Stop harassing Singaporeans who speak up

June 14, 2011
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats

It was reported that a group of Singaporeans had gathered at the Starbucks cafe at the Wisma Atria on Sunday wearing black to show their unhappiness over the issue of ministerial salaries. It was also reported that the police were present and had harassed a Starbucks’ employee.

The SDP calls on the authorities to stop their intimidation of Singaporeans exercising their freedom of expression.

Singapore remains as one of the last few countries in the modern world to continue to ban public political gatherings. We are firmly stuck in a bygone era.

The mark of a civilised society is when its members can come together peacefully and tell the government of their grievances. It cannot be over emphasized: The government serves the people, not vice versa.

It is only when the Government respects the rights of the people that Singapore will truly belong to Singaporeans, not a group of men in white uniform.

And only then will we join the league of truly First World nations. Until then, we are and will remain a money-making sweatshop, albeit a glamorous one, for the PAP to boast about.

The activity at Starbucks was called the Black Sunday Movement and organised through the Internet. It is an initiative undertaken by concerned citizens who care about what happens to this country. Their actions should be lauded.

Instead they were greeted with suspicion and intimidation.

Gathering indoors can hardly be considered a public gathering. Even that has caused the PAP to be nervous so much so that the police had to be called. Having the police monitor a group of citizens sitting at a coffee place in a shopping mall shows how pathetic our country has become when it comes to our rights.

This is the sign of a regime that is insecure and uncertain of its place in society. All the talk about reform and transformation of the PAP, and the apology of Mr Lee Hsien Loong during the elections was nothing but a vote-getting gesture. It is clear that nothing has changed.

Real change – change where Singaporeans have a say in policies and how this country is run, change for a better Singapore – can only come about when the people are able to exercise their fundamental freedoms.