Over one week ago, Singapore police arrested several protesters, including prominent members of the Singapore Democratic Party, for demonstrating against rising prices in Singapore. While it was initially thought that the protesters were violating the law banning public gatherings of more than four people, ASP William Goh, a police officer on the scene, explained to Singapore Donkey that the protesters were not actually the main problem (as they were nonviolent and peaceful), but the signs they were carrying were a gross violation of the law.
The main problem is that the placards had words on them, and that some Singaporeans might be able to read them. Prominent lawyer representing many opposition members M. Ravi reported that while most of those arrested for protesting will likely only get “a year or two” in prison, the signs might be locked away indefinitely! “It is not uncommon for placards to be burned alive in Singapore, without ever being read. This is to serve as a deterrent to others thinking of putting words onto papers.” The offending sign had the gall to have written “NO to PAP GREED” on it. Another sign actually reported the salary of the prime minister! ASP William Goh explained that while most Singaporeans wouldn’t understand the complexities of the law, “a few might be able to read”.