Justice Jasvender Kaur’s Judgement Is Not an Outlier But Reflects LKY’s and the PAP’s Thinking
There has been a predictable outcry among Singaporeans to Justice Kaur’s decision not to send NUS molester Terence Siow to jail but to give him probation based on the astonishing reasoning that his academic potential showed the possibility that he would “excel in life”. Some 40,000 have signed a petition against his sentence and Law Minister Shanmugam has predictably got in on the act. The AGC have announced that they will be appealing.
I pointed out on Twitter that this was the same judge who sentenced Amos Yee, then 16 years old and a child by any civilized country’s definition, to four weeks in jail for the offences of offending Christians and obscenity.
She was also seriously considering sending Amos to reformative training, which would have been a military-style boot camp, for eighteen months to 3 years depending on the reports of his gaolers and was only dissuaded by the outcry that I, among others, raised to these plans.
After I made the comparison someone put out a meme:
Mothership, the PAP-affiliated media site run by Nicole Seah’s ex Belmont Lay, put out an article purporting to correct this by pointing out that Amos was convicted of obscenity and “hurting” religious feelings and not for criticising LKY.
While this may have been technically correct any impartial observer quickly saw through this, including the US immigration judge, Samuel Cole, who heard Amos’s plea for asylum and at which hearing I gave evidence. He damningly commented :
“Religion was only tangential to the video. The video is almost entirely about Yew( sic) and Singapore and its discussions of religion were only used to make a point about Yee’s dismal opinion of Yew ( LKY). In fact religion took up only about 30 seconds of the video’s 81/2 minute content. The public response to the video was entirely about its criticism of YEW not about its offense to religion.”
Cole of course granted Amos’s request for asylum saying in his judgement:
“The evidence presented at the hearing demonstrates that Singapore’s prosecution of Yee was a pretext to silence his political opinions critical of the Singapore government. His prosecution, detention and general maltreatment at the hands of the Singapore authorities demonstrates persecution on account of Yee’s political opinions. Yee is a young political dissident and HIS APPLICATION FOR ASYLUM IS GRANTED.”
Even if there had been no criticism of LKY and it was not used as a pretext to persecute him, Amos’s crimes, even if one accepted their validity, did not involve sexual violence. Terence Siow admitted that he had molested other women previously and was obviously getting bolder. He would have probably progressed to more serious sexual assault rather than what the judge characterised as “minor intrusions” and possibly even rape.
Shanmugam’s belated and predictable attempt to get on the right side of public opinion should not mask the fact that the judge’s thinking is not out of step with that of LKY and his son. LKY long proclaimed noxious racial and eugenic theories without scientific evidence to argue that some lives were worth more than others. These were of course treated as “hard truths” and apothegms of sublime brilliance by his state media sycophants and Western media mercenaries.
One of his beliefs was that those with better academic results, which signalled higher intelligence, were more valuable human beings. If the academic results were poor or non-existent, then wealth would be a good proxy for intelligence. Graduate women were especially valuable and the thought that their wombs were going to waste, leading to an impoverishment of the breeding stock for future generations, kept him awake at night and led to the famous graduate mothers policy in the 1980s. Though this was scrapped by Goh Chok Tong when it proved, unsurprisingly, electorally unpopular, it survives in a thinly disguised form with the Working Mothers Child Relief which heavily favours the already well off and encourages them to have more children.
Famously LKY compared Mah Bow Tan’s educational qualifications to Chiam See Tong’s. LKY asserted the divine right of his son to succeed him as an inevitable result of genetic fitness to rule, as evidenced by LHL’s top First from Cambridge in Maths (though he apparently got to sit his exam alone for mysterious reasons). Strangely my son, who came top out of 140 students in the Finals of the Physics Tripos at Cambridge, at least as commendable an achievement as LHL’s, was rejected by ACS(Independent) for failing the English exam (or maybe for having the wrong surname).
LHL has always been an eager defender of his divine right to rule on the basis (presumably of his academic achievement as he has never worked for anyone except his dad), as shown by his comments to Fareed Zakaria in 2015:
“…But if you don’t have a certain natural aristocracy in the system, people who are respected because they have earned that and we level everything down to the lowest common denominator, then I think society will lose out … If you end up with anarchy, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be delivered with brilliance.”
The notorious case of the Government scholar at Warwick University, Jonathan Wong Wai Keong shows how dangerous is the PAP’s belief that academic achievement should excuse other failings. Wong was given a Government scholarship to Warwick University in the UK despite having already displayed disturbing paedophile tendencies as a student (caught spying on much younger girls in the lavatories). Presumably his offence was brushed under the carpet because his academic record showed he had the potential to “excel in life” and amazingly, in view of his sexual interest in children, he was judged fit to receive an MOE scholarship. While at Warwick, he was convicted in 2010 of possessing indecent images of children and given a six months suspended sentence. He was expelled from the UK and returned to Singapore but in another astonishing act of negligence on the part of the Singapore police, was not placed on probation and was allowed to have contact with underage girls by joining a church choir. No one in the church was aware of his criminal background and that he was a paedophile. He proceeded to commit statutory rape with a 15 year old and got her pregnant. Incredibly he only received a five year jail sentence. It is not clear if he was caned since reports of his case appear to have been scrubbed from the internet by state media, presumably to save the Government embarrassment. Links to reports in Today Online that I clicked on led to Page Not Found. Showing that the PAP are the biggest source of fake news, the Government and its state media can rewrite history at will and make inconvenient and embarrassing facts disappear.
Wong’s lenient sentence, even though he was a serial offender, should be contrasted with other recent cases like a foreign construction worker who received 22 years jail and 18 strokes of the cane for having sex with a 12 year old. Admittedly, as well as the objective fact that his victim was younger, the fact that as a Bangladeshi he was very low on LKY’s racial hierarchy, probably had only primary level education and absolutely no potential to “excel in life” must have counted against him.
Even more egregious than Wong’s case is the 64 year old gynaecologist who groomed a 14 year old and committed statutory rape but only received a jail sentence of 10 months. As someone in a position of Presumably at that age his offence could no longer be mitigated by his future potential but clearly the judge felt that his professional status and wealth entitled him to special treatment.
For all Shanmugam’s manufactured show of solidarity with the victim and with ordinary Singaporeans, Justice Kaur’s lenient sentence merely reflects LKY’s paradigm of a sham meritocracy in which certain members of society, especially his son, his family, relatives, cronies, ministers and members of the PAP elite, are specially privileged and above the laws that “little people” or “ordinary mortals” have to obey.