I posted on Aug 24 a ruling party minister's reply and now the police have confirmed it yesterday. First, the World Bank was told to go fly some kites when they requested that outdoor demonstrations be allowed. Now, the SDP has been denied a police permit for their rally & march.........
Singapore opposition politician vows to hold illegal protestFor years, the PAP govt with the help of our "nation-building" media have fed Singaporeans a steady diet of violent protests & demonstrations all over the world. And terrorism is being used to justify repressive actions by governments against their people as well.
Aug 30, 2006
An opposition Singapore politician vowed to stage a protest march during upcoming IMF and World Bank meetings even without a required police permit.
Police said earlier Wednesday they rejected Chee Soon Juan's application to hold the protest at next month's meets on security grounds.
"Yes, we will go ahead... The world must know about this," the secretary general of the Singapore Democratic Party said, criticising a blanket ban on public demonstrations and other political restrictions in the city-state.
Chee, who has served three jail terms - a total of about two months - for speaking publicly without a permit, said he is prepared to risk arrest again.
"It is our right to be able to do that (hold a protest). They (police) will just have to do what they have to do. We will continue to fight for our right as citizens of this country," he told AFP.
However he said he was exploring going to the courts over the rejection of his application.
Police would not hesitate to take the necessary action to enforce the ban on public demonstrations if anyone, including foreign nationals, was caught trying to protest without a permit, said police operations director Aubeck Kam.
Kam said Chee's application was denied for fear it will disrupt preparations to secure more than 16,000 delegates to the September 19-20 meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
Previous meetings of the IMF and World Bank have attracted large anti-globalization protests, some of them violent.
"No licence, no permit will be issued ... if it is attempted to be carried out, it will be illegal," Kam told a media briefing on security preparations for the event, the biggest that Singapore has hosted.
"We will enforce the law."
In Singapore, public protests involving at least five people are regarded as illegal unless a police permit has been issued.
Any person who organizes or helps in organising the illegal assembly faces up to six months in jail or a fine or both.
Chee, a vocal critic of the ruling People's Action Party, said the march was aimed at exposing the government's curbs on free speech and what he claimed was the poverty situation in the wealthy city-state.
He was declared bankrupt in February for failing to pay 500,000 Singapore dollars (318,000 US) in defamation damages to former prime ministers Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong.
Ahead of general elections in May, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his father Lee Kuan Yew filed another defamation suit against Chee for allegedly implying they are corrupt.
I'm as concerned as the next fellow on the streets about a terrorist attack or demonstrations and protests gone wild. Who wouldn't be. But there have also been peaceful protests & demonstrations all over the world in countries where terrorism is also a concern. And they have pulled it off rather than throw a blanket ban on them.
As I've mentioned in my Aug 24 post, the police should work together with the organisers & participants of outdoor protests to make sure all goes smoothly. And those who do make trouble should be dealt with instead of banning every Tom, Dick & HARRY! By working together, the police would be able to do their job plus the organisers & participants can put out their messages and air their grievances without anything untoward happening. It can be a win-win situation for both parties.
Thing is, there's one major PARTY which sees otherwise. The laws that prohibit such activities are written and passed in a parliament dominated by the ruling Peoples Action Party. They are so blinded by power that they see a win-lose situation - people win; PAP lose.
I can go on & on but i'll just end here with the SDP's Chee Soon Juan writing about bovine scatology among other things. :-)