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     FrontPage Edition: Fri 12 October 2007

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Chee Soon Juan's demonstration outside Istana


Police Response To Media Queries On Chee Soon Juan’s Demonstration Outside Istana

In response to media queries, Police confirm that Chee Soon Juan and four Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) supporters staged an unlawful demonstration at the Istana Park facing the Istana main entrance on 8 Oct 2007.
Police responded to calls from members of the public at about 1.20pm on Monday, 8 Oct 07.
Upon arrival at the Istana, Police officers observed that Chee Soon Juan and some of his SDP supporters were staging a demonstration with various placards at the Istana Park.
Police issued repeated warnings against Chee Soon Juan and four persons who were part of his demonstration group, as they have contravened the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) (Prohibition of Assemblies and Processions - Istana) Order.
Chee Soon Juan and the four other persons, Ms Chee Siok Chin, Mr John Tan, Mr Ghandi Ambalam and Mr Jeffery George, ignored the warnings and persisted with their demonstration at the Istana Park.
The Istana and the Istana Park are gazetted areas under the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) (Prohibition of Assemblies and Processions - Istana) Order for security reasons.
The Police therefore warned Chee Soon Juan and the others to leave. Despite repeated warnings to disperse, Chee Soon Juan and the others refused to comply and persisted with his unlawful demonstration. The Police seized the placards and arrested Chee Soon Juan and others.
Police note that this episode is the latest by Chee in a series of similar incidents of staging illegal assemblies as acts of willful civil disobedience against the Singapore authorities.
This latest incident is linked to Chee’s staging of an unlawful assembly at the Myanmar embassy on 30 Sep 07 to collect a petition against the Myanmar Government and the Singapore authorities to be handed over the next day 1 Oct 07.
Chee subsequently declared in the SDP website that he will extend the deadline and prolong the assembly and petition collection at the embassy.
Over the few days of unlawful assembly, the number of people who assembled at the embassy dwindled to a handful of SDP supporters.
Chee then announced on the SDP website of his plan to stage a march to the Istana to hand his petition and then, to stage an illegal demonstration in front of the Istana for 24 hours to denounce the "Singapore Government's involvement in Myanmar".
His deliberate actions to break the law is consistent with his previous unlawful acts, for which he was charged and convicted in Court.
Police observe that in contrast to Chee’s acts of civil disobedience, Singaporeans and Myanmar nationals in Singapore have organised themselves to express their sentiments and concern for the Myanmar situation in a lawful manner such as the indoor peace gathering session at Excelsior Hotel on 6 Oct 07.
There were also other assemblies and signature collections, for example, National Technological University students organized a petition signing, while National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University students held vigils at their campuses on 4 Oct 2007.
Police wish to reiterate its earlier call to the public not to participate in an assembly or procession that does not have a permit as it is an offence to do so. The public should also stay away from the vicinity of such illegal protest activities. Our laws apply equally to all, whether local or foreigners. But Chee considers himself to be above the law.

8 October 2007

Source: Media Release 8 Oct 2007

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Public Holidays HARI RAYA PUASA is the next public holiday. It falls on 13 October 2007.