One Nation Under Lee/ Further Reading on Non-Violence

20 May

‘One Nation Under Lee’ was a critical documentary about Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the senior minister of Singapore. When it was privately screened to an invited audience (who also had to purchase tickets to watch the film) at the Tulip Room in the Peninsular Excelsior Hotel on 17 May, government officials from the Media Development Authority entered the premises and seized the film, asserting that the movie contravenes the Films Act. To add ridicule to the fiasco, the officers demanded the organisers hand over the LCD projector despite having the DVD.

‘One Nation Under Lee’ contains footage of interviews with political dissidents such as Said Zahari who was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for 17 years and Francis Seow, who was a former Solicitor General in Singapore. As Seow ruefully relates, it is pathetic that all the ministers in the cabinet are afraid of the autocrat… The 45 minute film also contains a ‘how-to’ guide on non-violent action and its importance in promoting freedom of assembly and freedom of speech which could be used to advance democracy.

On non-violence, its universability has been analysed by academics and activists. Stephen Zune’s ‘Recognizing the Power of Non-Violent Action’ relates how such mass movements have been used to topple dictatorships that were backed by the US administrations. A list of 198 methods of non-violent actions can also be downloaded from the Albert Einstein Institution as a pdf.

‘One Nation Under Lee’ is produced by artist activist Seelan Pillay who has also been involved in various protests including the 400 Frowns Campaign during the IMF-World Bank Meeting in Singapore and a 5 day hunger strike outside the Malaysian embassy during the Hindraf controversy.


1. Government officials disrupt private screening of film on LKY, Singapore Democrats, 17 May 2008.

2. Film on Lee Kuan Yew Seized by MDA, The Online Citizen, 17 May 2008.


4 Responses to “One Nation Under Lee/ Further Reading on Non-Violence”

  1. Roger Matthews May 20, 2008 at 1:54 pm #

    The antics of the PAP and its goons being posted on the SDP web site make for a daily smorgasboard of entertainment.It would be funny if it was not all so sad and pathetic. L K Y is a small man with small man syndrome 🙂

  2. joni May 20, 2008 at 3:24 pm #

    So true, Roger. It certainly makes us feel lucky here in Australia that we have freedom to criticise our politicians.

  3. theonlinecitizen May 20, 2008 at 10:00 pm #

    Thanks for linking our report.:)

  4. Rancor June 20, 2008 at 9:42 pm #

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Rancor!

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