John Harding’s book, Escape from Paradise – Paperback and Kindle Versions


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Now, available in Kindle and Paperback! Free Kindle if you purchase Paperback. After buying Paperback, go for the free Kindle!

It took me two and a half evenings to complete your un-put-downable book…it is a unique contribution to the appreciation of a life in Singapore. Thank you for having written it. C. V. Devan Nair, former President of Singapore.

Bought the book from Select this weekend and can’t put it down! It’s a great read! And so nostalgic for me—the good old days! Glen Goei, writer and director of the Miramax film That’s the Way I Like It and who played the title role opposite Anthony Hopkins in the London production of M. Butterfly. Mr. Goei’s latest film is The Blue Mansion – Click for the trailer!

It is a remarkable story and so full of intrigue that it reads at times like fiction.Jonathan Burnham, Editor in Chief & President, Talk Miramax Books.

“It’s quite a story The legendary Alice Mayhew, Vice-President & Editorial Director, Simon & Schuster.

This book out-Dallas, Dallas. No one has written so well of the other side of paradise,Francis T. Seow, former Solicitor General of Singapore

ThunderBall Films is successfully putting together the movie production of Escape from Paradise and has received a new LOI (Letter of Intent) from actress Bai Ling who starred with Richard Gere in the film Red Cross.

This includes a commitment from a CPA firm who does tax credit financing in Ireland, a possible location to film, as part of the package needed for investors – along with the CPA firm’s commitment to apply for and finance the tax credits if ThunderBall does shoot in Ireland and what portion of the budget they would provide.
For inquiries, please contact John Harding at jbharding@gmail.com.

Escape from Paradise – the Promotional Trailer

Singapore’s convicted terrorist, the Jeyaretnams, and the Reform Party

Kenneth Jeyaretnam and J. B. Jeyaretnam

Balraj Naidu's pals - Kenneth Jeyaretnam and father, J. B. Jeyaretnam

In 1988, I was working for Singapore’s then Inland Revenue Department in the old Fullerton building. One day, returning from lunch, I was approached by a very unkempt and unshaven old man dressed in shorts and a loud and colorful sports shirt. The poor fellow handed me a small news pamphlet, for which I offered him a tip. He refused the tip, and I continued to my office in the Fullerton Building.

Once inside, some of my colleagues noticing the pamphlet, asked me how I came by it. I explained that a strange looking fellow had handed to me as I returning to work.

My colleagues kindly laughed, and suggested that I throw the pamphlet away, as it was best not to be seen with it. They explained that the pamphlet was the work of an opposition political party, and that the fellow that handed it to me was obviously the highly respected (by some) J. B. Jeyaretnam.

I threw the pamphlet away, even though I thought my colleagues were making a joke —how could such a motley looking individual be considered as a serious political contender?

Later I was to learn that J. B. Jeyaretnam was the leader of an opposition party—and there were even some people that thought highly of him. Bazaar, I thought.

Now, like everybody in Singapore, I know that the J. B. Jeyaretnam, now deceased, is the father of Reform Party leader, Kenneth Jeyaretnam, and lawyer, Philip Jeyaretnam.

We have written a post entitled Incompetence, Bribery, Terrorism and Singapore’s Reform Party. It was about Balraj Naidu the Reform Party co-founder who was recently extradited from Singapore, and convicted and imprisoned in the U.S. for terrorist activities. The other co-founder is Kenneth Jeyaretnam who is now running for a seat in Singapore’s parliament on the Reform Party ticket.

Recently, we received from one of our readers an interesting comment concerning relationship of the terrorist, Balraj Naidu to both Kenneth Jeyaretnam and his father, J. B. Jeyaretnam.

If what our reader says is so, both of the Jeyaretnams come across as being more than a bit shady.

We think the allegations in our reader’s comment are believable and important—especially in light of Singapore’s coming elections and the questionable folly of Kenneth Jeyaretnam’s political aspirations.

The Comment

A thorough research into the Reform Party’s development since its birth on 11/7/2008 will reveal his [Naidu’s] contrasting relationships with the Jeyaretnams, first the late J. B. Jeyaretnam and later Kenneth Jeyaretnam that would be of interest to readers here. He was a ‘still water runs deep’ kind of a fellow that had a chilling twist about it.

Soon after the Reform Party become a registered political society, he applied for a Deed Poll with J. B. Jeyaretnam to get his first name ‘Balraj’ changed to ‘Balldev’ without being able to offer a compelling reason. He was a client of J. B. Jeyaretnam in a cheating case and frequently visited the latter’s office at 18A Smith Street, which later became the Reform Party’s HQ. On one such visit he slipped a signed cash cheque for S$340K unnoticed in his case file and claimed later that it was inadvertently done. J. B. Jeyaretnam wondered if it was a test or an enticement. There were numerous other instances that led J. B. Jeyaretnam to suspect Balraj Naidu was up to something amiss. I understand that had J. B. Jeyaretnam not expired on 30/9/08 Balraj Naidu would have been removed from the party’s Central Executive Committee.

Balraj Naidu’s partnership with Kenneth Jeyaretnam was even more eventful. You may have read a letter in the Today Newspaper on 19/4/2010 from the ex-Chairman and Vice-Chairman, two co-founders of the Reform Party, its surviving leaders in the wake of J. B. Jeyaretnam’s departure, refuting Kenneth Jeyaretnam’s allegation in an exclusive interview that was published in the Today Newspaper on 8/4/2010 about their “poor management” before he “took over.” To date, Kenneth Jeyaretnam has never responded to the points they raised, obviously fearing there would be a disastrous backlash. One of those unequivocally referred to foul play at the Reform Party’s HQ on 26/4/2009 that saw Kenneth Jeyaretnam ‘become’ its Secretary-General. Incidentally, both of them, along with another CEC member, stepped aside instead of fighting back that would have spilled out to the public to dissolve the party prematurely.

A ‘Gang of 4’ spearheaded by this scoundrel Balraj Naidu executed a rowdy coup d’état that saw Kenneth Jeyaretnam seize the post of party Secretary-General that day. The other 3 who formed the gang were Edmund Ng who was awarded the post of Chairman, despite his total absence from the RP’s caucus since J. B. Jeyaretnam departed, till he resigned last week. There was also the landlord of Reform Party’s HQ James Teo who broke the door-lock securing the office in the absence of a tenancy agreement with the Reform Party. For this, Kenneth Jeyaretnam gave him the Treasurer’s post. The 3rd one was another misfit, co-founder of Reform Party and its initial treasurer, Ms Amy Liu who had resigned from the party 6½ months earlier after failing to put the Reform Party in quandary with the law by deliberately mishandling its funds. It is interesting to note that all these 3 including Balraj Naidu were legal clients of J. B. Jeyaretnam seconded to make the numbers to form the Reform Party. It seems Balraj Naidu had revealed in the raucous of 26/4/2009 that he had sold a ‘property’ to finance Kenneth Jeyaretnam so he had the right to make him Secretary-General. I wonder whether this is why Kenneth Jeyaretnam publicly pleaded after Balraj Naidu’s arrest that he is an innocent family man, a loyal confidant of his late father and that the whole of Reform Party would stand firmly behind him.

So, we have BALRAJ NAIDU, the common factor in two causes – killing two birds with one stone as it were – trying to defeat a sovereign Government by providing arms to its enemy, an outlawed terrorist group and partaking in the overthrow of a legally elected management team of a Registered Singaporean Political Society by unconstitutional means. He was found guilty by the Baltimore Court and has been sentenced to a 5 year prison term in the first instance. The irony is that, in the second instance, Kenneth Jeyaretnam and the Reform Party would be incriminated, not him!

21 comments to Singapore’s convicted terrorist, the Jeyaretnams, and the Reform Party

  • Anthony

    John – I hope that more Singaporeans find your site and read this article before they place their vote on May 7th. Voting in Kenneth and the Reform Party would be a step in the wrong direction for Singapore. The ‘policies’ they’re promoting are complete and utter rubbish that show a complete lack of thinking through their consequences and repercussions. They’ve been campaigning on a wave of anti-PAP sentiment rather than on the merits of their own party (what little merit they may have). Wish I could buy your book but as you know its banned here!

    • Anthony:

      Kenneth Jeyaretnam is a total fool. In a speech on Saturday, he made a stupid remark, and then said it was an “honest mistake.”

      The Straits Times wrote about his gaffe:

      REFORM party chief Kenneth Jeyaretnam apologised last night for misquoting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong while speaking at a rally on Saturday.
      At the time, he told the crowd that Mr Lee had indicated in a letter of condolence that his father, the late J. B. Jeyaretnam, ‘had to be destroyed’ because he was against the system of government created by the People’s Action Party (PAP).
      But he told The Straits Times yesterday after his party’s rally at West Coast Park that it was an ‘honest mistake’, he had misquoted Mr Lee, and he apologised…
      His remarks were rebutted by the Prime Minister yesterday during a media conference at the PAP headquarters to outline the ruling party’s election strategy. ‘It’s totally untrue, he made it up,’ said Mr Lee.

      They should confiscate Kenneth Jeyaretnam’s passport and prosecute the guy. How much more slack do they have to give him?

      PS: Plenty of people in Singapore buy our book either from Amazon or from the Book Depository (free worldwide shipping). The links are on the book’s website, http://www.escapefromparadise.com.

    • admin

      Thanks, Anthony. We are not adding other posts until after the Singapore election, as we want nothing to detract from what we have written about Kenneth Jeyaretnam and crowd.

  • RojakMan

    this is their infamous family affair. how can anyone tell me that the sons had no idea lah?

  • Anthony T

    The story of Baldev Naidu was kept hush hush here in Singapore. This is huge blow for the Reform Party, and the comment left by your reader is very detailed. He most definitely is in ‘the know’ about the Jeyaratnams!
    Keep up the great work John. BTW, my wife and I loved your book, Escape!

  • A Kinburg

    I don’t understand why your book Escape from Paradise is banned in Singapore? The world knows about the death sentence and the chewing gum, for pete’s sake. I love your no holds bar book! I hope your wife, May is doing well.
    I never knew we had a Singaporean, Baldev N serving prison time here in the good old US of A?
    I thought there were no terrorists in Singapore?
    Aaron Kinburg
    Long Island, New York

  • Racheal Tolbet

    Aloha John, we got Osama bin Laden!!!
    Maybe it’s time for Singapore to get these Jeyaratnam guys? From what I have read, the jury is out on this family. Your reader’s post is incredibly detailed.
    I just ordered your book. Will comment after I finish reading it.
    Aloha!
    Racheal Tolbet
    Honolulu Hawaii

  • J Yagher

    John, are you an ex-CIA guy? I used to work for The Donald, and I really enjoyed your book. I highly recommend it to everyone. May’s ex-husband is one bad a– dude!
    New York, New York

  • SimpleSimon

    Kenneth and Phillip Jeyaratnam are so busted. Love your blog.

  • Seth Walker

    Hi John, I was googling and found you.
    Interesting major stuff you have here. I read a comment about your book. I’m getting it but why is it banned in Singapore????
    Seth W
    St Louis, MO

    • admin

      It was not banned by the Singapore government, but by a lawyer named Helen Yeo. She was afraid the book might reveal something she had done wrong. It didn’t – in fact we had three lawyers check the book over for us. Unfortunately, Helen Yeo’s husband, Yeo Cheow Tong, was a Singapore cabinet minister at the time, and she had the clout to ban our book.

  • JG

    Hi John

    I see – 79 – 3 : opp retain 2 single seat – 1 grc aljunied – workers party (chen show mao)

    Possible one upset – bukit timah-holland – sdp – mainly due to tan jee say – but not likely
    or top political star – nicole seow – she is good – but marine parade is pap strong hold –

    Wild card this year – Malay votes – good if most have not forgiven LKY for his remarks

    • admin

      Well, I certainly can’t see that idiot Kenneth Jeyaretnam getting elected. I read in the Straits Times that the “RP campaign met with an embarrassing end last night when Mr Jeyaretnam recited three sentences of the Singapore Pledge wrongly. Confused faces were seen in the crowd. As Mr Jeyaretnam fumbled, the master of ceremonies quickly took over and said: ‘Shall we say that again?'” Kenneth Jeyaretnam AND his father associated with known crooks. Even Philip Jeyaretnam associates with Helen Yeo and Yeo Cheow Tong who appear to have narco contacts in Burma, Afghanistan, and Morocco.
      What a gang!

  • Political SalesMaN

    B 4 Nomination Day, This Double Idiot (Kenneth J) alert the press about the opposition movement, The Ex-Chairman of Reform Party (Ng Teck Siong)is comming to Tanjong Pagar to contest the Old Devil (LKY). Fixing is all stand by.

  • Singapore Liberation Army

    On one such visit he slipped a signed cash cheque for S$340K unnoticed in his case file and claimed later that it was inadvertently done.This cheque of S$340K was to seal the Ex-Chairman mouth. The Tamil Tiger wanted to build a base here, for arms transaction using Reform Party as a Base.The chairman was in the mist of frighten, so he slip into one of JBJ file.Later was ask to B taken away.There are more than a story to tell U. Mr John. we are playing the card one by one with this KJ.

    • admin

      Thank you. Keep playing your cards, and we will piece together the story one card at a time.

  • Seth Walker

    That’s just crazy! No book should be banned!

  • Racheal Tolbet

    Hi John and May,
    I just got your book! I can’t put it down! Still reading chapters over again. It’s terrific.
    I read the Joy Luck Club book, Falling Autumn Leaves, and those books are NOTHING like yours!
    I will post another comment. Awesome read, so far. I highly recommend your book, Escape from Paradise.
    Yeah, I’m pluggin’ it!
    Racheal T
    Hawaii

  • Singapore Liberation Army

    A ‘Gang of 4’ spearheaded by this scoundrel Balraj Naidu executed a rowdy coup d’état that saw Kenneth Jeyaretnam seize the post of party Secretary-General that day.There should B gang of 5.The ex-Chairman was bride by Kj to wayang, to pull out the remainder of the old member to give way to KJ.When the day of the incident happen, the other member insist to made a police report or go the the Registar office.He act blur, as eve nothing has happpen.He act very innocent, U must live like a monk, no drink ,women, gambling or cheating.But his monastery was in Kranji Turf Club.Every week he will go to his monastery to chant Horse Racing.Don’t B con by his man.when he tell U to live like a monk.

  • Singapore Liberation Army

    When JBJ was laid into the coffin. we saw his complexion turn blue black, his mouth is with some blood clot.There is some suspicion he has been poison.The ex-Chairman is the first one to known JBJ has heart failure out of other member.Nine years with JBJ selling books I camouflage myself. What do U mean.Are U being emnploy by a mastermine to monitor thru out JBJ movement while he is still alive.

  • Political SalesMan

    John could U reply me Y temasekreview is in favour in promoting Reform Party instead of other opposition party.Is this Double First Idiot Kenneth finance them.Or his Ang Mo wife has good relation with TR.Or TR is in the control by the PAP. Thank you.