FANDOM


The Straits Times, 26 August 2008

More freedom, speeches?

IMPACT LIKELY TO BE MINIMAL

‘All said and done, life in Singapore is not so bad that you need to take to the streets and protest. What is likely to happen is a possible spike in activity initially but it will dwindle later. The fact that you zone it in a certain area will have an impact: People might feel that their concerns are trivialised, they become more an entertainment and a comic spectacle.’

Political analyst Terence Chong from the Institute of SouthEast Asian Studies

EXPAND IF SUCCESSFUL

‘I’m glad that they (the Government) have put their money where their mouth is. But I wish to see public demonstrations extended to the rest of Singapore. If nothing bad happens in the next two or three years, they should start expanding it, incrementally, to the whole country.’

Activist Choo Zheng Xi, who runs the The Online Citizen blog

THERE’S SOME PROGRESS

‘Four years ago, the Government allowed indoor meetings without permits. So we took advantage of that and conducted indoor meetings. Now, they are allowing public demonstration at Speakers’ Corner, and we plan to use it as well. We’ll probably do something in December in conjunction with Human Rights Day.’ Mr Sinapan Samydorai, president of Think Centre

WE HAVE TO LEARN TO SPEAK UP

‘I was surprised when I heard the news. But it did give me the idea that we could hold a public demonstration as part of our campaign for maids to get a day off. Will people use the space? It is not an issue of whether we have permission to protest, but whether we are used to expressing ourselves publicly. Maybe we need to go through a course, Public Demonstration 101, to learn to do so.’

Mr Jolovan Wham, executive director of Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home)

NOT A BIG DEAL

‘It’s no big deal. It is actually enshrined in our Constitution, the freedom of speech and expression. So it should have been there in the first place.’

Mr Yaw Shin Leong, organising secretary of the Workers’ Party

DIALOGUE MORE EFFECTIVE

‘The position of the Council has always been one of neutrality. We don’t think picketing is the way to go. We would rather have dialogues with stakeholders and engage the public rather than have vocal demonstrations.’

Mr Yatin Premchand, general manager of the Singapore Environment Council

IT’S JUST A TOKEN GESTURE

‘The liberalisation to allow public demonstrations but confined to Speakers’ Corner is not meaningful. The details on the new rules are just icing on the cake. I do not intend to dignify the tokenism. Why should we be shunted to Speakers’ Corner? As citizens, we will do what we want, where we want. There are no excuses to shunt us into a quarantine.’

Gay rights activist Alex Au

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.