No Freedom of Assembly for Singaporeans? Part 1

March 16, 2005
Singapore Democrats

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A Poetic Rant on the International Monetary Fund and World Bank board of governors’ annual meeting in 2006 by Charles Tan

Dear Singaporeans,

Do you know that Singapore will be hosting the
International Monetary Fund and World Bank board of
governors’ annual meeting in 2006?

Do you know that 300 foreign accredited
non-governmental organizations will be allowed to hold
peaceful protests and demonstrations?

Do you know that Singaporeans and local NGOs will not
be allowed to protest?

Is this double standard?

Is this an act of political and social repression?

Is this a joke?

If the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, Article 20, states that “Everyone has the
right to freedom of peaceful assembly and
association”, why do you think we should be deprived
of this very basic right?

If the Constitution of Singapore, part IV, Fundamental
Liberties, Section 14 Freedom of speech, assembly and
association states that (a) every citizen of Singapore
has the right to freedom of speech and expression; (b)
all citizens of Singapore have the right to assemble
peaceably and without arms; and (c) all citizens of
Singapore have the right to form associations” but
subjected to vaguely defined clauses at the whims and
fancies of our authoritarian government, then what do you
think about this constitution?

If this is a basic human right that even the United
Nations and almost the whole world agrees, with the
exception of other dictatorships and authoritarian
regimes, then it does not matter if you want to use it.
However, we should never be deprived of that freedom.
Henceforth, can you see the irony of our laws and how
our government and some Singaporeans try to argue
their way out of the possible evil consequences of
peaceful assembly, when its merely their delusions at
work?

Singaporeans, are you angry because you see the
injustice and maladministration, like I do?

Singaporeans, can you see your own servility and
passivity in the mirror?