Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Who Is Janadas Devan?

In response to Ian Buruma's article in NYR ("The Singapore Way, 19 Oct, 1995") which made reference to a journalist who lost his job for writing something critical of the government, the unnamed person wrote "I am that nameless entity". That person was Janadas Devan.

Janadas took pains to elucidate that he was not an employee of any newspaper, he merely wrote a column on a freelance basis. For reasons that remain unexplained, but which were clearly not journalistic, the column was halted.

According to Wikipedia, Janadas Devan is a Singaporean journalist and a former Review Editor of The Straits Times. He is the son of C.V. Devan Nair, the third President of Singapore.

On 27 October 2007, Janadas wrote the article "377A debate and the rewriting of pluralism" in which he rebutted  the outrageously homophobic parliamentary speech of Nominated Member of Parliament Thio Li-ann (she of the "anal sex is like shoving a straw up your nose to drink" infamy). In his 7 July 2007 article, "Can mum, mum and kids make a family?" Devan advocated the formation of same-sex marriages in Singapore,  citing the instance of a personal female friend in the United States who had married another woman, has two healthy children and living an "otherwise normal life". As of 2008, Janadas contributed regularly to the Straits Times.

Is this Janadas Devan the ghost writer of Teo Ho Pin's long winded missive with which he attempted, again, to weasel himself out of the perverse justification of the AIM transaction? Janadas is currently Chief of Government Communications at the Ministry of Communication and Information (CGC), a role better known in the prevailing parlance of the lesser mortals as spin doctor. He will need all the penmanship skills at his command to rewrite Devan Nair's scathing epitaph for Lee Kuan Yew:
"Lee is gifted with a brilliant brain and an eloquent tongue. But the capricious gods omitted to equip him with the saving grace of that essential wisdom which makes for true greatness. And Singapore thereby missed the infinitely more potent miracle of the political and spiritual success it might so easily have provided, as a practical, living demonstration to the other unhappy, struggling, heterogeneous nations in Southeast Asia, not merely of singular economic achievement, but also of the eminent viability of a free, open, sane, and equal multiracial democracy, worthy at once of economic, political, and moral emulation."

Devan Nair and James Puthucheary et al spent serious time in jail to free us from the shackles of British colonialism. When fathers and sons end up on opposite banks of the political divide, the expression that comes to mind is that the apple has indeed fallen far from the tree.


  1. these are the rotten apples.

  2. interesting what about the family of JB. Kenneth and Philip

    two sons not able to take up the torch of JB

    1. Why are Kenneth and Philip working for PAP?

  3. not necessarily a rotten apple. in this case, probably an apple that is a big enough man to forgive and put the past behind him, one who is unbelieveably idealistic, who sees the best rather than the worst in people, who is extremely hopeful and cares a lot for his country. a man who tries to live the impossible dream. also, an absolute sucker, and a sucker for punishment...

    1. So he needs a reminder of what his father has gone through; or he is man enough to be his own man and choose his path?

    2. fascinating letter in your link. devan was too kind to kuan yew for destroying him in parl. LKY has a LOT to answer for when he gets to the other side.

  4. Living fire begets cold, impotent ash - Chinua Achebe

  5. Makes you wonder who wrote Teo's first 26 para/4 page statement in January on the AIM transaction.

    One would say that those sons who don't carry the torch of their fathers must have sold their souls to the devil, like Faust to Mephistophiles. Or Judas for thirty pieces of silver.

  6. Circumstantial evidences, has the real Janadas stand up and declare he was the man behind the THP's script?

    If it's indeed him, then it will be curious once again. As I thought A Chief Communicators of Govt is meant for Govt, but not for a Party. Is the line crossed once again? And despite the help of Mr Shanmugam and Janandas, is the AIM case any clearer to the people?

  7. Raising apples that fall far from the tree, is what mother nature knows best.
    It gets played out everyday. eg LKY the eugenicist and his albino's grandson; parents with gay/transexual children, and others with criminal or mental illnesses etc.

    The experience of having a child who deviates in some way from a parent’s values or expectations is universal and that parents can develop stronger relationships with their children if they can move past their own disappointment. Unless the child happens to be the successor to the throne.

    I suppose is easier if the authoritarian parent is no longer around to witness it. But others are not so lucky. They have to play the princely son who must remain the apple of their eyes until time's up.

  8. Many sons cannot agree with their fathers. It has been like that since time immemorial.

    But when it comes to matters like morality, truth, integrity etc - the differences should be put aside.

    Being usually more educated and informed than the father, the son has no reason to say: the disagreement is universal, so just to spite you, I will work for the 'dark forces'.

  9. Who Is Janadas Devan?

    "Whatever the correct figure, it is impossible to believe God (or Nature) is of the view that Socrates and Alexander the Great, Walt Whitman and Ludwig Wittgenstein, W.H. Auden and E.M. Forster, are all somehow deformed versions of humanity simply because they were gay.

    'Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.' It is astonishing the number of people who profess to be religious who manage to forget this most momentous of statements in Christ's Sermon on the Mount. (There are similarly powerful statements in all the major religions.)"unquote

    Can mum, mum and kids make a family?
    source: Straits Times, 7 July 2007, by Janadas Devan


    Genesis 19:4-8
    4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”

    6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”
    (Sodom and Gomorrah - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
    Matthew 5:17-18
    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished”
    Mark 10:5-9
    5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. 6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’[a] 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,[b] 8 and the two will become one flesh.’[c] So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
    Luke 18:9-14


    "Socrates wrote nothing down and we know what he said chiefly throught a series of dialog he features in written by his pupil Plato. .....
    Why do we follow sheepishly behind other people,particularly important other people,largely because we imagine they must know what they are talking about and so we trot along behind them." Socrates, c. 469 BC – 399 BC
    01 - Socrates on Self-Confidence - Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness

    - -sample,
    “If what you want to tell me is neither *True* nor *Good* nor even *Useful*, why tell it to me at all?”
    Socrates Logic – Test Of Three - Inspirational - RecipeApart

    Joshua Chiang

    1. It must be mad of the father to offer his two daughters for the men to have sex. He himself must be a sex maniac to have made that arrangement. Fathers should not be sick like him or Abraham who offered hid son to be slaughtered for sacrifice to so-called and imagined god.

  10. After 44 years the sad truth is revealed...

    LBJ Killed JFK___ American History and Politics

    Exposed The Carlyle Group
    Shocking documentary uncovers the subversion of Americas democracy.

    Joshua Chiang

  11. " After 44 years the sad truth is revealed...

    LBJ Killed JFK___ American History and Politics"

    say what you want about Amercian History, but at least you can voice it out and choose to agree or not publicly, but see what happen if you try to do it in Singapore politics with that kind of research , which only land you with free kopi and free stay at changi resort.

    give a thought. People choose to say Amercian politics are bad and deceptive and that because people can choose to promulgate what they think and believe without prosecution due to America culture, at least that is their freedom.

  12. Its the $$$$MONEY stoopid!!!!