Ladies and Gentlemen,
Attached below is the Judgement of the Singapore high Court, or shall I say, the Lee Kuan Yew court of Singapore where his judges say why I am a bad lawyer and should be disbarred from their courts after all.
Their judgement as with everything else they do in Lee Kuan Yew's island is shamelessly fraught with lies and half truths which by now, they are prepared to state openly.
Only one thing works against them today, which is the Internet. Whoever thought 10 years ago after they disbarred a lawyer, he would not only be very proud of it, but himself take it to town and tell the whole world, which is what I am doing here.
The reader should remember that I am still in very good standing as a Barrister in England and Wales and the State Bar of California USA.
The Law Society of Singapore might want to justify their reasons as to why I am a very bad character indeed, a bad lawyer and a thorough scoundrel who should never be allowed to be entrusted with a client at all.
If so, it appears, my bad character extends only within Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore in the Singaporean sense and not to any other country in the world!
Perhaps they might even want to argue that the Bar of England and Wales and California have lower ethical standards than Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore, which is why I am still in good standing in those places, and perhaps both should aspire to raise theirs to bring it up to that of Singapore.
As the reader should be aware, that the Singapore Legal profession for a city state of 5 million with it's international nature of banking, insurance and trade across countries, only has 3, 000 practising lawyers, a totally insufficient number.
London or New York, similar cities to that of Singapore has perhaps a 100 times that number.
In fact the law in Singapore has been so thoroughly disgraced that despite all the efforts of Lee Kuan Yew's hand picked law minister, the Tamil K Shanmugam, the numbers in the profession has not increased at all.
Another major hit that the legal profession there took was the 72 page report of the International Bar Association which stated without mincing words that the Singapore judiciary misuses the law as a tool to silence Lee Kuan Yew's critics.
Mine here is one such case.
As you will appreciate, all these things I do is to bring about democracy and the rule of law in Singapore by provoking the courts and the judges there to take action against me unjustly so that I can use it to make known to the world what they are.
My disbarment here by the Singapore courts has given me another opportunity to do this for which I thank them.
Of course above anything else I have to thank the Internet without which any of this would have been immeasurably more difficult.
I hope that lawyers both in Singapore and elsewhere reading this blog post would reconsider continuing practice in that island and decide to leave the profession, thereby reducing the number of lawyers there to even less than the measly 3,000 at present.
By this, I hope that all they could hope for are second rate lawyers who neither care for their client or themselves for that matter, and do it just for the money they could make, nothing more.
Unfortunately that is exactly how poor in ability or integrity the present lawyers in Singapore are.
The following are the lies, half truths and shameless dishonesty you find in this judgement:
1. Any reference to paragraphs refers to the following attached Judgement of the Singapore court.
2. First it has to be kept in mind that every thing that I did in these proceedings, my writing a blog about Singapore Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean and Judith Prakash, the making of the statements in court in my defense to these charges, writing blogs about what I had said in court in all the proceedings against me in 2008, and everything else was not done because of any desire to benefit myself financially or otherwise.
It was done to expose the Republic of Singapore for what it is, a Leninist one party state where Lee Kuan Yew and his family run the entire country as well as the judiciary which they use to silence dissent.
I have nothing to gain personally from any of this except the gratification that I have contributed to the betterment of Singapore, a country where I was born of Indian immigrants.
3. For the benefit of the reader who is unaccustomed to the Singapore legal system apart from the fact that it is an enforcement agency for Lee Kuan Yew to silence and punish his critics, there are no jury trials at all, and all cases are heard by a single judge who is appointed by Lee Kuan Yew and his friends.
In these circumstances it is almost certain not only that charges both real and imaginary would be brought against his critics, one of whom is myself; as a Lee Kuan Yew critic, it is one court where you already know that you will be convicted and jailed even before you stepped into the courtroom!
4. In Paragraph 2, they say "He is presently an American citizen residing in California" but conveniently leave out the fact that I am also admitted to the Bar of England and Wales in good standing and also actively practicing law in California presently and a member in good standing of California Bar.
I suppose they left it out because they don't want the reader wondering why such an "bad" person like Gopalan Nair should be practicing law in California and be a member of the Bar of England and Wales!
5. The fact that these proceedings against me were not actually brought by the Singapore Law Society for something wrong which I did, but intended to punish me for continuing to criticize them from California is shown by this. The actions that I took which form the basis of these disciplinary proceedings had occurred way back from May to November 2008, at which point I was deported from the island.
Furthermore my arrests and the criminal proceedings against me were prominently displayed in the island's state controlled press on a daily basis, maligning, discrediting and defaming me, so as to paint a bad picture of me in the minds of Singaporeans, a tactic which all dictators who have the benefit of a complete state controlled press around the world do, just as Lee Kuan Yew does in Singapore.
Any other lawyer organization, would have immediately commenced disciplinary proceedings against me in 2008 or at least soon thereafter, since they already knew what I had done in 2008. Yet it took them an entire year to commence these proceedings which they did in September 2009.
If indeed they were interested in protecting the public from the hands of an unethical lawyer, should they not have done something in 2008 or soon thereafter?
In fact the US State Department in their report on Singapore states that they have heard from reliable sources that the real reason why they finally decided to commence proceedings was because I reneged on my undertaking to a Singaporean judge that I will not criticize Singapore or their judiciary again and were angered when the first thing I did on my return to the US was to retract my apology to the judge and continue criticizing them and their judiciary.
6. In para 6 of their judgement, they state that I did not appear for this disciplinary hearing in Singapore. Once again they very cleverly distort the truth.
According to these charges which I had faced, it is a criminal offense in Singapore to criticize a judge, as was the basis of the 3rd charge, for which I was sent to jail for 3 months for "insulting" a civil servant by writing the blog. Please see blog post dated May 29, 2008.
Furthermore, I had done the same thing in my blog in reference to 5th charge relating to Singapore Judge Judith Prakash which I wrote from California in November 2008.
Moreover as regards the 4th charge, relating to my defying the court order of the Singapore judge not to criticize them, this I did again from California. My action here is contempt of court according to Singapore law or Lee's law.
What all this means of course is that if I returned to Singapore to attend my trial in 2011, it is clear that I would be arrested again the moment I set foot in Singapore and charged under the Penal Code for insulting Judge Judith Prakash and for contempt of court which means jail time again.
Being thankfully, still in possession of my mental faculties and I understood that going to Singapore to defend myself at this trial meant going to jail as well.
So naturally I did the only thing which anyone would do under these circumstances.
I wrote several Emails to the Attorney General of Singapore, the Singapore Law Society, the Singapore Minister of Law and the Singapore Prime Minister for a guarantee that I will not be arrested and charged for these things if I visited the island.
None of them responded to any of my Emails, which meant they were not prepared to give this guarantee that I asked for.
So naturally I did not go to Singapore to attend to this trial. Surely it is a down right lie on their part to say "However although he knew that his case was being heard by the Tribunal on 20 and 21 September 2010, he did not appear for the hearing". Sure I did not attend. What else did you expect?
Actually, it was not a case of my not attending the hearings; it was a case of their not wanting me there at all.
7. And then they say the same thing in para 8 of their judgement, that I did not attend this trial. Sure I did not attend, because if I did, I would have been arrested and jailed by Lee's Kangaroo courts again.
8. In paragraph 13 and 14, they refer to 2 charges accusing me of yelling profanities at Singapore police officers and behaving in a disorderly behaviour.
It says the police officers claimed I "knocked a number of times on a police vehicle" but for some strange reason, they have not brought any charges for this criminal act! (Knocking on police cars!) In fact nothing like this happened.
I was walking along Race Course Road Singapore on July 4th 2008, American Independence Day, when I heard calls from behind which I ignored.
Then about 5 or 6 men in civilian clothes approached me asking me about this strange accusation of "knocking" on their police car which I had passed behind me some 200 feet or so!
I refused to answer any of their questions and the next minute I am tackled violently onto the road tarmac, flat on my face, physically hurt, and handcuffed.
The next day, Lee's state controlled newspaper the Straits Times reported it as headline news, and stated that no less than 25 spectators had witnessed the incident.
At the trial there was not a single independent witness called.
The police case in the police state relied solely on these 5 police officers who parrot fashion, repeated the same lie that the earlier witness had stated under oath.
Surprisingly, I frankly did not expect one woman, a blood forensic expert working for them to tell the truth but she did.
According to her in court, my blood alcohol was so minimal, I could have lawfully driven a motor vehicle at that level.
I do not know what happened to her since then but in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore, I would not be surprised if she has been fired for not playing her part in this stage managed opera of a trial.
I remember the Investigating Officer was Vickneswaran son of Sockalingam, a Tamil, who had earlier flatly refused to tell his real name in the witness stand claiming that his name was just S Vicki!
I managed to get his real name only under cross examination and the threat that I would expose him.
As to his failure to bring any independent witnesses at the trial, his lame excuse was that the officers there were busy at the scene trying to restrain me, as if I was Mike Tyson, Rocky Marciano and Sugar Ray Robinson all rolled into one, as well as carrying out crowd control and could not secure any witnesses immediately, in spite of the fact that he could get as many policemen to back him up if he wanted, (after all I was Gopalan Nair, enemy of the state number one)and there were 5 of his friends there already!
He then said he went to the scene the next morning and asked some shopkeepers if they saw anything and received no positive response! Which is why he did not have any independent witnesses!
Frankly this set up of an imaginary accusation against me, was a desperate attempt by them to make me look bad at this time since they had already arrested me earlier on May 31, 2008 for writing the Belinda Ang Saw Ean blog.
I think they had second thoughts on how they would look going after a blogger in court with criminal charges and perhaps they thought that it best to stage manage an incident to tar my image in the eyes of Singaporeans before the blogging trial in September 2008?
By the way, I wonder if Vikneswaran son of Socalingam (long name) still has his job or if he has been fired for not stage managing my Marxist Leninist show trial well.
I have not asked for the transcript of these cases simply because Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore courts are very capable of fabricating and changing the evidence entirely, so there is not much purpose I think in looking at it.
As you know they have lost all credibility.
Although I deny in it's entirely these charges of hurling profanities at Singaporean police, one has to keep in mind, that even assuming that I did this, it is still not a ground for disbarring a lawyer from practicing law.
Not in any other jurisdiction in the world would a lawyer be disbarred for this other than perhaps North Korea where I suppose they will shoot you instead.
9. Paragraphs 15, 16, 17 and 18 refers to the statements I had made in the above "yelling at the police" case in which I had told the judge that "I do not have any faith or belief that I will get a fair trial in this Court".
In addition to that I made other similar statements and stated in no uncertain terms that I believed the trial was nothing other than a show trial which is being carried out to punish and silence a Lee Kuan Yew critic. I stand by every single word that I said, then as I do now.
It is important to remember that at the trial itself, the judge took no action against me if he found any of what I said unacceptable.
Surely in any other country, if I had said anything derogatory at a judge at his face in open court, the judge would have punished me there and then and had me taken away by the sheriff.
Since the judge took no objection to anything I said in court, it is interesting to know that it was not the judge at all who decided to take action as to my words.
The timing of the contempt of court charge is very important and the dates sequence of events must be carefully considered here.
In May 31, 2008 I was arrested for writing a blog critical of Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean.
The trial on this charge (blogging case) did not come up for hearing up till September 2008. In the interim period I was on bail for that charge.
However before the Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean blog case came to trial in September 2008, in July of 2008, I was arrested on the "yelling at the police" case and tried almost immediately. There was no jail time for this but only a fine.
When the Belinda Ang Saw Ean (blogging) case came up for hearing in September of 2008, I was sentenced to 3 months jail which meant that I would only serve 2 months which means I would be released around Nov 20, 2008.
Just one week before my release, on November 12, 2008, for the first time, I am charged with a fresh charge of contempt of court for what I had said at the "yelling at the police" trial, for statements such as " I have no faith in these courts".
Remember, I was already in jail and had one week to go before I was released.
If I disputed these new contempt charges one week before my release, it would not only mean that I would have either to stay longer in Singapore or very possibly my prison term would have been extended.
Moreover by this time, having been forced to remain in Singapore for 6 months, with my passport confiscated, and prevented from leaving Singapore, my law practice in California was being neglected and harmed.
Also I was suffering severe financial hardship.
In these circumstances, I would have done anything to get out of Singapore.
So I apologized (since that was what they wanted) according to the terms of the judge and promised never to criticize their government or their judges again.
Moreover as was demanded of me, some Singapore police computer men came to my prison where I was held and made me delete the 2 blog posts referring to the judge in the yelling at police case which I had promised the judge to do.
It is true, I had no intention whatsoever of keeping any of these promises, just as I would have no intention of keeping any promise to judges of Hitler's Nazi Germany had they been around.
So the moment I stepped foot in California after my deportation from that island, I rescinded all apologies given to the court, re posted the blog posts and continued to criticize their Kangaroo court judges as well as their Fascist state.
I have no regrets at all of doing any of this and I will do it again in a blink.
For this, they claim that I should be disbarred in Singapore.
10. Para 19 refers to my criticism in my blog post here dated May 29, 2008 where I criticized Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean in her shameless abdication of her role as a judge in the Lee Kuan Yew vs Chee Soon Juan and the Singapore Democratic party case, where she shamelessly and disgracefully found against Chee Soon Juan, Lee's political enemy, in circumstances where she disallowed Chee from representing himself at all. Please read my blog post of May 29, 2008.
It was a disgraceful spectacle.
She together with Lee Kuan Yew's lawyer completely monopolized the proceedings and gave no chance to Chee to even ask a single question, every single question being either disallowed or declared irrelevant.
Finally he did managed to ask a few questions, against her orders, for which believe it or not, she not only fined him several hundreds of thousands of dollars which obviously he could not pay, she even sent him to jail!
I had said in the blog "Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean had prostituted herself in her position as a judge".
These words were not only accurate, they are a correct normal and temperate usage of the English language.
A judge "prostitutes" herself by abusing her office as a judge for a dishonest purpose. This is exactly what this disgraceful judge did.
I had similarly used the same language to describe an equally disgraceful woman and a judge Judith Prakash for sending 3 young men to prison for merely wearing tshirts with pictures of Kangaroos in judicial robes outside the court of the earlier equally shameful judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean.
The judgement here claims that I had "continued to abuse" the judiciary.
There has been no abuse at all. The words and the narrative in my blog posts were not only accurate, they were necessary to expose this disgraceful judiciary.
The sooner the world comes to hear what sort of justice you have in Singapore, the better for everyone, and especially for Singapore.
11. In paragraph 21, it reads "disciplinary action is intended to punish the errant solicitor (lawyer) for his or her misconduct, deter others from misbehaving in the same manner and protect the confidence of the administration of justice". The words stated are accurate but what is wrong is that they don't apply to me.
Of course in the Singaporean or Lee Kuan Yew definition of the word, of course I am the one referred to.
12. In paragraph 23, it states that I had committed serious offences, which are according to them, 1) yelling at police officers which by the way is a figment of their imagination 2) that I was jailed for 3 months for writing a blog post dated May 29, 2008 about Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean 3) that I had defied an undertaking given to the court that I will not criticize them again (the contempt case of Nov 12, 2008 from jail) 4) that I wrote another blog dated Nov 30, 2008 from California criticizing Judge Judith Prakash for jailing 3 men for wearing Tshirts she did not like.
13. Finally the most interesting part of their judge is this in Para 24. The following words have to be perused very carefully.
"When considering whether or not to strike an advocate and solicitor off the rolls, it is worth noting that in Law Society of Singapore vs Amdad Hussein Lawrence (2000) 3SLR (R) 23, the Court held at (11):
the earlier decisions in....................... have consistently affirmed and applied the following principles on disciplinary sentencing:
a. Where a solicitor acted dishonestly, the court will almost invariably order that he be struck off the roll of solicitors;
b. if he has not acted dishonestly, but is shown to have fallen below the requiried standards of integrity probity and untrustworhiness, he will nonetheless be struck off the roll as supposed to being suspended if his lapse is such as to indicate that he lacks the qualities of character and trustiworthiness which are necesary attributes of a person entrusted with the repsonsibilities of a legal practioner"
According to the above, it is quite clear that I am not being disbarred because I was dishonest. So it appears, according to them that I have been disbarred because I lack "Integrity" "Probity" and "Trustworthiness".
It would therefore appear according to their reasoning that had I not criticized the Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean and Judge Judith Paraksh for their shame; had I not yelled at policemen (which I deny by the way); that had I had kept my promise to the Nazi Judges (no Singapore judges) not to criticize them anymore; I would have had integrity, probity and trustworthiness, required by Singapore, and would still happily remain on the Rolls of the Singapore Bar.
Let me tell these Singapore judges or Lee Kuan Yew lackeys to be more accurate, very clearly.
If the price of being a member of the Singapore Bar is to remain silent while you deliberately abuse the law against your own citizens and destroy the reputation of Singapore as well in the process, I would prefer not to have "integrity or probity and rather be untrustworty", thank you very much.
14. And then finally in para 29, they state " After taking all the charges into account, we were of the view that he (Gopalan Nair), lacked the said attributes. In particular the facts in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th charges disclosed a contemptuous disrespect on the part of GN (Gopalan Nair)towards the judges concerned."
Unfortunately I have to plead guilty to this. Honestly I do have a "contemptuous disrespect" for all Singapore judges and your legal system.
"Such agregious misconduct is totally unacceptable". To this I would say, hard luck.
And then finally it says "As there is no mitigating circyumstances to persude us that he merited a less severe penalty than striking off the roll, we ordered that he be struck off the roll of advocates and solicitiors of the Supreme Court of Singapore and awarded costs to the Law society".
As to the above, I agree that I have no mitigating cirmustances and proud to have none at all; I am not trying to persude you to give me any less of a punishemnt in your Nazi courts, and as for costs, I refuse to pay any. And if I refuse to pay, what are you going to do about it? I suppose nothing.
If you want the costs I suggest you try to recover it through Consular Process which by the way you have not succeeded so far.
In fact I don't think you would even try to recover your costs.
Remember I have not paid the $5,000.00 costs ordered against me by the Contempt judge on Nov 12, 2008 in Singapore. I notice you have done nothing to recover it.
After all this, in fact I am actually very grateful for the Singapore judges to have disbarred me (believe me I still have my faculties intact) and in fact remaining a lawyer there would be equating me with the cowardly characters who go around in black robes in Singapore calling themselves lawyers.
Singapore lawyers give the word lawyer a bad name.
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The following judgement is available at http://www.singaporelawwatch.sg/remweb/legal/ln2/rss/judgment/12814.html?utm_source=rss%20subscription&utm_medium=rss
Law Society of Singapore v Gopalan Nair (alias Pallichadath Gopalan Nair)
 SGHC 191
Suit No: Originating Summons No 947 of 2009 (Summons No 1404 of 2011)
Decision Date: 22 August 2011
Court: High Court
Coram: Tan Lee Meng J, Tay Yong Kwang J, Lee Seiu Kin J
Counsel: Peter Cuthbert Low and Han Lilin (Peter Low LLC) for the plaintiff; Defendant absent and unrepresented.
Legal Profession – Disciplinary Proceedings
22 August 2011
Tan Lee Meng J (delivering the grounds of decision of the court):
1 The Law Society of Singapore (“the Law Society”) applied under s 82A(10) of the Legal Profession Act (Cap 161, 1990 Rev Ed) (“the LPA”) for an order that the defendant, Mr Gopalan Nair alias Pallichadath Gopalan Nair (“GN”), be “struck off the roll, prohibited from applying for a practising certificate, censured and/or otherwise punished” for misconduct unbefitting of an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession. We ordered that GN be struck off the roll and now give the reasons for our decision.
2 GN, who was admitted onto the roll on 10 August 1980, is a non-practising advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore. He is presently an American citizen residing in California, USA.
3 Although GN is a non-practising advocate and solicitor, he is still subject to the control of the Supreme Court as s 82(A)(2) of the LPA provides:
All Legal Service Officers and non-practising solicitors shall be subject to the control of the Supreme Court and shall be liable on due cause shown to be punished in accordance with this section.
4 Pursuant to ss 82A(4) and (5) of the LPA, the Law Society applied in ex parte Originating Summons No 947 of 2009 for leave from the Chief Justice for an investigation to be made into a number of complaints about GN’s misconduct. On 4 September 2009, the Chief Justice appointed a Disciplinary Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) comprising Mr Toh Kian Sing SC and Mr Tan Jee Ming, under s 90 of the LPA.
5 The following 5 charges of misconduct were preferred by the Law Society against GN:
That you on the 4th day of July 2008, at or about 10.35 pm, near the junction of Bukit Timah Road and Race Course Road, Singapore, which is a public place, did use abusive words towards certain public servants, namely, police officers of the Singapore Police Force, in particular Senior Staff Sergeant Kang Wei Chain and Sergeant Noor Azhar, by shouting:
(a)“Fuck off you policeman, don’t waste my fucking time. You go and do your job properly and go catch thieves and I did nothing wrong. I am waiting for the fucking taxi”;
(b)“Fuck off, forget about my name, you fucking bastard.
(c)“You fucking Malay bastard”.
at the said police officers in the execution of their duties as such public servants, and you had thereby committed an offence punishable under section 13D(1)(a) of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act, Chapter 184, for which on 5 September 2008, you were convicted and sentenced to a fine of $2,000 in default two week imprisonment, and you are hereby guilty of conduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession which warrants disciplinary proceedings against you within the meaning of section 82A(3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Chapter 161).
That you on the 4th day of July 2008, at or about 10.35 pm, near the junction of Bukit Timah Road and Race Course Road, Singapore, which is a public place, did behave in a disorderly fashion to wit, by gesticulating with your hands and shouting loudly, and you had thereby committed an offence punishable under section 20 of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act, Chapter 184, for which on 5 September 2008, you were convicted and sentenced to a fine of $1,000 in default one week imprisonment, and you are hereby guilty of conduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession which warrants disciplinary proceedings against you within the meaning of section 82A(3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Chapter 161).
That you in your blog post at http://singaporedissident.blogspot.com dated 29 May 2008 entitled “Singapore, Judge Belinda Ang’s Kangaroo Court”, did make the following offending statement insulting the judiciary of Singapore, namely, the Honourable Justice Belinda Ang:
“The judge Belinda Ang was throughout prostituting herself during the entire proceedings by being nothing more than an employee of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his son and carrying out their orders.”
and you had thereby committed an offence punishable under section 228 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, for which on 17 September 2008, you were convicted and sentenced to 3 months imprisonment, and you are hereby guilty of conduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession which warrants disciplinary proceedings against you within the meaning of section 82A(3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Chapter 161).
That you in your blog post at http://singaporedissident.blogspot.com dated 28 November 2008 entitled “Hello from Freemont, near San Francisco, California”, did make the following offending statement amounting to contempt of court:
“…. I am defying the undertaking that I gave in court on September 12, 2008 when I admitted being in contempt of court. .. I had also given an undertaking to remove the 2 blog posts, of Sept 1 2008 and Sept 6, 2008 which referred to my trial and conviction before Judge James Leong in the Subordinate Courts for disorderly behaviour and insulting a policeman, charges entirely made up by the police to discredit me. I will be re-posting those 2 blog posts and stand by every word that I had written in them …” (Sic).
and you are hereby guilty of conduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession which warrants disciplinary proceedings against you within the meaning of section 82A(3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Chapter 161).
That you in your blog post at http://singaporedissident.blogspot.com dated 30 November 2008 entitled “Justice Judith Prakash, Another Kangaroo Judge”, did make the following offending statement insulting the judiciary of Singapore, namely, the Honourable Justice Judith Prakash:
“Judge Judith Prakash of the Singapore High Court has prostituted herself in the hearing of the Kangaroo T shirt case on November 24, 2008 by being nothing more than an employee of Lee Kuan Yew and his son, whom he appointed Prime Minister. By her actions in sending these young men to prison and making them pay crippling court costs of $5,000 each, she has shamelessly disgraced herself, her office as a judge, disgraced the Singapore Constitution and disgraced Singapore.”
and you are hereby guilty of conduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession which warrants disciplinary proceedings against you within the meaning of section 82A(3)(a) of the Legal Profession Act (Chapter 161).
6 GN sent, by way of emails to the Disciplinary Tribunal Secretariat, his Defence and his Amended Defence on 1 December 2009. However, although he knew that his case was being heard by the Tribunal on 20 and 21 September 2010, he did not appear for the hearing.
7 The Tribunal found GN guilty of all 5 charges brought against him and determined that there was cause of sufficient gravity for disciplinary action to be taken against him. The Chief Justice then appointed Mr Peter Low, the plaintiff’s counsel, under s 82A(10) of the LPA to make the present application in Summons No 1404 of 2011.
Decision of the Court
8 GN did not attend and was not represented by counsel at the hearing before this Court on 25 July 2011.The Court was satisfied that he had been duly served the requisite papers and that he was fully aware of the hearing scheduled for 25 July 2011.
9 The issues before this Court were whether due cause for disciplinary action against GN under s 82A(3)(a) of the LPA had been shown and if so, the appropriate penalty to be imposed on him.
10 As for what constitutes “due cause”, the relevant part of s 82A(3) provides:
Such due cause may be shown by proof that a Legal Service Officer or a non-practising solicitor, as the case may be —
(a)has been guilty in Singapore or elsewhere of such misconduct unbefitting a Legal Service Officer or an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession ...
11 The Law Society rightly submitted that for the purpose of considering whether there has been “misconduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as an officer of the Supreme Court or as a member of an honourable profession” under s 82(3)(a) LPA, the meaning accorded to the identical phrase in s 83(2)(h) LPA should be adopted. As such, both misconduct in the solicitor’s professional capacity as well as misconduct in the solicitor’s personal capacity are relevant to this inquiry (see Law Society of Singapore v Heng Guan Hong Geoffrey  3 SLR(R) 966 at ). The same standard applies to non-practising lawyers.
12 The Law Society relied on the findings of the Tribunal to support its assertion that “due cause”, as defined in s 82A(3)(a) of the LPA, had been shown.
13 The 1st and 2nd charges against GN concerned his conviction with respect to two offences under s 13D(1)(a) and s 20 of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act (Cap 184, 1997 Rev Ed) for uttering vulgarities when speaking to officers of the Singapore Police Force and for behaving in a disorderly manner towards the police officers who had enquired why he had knocked a number of times on a police vehicle bearing the registration number QX501H. The gravity of his use of abusive and obscene language was stressed by the Tribunal in its report at -:
28 It is clear beyond reasonable doubt … that the Respondent uttered vulgarities towards the two policemen after he was stopped by them.All this happened in a public place in the full glare of members of the public. [T]he Respondent behaved in a petulant manner and apparently took grave offence when he was stopped by the police. His reaction was entirely unprovoked. Even if the Respondent was unhappy about being questioned by the police, he should have acted with self-restraint and moderation. In the entire episode, he displayed neither virtue. If he had responded to the questions in a co-operative manner, his subsequent arrest could possibly have been avoided. In our view, these vulgarities which the Respondent spewed were not only profoundly offensive, but also had the effect of lowering the dignity and professionalism of law enforcement officers.
29 We further find the racist outburst directed at Sergeant Daud to be wholly reprehensible and deserving of condemnation in a multi-racial society like Singapore. It demonstrates a callous, unpardonable disregard for the sensitivities of the different races that make up our society. It is not behaviour that one would expect of a member of the legal profession.
14 In regard to his disorderly behaviour in the presence of the police, the Tribunal noted at para  of its report:
39 Creating a ruckus in a public place, gesticulating wildly (even if a non-threatening manner), spewing vulgarities towards public officers shows a very low level of restraint and self-control as well as a complete lack of respect for law enforcement officers. Simply put, the Respondent had made a complete nuisance of himself in public. The fine of $1000 (or one week imprisonment in default thereof) may be marginally less serious as compared with the Respondent’s offence in MAC 3211.Nevertheless, such unruly, petulant and disorderly conduct (in full view of the public) is unfitting of an advocate or solicitor as an officer of the Court and as a member of a honourable profession. After all, a solicitor is expected to exercise a high level of self restraint and a bad tempered solicitor can only bring disrepute to the legal profession.
15 As for the breach of the undertaking referred to in the 4th charge, the background for the undertaking given by GN is as follows. When the case regarding GN’s abuse of the policemen, as outlined in the 1st and 2nd charges pressed by the Law Society against him, was heard before District Judge James Leong (“DJ Leong”), GN made several offending statements in open court. For instance, on 25 August 2008, he said:
... I frankly do not have any faith or belief that I will get a fair trial in this Court. Any attempt on my part to recall these witnesses would only be a waste of my time since I believe the result will be the same in any event.
16 Subsequently, GN authored two blog posts dated 1 September 2008 and 6 September 2008 on http://singaporedissident.blogspot.com. These were entitled, “Another classic case of trying to use the courts to silence dissent” and “Convicted” respectively and were replete with statements which attacked DJ Leong. For instance, he stated:
As for Mr. James Leong, I have this to say. I have begun to know him pretty well since it took 18 days of trial. He is a good man at heart; there is no doubt about it. If he had his way, there is no doubt he would have acquitted me immediately. But alas he is weak. He cuts a pathetic figure. A man, because of his circumstances, having to do things that he does not really want to do. He knows that his employment as a judge in the Singapore courts depends on the patronage of Lee Kuan Yew and his friends. He also knows that Lee Kuan Yew demands his judges to punish political opponents of the government. And therefore to keep his job as a judge, he has no choice but to find me guilty....
17 GN’s statements prompted the Attorney-General to make an application under Originating Summons No 385 of 2008 for an order of committal for contempt. When the hearing commenced on 12 November 2008 before District Judge Leslie Chew (“DJ Chew”), GN admitted that he had made the offending statements, apologised for his behaviour and gave an undertaking to the Court not to make similar offending statements and to remove the blog posts dated 1 September 2008 and 6 September 2008. As such, DJ Chew only reprimanded him and ordered him to pay the costs of the proceedings. As soon as GN left Singapore and returned to California, he breached his undertaking to the Court.
18 What was truly unacceptable was that GN subsequently declared that he never had any intention of abiding by his undertaking and that he deliberately breached the undertaking at the first opportunity. The Tribunal stated as follows at :
By flagrantly flouting his undertaking to the court in such a defiant manner, the Respondent displayed absolutely no remorse or contrition for what he had done prior to leaving Singapore for the United States. He was simply trying to make a mockery out of the entire affair. The apology he made and the undertaking he gave were both quickly withdrawn once he was safely out of Singapore. Clearly the apology and undertaking was an expedient way to a lighter sentence – the Respondent by his own admission, never intended or believed in either.
19 As for the offensive blog post regarding Belinda Ang J on 29 May 2008, which was the subject matter of the 3rd charge, that blog post was in the context of a defamation suit brought by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong against the Singapore Democratic Party. For this charge of contempt of court, GN was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment by Kan Ting Chiu J. The sentence meted out gave a clear indication of the seriousness of the contempt. Yet, in his blog post in relation to Judith Prakash J on 30 November 2008, who had, at the material time, found a number of persons in contempt of court for wearing T-shirts depicting a kangaroo in judges’ robes, GN continued to abuse the judiciary.
20 After taking all the circumstances into account, we found that the Law Society had shown that there was due cause for disciplinary action to be taken against GN. As such, we proceeded to consider the penalty that ought to be imposed.
The appropriate penalty
21 Disciplinary action is intended to punish the errant solicitor for his or her misconduct, deter others from misbehaving in the same manner, and protect public confidence in the administration of justice: see Law Society of Singapore v Tham Yu Xian Rick  3 SLR(R) 68 (at ) and Law Society of Singapore v Rasif David  2 SLR(R) 955 (at ).
22 Although GN had been convicted of a number of offences, which were referred to in the charges preferred against him by the Law Society, it should be borne in mind that in Law Society of Singapore v Wee Wei Fen  3 SLR(R) 559, the Court observed (at ) that it cannot be that every violation of the criminal law implies a defect of character which renders the offender unfit to be a member of the legal profession and that the nature of the offence is clearly material. Similarly in Law Society of Singapore v Wong Sin Yee  3 SLR(R) 209, the Court stated (at ):
We would, at the outset, make it quite clear that conviction of criminal offence does not per se imply a defect of character rendering an advocate and solicitor unfit for his profession. It is the nature of the offence, and the circumstances under which it was committed, and in turn the punishment imposed, which are likely to be determinative…. The offence must be of such a nature that it is expedient for the protection of the public and the preservation of the good name of the profession to remove the solicitor from the roll or from practice.
23 The offences in respect of which GN had been convicted and the circumstances under which they were committed lead to the conclusion that a serious penalty must be imposed. Apart from abusing the police with foul language in public and behaving in a disorderly manner in the presence of the police, GN was imprisoned for contempt of court in relation to his blog post regarding Belinda Ang J on 29 May 2008.Furthermore, he openly defied the undertaking he had given to the District Court shortly after he was convicted by Kan J for contempt of court. He then posted offensive statements in his blog about Prakash J on 30 November 2008.
24 When considering whether or not to strike an advocate and solicitor off the rolls, it is worth noting that in Law Society of Singapore v Amdad Hussein Lawrence  3 SLR(R) 23, the Court held at :
The earlier decisions in Law Society of Singapore v Ravindra Samuel  1 SLR(R) 266 at ; Law Society of Singapore v Tham Yu Xian Rick (at ; Law Society of Singapore v Suresh Kumar Suppiah  2 SLR(R) 1203 at ; and Law Society of Singapore v Heng Guan Hong Geoffrey  3 SLR(R) 966 at - have consistently affirmed and applied the following principles on disciplinary sentencing:
(a) where a solicitor has acted dishonestly, the court will almost invariably order that he be struck off the roll of solicitors;
(b) if he has not acted dishonestly, but is shown to have fallen below the required standards of integrity, probity and trustworthiness, he will nonetheless be struck off the roll, as opposed to being suspended, if his lapse is such as to indicate that he lacks the qualities of character and trustworthiness which are the necessary attributes of a person entrusted with the responsibilities of a legal practitioner.
25 In the present case, the relevant question is whether or not GN should be struck off the roll on the basis that he lacked the necessary attributes of a person entrusted with the responsibilities of a legal practitioner. After taking all the charges into account, we were of the view that he lacked the said attributes. In particular, the facts in the 3rd, 4th and 5th charges disclosed a contemptuous disrespect on the part of GN towards the judges concerned. Such egregious misconduct is totally unacceptable. As there were no mitigating circumstances to persuade us that he merited a less severe penalty than striking off the roll, we ordered that he be struck off the roll of advocates and solicitors of the Supreme Court of Singapore and awarded costs to the Law Society.