Breaking news: Forum cancelled, participants locked out

September 24, 2011
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats

The SDP understands that a forum featuring Malaysian opposition MP Mr Tian Chua and blogger Mr Alex Au has been cancelled by the venue owner. An ‘Event Cancelled’ notice was posted on the door of the hall at the last minute.

Organised by filmmaker Mr Martyn See, the forum was scheduled for today at 2 pm at The Verge, a shopping mall in Tekka, Serangoon Road. When participants arrived at the venue, however, they were greeted by the sign and locked out of the hall.

The owner of the place informed the organiser that the venue was prohibited from holding political talks. He abruptedly cancelled the event at the last minute when he realised that the topic of the forum was on politics.

Such is the tragedy of Singapore. Politics is still a taboo subject among many people and its discussion is still met with fear. Instead of looking ahead with confidence and hope, we are still held back by fear instilled through the decades by the PAP. It is hard to imagine that in this day and age, situations such as this is still happening.

In 2008, police officers and Media Development Authority (MDA) officials gatecrashed a screening of One Nation Under Lee, a 40-minute clip documenting the control of Singapore by Mr Lee Kuan Yew. It was produced by Mr Seelan Palay. (Watch video: Part 1 and Part 2)

Even though the screening was a private affair, the authorities found it fit to demand that the screening of the video be stopped and that it be handed over to the MDA.

It was clear that the Government acted because the video was about Mr Lee because it would never dream of gatecrashing other private events, such as wedding dinners, which routinely screen videos. There is no law saying that private screenings of political issues is disallowed. Such arbitrary action is not consistent with the rule of law.