Ladies and Gentlemen,
I append below a letter to Singapore Law Society relating to these disciplinary proceedings.
Ms. Audrey Lim
Disciplinary Tribunal Secretariat
1 Supreme Court Lane,
Your Tel: Singapore 6332 4040 and Singapore 6332 4060
Your Ref: DT/SEC/12/2009
My ref: Singapore dissident www.singaporedissident.blogspot.com
Oct 13, 2009
First Class/ Air/ Also posted on blog “Singapore Dissident” www.singaporedissident.blogspot.com
SINGAPORE LAW SOCIETY VS GOPALAN NAIR/ DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS
Dear Ms Audrey Lim,
1. I refer to your 3 letters dated Oct 08, 2009, in which you state Disciplinary Proceedings have been commenced against me, under Rule 6 of the Singapore Legal Profession (Disciplinary Proceedings) Rules 2008; a reference is made to Section 90(1) of the Singapore Legal Profession Act; you state a tribunal has been set up to hear a complaint against me; the names of the 2 gentlemen who are going to adjudicate the matter and an enquiry to me as to who my lawyer is.
2. You have also attached a bundle of papers named “statement of case” and another as “Affidavit”.
3. As you are aware, I intend to represent myself.
4. In normal common law jurisprudence, of which Singapore claims to be one, it is a legal requirement that the Defendant be appraised not only of the charges against him, but also how he is required to respond and the basic procedures that apply to it.
5. I live in Northern California and have not lived in Singapore since 1991. Neither have I practiced law there ever since. I am of course practicing law in California, which you can expect has a completely different set of rules, laws and procedures. Further, America is a democracy which respects fundamental human rights.
6. Although I am able to retrieve the Singapore statutes online from California, such as the Singapore Legal Profession Act, I have no access to what you call the Singapore Legal Profession (Disciplinary Proceedings) Rules 2008 or do I have any idea what in Heavens is Section 90(1) which you refer to.
7. Let me point out that regardless of whether one has access to the legal literature or not, it is a normal practice and a requirement under the principle of natural justice that the opponent be given a meaningful opportunity to respond. That means he is told, when charges are laid, how many days he has to respond and to whom does he respond. As an example, the Summons filed and served in California courts is accompanied with a notice to the Defendant that he has 30 days to respond and to whom does he do it. This is not only a legal requirement, it is also common decency.
8. Furthermore as I live in California, I have no access to Singapore legal publications, and I have no way to check up the particular set of Rules that you mention or any other laws that pertain to this case.
9. Second, of course I can come to Singapore personally to do the necessary research and defend myself in these proceedings but I am sure you can see the problem with that. According to your charges, since my return to California, I have not only offended Judge Judith Prakash for calling her a Kangaroo Judge among other things, for which I have been now charged, I have deliberately defied your Judge Leslie Chew’s court order to take down certain blog posts by putting them up again and retracting my apology which I was coerced to give while within Singapore and in chains! This means the real possibility that I will be arrested the moment Singapore Airlines SQ1 lands at Changi International, provided that is the airline I take, in Singapore having departed Taipei! A most unwise decision.
10. But I assure you that I intend to defend these charges in earnest. It will be doing a great service to the public at large to weigh the issues, balance the merits and decide not only whether I deserve to be punished, it will be a golden opportunity to see the Singapore legal system and their administration of justice first hand.
11. The 2 cases that are the subject of these proceedings, one being the disorderly conduct and abusing Singapore police officers case; the other being the insult of Judge Belinda Ang case. The Belinda Ang case took about 8 days in the High Court and the disorderly case took about 18 days in the Subordinate Court. You will appreciate that in order to challenge these disciplinary proceedings for the Judge Belinda Ang case, it is necessary for me to have the entire transcripts of the testimony in court. Similarly for the 18 day subordinate Court case. Without the transcripts, the accuracy of what I will say about it would be compromised. In the circumstances, if you intend to give me a fair opportunity to defend myself, I ask the following:
a. Please let me have the entire transcripts of the proceedings that took place in the Subordinate Court for full 18 days before Judge James Leong. I was given none.
b. Second, although I was given some transcripts of the High Court Belinda Ang matter, I did not receive all of them, due to my sudden repatriation from Singapore and the High Court claiming that those transcripts were yet to be typed. Kindly provide all the missing transcripts.
c. Please provide copies of the Rules that you mention and any other information necessary on the procedure that Singaporean disciplinary tribunals and parties have to adopt in such proceedings.
d. Please provide all time lines for filing the responses.
e. Once the above is provided, let me have 30 days to prepare for the necessary defense.
f. Please provide your Email address and telephone number.
g. If you do this no one could say that you had not given me an opportunity to be heard, which they would if you ignore this reasonable request.
h. I trust you understand that merely asking me for the name of my lawyer is not enough.
12. Requiring me to defend these charges is like asking a VFR pilot to fly under IFR conditions in total darkness, blind with a malfunctioning altimeter, horizon indicator and a blocked pitot tube!
13. Please note that my Email address is email@example.com and my telephone number is 510 657 6107. Please note that we are 16 hours behind Singapore time. If calling please do so between 9 am to 5 pm, on weekdays only. Lunch is between 12 noon to 1 pm. There is a voice receiver if no one is present at the phone.
14. I trust you are serious not only in ensuring justice is done in this case but are concerned of your public image if no real opportunity is seen given to me for a defense.