Police put up camera at Speakers’ Corner

July 23, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats

Just when you thought that freedom of expression could not become any more farcical in Singapore, the police install a CCTV at Hong Lim Park. 

Already, public speaking is banned in Singapore, a group of 5 or more persons gathered to “support or oppose the views of any person” require a permit (that the police categorically state they will not grant), and even one person conducting a protest can be considered an illegal assembly and ordered to disperse.

Freedom of expression is strictly confined to Speakers’ Corner. On Tuesday this week, however, workmen were seen installing surveillance cameras at the venue.

“What are you doing? You cannot take a picture. This belongs to the police,” one of the workers said to our cameraman. Some of his colleagues darted away out of camera range.

“Well, actually it doesn’t, it belongs to taxpayers and I am a taxpayer,” our SDP reporter shot back. “So what are you guys doing?”

Seeing that we were not going to be fooled or intimidated, one of them said that they were contractors installing the cameras for the police. Another was busy keying in data on a laptop programming the CCTV.

Looking around there were two other such cameras installed around the park to cover the entire field.

If this is not a police state where even a so-called tiny free speech corner is monitored by the state, we don’t know what is.

 

Watch video at right or here.