Ladies and Gentlemen,
The days go on in Singapore, a place where I intended to stay for no more than 10 days vacation when I arrived at Changi Airport on May 26, 2008 at 1am. With the totally unexpected turn of events with my arrest, which I truly never expected even though I challenged Lee to arrest me, silly as you may think of it, but true; I am still here against my wishes, nearly 3 months now.
Since my arrest for allegedly insulting Judge Belinda Ang in this blog and for allegedly sending an Email to judge Lai Sui Chu more than 2 years ago in March 17, 2006 for calling her corrupt, I have also been charged for being disorderly on a street in Little India, a district in Singapore and for allegedly insulting a Malay policeman.
So my stay in Singapore instead of being a vacation, turned into a marathon litigation with me all of a sudden having to spend all my time as a lawyer, that is for myself, except that I don’t get paid for it!
For the past month or so, my daily routine has been getting up to go to one court or the other. As for the disorderly behavior which is going on now, I have been getting up early in the morning having read the previous day's work to ready myself to cross examine the police witnesses who claim I shouted at the top of my voice, saying all manner of nasty things at them and gesticulated at the top of my voice when they, as they claim, had asked me for my particulars.
My defense is that as they were in civilian clothes and as they had made no attempt to identify themselves, I never knew they were police and therefore had no obligation to tell them anything.
Moreover sane ordinary people do not usually go around shouting at the top of their voices and swinging their arms widely around for no reason at all unless they belong in a mental asylum or they had just drunk an entire bottle of premium Scotch. I fit into neither category. I haven’t yet been declared insane and neither was I drunk.
Day in and day out, they bring in their witnesses and make their accusations. When my turn comes, I cross examine them and put to them my version of the events. And that is what is happening this last month and continuing.
But you know, if you think of it really, you may say, what a waste of government money in going through this. No one was hurt. Nothing was stolen. Murder had not taken place. It is nothing more than a bad argument between policemen and myself. In any other place the government would not have spent a cent on it. They would have probably given me a stern warning and asked me to get lost.
But no. Not in this First World Country, that is, according to Lee's criteria of First World. Oh no. In this First World Country, you still must lavishly spend money to prosecute Gopalan Nair because that is what is done at this place. It is also a place where you use corporal punishment against violent criminals, although mine is not such a case. It is also a country where for the slightest criticism of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, you may find yourself bankrupt to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars! Therefore one can safely conclude at least this. Singapore is at least in some curious ways different from other usual run of the mill first world country such as for instance New Zealand.
Other than this case, I have to contend with the other case, the Blogging Case due to be heard Sept 08, 2008 for 10 days, the case which I referred to above. For this too, I have to attend court as and when required. And it involves preparation of documents, the almost daily routine of attending court for this or that, which means that my time here has become one long nightmare.
But I have to hang in there. That is the only honorable thing to do in the circumstances. I have pleaded not guilty. I have claimed it is my right to speak my mind. If I were to deny myself this right, that is to speak freely, I would no longer be Gopalan Nair. I would not be able to look myself in the mirror. I would be like the other millions of Singaporeans who live under a blanket of fear. Fear to speak freely and living under the yoke of a dictatorial regime. So, I have to go on. So I have to defend myself and stand my ground. I have to continue being Gopalan Nair.
I have said it before and will say it again. I stand by what I wrote in my blog about judge Belinda Ang being thoroughly unfair towards Dr. Chee and company during the 3 day hearing in the High Court from May 26, 2008 to May 28, 2008.
As to the selection of my words, I may have chosen wrongly. And if I had caused any offence to the Judge or anyone else, I apologize. I have said this apology before and will say it again. On hindsight, I could have chosen better words although the English meaning used in the context makes it clear that it refers to the court hearing and nothing else. The words used were technically correct although my choice could have been better.
I have not been blogging much for lack of time, the daily routine is punishing, with little time for nothing else. This is a situation which is beyond my control and not of my making. What I had done, had it been in any other developed country would not warrant an inch of what I have to go through.
But the true test of a man lies when he is faced under extreme circumstances. Does he turn into jelly and collapse or does he face the challenge head on. Throughout my life I have never backed off from a challenge. And neither do I intend to do that now, come fire or high water.