Ladies and Gentlemen,
Both the law requiring a permit for a 5 person or more protest and requirement of a permit for a public speech law appear to be slowly dying a natural death. As expected.
Laws are only effective if people are afraid to violate them. If not, any government trying to enforce them begin to look silly. This is exactly what is happening in Singapore now.
Singapore's laws requiring a permit for even a peaceful protest of a gathering of 5 persons or more; in circumstance where permits even if applied for are never granted, are untenable. A contradiction in terms. Ridiculous.
I am referring to Dr. Chee Soon Juan's arrest on numerous occasions for breaking this law. He had previously, on numerous occasions dutifully applied for permits prior to the peaceful gatherings. Not even once has the government approved a single permit. Since he already knows that permits will not be granted, and since he needed to peacefully protest, he went ahead with his protests. He has been charged in court on multiple occasions for these Singaporean law violations, but not even once did he plead guilty. Instead to the government's chagrin and disappointment, at each time, he disputed the charges, tried the case, lost and willingly went to jail. This is not what Lee Kuan Yew had expected or wanted. He expected that Dr. Chee, like other Singaporeans in the past would promptly plead guilty, show remorse repentance and contrition, dutifully pay the fine, apologize profusely and cease and desist from the offending behaviour. But unfortunately for Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, Dr. Chee is determined to remain defiant and unrepentant for his various crimes.
This is throwing a wrench into the spokes for Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. He is now in a quandary as to what to do. Dr. Chee is not behaving according to his plans.
Same with the Public entertainment charges which are presently going on. Dr. Chee is not behaving the way Lee Kuan Yew would prefer. He is not willing to plead guilty. He is fighting the charges tooth and nail. What is more, he has already bought various books for reading material while in jail to which he is preapring himself to go! Lee Kuan Yew, as you can see is at a loss as to what to do with this tough nut, Dr. Chee. Dr. Chee has turned out to be a tough nut to crack.
And what is worse, Dr. Chee's determination to resist unjust laws is emboldening various others to emulate Dr. Chee. Numerous Burmese had protested, all in violation of the protest laws. None have been arrested. As you are aware, there is in the case of Dr. Chee's public speaking charge, 6 other charges remaining. Although the government had threatened to charge him, one case at a time with six more to go, it appears strong likelihood that the government will drop all remaining charges.
As to the 4 who protested outside the Istana against the Burmese junta, they were arrested and threatened with criminal charges. It now appears that the police will probably not proceed at all.
Last time I was in Singapore, I had seen a great many Singaporeans, educated young men and women, all ready and willing to protest on the various injustices and show no fear whatsoever.
Regardless of whether Minister for Police Wong Kan Seng (Wong Can Sing) can or cannot sing, one thing he has to know and it is this. The tide is turning. Singaporeans are beginning to pick up their courage. He should stop wasting his time trying to enforce these ridiculous laws, because he is beginning to look silly.
It is about time he and his master Lee Kuan Yew understood that times have changed. They are planning to protest the CPF laws, the million dollar ministerial salaries, the plight of the aged and the poor in the Singapore and various other unacceptable laws and policies.
So Wong Kan Seng. Braise up.
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