The Police will be charging a 37-year-old male, Jolovan Wham in Court on 29 November 2017 for organising public assemblies without a police permit under the Public Order Act, an offence of vandalism under the Vandalism Act, and for refusing to sign his statements under the Penal Code.
On 13 July 2017, Wham had created a Facebook event asking the public to participate in a vigil outside Changi Prison Complex (CPC). He stated in the Facebook post that a permit had not been sought for the event. Regardless, he went on to hold the vigil. 17 persons, including Wham, were investigated for their various roles in organising and participating in an illegal public assembly outside the CPC on 13 July 2017. Wham will be charged for organising a public assembly without a police permit. Police investigations against the remaining 16 persons are still ongoing. This was not the first time Wham had organised or participated in illegal public assemblies.
On 3 June 2017, Wham organised a silent protest on an MRT train with eight other persons without a police permit. Police investigations against the remaining eight persons are still ongoing. Wham had also pasted two A4-sheets on an MRT train panel committing an offence of vandalism under Section 3 of the Vandalism Act.
On 26 November 2016, Wham organised an indoor public assembly featuring a foreign speaker, which required a Police permit. The Police had engaged Wham prior to the event and advised him that a police permit was required. However, Wham proceeded to hold the event without a police permit, committing an offence of organising a public assembly without a police permit under the Public Order Act.
During Police's investigations into the above offences, Wham had also refused to sign his statement on multiple occasions when required to by Police.
Wham is recalcitrant and has repeatedly shown blatant disregard for the law, especially with regard to organising or participating in illegal public assemblies.
In Singapore, it is a criminal offence under the Public Order Act to organise or participate in a public assembly without a police permit. The Police will take firm action to uphold the law. Anyone convicted of the offence of organising a public assembly without a police permit under Section 16(1)(a) of the Public Order Act, Chapter 257A, is liable to be fined up to $5,000. Repeat offenders are liable to be fined up to $10,000 or imprisoned for up to 6 months or both.
The Speakers' Corner, on the other hand, is an established space for Singaporeans to express their views on issues with which they are concerned. Singapore citizens can organise public assemblies at the Speaker's Corner in accordance with the rules.
Source: Singapore Police Force