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Chee stopped from selling books
Chee stopped from selling books
Added on: Monday 17 September 2012
Total comments: 15
Dr Chee Soon Juan was at Raffles City
Shopping Centre to sell his book Democratically Speaking yesterday
when security personnel stopped him because they said that the area
was private property belonging to CapitaLand.
Dr Chee was surprised as he, together
with other SDP activists, was charged for assembly in a public place
without a permit in 2006 at the same spot.
He told the security guards that if the
area was indeed private property, he would stop his sales but he
needed to be sure.
He then called the police to ask them
to help verify if the area was private property. When the
police arrived, Dr Chee explained the situation and asked them to
ascertain the veracity of Raffles City personnel's claim.
After a few minutes, the
officer-in-charge said that one of his men had seen the documentation
and confirmed that the area belonged to Raffles City. Dr Chee then
told the officer that he took the police's word for it and
stopped the sales.
This raises a question: On 10 September
2006, he and other activists were distributing flyers at the same
They were stopped by the police and subsequently charged
for illegal assembly in a public place (see the Charge sheet below). They were found guilty and jailed for 1 week in default of a fine of $1,000 each.
How could people be charged for public assembly without a permit in a public place at the same location if the area
is private property?
Raffles City says it is private property, the Attorney-General's Chambers says it is public property. If Raffles City is right, the AGC has a lot of explaining to do.
Buy a copy of Democratically Speaking or Donate to the Discharge CSJ Fund.
You are charged that you, on the
10th day of September 2006 at about 12:15 pm, in the vicinity of
Raffles City Shopping Centre, North Bridge Road, Singapore, which is
a public place, together with 5 persons did participate in an
assembly intended to demonstrate opposition to the actions of the
Government, which assembly you ought reasonably to have known was
held without a permit under the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order
& Nuisance)(Assemblies & Processions) Rules, and you have
thereby committed an offence punishable under Rule 5 of the said
Senior Investigation Officer
29 December 2008
Rule 5 of the
Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order & Nuisance)(Assemblies &
Processions) Rules: Any person who participates in any assembly or
procession in any public road, public place or place of public
resort shall, if he knows or ought reasonably to have known that the
assembly or processions is held without a permit, or in contravention
of any term or condition of a permit, be guilty of an offence and
shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000.
|Total comments: 15||1 2 »|
SgcynicSgcynic (21 September 2012 6:24 AM)
What fact did I get wrong? In my wondering, did I make any claim as to what transpired? Please get your fact right.
CCC (20 September 2012 11:01 PM)
Sgcynic: It was not police who take action against CSJ. The security guard is the one that stop him from selling his book at their private property. CSJ is the one that called the police. Get your fact right. CSJ is trying his luck to look at all possible loop hole.
Sgcynic (19 September 2012 11:24 PM)
That's my point. Common sense appears to be very hard to apply here. Just like how Goh Chok Tong and gang could be in a polling station without first being within 200m of it. Blows my mind. Need to have a conversation with my lawyer. What do you think? How about one person constituting illegal assembly?
Sgcynic (19 September 2012 11:05 PM)
I am not suggesting anything. I am only thinking whether the security guards can stop the police at the doors of the shopping centre claiming that it is private property or do the police have "unfettered" right to walk in given that it is a 'public space'. What do you think?
CCC (19 September 2012 10:17 PM)
Sgcynic : Strangely you highlight thia. If you are in a shopping mall and a armed man rob you ortry to kill you, you mean the police need a warrant to arrest the arm man? Common sense tell us that police can arrest anyone who break laws in public space without warrant even it is a private property.
Bryan Ti (19 September 2012 2:56 PM)
But CSJ is right to a certain extent, I'm not denying that.
Javert (19 September 2012 12:26 PM)
Sgcynic: Are you suggesting that even though any man on the street can walk into Raffles City to shop or walk through whenever they want, the police need a warrant to walk in?!
Sgcynic (19 September 2012 7:08 AM)
Legal technicality quagmire, for legal eagles to split hair.
If we assume then that Raffles City is indeed a public space within a private property, then does the police have the authority to enter a private property without warrant, and without the expressed authorisation of the property owner?
Daniel (19 September 2012 3:01 AM)
SDP should grow up and effect bigger things that make a difference than whine about the definition of public and private spaces.
Be straight to the point if you're trying to stir sympathy by claiming the apparent abuse of the law.
The uninitiated will side you, but the discerning Singaporean will never endorse an organization with small talk and petty issues.
Jammie Wong (18 September 2012 11:23 PM)
of course there is a difference between "Public Space" and "Public Property". AGC office & Judge chamber are for ones .."Public Property", but they are not "Public Space", are they?
Bryan Ti (18 September 2012 7:14 PM)
It is funny that CSJ choose to talk about 'public property' in his statement: "Raffles City says it is private property, the Attorney-General's Chambers says it is public property. If Raffles City is right, the AGC has a lot of explaining to do."
He was previously charged for illegal assembly in a PUBLIC PLACE, and not PROPERTY.
Legally, a private property can be a public place, as defined in the laws:
(a) any place to which members of the public have access as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission, whether or not on payment of a fee, whether or not access to the place may be restricted at particular times or for particular purposes...or
(b) a part of a place that the occupier of the place allows members of the public to enter, but only while the place is ordinarily open to members of the public.
Yue Fei (18 September 2012 6:07 PM)
Interpretation of "place" under Section 2 of the MISCELLANEOUS OFFENCES (PUBLIC ORDER AND NUISANCE) ACT
(CHAPTER 184), the parent act of the Regulations he was charged under:-
“public place” means any place or premises to which at the material time the public or any section of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission;
Under this interpretation, a cinema is a public place but still a private property. No conflict.
Yue Fei (18 September 2012 5:24 PM)
Go online Chee.
Savio Sebastian (18 September 2012 11:28 AM)
Isn't there difference between "Public Space" and "Public Property"? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_space
Raffles city is definitely a "Public Space" in a private property in my opinion.
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