From the SDP website:
In this case the judge acquited the marchers based on the spirit of the law. It was a ridiculous law that has been selectively applied to drag opposition members into court. Many of us have taken part in marches that are company or school events without permit. Similarly, the public speaking laws don't seem to apply to salesmen promoting "miracle mops" but to opposition members promoting democracy.
"District Judge John Ng acquitted leaders of a Singapore Democrats who
were charged with taking part in a procession on 16 Sep 07. Judge Ng said that
the walk “did not cause inconvenience to the public, affect traffic flow or make
noise which disturbed the public peace.”
You may think this is a victory for the SDP because they have challenged the system and won. There is another way to look at this - the verdict is actually great loss for the Singapore Democrats because it shatters their claim that our courts are unfair and "out to get them". They don't get to celebrate going to jail and making a video for youtube when they get out to show the world how "evil" the PAP is.
Imagine this .....if the PAP completely stops repressing the SDP, give them the full freedom to conduct talks and protests, the SDP will be a lot less convincing when they complain about the lack freedom and democracy in Singapore. They will have to win the support of the people with workable ideas. ...that will be a challenge the activists whose forte is fighting for democracy. The SDP has to reinvent itself fast because the PAP is starting to ease up on a number of restrictions. While it may be a long way before we get 'real' democracy, the steps taken by the PAP may have satisfied and convinced average Singaporeans that they are headed in the right direction at an acceptable pace.