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The People vs The Bureaucrat Capitalist Oligarchy

Singapore’s opposition and critics are in despair. The PAP appears invincible. Our collective blind spot has prevented us from recognising the real character of the PAP. A small elite core of bureaucrat capitalists commands and controls the PAP, using the party as the vehicle to serve their exclusive interests. They are the Bureaucrat Capitalist Oligarchy.

My thesis is the Oligarchy derives their wealth from the legal expropriation of the public chests. Their control of all levers of government and determination of public policies, laws and the judiciary empower them to protect and grow their capital. Such privilege is unique only to this class of capitalist, and their interests lie in the protection of this privilege.

The Oligarchy was an ancient form of governance defined as a rule by a small group whose claim to legitimacy is by a nobility from birth, wealth, education, corporate, religious, political or military control. It was practised in Italy at the height of the Renaissance, in Florence during the 15th Century AD. Lee Hsien Loong’s use of the term ‘natural aristocracy’ in an interview in 2015 showed his ideological familiarity and approval of the ancient feudal self-serving practice of rule by the elites.

Lee Kuan Yew’s extreme sense of destiny and belief in eugenics set him on the path towards Oligarchy. He believed that his intellectual excellence entitled him to claim ownership and political control of Singapore. His destiny was Singapore’s destiny; threats to him were threats to national security.

Democracy was anathema to Lee Kuan Yew not because, as he would argue, it would open the floodgate for the communists’ subversion. Democracy was anathema to the man’s elitist impulse and an obstacle to his quest for absolute power

To illustrate how this oligarchic rule of a minority entrenches itself in Singapore despite the outer semblance of a democratic state, I turn to the excellent study by Michael Barr The Ruling Elite of Singapore (Published 2014) for the necessary evidence.

Lee Kuan Yew placed himself at the centre of the Network of Family, the position now held by Lee Hsien Loong. According to Barr, beyond the immediate family are old family friends and close friends. Beyond that layer is “an elite network that is the product of the complex interaction of personal favouritism, academic meritocracy, and willingness and capacity to be socialised into the elite.”

The “inner circles consist mainly of political and administrative leaders (Cabinet Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, SAF officers, CEOs and Managing Directors) in a selection of key ministries, a few key GLCs…” Further down the food chain is the “mid-range circles of power and influence straddle a wide range of government and government-linked institutions such as ministries, important statutory boards and most GLCs…”. The “outer networks” which are important for political control but not so central to the elite’s institutional power base “include ethnic communities, trade unions, universities and businesses.”

Such a network extends beyond the realm of legitimate control by politicians in a democracy.

The difference between Oligarchs elsewhere and Singapore is this. The wealth of a Russian Oligarch oozes from the ground. The Russian oligarchs use political office, and extra-economic means to gain great wealth by claiming ownership to the oil pumped out of the land.

By dint of their positions in lucrative public offices, the Oligarchs and their supporting aristocrats receive handsome salaries, large enough to transform once civil servants or MPs into capitalists.

Singapore is a small island. Except for real estate, there is otherwise little to squeeze out of the internal circulation of goods. The phase of international capitalism in the 1980s benefited Singapore as a financial hub. The political Oligarchs in Singapore were well equipped to reap the benefits, following the American footsteps. The finiancialisation of capitalism was politically destructive enough for the IMF chief economist Simon Johnson to warn Americans in 2010 that “increased power and influence of financial services sector had endangered representative democracy through undue influence on the political system and regulatory capture by the financial oligarchy”. The takeover of the Oligarchy on the island was long over by the time the American sounded the alarms about their own Financial Oligarchs.

Opposition MPs has not raise any issue about the silent coup partly because of the blind spot, and also because their attention are diverted to estate management, which ought to be the work of local councils. By transforming parliamentarians who ought to be legislators into estate managers, the Oligarchy deliberately distracts them from scrutinising big issues.

The silent coup by bureaucrat capitalists has yet to be publicly explored by the critics or the opposition parties. In my case, it was a blind spot because I had disproportionately focused my attention on narratives of social control and economic disparity without making a serious attempt to examine the political economy and power structure of Singapore. The Singaporeans’ despair over the “lack of alternative” is a consequence of the blind spot

The alternative to Oligarchy — the political control by a small, self-serving class of bureaucrat capitalists — is a return to democracy.

Only through popular control of Parliament can the people wrestle power from the parasitic Bureaucrat Capitalist Oligarchy. This struggle is winnable because the PAP’s betrayal of the National Pledge is indefensible.

But before we start our journey into the History of Tomorrow, let us unlearn our history, and rekindle the spirit of yesterday.

‘In the forefront – Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Singapore Barisan Sosialis’, a book launched on the 20 January 2021, is a collection of political statements and speeches from left-wing Barisan Sosialis, organisations and leaders in Singapore from the late 1950s till the 1970s.

In the Forefront serves as a valuable time-capsule of the 1960s., preserving the actors’ raw sentiments. There were disagreements between the left and Lee Kuan Yew over the release of political detainees, the terms of the merger with Malaysia, party democracy, self-government, freedom of press, free speech, assembly, the pace of the anti-colonial struggle, and trade union organisations.

In the Forefront’s documents provide ample evidence of mature politicians rationally advocating policies, with depths richer than today’s Parliament. I am not suggesting that the Barisan policies were necessarily better. The critical point is to realise that we were once a people with a rich political culture, and we need to recover of heritage.

This existential struggle of the people against the bureaucratic capitalist Oligarchy is as winnable now as when the Singapore people led by the Chinese-speaking masses won independence from the British in the 1960s.

In conclusion, I share the words of George Bernard Shaw who more than a hundred years ago was also fighting the Oligarchs of his time. Bernard Shaw was awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925 for work on ‘idealism and humanity’.

“I now want to give the common man weapons against the intellectual man. I love the common people. I want to arm them against the lawyer, the doctor, the priest, the literary man, the professor, the artist, and the politician, who, once in authority, are the most dangerous, disastrous and tyrannical of all the fools, rascals, and impostors. I want a democratic power strong enough to force the intellectual Oligarchy to use its genius for the general good or else perish.”

 

Tan Wah Piow

 

 

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22 Responses to “The People vs The Bureaucrat Capitalist Oligarchy”

  • Harder Truths:

    Mr Tan

    All oligarchies and communist regimes eventually fall. $G is only 55 years old but already the economy is sinking and the island nation of majority sheep will become a migrant infested hellhole in a few short years.

    $G citizens did not just keep voting in an illegal and despicable regime, they have also ensured their own demise at the hands of foreigners. This will be their legacy and fate for the whole world to see.

    With Mr Magoo at the helm, how can this ship not hit an economic iceberg? You will read about our fate and be glad you have the chance to escape. There is nothing left of the $G you left, so you have nothing to be sorry for.

    All the best to you in 2021.

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  • xoxo:

    Oligarchy and plutocracy is what we,ordinary singaPOOReans,call * old LEE kakis* in singlish.
    Kaki-nangs take all.
    As for the rest,*Get off our elites’ face$*?

    Work(slave) till you drop dead.
    You die your bjsiness.
    Collecting money is OUR busine$$?

    We are the natural ah-LEE-$tole-crap$$$?!!!

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  • Lorder:

    Someone did ask who was the most brainless, I replied Singaporeans. We worshipped the wrong Lord and still is.

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  • PAP CLOSE DOWN:

    Very insightful piece. It’s natural for some who see it as a birthright, to control and command all resources and people. ANd yes, they are super huge on estate management.

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  • Aristocracy disguised as ...:

    Aristocat disguised as oligars disguised as democracy.

    Mr Tan away too long, cannot see through the disguise.

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  • TEMUSIK PATRIOT:

    LEEgal CORRUPTION breeds a pool of e*** “natural aristocrats” with cronies and puppies in TOW…calling themselves Elites in an Elite Society that the man who Lie & Con-You advocates right up to his Dying days when he STINKS to High Heaven and calling upon Jesus to show him the way through FEAR of DEATH, not REMORSE

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  • Singaporeans R Free Riders:

    ah hahahahahaha Tan Wah Piow, you wrote so much and so noble of yourselves but your intention is just the same as us PAP …yes, selling your book to make money ….

    “a book launched on the 20 January 2021………..”

    Why need to sugarcoat your real intention? Why act like Dr Mahathir?
    Dr M said he will remove GST if elected.
    and yes, Dr M removed GST by renaming it to a new name called SST (Sales & Service Tax)

    Hahaha… Tan Wah Piow, you are just like Dr Mahathir….all hot air election speech only….

    Money Talk Bullshit Walk. What’s wrong with collecting more money.

    Even your white man Trump also want more money by selling President’s pardon.
    1. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/17/us/politics/trump-pardons.html
    The president’s allies have collected tens of thousands of dollars — and potentially much more — from people seeking pardons.

    GE2024.PAP.Guarantee.Win.Again
    Majullah $PAP$ $PAP$ Huat$ Huat$ Huat$
    Lazy Singaporeans must be Cheaper, Better, Faster

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  • Sayo:

    One word “ayam brand”

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  • #06-177 Huang Ba Dan Go Hell:

    I think every country also the same. A handful of people pulling the levers of power. Only in white countries there’s more freedom for their citizens.

    PS Most of my neighbors are PAP dogs. Zero morality.

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  • Crony Papeconomics:

    According to the “general law of capitalist accumulation,” the longer the capitalist mode of production prevails, the more capital will have accumulated, leading to both higher profits for capital owners (the bourgeoisie) and to worsening living conditions for the people who live by their labor (the proletariat).

    Needless to say, being 4th most corrupted crony-capitalist regime in the world, Sinchiapor Inc. exacerbates the impoverishment of siginna sheeples who labor tirelessly under the dragnet of carrot and stick legalism such as to be deemed third most transparent economy worldwide (all thanks to the monumental accomplishments of Dr. Goh Keng Swee and Dr Toh Chin Chye and the valiant old guards).

    So while certain pappy big bosses are not only multi-millionaires but billionaires by now, our ah ma and ah kong have to slog it out at $6/hour for their Milo and maggi me. And the young singkies have lost confidence in their socio-economic futures, enslaved to the elitist gargantuan state enterpise.

    As Rousseau once observed: “Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains.”

    And Mencius proclaimed: “The great man is he who does not lose his child’s-heart. Sincerity is the way to heaven.”

    As we all might already know, the way down to Hades is dark and devious even if the path is lined with seductive roses and pompous pageantry.

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  • opposition dude:

    Power to the peoples’ votes has already been shown in 2011 and 2020 with more expected to come. Things were very good for the PAP when the earlier generations were well taken care of with truly affordable housing, cost of living and no huge influx of third world people into our home. We cannot say the same today however.

    The PAP can continue to tell their cock and bull stories in the newspaper but it won’t help them because Singaporeans are smarter than they like to think. So all PAP can look forward to is diminished support, a continually falling vote share, more monkeys kicked out and a much much stronger opposition presence.

    Majulah Singapura indeed.

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  • Old Lee Kahkee:

    I like the term Old Lee Kahkee. Kekeke
    Kahkia have ? Haha

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  • Harder Truths:

    Guess what? Pfzir in $G now giving serious reactions. No mention by leeders? All of them dian diam?

    https://sg.yahoo.com/news/three-342-adverse-events-pfizer-vaccine-singapore-anaphylaxis-142828926.html

    Quote:
    “…total of 432 adverse events from the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine were reported by healthcare professionals in Singapore to the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) as of Wednesday (27 January), of which three were cases of anaphylaxis, a rapid onset of severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reactions…”

    Who believes they actually took the Pfzir? Just a show of make-believe to get stupid sheep sinkies to volunteer to become Guinea Pigs.

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  • left behind:

    A nation must build on democracy and freedom of speech, then it is people’s nation. If power say all, the people’s grievance cannot be heard, it is the few’s nation. We knew some people buy Singtel stock have lost money in covid-19 crisis but we do not hear those sad stories in our press. We heard less sad stories in our news when covid-19 crisis is one of the worst crisis Singapore experience. The say of we, the people is becoming soft. The power must be with the people where people voices are heard in the press. But this is not the case.

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  • GOD IS MORE THAN.....:

    Well written…

    But God is more than we can imagine.

    Oldleegarchy can never selfresurrect.

    Illuminarchy will soon be dead.

    So no one is above God, The Almighty,
    The One and Only, The Everliving.

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  • Soccerbetting2:

    Reported on the online citizen :Quote -”Don’t look at their disability. Look at their ability”: Dignity Kitchen founder on training staff with cerebral palsy to cook
    by Aldgra F. 29/01/2021….

    Dignity Kitchen’s founder Koh Seng Choon proves that physical disability is not a barrier to cook wanton mee, as long as the person is willing to learn.

    Dignity Kitchen was founded in 2010 and became Singapore’s first hawker training school for disabled and disadvantaged individuals.

    In a video interview on Friday (29 January), celebrity food critic and founder of Makansutra KF Seetoh asked the Singaporean entrepreneur on how to train a person with cerebral palsy to cook wanton mee and run a hawker stall.

    Cerebral palsy is a physical disability that affects movement and posture that appears during infancy or early childhood resulting from damage to the brain.

    In response to the question, Mr Koh pointed out that a disabled person can still communicate and learn.

    “Don’t look at their disability. Look at their ability. More importantly is the attitude,” he remarked.

    One of his employees with cerebral palsy, for example, impressed Mr Koh with his “willing to learn” attitude.

    He noted that Dignity Kitchen provides machines that can aid employees with physical disabilities to cook with just a push of a button so that the staff would only need to add ingredients to the pot.

    Mr Koh revealed that he first found the machine in Taiwan but was unable to afford it.

    “So I took a picture and I got somebody in Malaysia to fabricate it for me. Change the timing, change everything, then we bring over Singapore and we did it,” he added.

    The next challenge would be to train the employee, said Mr Koh….

    Mr Seetoh asked on the time needed to train an employee with cerebral palsy, to which Mr Koh noted that it took him three months to guide his employee “slowly” with the machine.

    He added that the employee will be paid S$4.50 per hour during the training.

    “If you don’t listen, you don’t get paid. If you don’t do, you don’t get paid,” said Mr Koh….”Unquote .

    Response :”train a person with cerebral palsy to cook wanton mee and run a hawker stall.”

    Singapore e*** women wing of Josephine Teo Li Min is creating good job for cerebral palsy and one handed man to be a cook .All the gpvernment grants awarded for those cookhouse to buy expensive man for cerebral palsy people to press a button and the machine auto cook and then mix with the right ingredient by the one handed man at $4.50 per hour during training ?Osn’t there better job for such people in polyclinic or safe entry ? Why get them to be cook while healthy e*** women backside are sitting comfortably in air con desktop position at polyclinic information counter .I am sure one handed man can fo those polyclinic counter information job or library job ! Pui ! One wonder why such library jobs and polyclinic counter staff staffs must be given to mostly women only ! Is there equality ?

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  • Woman hater:

    Your comments at TRE make quite a lot of sense.

    However, almost every comment include vulgar hateful description of woman. Not only particular woman, such as J T, but all woman in general.

    Are you trying to stop women from reading TRE?

    I don’t know why Techie allows such gender hatred comments.

    Soccerbetting2: Why get them to be cook while healthy e*** women backside are sitting comfortably in air con desktop position at polyclinic information counter

    Tech: Techie DID NOT allow any of his women’s hatred comments to pass at all, must be other mods who did. Anyway, I have added some of his commonly used hatred-filled words to the Spam filter, so most of his hatred-filled comments for women would have been filtered and auto-deleted.

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  • Woman hater:

    A thousand apologies.

    Woman hater: Tech: Techie DID NOT allow any of his women’s hatred comments to pass at all, must be other mods who did. Anyway, I have added some of his commonly used hatred-filled words to the Spam filter, so most of his hatred-filled comments for women would have been filtered and auto-deleted.

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  • PAP CLOSE DOWN:

    Vulgar depictions asid, @soccerbetting2′s observations about women are quite true. Most would fight for the cushy desk jobs. Because they don’t have to go out and walk in the hot sun. I knew a school clerk. She comes in and sits from am till noon. Goes out for an hour lunch, comes back and sits till 4.55pm. Goes for a pee and then leaves at 5. To be fair the female teachers have to be walking all over the school for various lessons.

    Some Women like to talk a lot, got lots of ideas. When it comes to implementation, get the men to do it!

    There’s also this fat female with dyed hair doing cashering at Valuee$ shop at Bukit Batok West. Customer stand in front of her, she pretends not to see, dilly dally for a few minutes until her male colleague comes to open the other cahser. Truly lazy woman. No wonder the traffic has declined/

    Woman hater:
    Your comments at TRE make quite a lot of sense.

    However, almost every comment include vulgar hateful description of woman. Not only particular woman, such as J T, but all woman in general.

    Are you trying to stop women from reading TRE?

    I don’t know why Techie allows such gender hatred comments.

    Tech: Techie DID NOT allow any of his women’s hatred comments to pass at all, must be other mods who did. Anyway, I have added some of his commonly used hatred-filled words to the Spam filter, so most of his hatred-filled comments for women would have been filtered and auto-deleted.

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  • TEMUSIK PATRIOT:

    GOD IS MORE THAN.....:
    Well written…

    But God is more than we can imagine.

    Oldleegarchy can never selfresurrect.

    Illuminarchy will soon be dead.

    So no one is above God, The Almighty,
    The One and Only, The Everliving.

    Look at that FACE and tell me why Evil proven today and yesterday gets AWAY…is God DEAD in this little DOT worshipping a man with such an e*** face???

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  • Realistically:

    @ Tan Wah Piow

    >>Opposition MPs has not raise any issue about the silent coup partly because of the blind spot, and also because their attention are diverted to estate management, which ought to be the work of local councils.<<

    I DISAGREE with that part of your analysis……….YOU are a LAWYER and ought to know about the workings of the Singapore judiciary. I have sent the wayang-party MPs, He Ting Ru (formerly from Cambridge U law school) and Sylvia Lim, the wayang-party Chairperson and an MP who had filed a motion pertaining to the administration of law in relation to the High Court criticisms of the District Court's judicial injustice which I would say was a case of the TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE at the DJ level, whereas the TRAVESTIES OF JUSTICE were inflicted on me at TWO Court of Appeal levels……….the details of ALL the judgments would clearly point to a breach of the First Schedule (Form 6) of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore and the concomitant breaches of the OTHER ARTICLES and yet the wayang-party MPs especially those who are lawyers failed or otherwise refused to support the PSP NCMP Leong Mun Wai's call for an INDEPENDENT Commission of Inquiry, also in the context of Law & Home Affairs Minister K.Shanmugam's PARLIAMENT Speech on 21/3/12 that: ""When the quality of the judiciary suffers, the rule of law suffers. When the rule of law suffers, the country suffers,"

    It is abundantly clear from the Parti Liyani's judgment and the persecution of Assist Professor Li Shengwu and Lee Suet Fern that the "quality of the judiciary" is called into question and that the wayang-party MPs would definitely have known that the "country suffers" if they had not (and I believe they had not)call the Minister out after the Minister's said PARLIAMENT speech.

    In any case, it must be a pathetic and sick joke as regards what the wayang-party so called leader of the opposition Pritam Singh's support of the emperor without clothes in his interview with the 158th ranked ST, against his party's s*ake oil spiel about "check and balance" and not granting the emperor without clothes a "blank cheque".

    In my opinion, the problem not only lay with the emperor but also the self-serving interests of the so-called oppos. Pritam Singh would not only ask how high he should jump when told by the emperor with clothes to do so as some cynics would say, but Singh would jump even before being told to do so when he sensed that he should jumped………not only the height but also the frequency and duration he would have to jump. The latest eg was Singh's telling the world that he did not believe that the counting of the votes system (or the computerised vote counting used) was tampered with to favour the emperor without clothes even as the person behind the vote counting machine had revealed that the system used in SGP which was bought from his previous company could be re-programmed fraudulently. Pls note I am NOT making ANY allegations of fraud.

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  • Realistically:

    @ Tan Wah Piow

    >>My thesis …..<<

    Your "thesis" is well known by knowledgeable sinkies for a long time. If U hv only now come to realise one aspect of this REALITY, I'm afraid U hv not been reading what had been posted even in the 1st Internet social medium sintercom.org and subsequently sammyboy 3-in-1 kopitiam on the delphi platform.

    Further to my earlier comment pertaining to your observation that: "Opposition MPs has not raise (sic) any issue …and also because their attention are diverted to e state management, which ought to be the work of local councils<<, the reason that they hv not raised such issues is NOT that they are unaware of the harm caused to sinkies and SINKaPOOR, but out of self-interest because they know that with their LIMITED intellect they do not wish to forgo their cushy monthly MP allowance of S$16k which most if not all of them, especially the so-called leader of the oppo, Pritam Singh, cannot find a job or earn more than $8k a month outside of their MP's pay…………I would be most interested if Sylvia Lim, Denis Tan, Pritam Singh, Gerald Giam etc could provide a record of their pay b4 being an MP.

    You hv also failed to point out that Sylvia Lim had defended the emperor without clothes judiciary at the International Bar Association meeting held in Singapore around 2007. As YOU as a London based lawyer are aware, Lee Suet Fern/Lee Hsien Yang had engaged Mr Timothy Dutton QC/CBE and a former Chairman of the London the Bar Council and rated as the foremost pre-eminent legal expert and ranked as a ‘star individual’ in professional disciplinary and professional negligence, who stated his legal opinion that the decision of the 3 Judges Court (3JC) to suspend Lee Suet Fern from legal practice in Singapore was one made out of “serious legal error” and legally unsound reasoning. Similarly Assoc Professor Eugene K B Tan, a law lecturer at the S'pore Management School law faculty had in the TODAY on-line newspaper publicly criticised the judgment of Olivia Low in the Parti Liyani theft case. In addition Harpreet Singh SC had written about the deep public concern over DJ Olivia Low's said Parti decision, not to mention about the travesties of justice inflicted on me by 2 CA panels in CA/CA 186/2017 and the CA judgment in [2020] SGCA 4 of which I had submitted a point by point debunking of the ground of decision therein as beggaring belief and a complete contradiction to the most fundamental/core principles of jurisprudence.

    And yet, the wayang-party MPs consisting of many lawyers including He Ting Ru who had graduated in LAW from Cambridge U, failed or otherwise refused to back PSP NCMP Leong Mun Wai's call for an INDEPENDENT Commission of Inquiry into the travesties of justice and the issue of judiciary independence………

    I invite U also to read the public lecture of the then President of the UK Supreme Court about the pros and cons of the selection of judges applicable to the Singapore context.

    PATHETIC!

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