theonlinecitizen

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TOC Breaking News: Singaporean graduate student files application for Burma protest

Posted by theonlinecitizen on September 29, 2007

The remark on Andrew Teo’s online application form to protest the violence in Burma is simple: “Free Burma. General Than Shwe: Stop the killing”.

This afternoon, Mr Teo, a graduate student at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and telecommunications director by profession, filed an application with the Police licensing unit to hold a peaceful protest outside the Burmese embassy.

He is hoping to involve members of the Burmese community and concerned Singaporeans in gathering at the embassy to submit a letter of concern to the Burmese ambassador.

Mr Teo says he chose to act out of a sense of solidarity with many Burmese friends he has as a graduate student at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

A previous attempt by members of the local Burmese community to hold a rally against events in Burma was foiled by police because it did not have a license. Section 5 (4) (a) of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act makes it an offence to organize an ‘assembly or procession’ without a police permit.

Mr Teo believes that the time for Singaporeans to show their compassion for their Burmese counterparts has come.

“The situation is at tipping point, and we would like to peacefully request that the Burmese government refrain from the use of force against a peace loving people”.

For now, Mr Teo hopes the police will speedily approve the license for his gathering in front of the Burmese embassy before the situation gets out of hand.

Emphasizing the timeliness of the protest, Mr Teo said:

“It is important that we get our voices heard before it’s too late. We hope to express our deep dissatisfaction with the brutality before any more human life is lost, and a peaceful resolution is out of reach”.

At a prayer gathering at the Burmese Buddhist Temple, off Balestier Road, more than 1000 worshippers gathered in red to pray for Burma’s deliverance from violence and oppression (see related report).

Mr Teo is one of many Singaporeans concerned with the rapidly escalating violence in Burma. In recent days, many Singaporean blogs have condemned the repression of the Burmese regime, and have called upon the Singaporean government to do more to pressure the Burmese regime from refraining from violence.

Even Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been uncharacteristically blunt. A statement read out by Singapore’s Foreign Minister George Yeo at a gathering of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) expressed ‘revulsion’ at the repression of protests in the country. Singapore is the current chairman of ASEAN.

For now, Mr Teo is hopeful that his application will be successful. Mr Teo told TOC:

“The Singapore government has taken a strong stand against the actions of the Burmese junta, and I’m sure they wouldn’t want to be criticized for being critical of the crackdown on free expression in Burma while preventing overseas Burmese and concerned Singaporeans from peacefully making their views known here.”

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15 Responses to “TOC Breaking News: Singaporean graduate student files application for Burma protest”

  1. James Chia said

    This is interesting. Maybe this time they will approve but like the WTO one, it can only be held indoor, in a small area within 4 walls and only allow selected media representatives to film the entire event. No loud speakers and no banner posts made of metal.

  2. Alex Ong (eX.A.K.R.) said

    Well, as long as it’s in the outdoor, and as long as enough people turn up, banners and speakers aren’t necessary – the letter and the presence of those people are powerful enough. The message they send can’t be more obvious in the context of recent events.

  3. The police will consider whether the protest against Myanmar junta can turn into a protest against the PAP.
    In my opinion, no permit is allowed taking into consideration the anger built up in many people. Riot can break out if no proper control by the organisers.

  4. David said

    James Chia says
    “This is interesting. Maybe this time they will approve but like the WTO one, it can only be held indoor, in a small area within 4 walls and only allow selected media representatives to film the entire event. No loud speakers and no banner posts made of metal.”

    With condition like this, they may as well held it in prison. In case of riot, no need to invoke police force, no need for ST to write rubbish,
    save a lot of time, just all it need to do is lock the prison.

    And moreover, gov can sleep with peace knowing that prison is the right place for ‘troublemaker’.

  5. AndrewTeoISaHypocrite said

    *Comments deleted and disallowed for vulgarities.

  6. Max said

    Understanding the political cultural of Singapore, I would say I’m appreciated Mr. Teo’s afford to show solidarity for Burmese people who took on the streets even they are gunned down brutally and asked for FREEDOM. That’s the spirit of being ASEAN Brother. Not only in Singapore, but also in other brotherS and sisters of Asean Nations have shown their support towards the Burmese people. I personally felt very frustrated and am trauatized by brutal killings of innocents people on the street.

    I don’t agree with Kew Kah Fatt said …..”the protest against Myanmar junta can turn into a protest against the PAP”. I don’t think this will happen. That’s not the theme of the protest. There is no link in between. PAP and JUNTA? Look at our neighbours, Indonesia (even foreign ministry staff), Hongkong, Malaysia, Sydney, Rome, you name it, around the world, all local people together with Burmese stood up and condemn the killings. Since Singapore is a very disciplined society, riot can be control easily.

    Please do not forget that this movement in fact is in favour of ASEAN who urged JUNTA to exercise restraint. Singaporean must show their compassion towards Burmese people and condemn these ruthless killings.

  7. David said

    Look like moment of truth has arrived. Seem like Singapore become chairman of ASEAN not because it has leadership and wisdom but because it just happen to be ‘someone sitting on a chair’, shaking millions dollar leg and waiting to collect $$$$$$$.

    Nevermind, the people of Burma will also be grateful for our gov if our gov planning to implements their NTUC casket service for those die in Burma, especially it is a multi-million-dollars business…

    Don’t blame our gov because they might just be calculating the move now that will help them reap millions out of the crisis.

    Our gov love money and if their interest in helping others doesn’t benefit them but ‘broke’ them, then ‘get out of our elite uncaring face’

  8. I’m waiting to see if our ministers have the ability to deal with such a regional issue, or whether they will be found out to be lesser than what they are.

  9. […] TOC Breaking News: Singaporean graduate student files application for Burma protest A theoretical question: What if Myanmar is a Christian nation? […]

  10. Rachel said

    I will be there if the application is approved.I applaud his effort nevertheless and I have been sick of the typical ‘bochap’ attitude of Singaporeans (in general).

  11. ‘Bochap’ attitude has 2 meaning. Those that don’t read papers or watch TV news etc are the real ‘bochap’.

    Others who know but keep a distance is to protect themselves.

    Getting involves do not make you a hero. Getting involved without others knowing is the most supreme.

    All this is in the mind. A Master mind is to think of neither good nor evil.

  12. Rachel said

    Very true and I agree with you.

    However it isn’t about being a hero or anything but most people just don’t care. They read about it coldly and shake their heads. They know but they don’t care. Our government is a fine example. They have the influence but they don’t do anything other than make statements. That is all they will probably do but action speaks louder than words. Do correct me if I am wrong.

  13. supermango said

    remember the lyrics in crowded house’s don’t dream it’s over?

    “in the paper today, tales of war of and rage
    but they turn right over to the tv page”

    applies to the cold war, and certainly here.

    hold it at the school of public policy itself! if it is approved, i will certainly be there too. young people need to stop sitting around and not caring.

  14. Andrew Teo (himself) said

    Hi Supermango,

    You said, “young people need to stop sitting around and not caring”. Thanks for considering me as a young person. I am actually 42 years old!

    In any case you are right. There are too many Singaporeans not caring and doing anything. When I first filed the application for the police permit, a lot of my friends said I am either stupid, too free or not afraid of death.

    Thanks for supporting me!

    GOD Bless you and your beloved ones!

  15. […] if his real name is Andrew Teo, 42, could he be the same Andrew Teo who tried to protest against violence in Burma? If you look at the comments on this story, the “real” Andrew Teo is 42 […]

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