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Below is the transcript of the tape recording that the police made on 1 May 2002 (Labour Day) when Dr Chee and Mr Gandhi Ambalam were arrested as they tried to hold a PAP (People Against Poverty) rally outside the Istana.
There a few points readers should note: DSP Lim Chin Tiak told the court that he was the one that ordered Dr Chee’s arrest, and yet there the transcript (recorded by the police themselves) does not indicate this.
Also the police said there was commotion caused by the crowd. The transcript (as well as the videotape) indicates that the commotion only started when DSP Lim confronted Dr Chee.
Third, the police said that the crowd had swollen from 30 to 50 people. Videotape evidence showed that the crowd, made up mainly of journalists and cameramen, never increased in number.
Dr Chee: (Unclear) Workers must have a voice in Singapore, especially at a time like this. When youve got peoplein Singaporefinding it tremendously difficult to make ends meet and yet they dont have a voice.
We want to tell everybody, Singapore as well as everybody else in the world, that in this day and age, an independent labour movement that would speak up on itfor the right of workers, if(unclear)
And that is going to be just as important as all the other factors that are pushing our economy forward.
I might have a lot more to say later on when Iduring our rally and speech andlets just wait for a little while. Were just going to bring the props down and exhibits and so on. Ill be selling myour report and our books and so on
Reporter: Is there a plan, Dr Chee, if the Police were to try
Dr Chee: Erno. I mean our intention is basically to have a peaceful rally here and we hope the Police will co-operate.
This is the right of every Singaporean to be able to organiseahfreely, speak freelyin this country and Ive mentioned before that this law is enshrined in our Constitution.
So I honestly hope that the Police will co-operate and respect the rights of all Singaporeans.
Police (DSP Lim Chin Tiak): Excuse me. Dr Chee.
Dr Chee: Yes, sir. How are you?
Police: Can I speak to you?
Dr Chee: Sure, sure.
Police (DSP Lim): Youve made your intentions clear
Dr Chee: Dont push. (Reporters and cameramen pushing one another to get closer)
Police (DSP Lim):that youre going to hold a rally here
Female Voice: Stop it! (Telling the reporters and cameramen to stop pushing)
Police (DSP Lim):to start in breach of the Public Entertainment and Meeting Act. You are likely to cause a breach of peace here and an offence may be committed.
Im advising you to leave now. Unless you leave now, no action will be taken against you for now.
Dr Chee: Well I thank you for your advice and Ive just got this one thing again to tell the Police thater
Police (DSP Lim): I am now advising you to leave. We would appreciate if you leave. Unless you leave, youll be liable to be arrested.
Dr Chee: Can I have my say right now?
Police (DSP Lim): Please leave.
Dr Chee: Can I, can I respond to what you just said?
Police (DSP Lim): You are likely to cause an offence to be committed here. Please leave.
Dr Chee: Well as Ive said, I like to respond but if you dont feel that you want to listenthen I feel that I dont have a choice.
(Police move in to arrest and escorted Dr Chee to the police van.)
Dr Chee: Wait!Just give me one second, give me one second, alright. I have not. I have notIt is important(unclear)
Gandhi: See right now, what is going on. We are here to have this peacefulWe are peaceful and non-violent. Look at the way that the PAP government has unleash their Police Force to handle the leader of the Opposition Party! (raised tone) We are peaceful! We are non-violent! We are law-abiding! (shouting)
Male Voice: I dont believe that the police
Gandhi: Where are you taking him! (shouting)
Female Voice: Let him go! The Police should let him go! Let him go! (shouting)
Gandhi: We are peaceful! Law-abiding! (shouting)
Female Voice: Why cant we have a rally? (shouting)
Gandhi: Dont push me! I will follow you.
Male & Female voices: What are the charges?! (shouting four times) What are they charging him for?! What are the charges (shouts) Let him go! Let him go! What are the charges! (shouts)
Gandhi: The PAP Police is armed to their teeth! We are unarmed! We are defenseless! (shouting)
Police: Excuse me sir(unclear communication)
Female Voice: Let him go! Let him go! (shouting)
Dr Chee: I want to have a word with my wife. (unclear communication)
(Police brought Dr Chee and Mr Gandhi into the police van and was driven away)