07 May 2006

Aljunied Falls into PAP's Hands

I'm rather depressed by the news, but I can, at least, take comfort in a couple of matters:

1) WP garnered nearly 44% of the votes. This is the only PAP-constituency to hit over 40%. And it's a GRC. And chances are, Sylvia Lim is gonna be the NCMP. And if things go well, I think it is probable that Aljunied enters into WP's hands in the next one or two elections.

2) Lee Hsien Loong did not get his strong mandate. He only got 67% of the overall votes (according to Channel NewsAsia). That's not strong at all. And he got less than 70% of the votes in Ang Mo Kio. I consider that a defeat for him.

3) Most people I spoke to did not appear to support the PAP. This is a sign that my generation - the post-80s, first time voters - are no longer so willing to submit to the PAP as older generations did. That means, coming elections, the votes PAP can grab is likely to slip even further.

4) Goh Chok Tong got a slap in the face. He, the PAP heavyweight, was tasked to help win back Potong Pasir and Hougang, but instead of winning more votes, they lost more, and even letting Low Thia Khiang secure more than 60%. In the words of a commentor in another blog, "Take your peanuts and eat them Mr Goh!"

Here's a few post-election thoughts I have:

1) I hope Lee Hsien Loong will continue and fulfill his promise of an open society. I'm still waiting for it to happen, and I must say I am very disappointed with the progress so far.

2) In the next election, please exercise some reasoning when drawing the electoral boundaries. I'm quite worried that my area - a collection of private houses - may be detached from Aljunied and flung into Marine Parade.

3) Please leave James Gomez alone. I believe he is innocent. But we know how questionable our judicial system can get when it comes to defamation lawsuits.


Anonymous said...

I seem to be a little late in giving my views on this topic, but I just need to get this off my chest even if it bothered anyone.

I'm not a blogger neither am I a frequent visitor to your blog. But out of curiosity (after receiving an email joke about the Gomez saga by mr brown) I decided to do a search and so landed in your blog.

Ok, just to let you know, I'm also a resident of Aljunied GRC and boy, am I glad Aljunied is still under PAP control. Not that I'm a great PAP supporter, but just that I don't trust WP enough. It's all hot air, so to say.
I have been following the Gomez saga closely and I find that WPs leaders seem to connive with Gomez's misdeeds.

First, Low TK said that the party never intended for Gomez to stand in AMK GRC and therefore the "question (of Gomez getting the minority cert) never arise" when questioned by the media.
Then a couple of days later when pressured for answers again by the media he said he had told everyone of the minority races to get their certs just in case. Which statement is true? Decide for yourself.

As for Gomez himself, he explained that he had been very busy and so was "distracted" while submitting the form. But on polling day itself, while being interviewed sometime before the results were being announced, he said that from the time to nomination day up to the present time that he was being interviewed he was kinda relaxed, no problem. wow! did I hear wrong, didn't he say earlier he had been "very busy" was "distracted"?

On another note however, which is the main reason why I'm putting in this post is that I want to draw your attention to the people who worked at the elections office. If there were no CCTV, and Gomez gets away with his little act, then who suffers?

Think about it. It could have been you or me working our butts off and getting told off for something we did not commit. It could be you mom or dad or a sibling or even a friend.

I cannot just stand by and say nothing even if I know none of the staff there. It just isn't right.

Pandemonium said...

Firstly, with regards to Low Thia Khiang's words, I see no contradiction between the two statements he made, which are:

1) No intention of fielding Gomez in AMK,
2) Everyone of minority race to get certificates.

The second is a common tactic employed opposition parties, as I have heard. It is usually to allow last-minute changes to confuse their opponents.

Now, I believe in the first statement he made because it is clear that WP is fielding their A-team in Aljunied. In that case, they had better have the best candidates they can gather. Therefore, I do not have questions regarding the decision of James Gomez as a candidate for Aljunied long before Nomination Day.

So how is this consistent with the second statement? I see two possible explanations. First, he wants everyone of the minority race to apply for the certificate, but he has no intention to shift Gomez. It's more like a general or sweeping order - there is no harm having extras (but we see now that there is). It's a kiasu mentality. Second, while Gomez may be confirmed in Aljunied, Rahizan, the other minority candidate for Aljunied, may not. So Low Thia Khiang may have asked Gomez to apply for a minority certificate not because Gomez will be the minority candidate in AMK but because he might be in Aljunied.

Regarding your second point, yes, I agree that there is something fishy down there. I'd in fact believe more that he is nervous than he is distracted, keeping in mind that this is the first election he's participating in, and he had kinda screwed up the previous one. For this, I have penalised the WP when I'm deciding my vote (see the reasons behind my vote).

However, again, with regards to the question you raised, I see no contradiction. From what you brought up, he was distracted during Nomination Day but relaxed after that. Why should that be a contradiction? In fact, I personally have a similar experience, during my matriculation into NUS. During the matriculation day itself I was rather nervous, and kept worrying if I've brought the necessary documents and got them done. I even lined up in the wrong queue! But after that, the days until the start of the school term were rather relaxed. I think he is experiencing something similar.

As for the CCTV incident, I've spoke of this before in another comment (see this), and I shall reproduce it here:

Admittedly, it is hard to guess how the affair would turn out without the CCTV footages. The key question is whether James Gomez had really intended to sabotage the Election Department. Personally, I doubt so, since the risks were high and he has little to gain from it. In this case, he'll probably not pursue the matter as the minority certificate doesn't really affect him in any way (he took a minority certificate under the instructions of Low Thia Khiang in case of last minute strategic changes).

If he intends to pursue it and question the Elections Department repeatedly, then I think the situation is like what we have seen in the past few days, but with the tables turned around. I believe it will turn out detrimental to him and WP if he did this, because it'd really seem like he's making a mountain out of a molehill.

Questions like "What would happen if history has been otherwise?" are almost impossible to answer, in my opinion, because I believe history is a chaos system. A chaos system is one that is very sensitive to initial conditions. Even a slight change will result in a completely unrecognisable outcome. This is also better known as the butterfly effect.

Now, I don't know about you, but personally, I see the PAP really making a huge fuss over this matter. In fact, I believe that what the PAP is trying to do is to do to Gomez what they did previously to Tang Liang Hong and Jeyaretnam. They're trying to goad him into saying that what PAP said are lies, then they can sue him for defamation.

That's my thoughts, and I'm glad that you have stated yours. I certainly do hope people will challenge what I've said, because that will make me think more about my own choices and opinions.

Pandemonium said...

Adding on, I'm not sure in exact what Gomez said to the Elections Department, since I cannot find any transcript of the phone conversation, but I think the word he used is "consequences". Quite frankly, I can't see that as very much threatening.

Anyway, if you know what he say in exact, please let me know.

Anonymous said...

hey thanks for that quick response. Honestly I wasn't expecting it and I had actually forgotten to take note of the name of this site. I only managed to get back here upon looking up the history.
Ok, I'm not here to argue who's right or who's wrong. You're certainly entitled to choose the party you wanna root for as much as I. But to me, WP seems to be the "Wrong Party" (pun intended) hahahaha....no offense though.
It's just my funny bones getting the better of me...heehee
Well, whatever it is I still stand by what I mentioned in my earlier post...and I kinda feel that in regard to my concern about the CCTV thingy, you sort of disregard the part where I questioned that if one of those who worked at the elections office, happened to be your loved one or even a friend, would you see this whole thing in a different light?
This isn't about "splitting hairs" as Sylvia Lim said. It's really sad knowing there're people out there pretending nothing serious happened because nothing serious actually happened.
Nevermind if you didn't get what I meant. Think I won't be putting up another post anyway 'cos I figured there ain't gonna be an end to this whole mess.
Thanks for reading my views btw.

Pandemonium said...

I can't answer the question of how I would feel if someone I know worked for the Elections Department without more information.

Firstly, what I need to know the most is what words did Gomez use. As I've said before, I've tried finding the transcript of the phone conversation or even the recordings itself, but I could not find it. I did, however, saw someone else saying that the word he used is "consequences". In any case, I can't see how I can take offense from that word (placed in the context he used), even if it were my friend/family who was "threatened".

If you were to observe closely, no one in the Elections Department gave their opinions or comments on this (maybe they're weren't allowed to); it was the PAP that's stirring things up. And there is a vested interest for PAP to do this.

Now, if I assume that he did use some other threatening words, then my opinion of him will worsen. Like I've said, I can't predict how things will turn out otherwise, because there are millions of factors to take into account. It is probably true that WP is trying to water down the seriousness because it turns out to be harmless now (because there was the CCTV). For this, I've already counted against them.

Anyway, if you're interested, I'd recommend reading Yawning Bread's website (he was the one who took the famous WP Hougang rally photo) and Mr Wang's blog. They're both very well-known among the online community for their sharp perceptions and justified views.