Kan Seng cock-up — again

October 28, 2008
Singapore Democrats

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Case of the missing road

Case of the missing road

Singapore Democrats

The police came to court today and insisted that the area around Parliament House was a gazetted area that forbids the assembly of more than one person.

According to the Miscellaneous Offences Act gazette notification the area as delineated by Coleman Street, North Bridge Road, St Andrew’s Road, Connaught Drive, Parliament Lane, and the left bank of the Singapore River comes under the gazette.

There’s only one problem — there is no Parliament Lane.

“Can you see Parliament Lane on the map?” lawyer Mr R Thirumurugan, who is representing Ms Jaslyn Go, asked police witness Station Inspector (SI) Yeo Kok Leong.

Mr Thirumurugan was cross-examining SI Yeo on the third-day of the ongoing trial of the Tak Boleh Tahan protesters.

Mr Yeo is the licensing officer who had rejected a permit to hold a protest rally at Parliament House on 15 March this year. The officer pored through the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) map placed before him and finally said, “No.”

“That’s because it isn’t there,” the defence counsel said. There is Old Parliament Lane and there is Parliament Place, but there is no Parliament Lane.

And how does one gazette an area that includes a non-existent road? Mr Thirumurugan argued that because of the missing Parliament Lane, “the main entrance of the Parliament House was never a Gazetted Area on 28 Dec 2007 nor on 15 March 2008 and even today.”

And since Parliament is not a gazetted area, the 16 activists could not have committed the offence of demonstrating in front of Parliament House without a permit as charged.

Incidentally, was someone sleeping on the job when the gazette was written and vetted? The order was signed off by a Mr Benny Lim, Permament Secretary, Ministry for Home Affairs. And who’s his boss?

The trial at Court 5 enters its fourth day tomorrow.

First published in the Government Gazette on 26 July 2005

In exercise of the powers conferred by section 5 (2) of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act, the Minister for Home Affairs hereby makes the following Order:

This Order may be cited as the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) (Prohibition of Assemblies and Processions – Parliament and Supreme Court) (Amendment) Order 2005 and shall come into operation on 26th July 2005.

THE SCHEDULE

DESCRIPTION OF AREA

“Commencing from a point at the junction of North Bridge Road with Coleman Street, thence along Coleman Street to its junction with St Andrew’s Road, thence along St. Andrew’s Road to its junction with Stamford Road, thence along Stamford Road to its junction with Connaught Drive, thence along Connaught Drive to its junction with Parliament Lane, thence along Parliament Lane to the left bank of the Singapore River, proceeding along the left bank of the junction of North Bridge Road, thence along North Bridge Road to the point of commencement at the junction of North Bridge Road with Coleman Street.” (emphasis added)