18 Apr 2006

Singapore opposition party leader warned by police

While MM Lee gets 50 minutes mass exposure in the run up to the election on the PAP controlled media...

Apr 17, 2006, 2:27 GMT

Singapore - An opposition party leader was being investigated by police for speaking without a licence ahead of Singapore's upcoming general election, officials said Monday.

Chee Soon Juan, secretary-general of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), and his aide, Yap Keng Ho, set up tables, displayed party banners and took turns addressing residents through a microphone during the weekend.

Disqualified in 2002 from taking part in the election when he was fined 3,000 Singapore dollars (1,851 US dollars), Chee was talking to residents Sunday about other party members who are likely candidates.

Anyone fined 2,000 Singapore dollars (1,234 US) or jailed for one year is barred from running in an election for five years.

The SDP and other opposition parties are aiming to increase their number of seats in parliament from the current two out of 84, while the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) is aiming for a clean sweep.

The PAP, which has ruled Singapore since independence in 1965, has never lost more than four seats.

Plainclothes police officers advised Chee and Yap to stop their activities because they did not have a licence to speak in public.

The two continued speaking while several uniformed officers turned up. About 30 minutes later, Chee told the listeners he had to leave.

Police said they were investigating the incident for a possible breach under the Public Entertainments and Meetings Act. Chee was also warned Saturday and on four other occasions since November, police said.

The penalty for speaking in public without a licence carries a maximum fine of 10,000 Singapore dollars (6,172 US dollars).

Every election since 1991 has been a walkover on nomination day for the PAP, with the cash-strapped and fragmented opposition fielding too few candidates. This time, the opposition is serious about going for more seats.

The opposition claims they have been additionally muzzled by the government's ban on political podcasts of videocasts containing content such as election rallies or views on the polls during the campaign period.

Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong has been given the job of campaigning on behalf of the PAP candidates in the two opposition- held wards.

Chiam See Tong, the 71-year-old head of the Singapore Democratic Alliance, has been in parliament since 1984 and Low Thia Khiang for more than 15 years.

The election is likely to take place in the first two weeks of May, with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong seeking a huge mandate for his own rule.

Lee, the 54-year-old son of founding father Lee Kuan Yew, became premier when Goh stepped down in August 2004.

© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur


ycbi said...

I am continualy amazed at how the PAP are forever frightened by basicly one man and what he has to say . it is a true reflection of the tactics of a coward and a bully.

Anonymous said...

Isn't one MP after another constantly appearing over the TV news also promoting plans for sg OPENLY AND PUBLICLY BEFORE THE GE TOO??

If they think speaking without a license ahead of GE, then PAP too should not even set an example to be interviewed and talked abt it at all too.

Anonymous said...

look at the progress of singapore under the PAP.....anyway i agree with the PAP that they have to do whatever possible to curb all those silly opposition from being too silly.......HAIL to the PAP.....

frightened??? don't be silly......for me....i won't want to hear rabid clowns talking rubbish.......

ycbi said...

Anonymous said...
frightened??? don't be silly......for me....i won't want to hear rabid clowns talking rubbish.......

Just try listening to your own voice sometimes !!

Anonymous said...

"frightened??? don't be silly......for me....i won't want to hear rabid clowns talking rubbish....... "

or are you not open-minded or bias person??

Anonymous said...

"frightened??? don't be silly......for me....i won't want to hear rabid clowns talking rubbish....... "

I rather have a clown than big bullies with kiasu attitude!

young voter said...

our great leader PMlee need his 83 yrs old father to win election for him ... ha ha ... a true man fight his own fight... and stand on his own two feet.

Lianne! said...

if you think about it, i dont totally agree with the pap's methods, but i think their track record has spoken for itself throughout the years. as for dr chee, he's just someone standing up for what he believes in. i certainly dont think it's rubbish, but whether it's the most suitable for the growth of the country is another thing altogether. still, sometimes the things that the pap does seems to undermine the autonomy of others. the case of dr chee is no exception.

maybe everyone should just be objective and note the qualities of both. you could vote for the opposition and take a chance at having things differently, or you could also vote for the pap and wait for the economic progress. alternatively, i think that to have more opposition in parliament might not be such a bad thing cos it ensures more representation perhaps? but its important to remember that the high standard of living here today is courtesy of the pap and globalisation means that the country needs to be even more competitive.

just some thoughts. anyway im not eligible to vote. if ur wondering, i do philosophy and political science in NUS.

Anonymous said...

Hey..singapore guy,
please don simply comment PM Lee hor! and don let him cries, after all he going back report his father, and you will get slap .

Bo Kia Si huh???