SDP activists charged for speaking in public without permit

June 5, 2006
Singapore Democrats

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The SDP selling The New Democrat near Waterloo Street before the 2006 elections Police have charged Dr Chee Soon Juan, Mr Gandhi Ambalam, and Mr Yap Keng Ho under the Public Entertainment and Meetings Act (PEMA).

Dr Chee and Mr Yap are charged with eight counts of “making an address in a public place” while Mr Ambalam is charged with one. The three men were selling the SDP’s The New Democrat in the run up to the elections in May.

The three are required to appear in Court No. 26 at the Subordinate Court on 20 June 2006 to enter their pleas.

This is another way the PAP prevents the opposition from directly and effectively communicating with the people. In so doing it denies the Singapore Democrats access to the people. This allows the PAP to continue its monopoly on what the public reads and hears, which in turn allows the ruling party to shape politics and the opposition according to its own agenda.

The SDP is determined to break the PAP’s stranglehold on free speech and peaceful assembly in Singapore, and will continue to challenge unjust laws like the PEMA. If Singapore is going to enjoy democracy and if Singaporeans are going to have a meaningful say in how this country is run, unjust and unconstitutional laws like the PEMA must be abolished or amended.

The Singapore Democrats call on Singaporeans who seek justice and democracy to actively work with the SDP to rid this country of the one-party system and its ban on freedom of speech and peaceful assembly.