Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More Laws for Public Order....

Singapore has passed a new set of laws for public order:

Not that the old set wasn't working. It is just that we have to be more vigilant given the rising unemployment, bigger income gap and growing number of people disenfranchised so a new set of laws are required. Hungry people ought to be saving their energy by staying at home instead of protesting on the streets....and jobless people ought to be looking for jobs and people who disagree and want to change the system should just shut-up. What better way to achieve greater order.

Under the new Bill, three types of activities will require permits: Those that demonstrate support for or against views or actions of any person, group of persons or any government; those that publicises a cause or campaign; and those that mark or commemorate any event.

You will now need a permit to "commemorate any event". What has public order got to do with commemorating something?

The Act will also give police officers new powers to issue pre-emptive "move-on" orders, which will be in written form, ordering demonstrators not to congregate at the intended rally area, or give them a chance to leave without getting arrested.

The Act will also prohibit the film of law enforcement operations.

How was the abuse of power by police discovered and presecuted? 90% of the time by people who happened to have film the incident - be it the Rodney King case or the most recent use of violence against protestors during the G20 [Link]- these incidents were all caught on film. We have better policemen that the rest of the world? They use secret edge tactics that cannot be filmed?

The ultimate justification given by Second Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam:

"Have we gotten that balance right? Well, ask yourselves two questions. In our region, which country would you rather be in? And amongst the countries in the world which became independent in the 1950s and 60s, which country would you rather be in?"

The answer is simple. In this region I rather be in Singapore not because of its draconian public order laws but because it is my home and it is a modern city. Let me turn around to ask this question if Singaporeans want these draconian laws that repress the populace even more making it difficult for people to protest for worthy causes and injustice, why are so many Singaporeans lining up and waiting to emigrate to US, Australia, UK and New Zealand which do not have such draconian laws and allow protests. There are more people in Singapore whose security are adversely affected by loan sharks(10,000 counting just official reports last year) that terrorise the HDB dwellers than by peaceful protestors - you don't see the PAP govt proactively enacting laws to protect Singaporeans from loan sharks. These set of public order laws have little to do with the people's safety or security and every thing to do with preserving the system that allows the PAP thrive, hang on to power and repressing dissent and stopping much needed changes in our society....


HanSolo said...

Excellent point on the loan sharks. I watched this Channel8 documentary on how this old couple were terrorised by young punk loan shark runners. It's making a mockery of Singapore's so-called reputation for safety and security.

I'm amazed at how there seem to be 2 sets of policemen in Singapore:

1) The "our hands are tied" group for loan sharks, assault cases, neighbour disputes, i.e. "peasant" problems

2) The "unlimited power" group to protect the interests of the elites.

Anonymous said...

it's quite depressing to see how some pple try so desperately to cling on to power

are there skeletons in the cupboard that necessitate such draconian actions

where is their moral compass

live and let live. everything on this earth is ephemeral. what goes around comes around

sheesh... some octogenarians will never learn

Anonymous said...

98% seats in Parliament. Of course they can pass any Law they want.

This is the beauty of 98% seats. Some more this won't change anytime soon. Not even in the next 10 years. Lagi best.

Anonymous said...

Peasants should be grateful our overlords have not enforced Droit de seigneur ...

Sam Fisher said...

Dear Sir, Mr Lucky Tan!!!

Thanks so much for blogging about this!!! I have been looking forward to it!!! Thanks again!!!

Anonymous said...

We need to video down how our law enforcement acts.

If not for these videos, what would hold them back from using excessive force against peaceful demonstrators?

Can we trust the police to police themselves?

Anonymous said...

Didn't Tharman told us to trust him? We should. Arrgh. I feel like puking.

Anonymous said...

Who watches the Watchmen?

Anonymous said...

Who will police the police?

Anonymous said...

Shamugam: "Have we gotten that balance right? Well, ask yourselves two questions. In our region, which country would you rather be in? And amongst the countries in the world which became independent in the 1950s and 60s, which country would you rather be in?"These are rhetorical questions. They are also irrelevant.

A poor poor lawyer this man is. Where did he get his degree from.

Runner said...

Eh...They just did.

Home Affairs Ministry to consider borrowing from loansharks an offence

Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 16 April 2009 1510 hrs

SINGAPORE: Singapore's Home Affairs Ministry is considering making borrowing from loansharks an offence in the country.

Speaking at the annual Police Workplan seminar on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng noted that while the overall crime figure has fallen by three per cent from January to March this year as compared to the same period in 2008, unlicensed moneylending harassment cases for this period have almost doubled.

It has gone up from 2,066 cases to 3,993 cases.

To step up efforts to combat this public menace, police have recently acquired more CCTVs which will be installed at harassment-prone sites to detect loan sharks and harassers in the act.

Mr Wong said such CCTV footage will also aid police investigations.

Another step would be to make borrowing from loansharks an offence.

He said this would hold borrowers accountable if their reckless borrowing or gambling habits endanger the safety and security of the community.

The Home Affairs Minister revealed that from the arrests made, police conclude that many borrowers eventually joined the loanshark criminal organisation as runners to carry out harassment and vandalism - hence the need to nip the problem decisively on the bud.

Mr Wong also touched on manpower challenges being faced by the Singapore Police Force.

He said the Ministry recognised that resources were stretched and it has been working with police commanders and senior leaders to address this.

The Ministry will be creating 220 new frontline staff posts at existing Neighbourhood Police Centres.
- CNA/yb

Anonymous said...

Well well ..., the old emperor has passed another edict, to suppress what little freedom the serfs have!

Old man, old man ... why you keep craving for more and more power (and millions $$$), you can't bring it with you when you drop dead and the fact is this is not too far away !

skeptic said...

Hi Runner,

The article said it is making borrowing an offence not lending. That would only silence people further when they are harassed by the loan sharks. Now , they have no one to turn to.