Our leadership is a responsible one, they demand everyone to be responsible for their actions. Lets see what was said during Gomez-gate when CCTVs were working well to catch wily opposition figures in their devious acts. Of course, when it comes to the opposition, we cannot "just move on so easily". The opposition did not lose a terrorist, the lost something worse - a piece of paper and they were called to answer for it.
"To decide whether this was an innocent mistake, Singaporeans must know the answers to these questions. In the interests of transparency and accountability that Mr Low upholds, he must share with Singaporeans the answers that he received from Mr Gomez" - Wong Kan Seng, May 2006
"I think it has been settled. We came out clean and we made it clear. James has sincerely apologised for causing this distress to the Elections Department. I think we are fair people, we are not someone who is trying to make things difficult. It's an unfortunate misunderstanding, it’s an incident and we are open about it" - Mr Low Thia Kiang
"This would have undermined public confidence in the integrity of our elections system and done serious damage to the reputation of Singapore" - Wong Kan Seng on 2 May 2006
"Low cannot brush aside this episode and say just move on. This is a serious matter. It cannot rest here" - Wong Kan Seng 2nd May 2006.
"'So let us close ranks to deal with this, and bounce back to move forward" - PM Lee, 10 Mar 2008
Statement by Wong Kan Seng on James Gomez
PAP wants more answers from James Gomez on minorities certificate saga
The People's Action Party (PAP) leadership has questioned the integrity of James Gomez, the Workers' Party (WP) candidate for Aljunied Group Representation Constituency (GRC).
This comes a day after he reversed his earlier claim that he had submitted an application to the Elections Department for a minorities candidate certificate when - in fact - he did not.
The PAP leaders say the behaviour exhibited by Mr Gomez at the Elections Department and in his apology statement, may not be acceptable for a person aspiring to be a Member of Parliament.
For the WP's Secretary-General Mr Low Thia Khiang, the matter surrounding his party's candidate was being made into a mountain out of a molehill by the PAP.
But for the PAP, the issue was about accountability, the same quality which Mr Low wants to uphold for his party and candidates.
Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean said, "This is a very important issue, because the Elections Department is part of the government. An election process must never be questioned by anybody, so if there is any doubt, we have to take it seriously, otherwise we'll be alleged as playing around with the process.
"It is not making a mountain out of a molehill. It's a very important question of integrity. That's the difference between the PAP and the other parties."
Reading from a prepared statement on Saturday, Mr Gomez confirmed he did not submit any application for a minority certificate on April 24.
According to him, there had been "too much distraction caused by the busy schedule leading up to Nomination Day".
During his statement, Mr Gomez said, "Please accept my sincere apologies if my actions on 26 April 2006 caused any distress or confusion to the staff or the Elections Department."
But, according to the PAP, the episode has raised further questions about the ability of Mr Gomez to perform as a Member of Parliament, as his answers so far have been found to be wanting.
Mr Teo said, "If he did get distracted and so forth, and that's the reason that he has put forward, then you really wonder if he will be distracted by other things in the performance of his MP duties if he was elected."
George Yeo, PAP Candidate, Aljunied GRC, said, "When an important issue like this comes up, you should not be thinking about winning or losing. You should be thinking about doing the right thing and setting a good example.
"Can you you imagine if you have a Member of Parliament who does this and who threatens a civil servant with dire consequences when he knew he did not submit his form, getting the civil servant into trouble and affecting his family - imagine if you have an MP like that in parliament? I don't think it's a matter of winning or losing. It's a matter of principle...right and wrong.
"Workers' Party said it was an oversight, we are making a mountain out of a molehill and it was an honest mistake - let us look at it. If you go to a department store supermarket, take a big item put it into your bag is that an oversight? Is that an honest mistake? I am not sure."
The saga began on April 26 when Mr Gomez turned up at the Elections Department to claim his minorities candidate certificate.
He was told there was no record of him ever submitting an application for one.
After he insisted he did two days before, he also warned an Elections Department official of the "consequences".
Later the same day, he was informed by telephone that footage from a security camera showed that he had put his application form in his bag and left the department afterwards without submitting.
On hearing this, Mr Gomez abandoned his earlier claim, saying there was "no problem".
Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said that after the apology, it is time to look at the bigger issues of the election.
He said, As of now, James Gomez has shown weak links in the Workers' Party chain, so there could be other weak links later on.
"But I would say, he having apologised, we should move on and deal with the bigger issues...That's my own take of the situation."
So the ball is now once again the WP's court and it is left to be seen if the WP's top leadership will live up to the standards of accountability that it claims to have set for itself. - CNA/ms