking up to the media angle,” he told me just before he went back to remand. That was the last I spoke to him, other than the sign language we could offer solace to one another when in court, now that he’s been kept in chains and behind bars inside prison.

But you see, this is who Amos is. He is not doing this – making videos etc, because he wants the media attention. He wants to be himself. And this is something many people do not understand.

Amos just wants to be true to himself and I get that. That was the reason why I wrote on my blog, The Heart Truths. Some people, primarily those who are supporters of the PAP, want to say that I am seeking attention. All I can say to them is, if you would like the attention that comes with the defamation suit, I am more than willing to allow the defamation suit to be transferred to your name.

And that was what Amos thought too. I “was not sure if my actions would land me in jail,” he told the police in his statement. He did not realise that the PAP would be so violent as to arrest and charge a boy for some words that he said.

Meanwhile, the man who assaulted Amos has still not been charged even after one week. Is the PAP saying that actually smacking someone physically across the face and assaulting someone is less of a crime than just saying something?

image

Indeed, Amos wants to be true to himself.

“I refuse to (remove my videos) because it would not appease the public, as the video and posts will continue to be circulated, and also because doing so would suggest that I was sorry for the videos and my post, which I am not,” he was quoted as having said to the police.

Direct, but Amos does not want to compromise on his values.

Amos also said in his statements that he made the video after reading my blog. That’s a no brainer, really. His video featured charts from my blog.

And to be honest, it’s flattering.

After getting to know Amos, I have come to know him as a very intelligent person. But you don’t need to get to know him to know this. Just by watching his videos, you can tell that.

I can tell you honestly that I never had the intelligence and diligence that Amos has at his age and I will not – Amos scored 11 points in his L1R5 at the ‘O’ Levels. He also took the Malay Special Programme and with his Co-Curricular Activities he took part in, would enable him to get into a top junior college with 7 points. He can also play the guitar and paint, and of course, made videos and short films.

As such, I was honoured when I saw my charts in his video.

But I also knew how the PAP was going to spin this. When I saw my charts, I knew that when the police was going to investigate him, they would want to ask him about his involvement with me.

And they did, even if I didn’t know him them, and even if they would know that I don’t.

Over the last few days, the media controlled by the PAP has been going around on this portrayal.

“According to Court documents, Yee said his ideas were also shaped by meet-ups with members from the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP). An SDP member also introduced Yee to Mr Roy Ngerng’s blog, and Yee said he was convinced by what Mr Ngerng had published,” the Channel NewsAsia reported.

“The teenager added that he drew evidence from Mr Ngerng’s blog posts for his video on Mr Lee Kuan Yew.”

Not only does the PAP want to relate Amos with me, they want to draw in SDP as well.

It does not take a rocket scientist to see what the PAP is trying to do. It is 1963 and 1987 all over again.

To be clear, I am the proudest to be associated with Amos. He has become a friend and someone I trust, as he trusts in me. And I am grateful that I have been able to speak up for him and to advocate on his behalf.

Amos is being politically persecuted by the PAP, just because he criticised Lee Kuan Yew.

Let’s not make any pretense about this. We know that the PAP could not wait to get him because he made a video that called Lee Kuan Yew a “horrible person” and this shocked the hell out of the supporters of Lee Kuan Yew and the PAP, who let themselves at him.

In fact, two of the people who made police reports are PAP supporters, even members, or affiliated to them.

image

image

Within two days of making the video, Amos was arrested. Within another two days, he was charged.

We haven’t seen such efficiency from the Singapore Police Force and the AGC in recent times.

But when they had to pander to the PAP and they had to do the PAP’s bidding, all of a sudden, the police and AGC acted as if they were going to receive their 36-month bonus the very next day.

But this is the state that the security forces in Singapore has become. Are they still there to protect Singaporeans or have they become apparatus used by the PAP for its political persecution of Singaporeans?

It is clear, isn’t it?

But such is the insecurity that the PAP has that it cannot stand on its own two feet but has to use the state machinery to come down on Singaporeans, and not only that but on a 16-year-old boy, mind you. Have they become so fearful of the potential loss of their power that they have to use state violence on a child?

Does the PAP has something to hide, many have questioned.

Indeed, Amos has spoke about the inequality in Singapore in his video. Do watch it. It is still available online.

When I was watching Amos’s video, I remembered being quite amused, at how able he was to string such a clear argument that enticed me to watch the whole duration of the video, as it had many. I love how blatant he is. I questioned the use of vulgarities but I ignored them. If you don’t like what you hear, you have a choice to shut off from it. You don’t have to make a police report. If you choose to make a police report, then certainly it is you who needs to see a psychiatrist if when even someone makes a comment about something, you choose to take it personally.

Yet, the AGC and the media controlled by the PAP has chosen to turn against Amos and paint him as the one who needs psychiatric assessment.

Even Amos’s lawyer, Alfred Dodwell, could not stand such state coercion that he spoke up: “(the) media should reflect properly, as opposed to try to paint him as some psychopath, needing psychiatric treatment and stuff.”

“He is only 16. Only 16. Please don’t forget that. Don’t make him out to be some kind of demon.”

But what struck me was Amos’s commentary about the sociopolitical situation in Singapore.

Amos had said, and I quote him again: “Most people in Singapore are struggling to make ends meet. And it is reported that Singaporeans work the longest hours in the world. We are one of the richest countries in the world, but we have one of the highest income inequalities, highest poverty rates, and our government spends one of the lowest on healthcare and social security.

“The money spent on the public is so low, it’s more representative of a third world country. And yet the amount of taxes is one of the highest in first world countries. And political leaders in Singapore earn more than quadruple the amount earned by political leaders in the United States. They are acquiring so much money — why aren’t they spending it on the people? What are they actually spending it on?”

Amos was spot on.

And therefore the PAP wanted to get him.

Amos also said, “Lee Kuan Yew, contrary to popular belief, was a horrible person and an awful leader to our country. He was a dictator, but managed to fool most of the world to think he was democratic.”

image

But what Amos said was just plain facts. Lee Kuan Yew is a horrible person. Let’s make no bones about it. He did help grow Singapore into what it was, but that was also because he had an able team of people behind him, such as Goh Keng Swee, Toh Chin Chye and S. Rajaratnam.

But even they started to criticise him in their later years.

Mr Rajaratnam had said: “There is a difference between me and Kuan Yew. He was not all that keen on democracy, “one man one vote.” I always believed that every one should be allowed to vote. This was an important difference.

“I believe in democracy. Here, Kuan Yew and I don’t agree. He says, “You are very naïve. You don’t understand. One man, one vote won’t work.” I express my views. Every citizen has the right to vote. Lee Kuan Yew says that you cannot trust democracy. I believe you can and you must.”

Mr Rajaratnam also said of Lee Kuan Yew: “He knows that we can’t live forever. His dream is to leave behind a reputation. So that even when he passes away, that Singapore will remember him. That this is the man we wanted in Singapore. I don’t think that exactly what he wrote, but that is how he reflected himself, project himself.

“Lee Kuan Yew … believes that if there are more Lee Kuan Yew’s, this place will hum.”

Now look at what Singapore has become with all the mini-Lee Kuan Yews running around.

image

Not only that, Lee Kuan Yew arrested thousands of Singaporeans and detained them without trial, some of them for more than 10, 20 or even 30 years. Many of them were his political opponents which he wanted to weed out, and many were labour unionists who wanted to fight for workers’ rights. But Lee Kuan Yew put them behind bars.

After Lee Kuan Yew died, ex-PAP minister S. Dhanabalan finally said: ” I resigned from Cabinet (in 1992) because I had a great difference of view over the use of the Internal Security Act in the 1987 arrests. (In 1987, 22 people – many linked to the Catholic Church – were arrested and detained without trial under the ISA for alleged involvement in a “Marxist conspiracy”.)

He also said: “I wouldn’t venture to say whether he was right or I was right. So it was not that he was ruthless, but that he saw dangers where I didn’t. Whether it was real danger or not remains to be seen.”

image

Is Lee Kuan Yew a “horrible” person? He is, there are no two ways about it. Lee Kuan Yew harassed tens of thousands of Singaporeans, including the families of these people, but who has reported him for it? Has he been charged or trialed?

If Amos should be even charged for a crime many of us don’t think he ever did, then Lee Kuan Yew has to be trialed and sentenced to decades in prison for the atrocities that he has committed against Singaporeans.

Has the PAP ever apologised for the wrongdoings that Lee Kuan Yew did, or even acknowledged this? Instead, they have continously denied this.

Yet, they would charge a boy who spoke the truth.

What is the PAP trying to hide?

As Amos and I walked towards the meeting place that day, when I met Amos for the very first time, I asked him how he was coping.

I didn’t care about what people thought of him. I just wanted to be sure he was well. I just wanted to let him know that nothing has changed and that he should still continue to be who he is.

But he knew that already.

Some have commented that Amos appears arrogant. But this stems from a misunderstanding of Amos. Once you get to know Amos, he is just forthright and honest, but for some, perhaps honest to a fault.

But would you rather someone who pretends to be someone he is not and speaks of you nicely in front of you but stab you in the back?

Well, Amos would not do that.

And because of that, he seems arrogant, even rude.

But if being honest means to appear arrogant, so be it. This would be what Amos would think.

I have learnt many things from Amos since I got to know him. I have learnt to be honest and true to myself, truly. I have always believed in this but when I see the way Amos stick to his guns, that is when you realise what holding true to your values really means. It questions your values and beliefs, and forces you to really face up to yourself, and your fears.

When you look at Amos, then you really know what being brave and courageous means. It is to be honest.

And this is what has endeared Amos to many Singaporeans. We admire how he has stuck to his beliefs and how he would not waver and buckle in spite of the intimidation that the PAP puts on him.

We admire how he is not like the PAP.
Yesterday, Amos appeared in court in a shirt with the words, “Prisoner”, at the back. They were trying to intimidate him but Amos was still in “good spirits”, his lawyer, Mr Dodwell, later said.

The PAP can try to break Amos but one thing they do not understand is this – you cannot defeat a person who is honest and true.

You cannot defeat a person who has strong values and stand true to them.

Amos meant no harm in the first place and he is not going to apologise for something he never did. I support him on this.

Today is the second day of his trial. I wish my dear friend all the best and good luck.

No matter what happens, he has already won, in the hearts of many.

Afternote: After my advocacy for Amos and for the CPF, I had just last week received a letter to threaten me. But I will continue to do the work that I do. If we allow such cowardly actions to make us cower, then change will never come. We must always stand up for ourselves and stand up against such bullying, so that we can regain our rights and our lives.

image