08 May 2006


Not really unexpected, James Gomez was arrested by CID after the elections. Right now, I can see from the online community that many are infuriated by this move, seen as the PAP eliminating potentially "dangerous" opposition candidates. Even a strong-worded online petition has emerged in support of James Gomez.

However, my opinion is that this is a futile effort. The PAP holds an overwhelming majority in the parliament. Three opposition MPs is as good as a cardboard roadblock. PAP can do whatever they wish. Even Lee Kuan Yew seem hell bent on banishing James Gomez. We all know that in Singapore, he gets what he wants. Online petitions hold no water. Public opinion does not matter. Getting the court to acquit James Gomez is as easy as fitting a D24 durian through your nostrils.

I advise people to keep their heads cool. Stay calm, and don't make any stupid moves. Just remember this man who has been unfairly treated. Just remember that the PAP can disobey the laws of the country. Just remember this sense of injustice boiling inside you right now. Just remember how the PAP bombarded James Gomez ridiculously during the elections.

Just remember, this incident, five years later.


Minister of Welfare said...

We can't hide the fact that the WP have improve alot. Now, they just have to build on the mini-success they had on on the GE and see how it goes for on 5 years time.

Pandemonium said...

Indeed WP's performance is amazing, though I expected better results (for example, I expected them to take down Aljunied). I have little doubt that their share of votes and support will increase in the next election if they keep up with this good work.

Calamity Man said...

and they will. the REAL change will come when papalee um, releases the driver's wheel for whatever reason.

Cobalt Paladin said...

Can you imagine if the Elections Department didn't have the CCTV evidence to back them up and proved that Gomez had indeed not submitted the form? What would the general public think? Everyone would be inclined to think that the government kelong! Singapore would have been ridiculed by the world over. Very likely, the GE results will be rewritten and Aljunied GRC would be won by WP. Regardless if the incident was staged, it is significant enough for the government to warrant an investigation. I would be disappointed if the government would just let it slide.

The Negative Man said...

The government's response is somewhat expected. After all the fuss they made over the issue, it would be near impossible for them to back down suddenly.

If they backed down, it would mean that the issue wasn't that important after all, which would be like declaring "This issue is crap to distract you ".

On the other hand, they could continue to pursue the issue, if only to appear consistent. Not good for their image, but it's a solution for a crappy situation.

It was a bad gambit to begin with. They have to dig their way out of it now.

Pandemonium said...

Cobalt Paladin:

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.

However, the reason why I sent out such a message is because it is clear that this move to arrest him is politically motivated. Even Lee Kuan Yew has expressed his intentions to remove him from the scene of Singapore politics. And this has happened over and over again, in previous elections till today. In fact, it was worse in the past, according to what my father told me, as once the results were declared, the CID would go on stage and arrest the opposition leaders instantly. This has to end if we want to call ourselves a democratic society.

On a final note, I have thought of delaying this entry until investigations are completed, but I think it might've been too late then. If James Gomez turns out to be guilty beyond doubt, then I think the readers will be able to change their judgement themselves.

The Negative Man:

That's a nice summary of the rational behind PAP's actions. Now what remains to be seen is what differences from the past there will be in the investigations. Personally, I don't think there will be any.

warhammer said...

My opinion is that you break the law you pay for it, no matter who you are.
Maybe why everyone's so worked up is that PAP is playing judge, jury and executioner instead of the judicial system. Thing is PAP don't feel a need to just check their own people they make sure no one else smokes through also. There's no double standard, there's just the PAP standard

Pandemonium said...

I'm no legal expert, but I perceive an unexpected twist in this case. It comes in the form of a lawsuit in Canada to judge the judicial system in Singapore.

Why is this a twist? Firstly, if the Canadian courts rule that Singapore courts are unjust, then it has severe consequences for Singapore globally. There will be both diplomatic and economic setbacks. There may also be public backlash within the country itself. Therefore, it is vital that Singapore courts are ruled as just and fair.

But I have little doubts that this Gomez case is put forth on flimsy and thorny grounds. If this case goes to court, and the ruling is in favour of the Elections Department/PAP, then it may affect the decision of the Canadian courts. And one of the main arguments put forth by the party making the charge is that the Singapore judicial system is an "utterly politicized component of executive rule".

Of course, that's assuming that this Gomez case goes to court. Chances are, it will, with accordance to PAP tradition. However, there is now external pressure to take into consideration.

I'm not sure how this will evolve. Perhaps I'm overreacting to the news. But it is worth pondering.

Anyway, it is worth mentioning that this appeal in the Canadian courts is probably coincidence. The company involved filed for appeal long before the elections, which means unless they have some eerie voodoo prediction powers, they would not have been able to guess the Gomez affair. (Actually, come to think of it, it is not so difficult...)

Anonymous said...


The Negative Man said...

I've written some things about the canadian lawsuit in the comments section of this post, but I'll just give a quick summary of my views here.

First, it should be obvious that the things alleged in the canadian lawsuit are a bit exaggerated. It portrays the judicary as being solely a puppet of the government. I admit that the judicary is not totally independent, but certainly it is not a puppet judicary.

The implication is that the PAP's power, and their willingness to use it to tilt the playing field, damaged other parts of Singapore's reputation. This is inevitable, because people tend to draw associations between the PAP and Singapore.

So will the lawsuit affect Gomez's case? I don't know. But you can expect more such lawsuits questioning Singapore's judicary until the PAP learns to play by fair rules.