condemns Gopalan Nair’s actions in the strongest possible terms

Written by Ng E-Jay
08 March 2010

On Sunday, former Singapore opposition politician turned Californian lawyer Gopalan Nair perpetrated an idiotic prank in which he alleged that Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew had suffered a heart attack and had been warded at Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

But barely 24 hours later, he revealed that it had been a hoax and that he was gratified by the reaction that the blogosphere had provided him. In other words, he shamelessly wallowed in his own amusement at the expense of others.

I strongly condemn and denounce the despicable act of misinformation perpetrated by Gopalan Nair and call upon the blogosphere to similarly castigate and boycott his writings henceforth.

It is the likes of people like Gopalan Pallichadath Nair that cause some Singaporeans to look upon the local blogosphere as essentially untrustworthy when it comes to current affairs or political commentary.

It is imbeciles like him that allow the government an opportunity to unfairly tar bloggers as unreliable rumour-mongers who are unable to self-regulate and who revel in the misfortunes of others.

Fortunately, Singaporean internet users are not that stupid, and bloggers have been quick to denounce Gopalan Nair’s rabid filth as moronic and unworthy of attention.

I am proud in particular of The Online Citizen website (of which I am the political editor) for proactively censuring Gopalan Nair for his wanton attention-seeking antics.

The article “TOC Editorial: Gopalan Nair’s despicable hoax” written by Editor-at-large Choo Zheng Xi correctly points out that Gopalan Nair’s actions had brought him further disrepute, and that deliberate misinformation from any side of the political aisle is inimical to the culture of transparency and accountability that Singapore activists and politicians are trying so hard to campaign for.

The swift reaction by the local blogosphere in criticizing Gopalan Nair is evidence that an informal self-regulating mechanism is successfully evolving, contrary to what the government would have us believe.

Gopalan Nair is not new to controversy. In 2008, he was arrested for contempt of court and apologized for his actions after being threatened with a prolonged jail sentence. However when he returned to the United States, he retracted his apology and repeated the same statements he had earlier claimed as having been remorseful for. This is the kind of dishonesty and lack of scruples that this man is capable of.

To this day, Gopalan Nair continue to harass one of the arresting officers on his blog, even going to the extent of posting his personal particulars and insulting that officer’s religious beliefs. This man, Gopalan Nair, is an imbecile and a lunatic who should rightfully be charged under the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act.

But obviously, Gopalan Nair is no longer a Singaporean and therefore thinks of himself as being above the law. What a shameless, self-absorbed, leaden-footed ninny of a man.

Gopalan Nair’s orginal blog post, which he updated on Monday to reflect that it had all been a grand hoax, as well as his latest blog post, which effectively makes a mockery of all those who believed him:

12 comments on condemns Gopalan Nair’s actions in the strongest possible terms

  1. Naturally Gopalan behaves, for he is subjected to targetted political abuse while he is in SINGAPORE. He is a nobody and yet LKY wouldn’t let go of his favourite pastime: Playing with Political Juvenile. This psychopathic old man sure know how to use his own creation the SYSTEM to harm others psychologically with no trace of blood nor physical symptoms. Reckon LKY the emperor of the Death Star.

  2. E-Jay, you and I may have our (usual) disagreement, but in this case, I agree totally with you.

    But I believe that you were writing from the stand-point of a blogger. I would be interested to hear your political perspective on this – whether for example, as a member (or supporter) of the SDP, you agree with what GN did.

    You would remember that GN seems very supportive of what SDP is doing, especially its civil obedience tactics.

    Here is a quote from him: “(CSJ) has of course not only talked and written about it before, he has been imprisoned several times for doing just that, civil disobedience.

    May I say again, and readers of Singapore Dissident are well aware by now, that I too believe that this is the most potent weapon for democratic change in Singapore. Nothing else.

    Let me remind the readers once again, that parliamentary elections will achieve nothing other than returning the usual faces into Parliament. Why, because Lee Kuan Yew has engineered it so. In fact he himself has admitted this more than once.

    Civil disobedience is the most powerful weapon that dissenters have, especially in a small built up, crowded island such as Singapore. The results will be surprisingly rewarding, I can promise you that.”

  3. Dear E-Jay,

    I agree with your sentiments.

    I would go further and say that opposition politicians and political activists such as yourself should take note and choose your associates more carefully in the future.

    I say this because there seems to be a prevalent attitude among opposition politicians and political activists to embrace without question whomever appears to be against the PAP.

    Case in point: I believe Mr. Nair was hanging around Dr. Chee during one of the latter’s trials — I recall seeing a video on youtube which showed a breakfast gathering of sorts at a McDonald’s restaurant where Mr. Nair was welcomed to Dr. Chee’s table.


  4. SN,

    As a political activist myself I find your third statement (paragraph) disagreeable. My colleagues and I have always stressed non-violence as part of our engagement strategy (civil disobedience included), and that necessarily precludes those that preach violence as a means to reform society. It thus cannot be said that we (the circle of activists I am associated with) ’embrace without question’ those that oppose the PAP. If this were ever true, we might have seen opposition unity by now.

    Since I was one of the few that participated in the vigil for Gopalan Nair when he was unreasonably detained in Police Cantonment Complex for a week pending evidence gathering, I would like to state for the record that I defend Nair’s right to free expression, not necessarily the way in which he exercised or exercises this right. It is a principle all democracy activists must defend and at all times, and it is on this basis we must associate.

    For us to mature as a free society, we must look at these incidents as part and parcel of the chaotic nature of freedom and that only when free expression is guaranteed can we ever hope to install a self-corrective mechanism that is not at once tyrannical. Nair may deceive us all this one time, it will be difficult to pull off another hoax next time. Bad reputation sticks. Like E Jay, I trusted that the community on the whole is sensible enough to sift truth from falsehood and so far it has done an excellent job.

    As for what Chee or SDP thinks of Nair’s action, you had best ask them directly instead of drawing blanket inferences from past incidents. For one, Nair’s misadventure in no way negates his then spot-on criticism of the judiciary and of Judge Belinda Ang’s courtroom behaviour (which landed him in trouble). The validity of accusations in no way depend on the character making them.

  5. Ejay I agree with you that the hoax is a disgusting and irresponsible act. I don’t think the act can be defended on the grounds of freedom of speech. Just as a freedom of physical action ends with the responsibility to respect the physical space of your neighbour, the freedom of speech stops when falsehood is deliberately and knowingly created with the intention of fooling the general public.

    A person may defend his belief in the strongest terms. Freedom of speech should allow that. But if a person deliberately crafts a falsehood with the intention to fool the general public and which could bring harm to them with unforeseen consequences, then he ought to be condemned.

    Kaixiong, if a person has written something based on some misinformation, he could be forgiven. In this case hoaxer had deliberately crafted something that he knows is not true, does not believe in and with the intention of making Singaporean who believe in it a laughing stock so he deserves no compassion.

    Even in the most liberal arena of free speech, such a conduct goes beyond ungentlemanly behaviour and so the cad deserves nothing less than to be condemned.

    Read Ejay’s last sentence again.

  6. Dear Kai Xiong,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Let me begin by saying that when I wrote “embrace without question,” I was not using the term with reference to political principles as such (the example you raised revolved around the use of political violence as opposed to political non-violence as a means to challenge the authority of the PAP). I had meant, rather, to suggest that one should choose his or her (political) friends wisely.

    I agree with you that good politics proceeds from sound, principled intentions. However, good and effective politics must go beyond that. In tandem with the point I raised above, think Obama and Jeremiah Wright.

    It would be irreverent to smear JBJ for his association with Mr. Nair, and silly to do so, for we have nothing concrete by which to judge the Mr. Nair of old. But Mr. Nair’s blog had been in existence for some time before he joined your fold in the manner which I have alluded. Surely some political nous could have been called for, and due prudence exercised. Such is the rough and tumble that we call politics.




    Coffeeshop Chit Chat – On Gopalan’s hoax and PAP hoaxes Subscribe
    From: Guestman551 8:47 am
    To: ALL (1 of 1)


    From an anonymous commenter in Singapore Dissident blog:

    Has Gopalan’s hoax hurt anybody? Why it is despicable? Is it more despicable than the following hoaxes perpetuated by the Lee govt.?

    That the CPF will see through Singaporeans’ retirement. That HDB flats are affordable. That foreigners work harder than Singaporeans. That the GRC system was implemented to ensure minority representation in Parliament.

    That there are no poverty and homelessness in Singapore. That ministers’ salaries are meant to ensure that only the best talents enter govt. service. That the two child policy was good. That there is no white horse platoons in SAF.

    That opposition like JBJ and CSJ are out to destroy Singapore. That Mas Selamat escaped through the toilet. Many of us do not even acknowledge these are hoaxes because we have swallowed hook and line these lies over the years via the MSM

  8. If you live in singapore long enough, you will know, Lky is a conman when he wining,a dictator when is lossing!

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