Monday, November 15, 2010

Singapore's (or Australia's) James Gomez

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore one party state's state controlled newspaper Straits Times online edition of Nov 14, 2010 has the story "James Gomez joins the SDP". It tells us that at Hong Lim Park, Singapore's version of London's Speakers Corner, with one difference, that in Singapore you are watched when you speak by Big Brother; Gomez had announced his joining Dr. Chee Soon Juan's Singapore Democratic Party and that he may even contest the next general elections as their candidate.

James Gomez is a highly desirable candidate, there can be no doubt about it. He has a PhD in a social science discipline and has many years of research experience in studying Singapore politics.

But as much as I would love to see him in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore parliament, I can tell you this much.

He not only has no chance of winning, and what is more, he is a serious impediment to SDP's electoral prospects.

My friendly advice to him is both to stay out of politics and stay away from opposition political parties; because it would do him no good and neither the party.

If there is one human being that Lee Kuan Yew or his son for that matter wants to keep out of their Parliament is Dr. James Gomez, other than Dr. Chee himself of course.

James Gomez knows too much and if he is to get into Parliament, he will ask difficult questions which they have no desire or intention to answer.

They know, Gomez is the genuine product, not the "government approved" "half opposition" such as Low Thia Khiang and Chiam See Thong.

If only Gomez was like them, not only would he have been in Parliament a long time ago, they would have even invited him to their PAP as a candidate.

But not being another Low Thia Khaing, and knowing too much, Gomez has to be destroyed at any cost.

And it is very easy for them to do the dirty work, thanks to Gomez himself for giving them sufficient rope.

I can predict very correctly that Lee Kuan Yew's as certain as sunrise, smear campaign against Gomez is going to be like this.

Firstly he is a fly by night politician, literally so.

You notice that in 2006, when he had lost the election, the first thing he did was to book the first flight out to Sweden where he was permanently stationed for several years. It was indeed a night flight, "so fly by night", a slogan they are bound to repeat non stop.

They are going to say that he is a man who runs away at the first opportunity rather than one who stands and fights for his people.

In fact they are gong to say that for more than half a decade, Gomez was living and working abroad permanently, not in Singapore.

After Sweden he went to live in Japan for some years, never living in Singapore at all.

They are going to say that he maintains his Singapore passport only for show, that he is a man who has all along been living abroad, who flits in and out of Singapore like a housefly, makes a speech or 2 and gets his name reported in the press, pays for his HDB flat which he has rented out while he permanently lives elsewhere, and leaves on the next flight out.

A man who does not even want to live in Singapore among his people, preferring rather to live in Australia permenently is surely not a political representative that can be trusted by any Singaporean. So much for that.

Then we have his dishonesty alleged to have committed at the Parliamentary Elections Nomination Center in 2006.

You will recall that he said he had handed an election form to the Election Officer when in fact he was caught red handed on video tape putting that very same form into his briefcase.

A blatant lie, the Lee Kuan Yew faction is going to say.

They are going to say there surely cannot be a greater dishonesty shamelessly carried out by any politician living or dead; that he is the most dishonest person there can ever be, a man not to be trusted and never voted into Parliament.

In 2006 Lee Kuan Yew himself spent several days speaking in public and widely telecast and publicised, calling Gomez a lair, a cheat, and many other unflattering names you could think of.

In fact many believed that it was Gomez who had ruined the chances of the Workers Party GRC team in Aljunied and without him, they would have won a GRC.

One cannot deny there is justification for this argument, although any reasonable person would have given him the benefit of the doubt and dismissed his actions as a mistake.

But you are not talking about reasonable people in other countries, you are talking about Singaporeans, a fear ridden people who have consistently voted for the PAP mostly out of fear.

In such a society, Gomez with a rather blemished history for honesty or for his commitment to Singapore stands no chance at all.

Even today, it is well publicised fact that Gomez does not live in Singapore.

He lives and works in Australia where it is believed he is a permanent resident, as a Professor at Monash University in Melbourne, for the past several years.

With the imminent elections in Singapore, he has flown into Singapore recently a few times to make speeches and this last time to publicise his membership of the SDP.

I expect he makes these short overnight flights into Singapore in between his teaching assignments at Melbourne Australia.

This fact that even today, he is nothing more than a fly by night character who only comes in and out occasionally into Singapore but yet wants to represent Singaporeans in Parliament, an unsavory fact that Lee Kuan Yew's people will be drumming into the electorate.

Frankly with this kind of a record, just packing up and leaving but keeping a Singapore passport just for namesake, is not a person most would be prepared to trust.

And lastly PAP journalists would have a field day questioning him on his switching political parties.

In 2006 he stood as a Workers Party candidate, but now has gone over to the Singapore Democratic Party.

A man who cannot make up his mind what he wants. I am sure they are going to ask him why he left the Worker's Party?

Did he not know that Low Thia Khiang was nothing but a PAP stooge when he joined them or did he join them anyway despite knowing it? A very difficult question to answer indeed.

And as for Dr. Chee Soon Juan, he is making a terrible mistake if he allows Gomez to contest under his party's ticket.

In this event, Lee Kuan Yew's men would claim, quite justifiably too that SDP is a party that associates with fly by night slimy characters such as Gomez, and in the process, discrediting the SDP.

The Singapore Democratic Party stands for many in Singapore including myself in California as the one real political party willing to to face Lee Kuan Yew's PAP.

Dr. Chee has stood his ground among his Singaporeans and unlike Gomez has not opted to live permanently in Stockholm Sweden or Melbourne Australia just because he lost elections.

And everyone in the SDP has stood their ground in Singapore and never backed off when faced by a bully such as this.

Gomez is not made of that mettle.

He is seen as a man who runs at the first opportunity of trouble, a sort of quitter, who comes back in the middle of the night, periodically for a few nights at a time to contest elections and immediately thereafter disappears at night on the next flight out to his permanent residence and job in Australia.

This is a bad idea for Gomez and a bad idea for Dr. Chee's SDP.

In fact I would suggest to Gomez to do the honorable thing, be loyal and grateful to his new country Australia.

It is Monash University in Australia that has given him a job and it is Australia that has given him his new home and new opportunity. Gomez should thank them for it.

Gomez should do the honorable thing and take up Australian citizenship and continue living in Australia which has accepted him.

He can of course contribute to the betterment of Singapore from Australia but to claim to be wanting to represent Singaporeans in Parliamentary Elections, a people whom he has literally abandoned, is somewhat stretching it.

When I came to the United States, this country country accepted me, admitted me to the Bar and gave me a living.

This is where my 3 children were educated with college degrees, and which made them proud upright individuals, something which Singapore could never have given.

I appreciated that and felt the only right thing to do is to become an American citizen. That was the only honorable thing to do.

That does not mean of course that I could not fight for the betterment of Singapore, a country in which I was born. That I intend to do.

But for me to try to contest Singapore elections, even if that was possible, like what Gomez is trying to do, is simply wrong.

Talking of honor, there could not be a more honorable person than Dr. Chee. He stands his ground. He takes all the punishment thrown at him, but stand he does, without wavering.

The only difference between me in California and Gomez in Melbourne Australia is that I have given up my Singapore passport, Gomez has held on to his.

But in every other respect, Singapore is as distant to him from Australia as it is to me from California.

Gomez, take my advice, don't waste your time or that of the SDP. Furthermore your name is going to be dragged though the dirt for a mile. It is not worth it.

Remember Lee Kuan Yew controls the entire media in Singapore. Before you could bat an eyelid, you would have been the next most evil person beside Satan.

Stay in Australia and enjoy a Thee Star Beer or whatever else they drink in the West side of Melbourne. Do yourself and the SDP a favor by not contesting Singapore's elections now.

If you really want to enter Singapore politics, I suggest you do this.

Give up Australia and return to Singapore permanently.

Stop this flitting in and out of Singapore like a housefly.

For 10 years show your commitment to Singaporeans, living among them and fighting for them.

Then in the year 2021, when you are past 50 years old, contest under whatever party you want.

In that case I say you have a slim chance of succeeding.

I say slim because even then it is not certain.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

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Paul said...

Excellent advice!

Anonymous said...

James Gomez was let off with a stern warning before he left Singapore after the 2006 elections. They were able to track him down quickly. Yet the Romanian diplomat was able to escape and it took months before he was finally tracked down. Oliver Fricker's accomplice , has never even been spotted. Such is the double standards practiced here. James Gomez has committed a more serious "crime".

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Nair ,

I totally disagree with you with respect to James Gomez. From my point of view, he is doing this to help Singaporeans. He has a duty to fulfil. Its is a calling. He has been living overseas most of his life not as a quitter of Singapore or to stay away from the shame of losing in politics, but that was his choice, he chose to carve a career abroad.

I do not think he is a disloyal person. He chose to fight for Singapore although he has a guaranteed better life abroad which he already has. If you check his activities, he has been physically present in Singapore to do some form of small time rallying. I think he is more of a Singaporean than any fly by night Singaporean who get a Singapore passport and then readily gives it up once his material objectives are met - you can this find in quite a number of our "national" athletes, who have made a mockery of our passport. In this aspect , James Gomez is more of a SIngaporean than they, his body may not be in Singapore, but his heart is. Thats why he chose to fight for the underdog - in this case , most Singaporeans - we are 3rd class citizens in our very own country.

US Reader said...

What would Gomez do for a living in Singapore? Once you are in (opposition) politics, you will find life miserable in Singapore. Dr Chee is a perfect example. He lost his teaching position at the University and was made a bankrupt.

There is a significant contingent of Singapore citizens who live and work abroad. They should be allowed to participate in Singapore policies.

Gomez could easily have migrated to another country. Instead he has kept his Singapore citizenship for many years. It takes a lot of guts to run as an opposition in Singapore.

Best of luck to Gomez if he decides to ran in the upcoming election.

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with having to work overseas and returning to fight an election.
The Liberal opposition leader of Canada worked most of his life in USA but is now leading the liberal party opposition.

sunny said...


for me you have every right to advise gomez and gomez has every right to contest in the coming ge.

lets show we are truly democratic people.

Anonymous said...

This is the only way to live a life undisturbed by the secret police of the PAP and yet can contribute to Singapore through the election machinery. James has chosen this lifestyle to maximised his quality of life and yet able to serve the people through election. Only when he is elected he will then stay in Singapore otherwise there is no point in staying here to be harassed by PAP secret police.

Anonymous said...

Gomez is a true blue born and bred Singaporean willing to fight for Singaporeans, of this there can be no doubt.

Gomez has more right to contest as an MP as Malaysian born and bred MPs like Khaw Boon Wan, Lee Bee Wah and Indonesian born MPs like Lily Neo.

Anonymous said...

There's sincerity in Nair's call to Gomez for fear that the Latter will stain SDP with records of facts in past electioneering activities.
Nair has added his own readings of Gomez which many will likely find agreeable.
The most agreeable posit from Nair must be the view that one stays in the country if one is gonna be active in the polity of that nation or otherwise participate as an outsider by contributing ideas and not as an election candidate.
It is a good piece of opinion.

Anonymous said...

Oh! Oh!
More foreign talent on its way from the PRC (just waiting to be embraced by the PAP).

China's government announced food subsidies for poor families Wednesday as it tries to cool a double-digit surge in prices that communist leaders Worry might Stir Unrest.

The ruling Communist Party's ability to manage inflation could play a key role in the impending handover of power to a new generation of leaders
"They're going to be talking about inflation because it has a direct impact on social stability,"

Anonymous said...

China’s Censors Misfire in Abuse-of-Power Case

In many ways, the Li Gang case, as it is known, exemplifies how China’s propaganda machine — able to slant or kill any news in the age of printing presses and television — is sometimes hamstrung in the age of the Internet, especially when it tries to manipulate a pithy narrative about the abuse of power.

Hope the CPCs underlings in Singapore, the PAP and the Lee Dynasty are paying attention.

Anonymous said...

Referring to Li Gang case above, I happened to saw that news on Pheonix News Channel and was puzzled as to what was going on.

These sort of things also happen in Australia where politicans try to cover up their kids drunk driving accidents, etc

The only difference is that the system here allows these things to be exposed. Singapore Lee has a word for that - flawed. He says this will never work in Singapore will never allow this imperfection in his precious GDP* No 1 tiny island.

* Since Lee was kicked out of Malaysia, he has always wanted to beat Malaysia at GDP.

Anonymous said...

Singapore and the PRC, just two peas in a pod. Very disturbing.

Chinese woman jailed over Twitter post

A Chinese woman has been sentenced to a year in a labour camp after she retweeted a Twitter post that mocked anti-Japanese protesters, according to human rights groups.

A court on Monday convicted Cheng Jianping, 46, of "disturbing social order" after she added a few words to a message written by her fiance, Hua Chunhui, Amnesty International said Wednesday.

"Sentencing someone to a year in a labour camp, without trial, for simply repeating another person's clearly satirical observation on Twitter demonstrates the level of China's repression of online expression," said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International?s Director for the Asia-Pacific.

Amnesty urged the government to release Cheng, who it said could be the first Chinese citizen to become "a prisoner of conscience on the basis of a single tweet."

Anonymous said...

Why does it matter.

It wouldn't even be a problem had it been Iraq's James Gomez.

For one there is no Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew.

The Lee family speaks for themselves instead of the Singapore population.
That's the whole point or perks about being a dictator. They are no where a representative of the Singaporeans.

Singaporeans have no voice in their government. The only voice that's keep speaking is that of the Lee's.

Frankly speaking James Gomez needs a pat on the back for willing to put up with his Singapore's passport and even more to try to represent his fellow countrymen which the PAP is not doing. Because of this his voice will not be drowned out. Because hopefully he will speak the truth and the truth is a force to be reckoned with.


Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous of Nov 19, 0454,

You are completley missing the point. I am saying that I would be pleased if he wins. I am also saying that he has every right to contest the elections, since he holds a Singapore passport. What I am also saying is that he has not a chance in the world of winning given his past election record and his permmanent residence overseas. I also believe he would be a serious setback to SDP's chances given his past record by his association.

Again, I would be the happiest man if he wins, but I don't think he has the modicum of a chance.

In my opinion, he is better off living his new found home of Australia and contribute as best he can fro Singapore from abroad.

That is all that I am saying.

Anonymous said...

If I am not mistaken James Gomez did an interview on Tang Liang Hong in Melbourne after the latter fled Singapore. It will be better off if he does not poke his thumb into the political pie in Singapore and value his freedom now. It can be nasty as I am sure he is aware of what Tang Liang Hong had gone through.