13 February 2008
Wong Kan Seng
Minister for Home Affairs
New Phoenix Park
28 Irrawaddy Road
Fax : 6254 6250
As you know, the police have rejected the SDP’s application for a public rally outside Parliament House on 15 March 2008 during World Consumer Rights Day. They have yet to give us the grounds of their decision.
We intend to protest against the rising cost of living and the exploitative policies of the Government. I write to appeal to you to grant us the permit for this event.
I wish to inform you, if you don’t already know, that the Consumer Association of Singapore (CASE) conducted a protest march on the same occasion last year on 18 Mar 07. The photographs attached, taken from CASE’s website, show the following:
Photo A: Scores of CASE protesters assembled outside Parliament House beside the Singapore River.
Photo B: Protesters wearing printed T-shirts with the words “Walk with CASE, World Consumer Rights Day” and carrying placards with various messages.
Photo C: Dr Teo Ho Pin, former CASE president, Mayor and current MP of your party, protesting with other participants.
Photo D: Hundreds of CASE demonstrators marching through the streets.
Photo E: A stage was even set up and a ceremony of sorts seems to be taking place involving another PAP MP Mr Yeo Guat Kwang (left), who is also the current president of CASE.
It is my sincere hope that you will not deny our application to conduct the same type of activity on the same occasion and at the same venue as CASE’s event last year.
If you do decide to reject our application, you need to tell Singaporeans whether CASE had a permit to hold its protest. If they did, please tell us why the SDP cannot have a permit for a similar event. If CASE did not have a permit, you need to tell us whether the police had taken action against the protesters for taking part in an assembly and procession without a permit.
When you took your oath as a cabinet minister, you swore to uphold the Constitution of Singapore. This means that in the process of discharging your duties, you may not show favour towards organisations affiliated to your party such as CASE while discriminating against citizens of Singapore, including the opposition.
I sincerely hope that you treat your oath seriously and perform your role as a minister with integrity. Do not continue to abuse your power by denying Singaporeans the right to assemble and speak freely.
Chee Soon Juan
Singapore Democratic Party