The PAP Government has banned the public forum entitled Democracy in Burma: How can Asians help? The Open Singapore Centres (OSC) application for a police permit for the forum has been rejected.
In a terse reply, the police stated that the application was rejected because the proposed event is likely to be contrary to the public interest. There was no further explanation (see police letter below).
The forum, jointly organized by the Alliance for Reform and Democracy in Asia (ARDA), Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD), and the OSC, would examine issues regarding the on-going repression in Burma and how democrats in the region can help to alleviate the political crisis in the region. Regional issues such as trade and investments, drug trafficking, and money laundering would also have been discussed. Asian democrats have been invited to speak.
The OSC has written to Home Affairs Minister, Mr Wong Kan Seng, to reconsider the ban but has not received a reply.
Note to media editors: You are invited to attend a media conference tomorrow, 7 December 2003, at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, 392 Havelock Road, Cardinal Room at 4 pm. Forum speakers will present their views as well as answer questions. Letters from US Senators Mitch McConnell and John McCain to ARDA for the forum will be distributed.
5 December 2003
Dr Chee Soon Juan
Open Singapore Centre
1357A Serangoon Road
APPLICATION FOR PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT LICENCE TO HOLD “DEMOCRACY IN BURMA” PUBLIC TALK ON 7 DEC 2003
I refer to your application for the bove dated 27 Nov 2003.
I regret to inform you that your application is not sccessful, as the proposed event is ikely to be contrary to the public interest.
Please be reminded that it is an affence to hold a public talk without a public entertainement licenec issued by this office.
LU YEOW LIM
ASST DIRECTOR OPERATIONS (LICENSING)