World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Public demonstrations in Singapore

Article Id: WHEBN0022330728
Reproduction Date:

Title: Public demonstrations in Singapore  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Censorship in Singapore, Human rights in Singapore
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Public demonstrations in Singapore

Public demonstrations are rare in Singapore due to laws that make it illegal to hold cause-related events without a valid licence from the authorities. Such laws include the Public Entertainment and Meetings Act and the Public Order Act.

Speaker's Corner

In the past, political speeches in Singapore were only permitted at the Speaker's Corner, an area created and designated for such events. However, a police permit was still a requirement before one could proceed with his or her speech.

On 1 September 2008, the government decided that Singapore citizens wishing to hold events there need not obtain a permit from the police, and the restriction on using audio amplification devices was lifted. However, they are still required to register with the National Parks Board, a statutory body that manages nature parks.

In 2008/2009, members of the public led by former National Trade Unions Cooperation (NTUC) CEO Mr. Tan Kin Lian[1] held several biweekly meetings at the Speaker's corner to protest the failure to protect investors in the wake of the financial crisis that began in September 2008.

In 2010, following the closure of the beauty parlours Wax in the City, True Spa and Subtle Senses, members of the public gathered in the Speaker's corner to protest against the loss of fees paid to the spas. Customers of True Spa and Subtle Senses had made advance payments to businesses, only to find out days later that the spas had ceased operations.

Notable incidents

Nevertheless, such laws did not deter some groups conducting a number of illegal public demonstrations.


Aung San Suu Kyi

On 18 March 2009, three activists held a demonstration at the Botanic Gardens to denounce the visit by Myanmar's PM and Junta leader Thein Sein, in which an orchid was named after him. The protestors also paid tribute to Aung San Suu Kyi by presenting a bunch of orchids on her behalf at the Myanmar Embassy.

Deportation of Myanmar Nationals

On 12 January 2009, two Singaporeans staged a protest outside the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) building to voice their disapproval over the treatment of two Myanmar nationals who had their work permits cancelled. It was alleged that the Singapore government refused to allow them to continue working because they were involved in Myanmar pro-democracy movement. The two activists were arrested but released on bail later. As of present, no charges have been laid yet.


Tak Boleh Tahan

A group of 20 people turned up at Parliament House on 15 March 2008 to protest against the escalating cost of living in Singapore. Tak Boleh Tahan stands for "I can't take it anymore" in colloquial Malay. The event was organised by the SDP and included their members. 18 were arrested when they refused to disperse as ordered by the police. All 20 were subsequently charged under Section 5(4)b Chapter 184 of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public and Nuisance) Act. The Singapore Police Force described this incident as an escalation on the scale and level of defiance exhibited by the group and stated that their actions and arm-locking with each other was "militant like".[2]

Recent changes

The Public Order Act gives authorities the power to prevent an individual from leaving home or a building if it is deemed that that person intended or intends to be part of a demonstration. Police are also allowed to order a person to leave a specific area should they determine an intention of offence.[3] Second Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam argues that this was necessary to maintain security at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit held in 2009. However, opponents like Chee Soon Juan, leader of the Singapore Democratic Party argues that the law is intended "for the long run" to silence discontent against the government.[4]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.