April 30, 2006
What a big fuss is being made over James Gomez, representative of Singapore's Worker's Party. Distracted by the million and one things to get done, he failed to submit his minority certificate. Of course, Singapore is currently making a big deal out of the whole saga. When really, this matters little as he is not even contesting his seat in the election as a minority candidate.
In his public apology, he says the following:
I refer to my claim over the submission of the Minority Certificate at the Elections Department on 26th April 2006.
I wish to confirm that I did not submit the said application on 24th April 2006 due to too much distraction caused by the busy schedule leading up to nomination day.
Please accept my sincere apologies if my actions on 26th April 2006 caused any distress or confusion to the staff of the Elections Department.
And there are more reports on his Campaign here (his blog), currently being reported by Roderick Chia during Gomez's busy period. I've e-mailed to Roderick to ask more about Gomez's opinions and any stories from ground level to get their personal insights. I had the privilege of discussing bits of Singapore politics with both of them earlier this year.
A bit of info: Singapore is having its elections very soon, on the 6th of May. The PAP, or People's Action Party, has traditionally held most of the electoral seats in the government. This time, there are 47 seats up for grabs. The opposition parties have been very weak, but of late because of new demands from the younger generation who are inclined towards opting for freedom of speech and a more equal check-and-balance system, more are turning their attention to an alternative. It's old news that Singapore one-family-government has not hesitated to draw law suits against "feisty journalists and opposition politicians", even when the people involved were merely revealing cover-ups of corruption, like the National Kidney Foundation fiasco, as reported by Asia Times Online here.
No ground-breaking results will occur here, and rest assured PAP will still fly high in its mandate. But perhaps for the first time in many years, the people will at least have a chance to listen to alternative viewpoints.
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