Protesters sent packing
Police dispersed a group of six people who had gathered outside the Central Provident Fund (CPF) building yesterday after receiving several calls that a crowd had gathered at Robinson Road.
The group were protesting against a lack of transparency and accountability in three Government organisations.
Wearing white T-shirts painted with red words and carrying placards printed with the slogan "Singaporeans spend on HDB; Whole life earnings, on CPF; Life savings but cannot withdraw when in need", protesters Monica Kumar, Yap Keng Ho, Charles Tan and Chee Siok Chin arrived at 12.30pm and stood outside the building for nearly an hour before being ordered by police to leave for being a "public nuisance".Ms Chee, the sister of opposition leader Chee Soon Juan, said the protesters did not represent any political party or group.
"We are members of a civil society," said Ms Kumar, who distributed a statement to reporters during the protest.
Using the recent National Kidney Foundation (NKF) saga as an example of how public matters are run in a non-transparent and non-accountable manner, the group called for the Government to be transparent and accountable, starting with organisations such as the CPF Board, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC).
Dr Chee arrived with a male companion 10 minutes into the protest and started selling his books just metres away from where the protest was taking place.
Both Dr Chee and the protesters told reporters they were not "connected" with each other.
"If there are no more than five of us, we don't need a permit. This is perfectly legal," said Ms Chee.
At 1.15pm, four police vans from the Neighbourhood Police Centre carrying about 40 policemen of which about 10 carried shields and batons arrived at the scene.
"You have broken the law … an offence of public nuisance. Please disperse now," an officer was heard telling Ms Chee, who at first refused to leave.
Police said they had received several calls that a crowd had gathered at Robinson Road.
After observing the activities of the six people, said the police, they ordered them to disperse.
The four protesters then moved to the side of the building but were again stopped by the police officers.
Their particulars were noted and their placards and T-shirts seized. Police have classified the case as assembly without permit, and causing public nuisance.
The case is under investigation.
Aug 12, 2005
Today reporter does not know how to count
One wonders if reporting the local news has numbed the brains of our journalists at Today, that they cannot count properly? So boys and girls, let's take a look at the picture below and count how many people are there wearing white T-shirts? One...two...three...four! Four! Hahahahahaha...*thunder and lightning*.