8 May 2006

No Arrest So Far Over Elections Department's complaint

By Channel NewsAsia

Police say they have not arrested or detained anyone as a result of their investigations, following a complaint from the Elections Department against Worker Party member Mr James Gomez for alleged offences of criminal intimidation and providing false information.

However they say several people have been interviewed, including Elections Department officials, Workers' Party Chairman Sylvia Lim and Mr Gomez himself.

Mr Gomez, who was part of the WP team contesting the Aljunied ward, claimed to have submitted an application for a minority candidate certificate at the Elections Department, but security camera footage showed otherwise.

During the hustings, he was accused by PAP leaders of trying to discredit the Elections Department by claiming its staff had misplaced his form.

But what exactly constitutes criminal intimidation?

Some lawyers Channel NewsAsia spoke to explain that criminal intimidation usually occurs during quarrels and fights.

Choo Si Sen, Consultant, Straits Law Advocates and Solicitors, said: "Section 503 Penal Code defines if a person threatens another person with injury to his property, body or reputation and that person is alarmed, then that is criminal intimidation. There are 2 categories of criminal intimidation under the law under Section 506.

"In a simple case of criminal intimidation, the punishment is maximum two years imprisonment or fine or both. In aggravated criminal intimidation, threatening to cause destruction of property by fire, death, grievous hurt and so on, the sentence could be up to seven years imprisonment." - CNA/ch


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If you ask me, a 66.6% win at the recent elections does not constitute to a strong mandate.

So what exactly is the PAP up to? In all their years of governance they should realize that such actions will most definitely backfire. This very much diminished win should by right, serve as a wake up call to the PAP. Prosecuting Gomez will not help raise the party’s popularity. Neither would it gain them more respect from the youth (“We have a lot of support from the younger voters” right). Insert backlash.

Is this an elaborate ploy just to see Gomez fall? In spite of their utmost attempt to discredit Gomez, Aljunied was won with 56.08% of votes in favor of the PAP. Why did the PAP not take action during the campaigning period and waited till after? Would not that be risking Aljunied, judging by the huge support for Ms Sylvia Lim and the hammer?

Knowing PAP’s stance on all things, it is hard for any Singaporean to remain neutral (I shall not futher elaborate on this for I do believe, we all have our own arsenal of feelings however pleasant or unpleasant against the party. Also if I were to elaborate, I would surely digress).

Yet when we look at the 2001 General Elections, it was also Gomez who fouled up the registration. This caused his team to be disqualified. As much as it could have been an honest mistake, suspicious minds would have labeled it deliberate.

5 years later, Gomez is the star of the General Elections again. This time however, he is pitting himself against the PAP. Yes, it could have been a tactical move to sway PAP into believing that he was contesting for Ang Mo Kio instead of Aljunied. Then again, with all his years of experience in the Singapore politics arena, is Gomez not aware of the possible impications of his action at the Elections Department? PAP leh, don’t play play hor

Why are the people in support of Gomez and not PAP (a little rhetorical but do think about it)? Without a doubt, it is incredulous to be taken to a police station over a form. Yet, in terms of stategy how many would think that it was a justified / conniving move?

Would this issue affect the rest of the members of the Worker’s Party? After all, the issue took place with Gomez carrying out the registration as a cadre of Worker’s Party.

My take in this rambling is Gomez will walk with a fine. This will automatically disqualify him from the next elections. By the way, does anyone knows why he was headed for Sweden?

18 comments:

Cliff said...

Sweden is where he works - for a think-tank called Idea International. The poor bugger was just trying to get back to his life.

mister k said...

ah i see... thanks

Anonymous said...

would be interesting to see FULL TRANSCRIPTS of what transpired at the election dept when JG went there the next day. if there was any 'criminal intimidation'.

Anonymous said...

I think all of you r just being swayed by the media - pple make mistakes - and perhaps Gomez and WP were strategizing as Low pted out - having not decided where to place minority candidates. Gomez just slipped up - in the confusion and thought he had submitted papers that he didn't. All in - it does not justify a criminal charge, let alone any charge whatsoever, in my opinion - as with many Singaporeans.It was a slip up and there is no proof it was deliberate - not even the cameras can tell u that. Just bec he placed the form in the bag - doesn't mean he had intended to do it mindfully - he cld have done so absent-mindedly. All evidence that he lied is purely circumstancial. And in any case- he did not accuse the elections dept in public and make it an election issue.
Even PM Lee made a slip up by saying that he would 'fix' opposition members.and apologised later on. Is that tantamount to intimidation - certianly not - according to the police dept. And he said it in public.
I will be very dissapointed and saddened if the investigations result in a charge for Gomez,,, this wld definitely 'disunite' Singaporean and polarise opinions further - not something that PAP wanted as represented by PM Lee's closing speech.

BTW - please don't sue me for intimation or defamation - if there are any authorities reading it - it is merely stating a personal opinion - with no malice - just sadness - expressed. If u mean what you say about encouraing an open debate with citizens, PM Lee, please take our thoughts into consideration.

Anonymous said...

if he had to hand over his passport and does not have the freedom to leave the country, it is a form of detention

mbabe said...

In a school a few months down the road:

Teacher: (holding a stack of books) Where's your book?

Pupil: I handed it in!

Teacher: It's not here.

Pupil: I did. I handed the book in. I did my work then I passed it to you.

Teacher: Check your bag.

Pupil: Ooops.

Pupil was last seen escorted by plain-clothes police officers to the police station

Anonymous said...

http://www.cafepress.com/freegomez

feeblechicken said...

My suspicion is since they started it, they cannot let it go. Judging from what LKY said on CNA, it would seem that he might be the one insisting on pursuing. He's old and he wants to save face?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that just one or two days before Polling Day when LHL decided to move on from the form thing and said that the elections are about the future, he publicly said that "No, I'm not letting it (JG & the form) go," to the reporters.

And two days later, Gomez is arrested. What is the public supposed to think?

Anonymous said...

What a farcical situation. Singapore gets more infamous by the day. Retention for intimidation? in that case thousands of Signaporeans can be detained for so called "threatening" inept and inefficient civil servants that we have encountered through the years. Think of the times we have told off a lousy service staff.

Spare us the sham of Gomezgate any further. This streak of vindictiveness shown by PAP shld end now if they are even honest abt wanting a gentler kinder nation, and "gracious" too if i recall SM Goh's exact words.

As for the 66% mandate - it is ironic that MiniLee and his cohort keeps comparing to how "other countries" would have considered this a landslide. Hello, if he remembers, "Other countries" have a real democratic process in elections whereby ALL parties are given enough time to campaign and fair media coverage which would result in a tighter race!! so in a stifled country like ours, can 66% really considered a genuine landslide? Given the odds against the opposition, I wld have expected at least 80%!!

So folks, use your brains to think before swallowing every PR spun statement that is churned out ....and ask is the bottle really half full or is it half empty? You decide the truth.

Anonymous said...

DID ANYONE RECORD THE POST-RESULT PRESS CONFERENCE GIVEN BY PM LEE?

I remember he said that he didn't know if the Elections Department is taking further action on the James Gomez issue.

However, Slyvia Lim has revealed that the police complaint filed by ED was dated 6 May.

PM Lee said he didn't know at 0200hrs@ May 7.

So if you believe PM Lee, the ED acted unilterally when filing the complaint, without even having the courteousy of informing the head of the government and their direct boss of the Elections Department.

Anonymous said...

i would like to add for those who keep repeating that this is the second time Gomez stuffed up the form application, that in 2001, Gomez's entire team forgot to fill in the constituency that they were contesting and when it was pointed out, the team could not find a notary public to notarise the changes to the forms in time, that was why they were disqualified. in 2001, it was not Gomez alone, so ppl should not make it seem like he has a personal habit of making a mess of his application. and besides, the minority candidate form was ultimately not required, so the authorities are just making a mountain out of a molehill.

Anonymous said...

that's right. recalled GY kept harping on the issue was bec wp owed an explanation to the citizens. however, wp stressed that no citizens in their walkabout had brought up the issue. so, who is pressin on the issue??

next, they called gomez was a "li**". recalled a Q&A session with minilee, josephine yeo (bishan-toa payoh constituency) was amongst the group. few weeks later, she appeared to be one with the pap group in a walkabout. the media staff specially highlighted during the news. But minilee said they took a long time to assess someone before their selection of their candidates. in this instance, wasn't a li** too?

Anonymous said...

old people should learn to let go, both in the sense of letting young ones make decision, and in the sense of not pushing things too far

Anonymous said...

Who on earth would deliberately not hand up their forms and risk themselves getting disqualified, especially in the ward where they have their strongest team? It's plain annoying how they nit-pick at the whole issue, even questioning HOW HE APOLOGISED, with all that fuss about a scripted speech. And, even so, so what if it is one? Sue him for having a scripted debate?

Hypocrite-advocates of First World politics.

Anonymous said...

gomez may have forgotten and then tried to cover up his own mistake by calling it wayang, thus giving excuse to attack his honesty; or it may have been deliverate, but still the matter was a small one; however, by confining his movements to within the country, preventing him from reporting back for work and putting news reports about him in the media, it might pressurize him into making things worse for himself

Anonymous said...

I wonder why they seize James Gomez’s passport…then when I know that he is a British-educated political scientist who works as a policy analyst with the Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance….then I think I figure out why. Coz the govt is afraid and fear that he might write his analysis about Sg election in Foreign press, and the many dirty works underlining the ruling party after his observation from the recent election, that might be why they detained him from leaving. --------- Also, the ruling party is up against anyone who tries to promote democracy in singapore, like China, DEMOCRACY is the POISON for ONE PARTY POLITICAL POWER.
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(2) By recording the conversation, and CCTV, and having to run to the airport to arrest James for investigation are all a BIG WAYANG. No doubt the govt is the one who is doing a BIG WAYANG here to brainwash its citizens about the Opposition. They are also staging all the WAYANG to create FALSEHOOD of the Oppositions and FEAR, so that others who are capable like James think twice before joining the Opposition, in this way, no one can compete with them, and they will have ABSOLUTE POWER. ------ (It is a police-state thing. The rulers of Singapore are much too bright to have a traditional old-fashioned goose-stepping police state. Instead of tanks in the streets, we have a sophisticated, modern government, who gets the job done working behind the external face of benevolence, no tanks needed.)

The Wobbly Guy said...

Tanks in the street won't work because we're too small. Too much collateral damage lah. It doesn't help that the quite a number of tanks would be manned by sons of the protestors either.