by Ng Jing Yng
04:46 AM Apr 22, 2011
SINGAPORE - Five years ago, when he walked into the Elections Department to settle the paperwork for his candidacy, then Workers' Party (WP) member James Gomez triggered controversy that hogged the headlines at the start of the 2006 General Election.
He claimed then that he had submitted the application form for his minority race certification. However, closed-circuit television footage showed that he had, in fact, left the document in his briefcase.
So it was no surprise that, when Dr Gomez showed up yesterday - with Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) assistant treasurer Vincent Wijeysingha - at the Prinsep Link premises to collect his nomination documents, he caused a buzz among reporters, who had been staking out the Elections Department.
Dr Gomez, who has since switched allegiance to the SDP, spent about an hour at the Elections Department.
Dr Gomez and Dr Wijeysingha were among several Opposition candidates - including Mr Chiam See Tong and his wife Lina - and People's Action Party (PAP) representatives who turned up at the department yesterday - the second day for MP-hopefuls to collect and submit their nomination documents.
Reform Party (RP) secretary-general Kenneth Jeyaretnam collected seven nomination forms - for a Group Representation Constituency (GRC) and two Single Member Constituencies (SMC) - although the party said on Wednesday that it planned to field just a five-member team in West Coast GRC. Mr Jeyaretnam reiterated that his party was considering contesting other constituencies but would avoid three-cornered fights.
He also submitted four minority race certifications, including one for Socialist Front member Mansor Rahman, 59, who may contest the election under the RP banner.
Ex-WP member Zeng Guo Yuan, 57, who contested and lost the 1991 GE, was also spotted collecting nomination forms. He told reporters that he wanted to contest as an independent candidate.
Mr Andrew Kuan, who has already declared he would be contesting as an independent in Joo Chiat SMC, also turned up. Apart from collecting nomination forms for an SMC, Mr Kuan also took forms for a GRC - out of curiosity, he said.