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I am Singaporean XIV – Enemy of the State. January 22, 2007

Posted by The Truth in I am Singaporean, Vol. I.
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I was dropping by singabloodypore when i came across an article about the Simon Shorvon shenanigan.

So, he’s an Enemy of the State now, huh? Okay, okay, since it has faded out of most of our memories, i shall try to explain it to you in a short story.

Gahmen predicts that biomedical sciences (a.k.a. Life Sciences ooooo) is the Next Big Thing. Gahmen pours money into building infrastructure, attracting foreign talent. Simon Shorvon attracted and recruited for research into Parkinson’s. Working with Uncle Lee’s daughter, the research project was said to be the biggest in Singapore at that time. But, it collapsed. In 2002, when Uncle Lee’s daughter brought on charges (or should we say instigated?) of bad ethical conduct by Dr. Shorvon, in recruiting patients to take part in experimental drug tests without their prior consent. And so he received a report (which, of course, condemned him of his lacking ethical background and all) which he was ‘forced to sign under duress.’ Oh, guess who succeeded him. That’s right. Uncle Lee’s daughter!

That’s not all. After that, in following with its Enemy of the State policy, decided to try to get him struck off the list of practitioners in the UK by applying to the General Medical Committee over there, as well as demanding a fine, which Dr. Shorvon paid, anyway. The Committee then referred the case to a professional conduct committee, which declared that Dr. Shorvon had did nothing which was explicit proof of misconduct.

But Singapore wasn’t done with him yet…they pursued him to the high court! I don’t know why the need to perform a coup d’êtat is so important, but anyway, the High Court just turned them away not long ago. And they are considering an appeal!

Well, okay. so much for story-telling. Uncle Wong is not much of a story-teller. He’s more of a thinker. First and foremost, i suppose the whole shenanigan has worked against Singapore’s favour in this area of research. While Dr. Shorvon has been acquitted, this Enemy of the State policy the government is following is, i think, going to deter more researchers from coming to Singapore, in the fear of getting into such trouble for maybe the smallest of things. I mean, come on. I think it’s absurd to pursue someone to the corners of the Earth just to destroy him totally. More bright minds are going to have to think twice about coming to Singapore, i suppose.

Second, the British High Court has finally proven a point to the Government and the FamiLee: that their perception of right and wrong is not THE perception of right and wrong. Let’s face it – our PAP politicians have had 100% success in defamatory lawsuits in Singapore courts (Uncle Wong can’t even get 100% success when he plays PangYa.) so i suppose this must have led them to the misconception that having power = omnipotence. While that is true in Singapore, it’s not true for the whole world. No way, José. And the fact that they are going to try and destroy him by taking away his income, taking away his license to practise…sounds like Mr. SDP, doesn’t it? After all, Mr. SDP lost his NUS professorship, lost his right to run for elections, paid tons of money, has been declared bankrupt, and, of course, has spent some good time in the slammer.

Like i said just now, omnipotence in Singapore doesn’t mean omnipotence around the world. I mean…for crying out loud, why must the FamiLee have this vendetta against this man? And for allegations which were ‘so minor they couldn’t be bothered with!’ For THAT, you have to destroy someone?! Oh…yes…Enemy of the State. They Must Be Destroyed, no matter what the cost.

The next part is the conspiracy hemisphere of my brain thinking. As we all know now, the person who brought up the charges and subsequently replaced Shorvon was none other than Uncle Lee’s daughter. So, was this politically motivated? Getting rid of a pawn which was blocking the way? And at the same time, was it by ‘chance’ that she managed to come across his sins, and by a ‘strong sense of moral values and commitment to the society,’ decided to speak up and try to destroy this pawn? I don’t know, and i can only speculate. Either way, even if one aim was not achieved, they’ve achieved the other – yet another FamiLee member in a top spot in Singaporean society. And in biological research some more! If the FamiLee wanted to start research into eugenics now, it would be a good time. IF. I’m not insinuating that they do.

What can be done? I don’t know. I think the FamiLee is too deep to withdraw without losing face (and given all the defamation lawsuits they’ve issued over a few words, face is something they cannot afford to lose) so i really wonder what this will look like in…another few years? It’s strange. When i saw ‘Simon Shorvon’ again i vaguely remembered his name. I was less cynical then, and actually believed everything the States…STRAITS Times told me.

I know better now. I take everything with a pinch of salt.

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