Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Law Society of Singapore vs Gopalan Nair, Guilty! In absentia hearings.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The decision of the Singaporean Law Society has finally arrived. In their decision which I received yesterday in Fremont California, Jan 04, 2011; the Disciplinary Council of Singapore had proceeded to hear my case in Singapore without me and found me guilty of all 5 charges. For the charges refer to my earlier posts.

After this finding of guilt, under Singapore procedures, the matter is sent to a panel of 3 judges in the Singapore High Court. They would then either affirm or overrule the decision, and order their punishment which can be anything from disbarment for the most serious cases to a simple rebuke in the least serious ones. In this case of course, knowing Singaporean justice against their political opponents, of which I proudly proclaim to be one, it has to be disbarment. Of course.

One of the 2 Singapore Tribunal members who heard this case was Mr. Toh Kian Sing of Rajah and Tann, 9 Battery Road, #25-01 Straits Trading Building, Singapore 049910, Republic of Singapore, Tel (65) 62320614, Email:kian.sing.toh@rajahtann.com.

This man was the President of the Tribunal. He works in a law firm closely connected to Lee Kuan Yew's ruling party, the PAP, and lawyers such as this are loyal die hard supporters of Lee Kuan Yew's government. Lee uses them to remain in power by destroying political opposition. Although this would not be revealed publicly, he is a tried and ardent supporter of Lee Kuan Yew's one party state and profits by undertaking work such as this for his master. In return, he gets lucrative legal work, leads a very successful and sheltered life while Lee remains in power. As to what happens to him after Lee is anyone's guess as is always the case in dictatorships all over the world. This sort of a life would be distasteful to anyone with any self respect, but in Singapore many live such lives comfortably.

The other Tribunal judge is Mr. Tan Jee Ming, Straits Law Practice LLC, 36 Robinson Road #18-00 City House, Singapore 068877, Tel: (65)381300. Although he does not appear from his practice to be as closely connected to Lee Kuan Yew, it could either be that he is in fact a collaborator in Lee's dirty work or is trying to be one by this obvious route. He does not appear to have a work Email address. Many lawyers try to seek Lee's recognition in any way they can, as the rewards are unimaginably good.

Please contact both of them if you feel a telling off is necessary.

In this episode on Singapore's finding me guilty, I shall refer to their decision in instalments. In this one, I will tell you why their proceeding against me in absentia was wrong which thereby made it completely devoid of any merit, not withstanding it's other equally ludicrous portions.

As you know, I am resident in California, USA and the Singapore authorities had decided to commence these proceedings in Singapore in 2009. The reader would appreciate the background to my being in California. In 2008 September, I was convicted by a 3 month jail sentence for criticizing Singapore Judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean in this blog, please see blog entry Thursday, May 29, 2008, Singapore. Judge Belinda Ang's Kangaroo Court . When I was released from jail and prior to departing Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore Immigration had stamped my passport with the notation that I was deported from Singapore, and if I ever entered without permission, I could be jailed for up to 2 years.

Therefore when Singapore commences these proceedings, they are aware that I am not able to enter Singapore without permission. In any case, I made this fact abundantly clear to them.

Despite this, the Disciplinary Committee in Singapore made no attempt to arrange for me to enter Singapore despite numerous letters sent not only to them but also to the Law Society of Singapore, Singapore Minister for Law, Minister for Home Affairs, the Singapore Attorney General and various other of Lee Kuan Yew's luminaries in the island, yet I never received a single response. It was as if this Tribunal and everyone else in Lee Kuan Yew's island had made up their minds that they are going to have this case heard in Singapore without me.

Finally at the 11th hour, about 5 days before the hearing, we have someone from the Singapore Immigration Department writing to me with a couple of forms asking me to apply for permission to enter Singapore with a Singaporean sponsor. When I Emailed to her stating I had no one in Singapore, there was only about 2 days left for the hearing for her to drop that requirement but of course travelling to Singapore by then was impossible. How does one drop everything in California, rush out for an air ticket and fly halfway round the world to Singapore in a handful of days ready for the Lee Kuan Yew's disciplinary judge's hearing. All this stupidity only says one thing, which is, they don't want me to be there, period.

Since these are proceedings serious, quasi criminal in nature where my licence to practice law is on the line, it is encumbent on any tribunal to provide all reasonable means for the Defendant to defend himself. What if I had no money to buy a ticket, are they going to hear the case without me and strike me off the Bar? If a criminal defendant was abroad, will Singapore demand that he buy his own airline ticket to attend trial in Singapore or will they repatriate him at their expense? Or are they suggesting that they will find the criminal guilty in his absence and later throw him in a Singapore jail! You can see that as time went on these proceedings were becoming funnier and funnier.

I not only demanded that they provide the air ticket, but also reasonable accommodation costs. None of those questions were ever answered by anyone.

I had asked them to provide the court transcripts of the Singapore High Court and Singapore Subordinate Courts to which I was entitled at their expense, documents which they were going to rely on to have me disbarred!

In discovery in any criminal or quasi criminal case such as this where a person's livelihood is on the line, it was clearly their duty to appraise the Defendant of what he is being charged with and what the prosecution is relying on. They simply refused to let me have those court transcripts and demanded that I obtain them at my own expense, which I did not. Why should I? It is they who are proceeding against me and it is they who should provide me with the evidence.

Lastly, by reason of the charges against me, the writer should be aware that several actions undertaken by me were in fact new criminal actions under Singapore law. For instance, if the blog post that I wrote in May of 2008 was criminal conduct for which I was sent to jail, surely I have committed numerous criminal acts thereafter since almost every blog entry in this blog after my leaving Singapore was criticism of Lee Kuan Yew and his judges even more severe than the one for which I was arrested.

And one of the charges was for my deliberately violating an undertaking I gave a Singaporean judge in the contempt charge against me.

Any reader will therefore see that it is dead certain that I will be rearrested if I ever stepped into Singapore, and sent to jail for a very long time. The only reason why this tin pot tyrant cannot get me now is because I am outside Singapore. I know that I cannot ever re-enter Singapore because of my continuing cause of criticizing Lee Kuan Yew his dictatorship and his state controlled legal system.

So naturally I wrote to this tribunal, the Attorney General of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, his son the Prime Minister, the Singapore Law Society, the Minister for Law and every other of Lee Kuan Yew's sidekicks, asking that they give me an assurance that I will not be rearrested if I ever entered Singapore. Without such an assurance, even though it is still unsafe even with it, it would be impossible for me to be on Singaporean soil. But you know what, not this Tribunal or anyone of these people ever responded to any of my requests.

In fact this Tribunal makes mockery of their entire system by saying the following in their decision, page 5 and 6, number 14:

"the Respondent had also raised other issues relating to his re-entry to Singapore for the purpose of attending the hearing of these proceedings. Principally he had sought the payment of travelling and living expenses that would be incurred during his stay in Singapore for the hearing of these proceedings. He had also sought an assurance that he would not be re-arrested if he entered Singapore"

But except to merely say this, the Tribunal president does not say anymore! He conveniently does not say that he totally ignored my requests, ignored my requests for the court transcripts, except to provide case names and citations never provided the cases and authorities that he relied on, ignored my requests to provide travelling expenses, ignored my requests for Singapore hotel expenses, and most importantly ignored my requests for safe passage in and out of Singapore without arrest! Very cunning indeed! Very convenient indeed.

In other words my friends, what the Singapore authorities are asking me to do is to spend my own money, buy my own airline ticket, land at Singapore airport and be arrested the moment SQ1 lands on the tarmac of Runway 030 and has come to a stationary stop! What do they think I am, stupid!

This entire proceedings from the point they proceeded to hear the case without me, fails. It is total violation of natural justice and simply cannot stand. I am surprised at the incompetence of these men and women close to Lee Kuan Yew who should have realized that in the face of the Internet, where you have Gopalan Nair who is simply cherishing every minute of this exposure, surely they should have considered their actions better. Surely they should have ensured at least a modicum of fair play in the face of the audience.

In the end one can only come to the conclusion that they simply did not want me to appear at their hearing. Fear perhaps, of even more embarrassment? How best to do it, by pretending that they gave me an opportunity to attend my trial when in fact there was none at all.

It was an In Absentia Hearing, pure and simple.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914
Email: nair.gopalan@yahoo.com
Blog: http://singaporedissident.blogspot.com/

Your letters are welcome. We reserve the right to publish your letters. Please Email your letters to nair.gopalan@yahoo.com And if you like what I write, please tell your friends. You will be helping democracy by distributing this widely. This blog not only gives information, it dispels government propaganda put out by this dictatorial regime.


Anonymous said...

Nice to know that Singapore lawyers need to break the law to get rid of you.

1. It shows how influential you have became such that they have to spend time and money to fix you.

2. This action against you is another proof that they are running a kangaroo court.

3. You should take the outcome of this finding as a victory.

Singapore food prices are rising fast. I hope for some political protests (in Singapore's case, more nudity, since strikes are not allowed) from the forgotten lesser mortals.

Anonymous said...

kangaroo court, just another show.

Anonymous said...

Tan Jee Ming was formerly from Lee & Lee and is now a Senior Counsel.

mycroft said...

What a grotesque parody of justice. Conviction without representation. Due process totally disregarded. Actions of responsible law officers completely against all the norms of natural justice. Did the old tyrant really once have the gall to proclaim loudly, "From third world to first"?

Oh wait, we're in a Singapore court aren't we? Right then, cue trumped-up charges and travesty of the rule of law. All rise for de dishonorable judge and his kangaroocourt. Next victim please.

Anonymous said...


Singapore gets top marks in global law survey

By K. C. Vijayan
SINGAPORE was rated No.1 in the civil justice systems in the Rule of Law Index 2010 of the World Justice Project.

It is a project to rank the quality of legal systems in the context of the rule of law.

The accolade drew the notice of Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong who raised the point in his address at the official opening of the Legal Year ceremony, to underline the star quality of the legal system here. Law Minister K. Shanmugam weighed in on the issue explaining how this had been achieved and said the system here protects the independence of the judiciary, and extremely high-quality judges are appointed from the legal service as well as from the profession.

Asked about some people still mocking the justice system, he said the 'more they mock, the better we do, so let them keep mocking, we will become better and better as a financial centre, as a city state and as a legal services centre.'

Separately , Singapore's fight against financial crimes has been beefed up and taken to the next level. Attorney-General Sundaresh Menon in his speech, said a new Economic Crimes and Governance Division has been created, in addition to the current Criminal Justice Division and the State Prosecution Division.

' Its officers will focus on and specialise in the prosecution of even the most sophisticated financial crimes, and regulatory offences.' More than 500 guests and members of the legal fraternity were present including Senior Minister S. Jayakumar, High Court judges and law officials from Hong Kong, Malaysia and Brunei.

Read also:
Two lawyers appointed Senior Counsel for S'pore

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous of Jan 07, 0748,
It would be interesting to know who these World Justice Project guys are. Perhaps a body behind big time offshore companies relying on third world cheap labor? If these people are right, then the Internatiional Bar Association, Amnensty Interantional, the European Commission, and the countless other international bodies who all said Singapore is no different from North Korea are all wrong, I suppose. Who are you trying to fool.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous, Jan 7, 0748

The same cannot be said of the Criminal Justice system which is a fly in the face of justice as civilised democracies know it. It is unconstitutional. Both the Chief Justice and the Attorney General express concern of the few young lawyers practising criminal law. This is inevitable as there is no challenge and nothing to defend in Singapore. In Singapore it is presumed guilty until proven innocent and the burden of proof is on the defendant. Why be a page boy for the Public Prosecutor? 10 out of 10 cases its just plead guilty and mitigate.

Anonymous said...

All criminal prosecutions are walkovers. The verdict is known before a trial. As one Senior State Counsel once put it to a defence counsel during a lunch break in a drug trafficking trial to take it easy, after all for the defence counsel it is merely filling in the blanks like in a test paper.