In Singapore even one person cannot hold a protest

October 16, 2007
Singapore Democrats

This post is at least a year old. Some of the links in this post may no longer work correctly.

Dr Chee Soon Juan's one-man protest not allowed.The PAP continues to treat the Constitution with utter contempt.

Ignoring the fact that the Constitution guarantees the right of Singaporeans to freedom of speech and assembly except in emergency situations that threaten national security, the PAP government continues to abuse its executive powers to deny SDP leaders and activists their fundamental rights.

On 8 Oct, five SDP leaders (including our video-grapher) were arrested for holding a four-person protest outside the Istana against Singapore’s involvement in Burma. The reason? Under the Istana Order, two or more people are considered illegal assembly and procession!

To circumvent this absurd “law” that took effect only in November 2002, Dr Chee Soon Juan staged a one-man protest on Monday to drive home the point that Singaporeans have the right to know the extent of PAP government’s involvement, both in arms supplies and business deals with the Burmese military junta.

Even this, the police are saying it’s an offence. They had warned him that he had no permit under the Public Entertainment and Meetings Act.

Today, on the second day of his protest, Dr Chee was approached by a woman officer from the NPark. According to her, the place comes within the purview of her department and he had to remove his poster and leave the vicinity immediately. But Dr Chee refused to budge, and the officer threatened to call the police. Dr Chee told her to help herself since the police are just across the road. After making a phone call, she left.

Right to protest? As long as you are with the PAP. Sometime back, when four activists staged a peaceful protest outside the CPF building, the PAP government dispersed them with fully armed riot police. But PAP ministers and MPs continue to flout the law and hold protests and marches. Recently, a PAP MP was at the forefront of scores of protesters outside the Parliament House (see photo on the left) and nothing happened to them.

It looks like as long as it’s political in nature and not favorable to the PAP, it is banned.

Where in our law book does it provide for such political decisions?

Would any lawyer or legal professional care to enlighten?