Saturday, October 24, 2009

Are Flash Mobs Illegal Assemblies?

Rule 5 of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order & Nuisance) (Assemblies & Processions) Rules: Any person who participates in any assembly or processions in any public road, public place or place of public resort shall, if he knows or ought reasonably to have known that the assembly or processions is held without a permit, or in contravention of any term or condition of a permit, be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000.

Why is the quiet gathering of 4 people assembling outside the CPF building so disruptive to public order that the riot police has to be called?[Link]. Under the Public Entertainment Act, the following requires a permit:

(a) any variety act, performance of music, singing, dancing, gymnastics, acrobatics and legerdemain, demonstration, display or parade (other than ad hoc performances);(b) any circus or any exhibition of animals;(c) any amusement centre, amusement park or fun fair;(d) any computer games centre;(e) any exhibition of film, or any peep-show;(f) any reproduction or transmission otherwise than in association with a film, by any means other than telephony or radio telephony, of any music, song or speech;(g) any machine or device by the manipulation of which chances are given of obtaining prizes in money or kind;(h) any pin-table;(i) any sporting contest of any kind between any number of persons or animals, other than that organised by any registered society, trade union, company or association;(j) any organised competition at games of skill or chance;(k) any lecture, talk, address, debate or discussion;(l) any arts entertainment; or(m) any combination of any of the above forms of public entertainment

The flash mob has technically broken the law if they did not apply for a permit.

But don't worry the police won't be taking any action against them or any of one of the thousands of sales people who use speakers and give fancy speeches to promote floor cleaners and miracle mops. Half the time these laws are applied to people with surname Chee. It is okay to gather without permit to dance to pop songs but if you gather to save the earth, free the repressed, help the unjustly treated or speak out against violence, it is not okay. It is often illegal to act on your conscience in Singapore.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

somebody should have reported this event to the police. think what would happen if this event has a polical agenda, indirectly. it would have caused chaos, riots! where are our lky law enforcers when we need them most??!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am quite sure they had got a police permit for doing this!

As long as the permit applicant is not someone name Chee, the licence could easily get the knob.

Sylvester Lim said...

Anyone got try to get a permit for something like this? Why are we assuming that the police would grant it? Has there been any precedent?

Anonymous said...

I first got to know about the illegal assembly law when I was 16. I was waiting at a location togehter with 3 friends. We were in our school uniforms and we were meeting for dinner. All had either gone to different JCs or lobo waiting for the O levels results.

At that time, I was already quite baffled at such a law. Anyway, since then, never quite understand the reasoning for this law...

Oops...did I just mutilate the grammar......hahaha

btw, is it a commercial or what..so many dancers.......

Lucky, please teach me how to write in Queen's English and make my posting more understandable and credible.....or i should stop posting altogether.....

Onlooker said...

Flash mobs are AWESOME :)

Gastroboy said...

The music came from the big screen and speaker. Obviously this is a massive event which involved several organisation including the building.

Chee Wai Lee said...

Heh, thanks Lucky! I was not even aware of the phenomenon known as "Flash Mobs". That was really fun!

If the Singapore government cracks down on it, it would not be the first ... even San Fransisco authorities want to try to block them (to be fair, they had 3,000 people start a pillow fight which they then had to clean up after):

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/03/08/BA4D169H59.DTL&tsp=1

Anonymous said...

But then Chee's gathering, even if it is illegal, is pathetic in terms of numbers - less than 20 people, and even including children! All the other type of sales gathering, promotions etc have far more people!

No wonder the police can charge Chee's gang so easily every time they do "illegal" things! Hahaha!

Lim Leng Hiong said...

Arrgh Lucky, you should not have outed them.

Now where I am going to buy my floor cleaners and miracle mops???

Anonymous said...

Good job with the flash mob.

This shows that we Singaporeans can be united afterall without much effort.

I hope we can do the same with some bad governments.

Sunfleur said...

The flash mop was an ad gimmick for the HTC mobile phone. Check this from Razor TV: http://www.razor.tv/site/servlet/segment/main/news/38044.html

Anonymous said...

A few years ago when flash mobs first started, the police did give a warning that flash mobs are illegal.

I guess our pro biz government is okay with flash mobs to promote a product even though it caused more disruption than a few people gathering to ask for more freedom.

Anonymous said...

Flash Mobs not legal? Aiya, what's the fuss, if it got nothing to do with politics and everything to do with business. Sure it is legal of course.

Even gambling and soccer betting is legal, if it is by the gahmen. Of course illegal if organised by syndicates because gahmen cannot collect taxes.

Just don't be silly to fight losing battles like the opposition. If want to fight, build up your strength first before go for the fight. If not, better don't fight. Better concentrate on making money.

Anonymous said...

No one complained. Hence no police action. Opposition gatherings will sure attract complaints. Hence police take action. Also, if opp applied unsuccessfully for a license, the police will look out for them in case they gather in a public place illegally.

Anonymous said...

I believe they have to get a permit from PELU. Otherwise they have broken the law and will be charged. If not can always charge them under the Misc Offence Act.

Anonymous said...

"At that time, I was already quite baffled at such a law. Anyway, since then, never quite understand the reasoning for this law..."

Trust yourself and do not doubt yourself and be baffled.

Do not question your own intelligence too much if somehow you have felt intuitively that something is wrong, especially when there is a lack of good explanation on the contrary.

Anonymous said...

(i) any sporting contest of any kind between any number of persons or animals, other than that organised by any registered society, trade union, company or association;

Wow, liddat I cannot challenge my buddy to run to the end of the field and the loser buy coffee, loh?

Anonymous said...

ultimately, this pap is very chao.

so long as it's not challenged, things will be approved.

yamizi said...

Is conscience taught in schools nowadays?

Anonymous said...

Literally, the illegal assembly law is a witch hunting tool for PAP to misuse with the police acting as the accessory to murder. That's how I see it.

Why stop at 5 ? So if assembled in batches of 4, it's perfectly legal, no permit required is it ?

Anonymous said...

The rule is very simple. Anything that is $$$$$ - of course and welcome, not matter how disruptive and unprofitable (think F1)

Anything that maybe is anti-PAP - think wearing kangaroo T-shirts, opposition party - send them to jail!

I'm tired of the Animal Farm that is Sg. One rule for the pigs and one rule for the rest of us. Sometimes I wish PAP will shut up because I already know what you are going to say. It's the same old thing to make excuses for your obscene salary and why teh rest of us must be kept a beggar. How come they are still on pension scfheme when the pension scheme has been scrapped long ago. Talk about Animal farm! Vote them out people. We must unite to end our suffering. And if LKY disagree or try anything funny, we will unite to give him such a heart attack to send him to hell.

Anonymous said...

kudos on the animal farm reference. Dude, sure a peaceful, country of an assured stabilty is good to have, but hello, in case no one has realised yet, the government already controls and regulates enough areas of our lives already.

You only live life once, learn to take things in jest. Flash mobs are not going to "DESTROY SINGAPORE!" O:(oh the horrors) neither is it going to "cause any sort of mass scale destruction".

If the goverment hasnt got anything better to do, why don't they start with buckling down on corrupt fundraisers? (it's ok, i don't mind them leaving off NKF cause hey, you can't complain if they're in cahoots with your wife)

Mostly though, i cannot believe that there are people complaining and actually requesting a police report for something as pointles as this... pyscho much? or should i just congratulate the government on their successful brainwashing efforts?

Anyways, guess it's time we got back to our dull monotonus lives as perfect mindless citizens now before they deem us to be posting "politically disruptive" messages and lock us up. Have fun!

kerwin said...

@anonymous you are overthinking like seriously the do no harm think people got alot of time to create choas\riots anyways i think flash mobs are cool and im thinking of doing one.

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