After the Open Singapore Centre (OSC) sent in its application to stage a protest march on May Day 2003, the Police Licensing Division wrote to the Centre and actually asked for the details of the event such as the purpose of the march, number of people involved, and the route to be taken. It also asked for the specific location where the political speech will be held.
If all this sounds a little bizarre, thats because it is.
Recently the Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Wong Kan Seng, reiterated the Governments stand: The government does not authorise protests and demonstrations of any nature.
If the Government categorically states that protests are banned and the OSC has made it very plain that the event on May Day will be a protest march then why are the police asking for more information as if there is a possibility that the application may be approved?
This is vintage PAP. It needs to show the world that it considers every application on its merits before turning it down due to potential law and order problems. Clever isnt it?
Nevertheless, the OSC has replied and provided the requested information.
1. The purpose of the march is to:
a. highlight the plight of the working poor in Singapore,
b. reach out to workers in an effort to organize an independent trade union,
c. protest against the slew of Government price hikes in a time of economic hardship,
d. demand that the Government turn the ailing economy around.
2. The number of people expected to take part is about two hundred.
3. The route taken will be along Upper Pickering Street and then along North Bridge Road to Parliament House.
4. The speeches will take place outside Parliament House.
Any bets on the outcome?