John Tan lodges police report before interview

Singapore Democrats
31 Jan 08

SDP Assistant Secretary-General John Tan was called up for an interview by the police regarding the incident when he was stopped by the police at Orange Grove Road together with Ms Chee Siok Chin during the ASEAN Summit in December last year.

Mr Tan attended the appointment at the Bedok Police Station. Just before the interview, however, he lodged the following police report:

Police report for unlawful detention, assault and battery

Persons involved
Superintendent Michael Tan
Philip Ong from Special operation command
Peter Chan, Sgt Tian and others

On 20 November, 2007, at about 5 pm, Ms Chee Siok Chin and I were walking along Orange Grove Road toward the Shangri-La Hotel when about half a dozen police officers started stalking and filming us. About 100 meters after their intimidating pursuit, one Philip Ong from Special Operation Command told us to turn back because that place was a protect area.

We would have complied had we been satisfied as to why dozens of other people were allowed to walk freely to and fro, whereas we were not. Philip Ong and his colleagues did not seem to care about or understand one of the fundamental principles of the rule of law, which is to apply the law equally to all and sundry.Shortly after, Superintendent Michael Tan intervened and ordered his subordinates to bundle us away. We were shoved into an unmarked van. At that point in time, I feared for my safety since the van was unmarked, suggesting an extra-official or extra-authorized operation. Aggravating my fear was the fact that my abductors (among whom were Peter Chan and SGT Tian) in the van either did not know or refused to tell us where we were headed.

We repeatedly asked our kidnappers whether we were being arrested. To which we were repeatedly told we were not. My fear was accentuated as it implied that our detention was indeed unlawful.

After circling the city for about an hour, we were told that we would be released at Orchard Hotel. On arriving at the Hotel, I headed for the door, whereupon Peter Chan used physical force on me to prevent me from reaching the door. It was as if he was attempting to prolong my illegal custody.

John L. Tan
31 January 2008

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