Sunday, March 16, 2008

A personal account of a peaceful protestor before Parliament House, Singapore, March 15, 2008, to commemorate World Human Rights Day.Part 2

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you are aware, approximately 20 peaceful protesters had gathered in front of Parliament House Singapore on March 15, 2008 to protest against the government's consumer goods price hikes and lack of human rights. Despite the fact that the Constitution specifically allows for peaceful assembly, the government had denied their request for a permit to conduct it, and had used force to disperse and arrest these peaceful men and women in circumstances no different than that of Nazi Germany.

The following account of the incident is that of Mr. Chia Ti Lik, a lawyer whose address and contact is as follows, Chia Ngee Thuang & Co, 24 Peck Seah Street #05-09/11 Nehsons Building, S(079314); Tel:62259983; Fax:62237856; Email:

Mr. Chia is one of the growing number of Singaporeans, a true patriot, who sees the need for democratic change for him and his family; a realization that business as normal according to the terms of Lee Kuan Yew will not do; and he is prepared as one true citizen to say his piece because it his his right to do it.

I had been honored to meet Mr. Chia Ti Lik, Attorney at Law, personally in Singapore during my last trip there in November 2006.

I was deeply moved to read his account and so I post it here. Mr. Chia, I admire you and with your courage, I truly believe that others will see the need for action and with increased speed, we will see a true Singapore; a Singapore that my father believed in as well as I.

Thank you.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

And if you like what I write, please tell your friends. This blog not only gives information, it dispels the government propaganda put out by this dictatorial regime.

A personal account of Mr. Chia Ti Lik, Attorney at Law,posted on Chia Ti Lik’s Blog Confessions of a Protestor World Consumer Rights’ Day - Protest in front of Parliament House Part 2

The trip towards Police Cantonment Complex was a very fast one.

The route was one which i often took as a lawyer, be it to bail clients / friends or to attend sessions when my clients were interviewed.

The police were ready at Police Cantonment Complex. The barrier was raised and there were extra police officers standing on guard to receive the welcoming of the vans. We drove into the basement carpark. The basement car park was also guarded.

We drove into a de-loading / de-bus bay. The vans reversed into the parking lots and a steel shutter was lowered to shut out the vans from the rest of the car park. A number of fresh police officers stood outside the van.

When it came for time to de-bus three police officers brought Selan out first. They seemed to be unsure of what to do and then in a moment of haplessness asked us to stay right there where we were. Van doors open but steel shutters down. [a thought crossed my mind - did they tell Mas Selamat Kastari this as well prior to this escape?] After a while we were asked to move one by one out of the van and into the premises.

There were steel gates everywhere. Corridors had seel gates locking down wherever we passed. My mind begins to wonder - how did Mas Selamat Kastari escape?

We were asked to empty our pockets and put them into a transparent bag. The process was a tedious process. There were a number of us and the police

One of the police officers had trouble securing the transparent bag. Minutes passed. I tried to offer some advice to shorten the agony. A staff sergeant stepped in to demonstrate and finally the constable succeeded in securing my plastic bag of belongings.

We were then asked to move into a lock up room. big empty room with steel bars on the sides of one wall. As we were processed and put into the room. John Tan was finally brought in. John had been bound with his hands behind his back with extremely menacing looking plastic handcuffs.

The handcuffs were clearly deliberately tightened to the point where there was discomfort caused.

John looked a bit pale. He was obviously We were outraged and disgusted at the actions of the police. The police attempted to protray a soft side infront of the eyes of the public and the media. But within the walls of a police van and within Police Cantonment Complex, it was all a different story.

Dr. Chee demanded that the handcuffs be removed. John was unarmed. John was not violent. The policemen outnumbered us. We were in the lock up and we were not resisting. So why was John put in plastic handcuffs? Station Inspector Tan Kok Ann was the man in charge, he was the one who was supposed to keep us under control. Station Inspector Tan and Dr. Chee exchanged some firm words about the need to release John from the handcuffs. Siok Chin was firm in dealing with the police. When the cuffs were finally removed, John felt unwell, we then led him to the bench to be seated.

The lockup had windows. Transparent windows. It faced the guardroom. Inside the guardroom were as many as 4 - 8 policemen. When they processed us there were as many as 8 policemen standing nearby at the corridor. As we were being processed, they can put as many as 3 policemen in the lockup with us. Just to stand there and watch us. They had also put as many as 3 policemen watching us through the glass windows when the locked room was secured.

[You begin to wonder - how the hell did Mas Selamat Kastari escape? we were non-violent citizen activists and they place us under the eye of so many policemen]
[You begin to wonder - whether the Singapore Police Force had grostesquely misplaced priorities]

to be continued with part 3 on visits to the toilet. on 15/03/2008 12:56 ET by Mata catch SDP but let go of JI (TiLik)

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