A reply to the opinion below ( read the below opinion too! )
Your five-page rhetoric is mostly just that - rhetoric. Plus your claims that you are not anti-PAP are really, really convincing.
I have not fallen for the "media tripe", neither do I believe Gomez is dishonest just "because Inderjit Singh and Wong Kan Seng say so". Nor do I assume any nobility in PAP's words and actions during this election campaign - there is no doubt that they are trying to assassinate Gomez's character. But that is hardly relevant.
What I have done, basically, is made a common-sensical evaluation of Gomez's honesty as a human being, which, to me, is important in deciding whether or not he deserves election (not that I'm an Aljunied voter - I'm just making a hypothetical point). Despite your five-pager, there is actually some objective evidence regarding the events of the past week that we possess. We have:
1. The videotape of what happened at the ELD last Monday
2. The transcript of the conversation between Gomez and the ELD official
3. Inderjit's (and his fellow PAP man's) account of his conversation (which has yet to be challenged by Gomez)
4. Gomez's own apology
5. Sylvia Lim's non-backing of Gomez's account of what happened on Monday (he claims she saw him hand in the forms)
You talk about objectivity, Ben, but you have chosen not to analyse the hard evidence that we have regarding the man's integrity.
From the evidence above, we can at least infer that Gomez lied about 2 things - (1) that he handed in the form and (2) that Sylvia Lim had corroborated his claim that he handed in the form.
But let us first assume he was not lying in all the circumstances above. If this gives us a better explanation of the events of the past week, then we might be tempted to accept this hypothesis.
If we assume he has been truthful (i.e. he was indeed distracted at the time and had subsequently given only honest, albeit false, replies), we are faced with at least two problems that defy our logic.
1. He claims during the conversation with the ELD official (before he became aware of the CCTV recording) that Sylvia Lim had corroborated his claim that he had handed in the form. If this were so, why is Lim evading reporters' questions and refusing to give a committal answer as to whether or not she had indeed given Gomez such a corroboration? If she had indeed corroborated his version of the events, then it only makes sense for her to support him by saying, perhaps, that she was also mistaken. As it stands, her non-backing of his version casts more doubt on his character, which hardly helps her election chances. It is far more likely that he had not gained such a corroboration in the first place and was using her name without her knowledge during that conversation.
2. His response to Inderjit's questions are especially baffling. If he was indeed being honest and really thought he had handed in the forms, a more likely response when Inderjit asked him about the incident would go along the lines of: "You know, Inderjit, I really don't know what happened. I am sure I handed in the forms but they said I didn't." He chose instead to speak about it being a "wayang" and a ruse to fool the media about him running in Ang Mo Kio. A really odd answer for an honest man.
Given these two problems, you can, of course, still choose to believe that he was honest. But it would require a greater stretch of your imagination. Common sense would point you to the more natural reading of the events - Gomez was dishonest.
You talk about the PAP having the burden of proof and that Gomez was "innocent until proven guilty". I have two responses to this poor point. (1) the PAP has put out enough evidence and has already fulfilled their "burden", if they had any; and (2) "Innocent until proven guilty" is a principle that applies only to criminal charges. There is no criminal charge here. It is a question of the people evaluating Gomez's honesty. However, if you still insist on using the principle (why I do not know), I would submit that he has indeed been proven guilty from an initial state of innocence.
That the PAP has a lot to lose in Aljunied and is using this opportunity to assassinate the character of an opposition member is not doubted. Nobody assumes the PAP is noble and altruistic. However, that hardly changes the fact that objective evidence points to Gomez's dishonesty on the matter, and his unwillingness to admit it (he still claims he was distracted and had made an honest mistake).
The implications of his dishonesty is to be decided by the individual voter. Some will consider this level of dishonesty acceptable. Some will point out that no politician is honest anyway. These views are fair and can be debated.My point is, there are two issues at hand here: (1) Gomez was dishonest, and (2) Gomez does not deserve to be an MP because of his dishonesty. (2) is debatable, (1) is not - unless fresh evidence emerges to exonerate the man.