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.