19 Jan 2006

Singapore threatens to cane violent anti-IMF protesters

We have touched on this subject before but the proposals that Dr Chee has mentioned at the end of this piece are new. There is also the issue of how many people gathering is considered to require a permit. I had previously thought that it was 5 or more but it is stated here that it is 4 or more. I can merely assume that this is in light of the recent dispersed protest outside the CPF building following the NKF scandal.

By John Burton in Singapore
Published: January 18 2006 01:09 | Last updated: January 18 2006 01:09

Violent protesters at the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Singapore could face caning and imprisonment, a minister said yesterday.

The warning came as Singapore suggested it might impose restrictions on an agreement with the IMF and the World Bank to allow demonstrations during their meetings in September.

As part of a policy of constructive engagement, the World Bank and IMF have allowed non-governmental organisations to hold rallies at annual meetings as long as the groups are accredited by the two organisations.

But Wong Kan Seng, the home affairs minister and deputy prime minister, said Singapore reserved the right to vet further the accredited group to determine “the potential impact on law and order as well as the suitability of the proposed [rally] location” before a police permit would be issued. Violent protesters would face the threat of caning and imprisonment, as prescribed under Singapore law, he said.

Singapore acceded to the request by the IMF and World Bank allowing demonstrations to gain the right to host what is expected to be the biggest meeting in the city-state’s history.

Demonstrations are normally banned in Singapore, where outdoor political gatherings of four or more persons are illegal without a police permit.

The last police licence for a demonstration was issued in the late 1980s to the state-affiliated trade union movement, which rallied outside the US embassy to protest against alleged interference in Singapore’s affairs.

Chee Soon Juan, head of the opposition Singapore Democratic party, has suggested that he would use the IMF/World Bank gathering to stage non-violent civil disobedience activities in protest against what he says is government repression. Mr Wong has warned the government will crack down on such protests.


clyde said...

5 or more, 4 or more... soon it will be 1 or more and everyone will require a permit to go outside their homes. They will carry an ERP vehicle type of device attached to the hip and make a blip sound everytime they go out.

I think I know who I'm nominating for the Darwin Award of the decade.

kylo said...

Yes, do not forget curfews at 2pm too! Every human born into under Singapore citizenship will have this little chip implanted so the higher-ups may spy on any potientiak 'threats'.

Anonymous said...

running out of blood? nobody wants to participate in medical research? serves this country rite, it's doooomed! :p

sglaksa said...

don't stupid lah, it's in the law that 4 or more people with intent to commit a crime is considered illegal assembly. Those protestors at CPF trying to be funny, eh, thinking 3 people holding placards isn't illegal assembly...

Anonymous said...

Foreigners ain't coward like singaporeans. How many potesters are you gonna cane, bitch?

James said...

Coward Singaporeans I agree.Big deal they have a cane.Just protest as hard as you can.Its our rights we want.Any protestor who gets the cane will wear the stripes with honour.