Ladies and Gentlemen,
Slowly the tide is beginning to turn. Singaporeans are finally beginning to realize that these public assembly laws requiring permits for more than 5 people, is wrong in law, illegal and unenforceable. The people are beginning to openly ignore it and openly protesting without permits and the government finds themselves unable to do anything to stop them.
One can safely say that the culture of protests has been revived. I say revived because in the earlier years of the 50s and 60s people took their rights more seriously and took to the streets in open protest when the government refused to listen. Since then, the government through repressive laws and threats and intimidation, have managed to silence any dissenter through fear. But as we now are beginning to see, thorough better education, through the introduction of the Internet, through politicians such as Dr. Chee, Gandhi Ambalam and others, and bloggers like myself, Gopalan Nair of "Singapore Dissident", who has repeatedly called upon Singaporeans to ignore unjust laws and to break them, the people have finally spoken. They have finally said no. They will not anymore take no for an answer. They have taken to the streets. And all the signs are that the number of protests are going to go on the rise.
Look for yourself. There was the protest of the gays recently without permits. Then the "Mr. Brown" Brown Shirt protestors. There was only yesterday, the protests in Exeter Road against Japanese company who are refusing music downloads. There was the protests by anti war protesters. The world trade center and IMF convention protesters. The SDP organized CPF protesters outside CPF Building and more recently the 23 Burmese Protesters who marched from Orchard Road MRT to City Hall. And what is more, the Burmese have publicly stated that they intend to carry out another protest next week with out without permits and the Singapore government can go to hell.
All these protests were held without permits. In all cases, the police have come around threatening them but in the end, none of them were intimidated. The protestors gave the Singapore police the run around. In all these cases, it was the protesters who won and the police lost; they lost because they could do nothing. They were seen to be impotent and castrated. They had lost their marbles while the protesters kept theirs intact.
I can see only hope in the horizon. It is quite simple. The government knows they are wrong and such a law requiring 5 or more people protests to have permits is nonsensical. Nonsensical because even if they had applied for it, no permits would have ever been granted to anti-government protesters. So simply, there is no point in applying. And in any case the law is illegal anyway.
The government knows they don't have any leg to stand on this issue, let alone any legal basis. They are morally on weaker ground; with the protesters on high moral ground. Therefore the government is doomed to fail if ever they tried to enforce this indefensible law.
Till date, except for the government going around giving warning letters to protesters; which letters the protesters have promptly deposited in the receptacle where they belong, the rubbish bin; the government has not had the courage to even charge one protester in court. Why? If they did, this will not diminish the number of protests but will have the opposite effect of increasing them!
I am gratified by the developments in the increase in public protests. I take credit for this welcome development; among others such as Dr. Chee who has repeatably asked the public to defy unjust laws. It is these very laws that keep you Singaporeans in shackles and subservient to this repressive government.
I am sure you readers will take heart, embolden yourselves, and hold more protests in defiance of this authoritarian regime. I have only managed to give moral support and provide reasons why you should protest through my blog "Singapore Dissident". And as it appears it has had positive effect, and I am gratified.
Everyone can do his piece towards exposing what this regime really is, regardless in ways big or small. Even the slightest effort in political activity towards democracy will in sum total with others have the desired effect in bringing down tyrants and bullies.
As for me, I am glad to have done my part and will continue indomitable, unfailing and relentless. I wish you all continued courage, sustained strength and success in your noble work of protesting the unjust laws and policies of this authoritarian government.
I wish you God speed.
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914