a community of singaporeans

Police rejects permit for outdoor protest by S’pore student

Posted by theonlinecitizen on October 2, 2007

Andrew Teo, a student at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, had applied for a permit to hold an outdoor protest about the situation in Burma. (Reported here by TOC earlier.)

His application has been rejected by the Singapore police.

The following is an extract from a TODAY newspaper report on why the police rejected his application:

“Many Singaporeans probably care, but “some things are seen to be taboo”, said Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy student Andrew Teo, one of two people whose applications to stage outdoor protests were rejected by the police.

He said the police explained to him that he could be in trouble if someone threw a stone at the riot police or burned a flag at a rally. And if the protest was held in front of the Myanmar embassy and someone threw objects at it, then the embassy could demand that police take action against him.”


9 Responses to “Police rejects permit for outdoor protest by S’pore student”

  1. In short, we cannot seize an opportunity to express our compassion in a city of possibilities and big-heartedness; demonstrate solidarity with fellow global citizens, in a global hub; and take risks in a country that relies on risk-takers; because of a legalistic police force in a country of innovation.

    Oh, and by the way, the State wants us to be more proactive in politics.

  2. Max Prime said

    So much for the “open and inclusive” premiership promised by our dear PM Lee Hsien Loong in his inaugural speech from a few years ago. As with a plethora of other PAP promises, they are all but empty promises, nice on the ears but NOT meant to be taken literally or seriously.

  3. Kaffein said

    How about using figurines to do a mock protest?

    Er, wait someone has already done so. And 4x ‘Ang Chia’ turned out. Wow… so efficient.


  4. Rachel said

    I guess when they said that they wanted Singaporeans to be more proactive in politics, they do mean P.A.P and nothing more. What a shame. There are people who genuinely cares but are not able to do anything all because of the bloody law that we have.

  5. It’s a crime to burn the Burmese flag in Singapore? That’s simply absurd.

    Where’s the legislation that says it’s an offence to damage a symbol of another nation?

  6. Stand Up for Singapore

    I visited I wonder how Martyn See’s parents feel. Are they extremely proud for his courage in telling the truths that so many Singaporeans are unaware of? Or would they think that they have brought up a reckless son? As a parent myself, I’m sure their main concern is his personal safety and not to be warned by the police again.

    I read bamarthu, at

    “I’m a Burmese. It moves me to see that there are still Singaporeans who cares and empathizes for the my people. I’ve told my country’s story to many Singaporeans and some said they’re sorry and took my story as something interesting which they’ll forget as soon as they become hungry and start thinking about their next meal. Some were not interested at all either because this doesn’t concern them or because they did not want to get involved with anything that will displease the police in any remote sort of way. Believe me, when I complained about this particular law, my closest friends’ advice were “Don’t go there. Don’t get involved. It’s the law”.

    You and all the people who commented on this post have given me back the faith in compassion of human beings that I’m starting to lose by seeing all these “don’t get involved” people. I’m glad not all Singaporeans are like that . . .”
    From the conditioning that I received since I was a teenager in 1965, I realised that I have been a “don’t get involved” Singaporean too. I saw people who got involved got hurt. This stretches from Chia Thye Poh, Said Zahari, Tan Wah Piow, Francis Seow, Tang Lian Hong, JB Jeyaratnam and Chee Soon Juan and others. Even those without political attachment like Catherine Lim and our dear mrbrown paid a price for “getting involved”.


    Is “getting involved” in the signing of the petition at the Burmese Embassy at St Martin Drive a crime in Singapore?

    Do the police have the right to stop me from doing so? Why do they have to ask me why I’m there?

    Do they have the right to film and take photos of me and other people passing through St Martin Drive?

    I don’t know. I’m not in the legal profession. All I know is it’s very intimidating. It makes me feel that I’m doing something illegal, something against the law.

    What can I do to hurt others by going to St Martin Drive? Is it wrong as a Singaporean to be counted as one who deplores the lack of democracy and the brutality that’s in Burma now?

    On the contrary, I think I’m doing Singapore proud for doing what needs to be done. I’m helping the Govt to send the message that what’s happening in Myanmar is morally wrong. FM George Yeo is losing sleep over it and, in a nano way, I’m helping him do his job. Instead of making it difficult for people to sign the petition, may I suggest that the police helps people in Singapore organise a peaceful demonstration to stand up for Singapore. With our first class first world police and army who can prevent mayhem in World Bank (or was it IMF) meeting at Suntec, I am confident that things will turn out well. Call me crazy, but I think it’ll be good for active citizens and it’ll improve the image of Singapore internationally.

    Mayhem? Having been conditioned to be submissive for so many years, I think active citizens in Singapore who participate are even more docile and meek that the monks in Burma. Whatever demonstration there is, it’ll be peaceful.

    Meanwhile, visit St Martin Drive, Stand Up for Singapore and do your part to make Singapore a better place for you and me.

    Count on me Singapore!


  7. What Singaporeans can do is meditate.

    Voicing out your anger will only make you get high blood pressure. Keep cool !

  8. Andrew Loh said

    It’s the same slippery slope argument being dished out again – the same one that Minister of State For Law and Home Affairs, Ho Peng Kee, dished out when rejecting the WP’s cycling application.

    “Someone will throw a stone into the embassy….”

    “Someone will stop you, argue with you… there will be problems…”

    “outdoor protests are banned…”

    Well, CASE (Consumer Association Of Singapore) held a very very PUBLIC PROTEST not too long ago. See here and here and here.

    Heck, even a PAP MP joined in the very public protest – see here.

    The PAP’s own Women’s Wing held a Walk-A-Thon about 2 years ago downtown (if my memory serves me right), the YoungPAP held a cyclethon only last year and also wanted to hold a night cycling event this year – until its plans were criticised by bloggers and they had to cancel it.

    These were all public events/protests organised by a political party or had PAP politicians involved.

    So, lets call a spade a spade.

    It is hypocrisy.

    It is selective and arbitrary application of the laws.

    The government should save us the pathetic rhetorics else they are the ones who look like asses.

  9. siao ah lee said

    Hello , Hello. I thought we already sing – one people one nation one singapore. so whatever the government/authority do , must have reason. don’t complain ok. They are 1st world government ok. so just follow if not our society will not be stable. thought we voted them in for next 5 yr. till then see you…………..

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