Last modified: Oct 15, 2009: Yogeswari's name is ascertained as Yogeswari d/o N Vadivellu. Recall earlier she denied she had any other name other than Yogeswari. Her correct EMail is firstname.lastname@example.org and not support.gov.sg. My mistake.
As for Audrey Lim, the Assistant Registrar, Chopard refers to, her name is Audrey Lim Yoon Cheng. Recall, when I asked Chopard for this woman's full name, she said she did not know, and that no one in her office knew her full name! This fear of revealing their true identities seems a common trait among Singaporeans who work in Lee Kuan Yew's government.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Since I received no directions on how to proceed with defending myself in these disciplinary proceedings, I telephoned the Singapore Disciplinary Tribunal Secretariat, the organization that had written to me. I called at about 7.15pm, California Time from my office, in Fremont, 15 miles from San Francisco.
Gopalan Nair: This is Gopalan Nair. What is your name please?
Yogeswari: This is the Yoges.
Gopalan Nair: Is that your full name?
Yogeswari: No my full name is Y-o-g-e-s-w-a-r-i (spells it)
Gopalan Nair: Is that your first name? Do you have another name? Can I have your full name?
Yogeswari: I have only one name!
Gopalan Nair: What is your job title?
Yogeswari: I am an Operations Support Officer.
Gopalan Nair: What is that? Are you a clerk?
Yogeswari: Yes. Hold a minute please.
(She keeps me on hold for some time. In the background I can hear some agitation. She appeared in a hurry not to speak anymore to me. I guess it is the fear that blankets a society such as Singapore. I guess her designation of Operations Support Officer is none other than a junior general clerk who does simple tasks in the office under instruction)
Angela Chopard: Hello what can I do for you? My name is Angela Chopard. I am in charge of collating documents, I am the head of this department, I collate the documents and send them to the parties, and my job title is Head of Disciplinary Tribunals.
(Even though she had a foreign name, she was very much a local Singaporean from the way she spoke English, the Singaporean singsong cross between Hokkien Chinese singsong and English)
Gopalan Nair: All the papers sent to me were from Audrey Lim. Who is Audrey Lim? She signs her name in the letters as "Ms Audrey Lim, Secretary, Disciplinary Tribunal".
Angela Chopard: She is the Deputy Registrar of the Singapore Supreme Court. The first lot of documents is sent by the Deputy Registrar of the Supreme Court. Audrey Lim is my boss.
Gopalan Nair: Wait a minute. I thought that you said you are the head of your department. Now you say you have a boss? I don't understand.
Angela Chopard: Yes I am the head of department. But I take orders from Audrey Lim. Could you send me an Email instead? I will give you my Email.
Gopalan Nair: It is necessary for me to speak to you now. Please can I continue?
Angela Chopard: Yes
Gopalan Nair: Again, I am confused by whom I should be speaking to. Should I be speaking to your boss Audrey Lim or to you since you say that you take instructions from her?
Angela Chopard: Mailing the documents will be by me.
Gopalan Nair: This person, Audrey Lim. Does she have a full name? Chinese people, who take on a Western first name like Tony Tan, usually have other names such as Tony Tan Tong Wong. Does Audrey Lim have a full name and if so what is it?
Angela Chopard: I don't know her full name. Everyone calls her by that name. In all the documents there is only that name.
Gopalan Nair: Do you read my blog Singapore Dissident. Are you aware that I post matters relating to this matter in my blog?
Angela Chopard: No I have never read your blog. I am not conversant with computers and things like blogs. I have not read anything.
Gopalan Nair: Does your office read my blog? I have posted 2 letters to you in my blog and mailed them to you. Are you aware?
Angela Chopard: No I am not aware. I have not received your letters.
Gopalan Nair: Are you aware that the Singapore government and the Singapore Attorney Generals Chambers read my blog carefully. For example, they have charged me with insulting Judith Prakash in my blog which I wrote after I returned to California?
Angela Chopard: I am not aware if they read your blog.
Gopalan Nair: About why the documents are signed by Audrey Lim while Chopard is the head of department
Angela Chopard: These letters to you were generated by me but signed by Audrey Lim
Gopalan Nair: Where is Audrey Lim's office?
Angela Chopard: Upstairs!
Gopalan Nair: What is your Email?
Angela Chopard: My Email is email@example.com. Email of Yogeswari is firstname.lastname@example.org.
(It appears Yogeswari is actually Yogeswari Vadivellu or something of the sort. She must have been afraid to reveal her true name. This happens very often in Singapore)
Gopalan Nair: Can I speak to Audrey Lim?
Angela Chopard: Can I check if she is around? (She leaves, and returns a while later) Audrey Lim is now attending a hearing. But let me check (leaves again). Returns and says: You can send Emails to me and not Audrey Lim. I received this instruction to relay to you.
Gopalan Nair: But I though you said Audrey Lim was at a hearing? Who gave you this instruction?
Angela Chopard: It was my colleague. We co-operate with each other about these things. I don't know everything. Sometimes my colleagues help me.
(From this it appears to me that Audrey Lim was not at a hearing but upstairs and told Chopard to ask me to Email to her)
Gopalan Nair: What is the name of the colleague who gave you this instruction?
Angela Chopard: Sorry, I cannot reveal the name.
Gopalan Nair: Did you expect me to have the Singapore statutes and rules relating to disciplinary proceedings in California? Did it not occur to you that you should let me have the necessary legislation on how to defend these charges?
Angela Chopard: I did not think of your not being in Singapore. In Singapore when these are sent out to Singaporean lawyers, no instructions are sent. They are expected to know what to do. (She admits that she overlooked the need to send me the relevant legislation).
Angela Chopard promises that she will send the necessary legislation to me. I told her that I need an extension of time to look at the legislation etc before responding. She says the time limitation is 14 days to respond. I said I could not since I don't have the legislation nor the rules nor other regulations and will not be able to respond until I have these. I need an extension of time. She says extensions are decided by tribunal head Toh Kian Sing. She asked me to put all my questions and requests to her in emails and she will respond. She promised to send the legislation. She cannot guarantee that any extension will be given as it is up to Toh Kian Sing.
I told her that I am making a request for an extension of time until I have had time to read the documents I requested and then a reasonable time thereafter to respond.
Telephone call concluded 7.45pm California time. Near San Francisco.
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914
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