I guess you know by now that it is illegal to gather in groups of more than 4 people in Singapore without a permit. I'm sure those teenagers screaming their heads off outside the airport and holding big signs to greet their favourite stars have permits. Policemen turn up for crowd control not to arrest them. If the same people turn up somewhere in Singapore and holding signs to say "Free Burma" or "Save the trees" , they will be quickly arrested. Why is it okay to turn up and gather to greet your fav pop star and not okay to turn up to make a statement that is accepted in every democratic country. The answer is simple - one is a dangerous activity and the other is not. It is perfectly harmless for you to adore your fav stars and sports personality because it is done for fun.....expressing your opinion strongly and openly is no laughing matter in Singapore, it is highly dangerous. Why is it dangerous?
To understand why it is considered dangerous, we have to understand our political system. Our system is based on a hierarchical rule when the opinion of people higher up the hierarchy carries more weight than the person below. So the opinions of ordinary carries almost no weight and that of the opposition carries negative weight. Our role as citizens is to obey and agree. ...a good citizen is an obedient citizen. In Singapore Inc. our leaders are like bosses in a corporation, PM Lee is the CEO, the ministers are the directors and the ordinary ctizens are the workers. The opposition are disgruntled workers who instigate others so they have to be stopped at all cost. Gathering to express your opinion openly is a form of insubordination - your opinion doesn't matter anyway so why bother to turn up. This explains why nobody turns up when various protests are organised even when they are sympathetic to the cause.
Almost everyone is feeling the pinch from inflation and if you visit a coffeeshop, you can hear many people whining about the high cost of living. However, when they organised that "Tak Buleh Tahan" protest only 30 people out of 4 million turn up. Ordinary Singaporeans know their position in this society, they know there is no point speaking up because their voices meaning nothing - if inflation eroded their income, it is better to spend their time to hunt for better bargains that to speak up against it.