kena police how

Civil society event at Hong Lim Park to address public powers and due process

On 18 June, Community Action Network (CAN), Function 8 and Think Centre invite all concerned members of society to join us at Hong Lim Park for ‘Kenna Police How?: Your right to due process’.

Recent events have highlighted uncertainty among members of the public about the scope of police powers and how current procedures ensure due process. These events include Law Society President Thio Shen Yi’s February 2016 call for immediate or early access to counsel, the Benjamin Lim case, and recent police action in response to alleged breaches of the Cooling Off Day regulations.

This event has been organised to allow members of the public to share their experiences with police investigations, as well as their concerns and suggestions for how the fairness, proportionality and consistency of police action can be best ensured. Over 100 members of the public have indicated their intention to attend on Facebook, with 300 more expressing interest in the event.

“We urge more clarity about the rights of individuals in contact with police – especially vulnerable people like children or migrants,” said Kokila Annamalai, a volunteer with CAN. “When can the police archive your email or confiscate your phone? Do they need a warrant? More awareness of the scope of these powers is needed. It’s in everyone’s interests that justice is not only done, but also seen to be done.”

In January, as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the United Nations (UN), numerous UN member states made recommendations for Singapore to strengthen its protection of citizens’ rights to free expression. At the time, the Singapore delegation to Geneva affirmed its support for the UPR process and stated its commitment to protect fundamental human rights. We hope that the government will stand by its proclamations and welcome this event’s contribution to societal dialogue on advancing rights.

Among the speakers are civil society activist Vanessa Ho, who will address sex workers’ experiences with the police, Damien Chng of anti-death penalty group We Believe in Second Chances, and Function 8 member Pak Geok Choo. Members of the public are invited to create placards at the event to express their views on police accountability and their ideas for how the protection of individual rights can be achieved.

We invite you to attend this important event and to cover it for your media channel. For more information, please contact Kokila at communityactionnetworksg@gmail.com. Date: 18 June 2016 (Saturday) Time: 5pm – 7pm Venue: Hong Lim Park

About Community Action Network

Community Action Network is an NGO based in Singapore concerned about freedom of expression, and civil and political rights.

About Function 8

Function 8 is an initiative by a group of citizens who believe that there is a need to facilitate the sharing of social, political and economic experiences of those who had, or are eager to contribute to society through reflection and civic discussion.

About Think Centre

Think Centre (TC) is an independent NGO in Singapore that was founded in 1999. TC aims to critically examine issues related to political development, democracy, rule of law, human rights and civil society. Its activities include research, publishing, organising events and networking. It has been a member of Forum-Asia, a regional human rights organisation, since 2001.

soh lung and roy

Cease all investigations against Teo Soh Lung and Roy Ngerng

We the undersigned are gravely concerned by the ongoing police investigations into alleged breaches by Roy Ngerng and Teo Soh Lung of the Cooling Off Day rules.

We are disquieted by the seizure of their property from their homes, in particular without warrant, and the wholesale and indiscriminate archiving of broad swathes of their personal data.  These excessive and intimidating measures are completely disproportionate to any harm alleged to have been caused by the actions of Ngerng and Teo.

To openly express a political view – including and especially views on party politics – is the fundamental right of every member of society.  If we are to achieve a democratic society where legislators and the government are truly representative of the values and wishes of citizens, every individual must be free to fearlessly express their views of politicians, parties and electoral processes.

For an individual seeking to understand the Cooling Off Day regulations, the application of the prohibitions on individual conduct is not clear.  Someone relying on the wording on the Elections Department website, which indicates an exemption for “the transmission of personal political views by individuals to other individuals, on a non-commercial basis, using the Internet, telephone or electronic means”, might reasonably conclude that their posts were exempt.

Given this ambiguity and the great importance of freedom of expression for individual citizens, it is wholly inappropriate for police investigations of such an intimidating and intrusive nature to take place.  The main effect of this police action is to intensify a climate of fear that deters the frank discussion of political issues by all individuals – a discussion that our society both needs and deserves.

We note that there have been previous allegations of breaches of the Cooling Off Day rules by electoral candidates.  Such conduct is far more likely to cause the harm to the electoral process which Cooling Off Day is designed to avert.  Yet we are not aware of such draconian investigations made in those circumstances.  A society which values the free exchange of political ideas must not apply more restrictive standards to ordinary citizens than to electoral candidates.

We call upon the state to ensure the immediate return of all confiscated property to Ngerng and Teo, the removal of any data obtained from them from state and police possession, and an immediate and total cessation of the investigative process.

Signed by:

  1. Abdul Salim Harun
  2. Adrian Heok
  3. Alex Sng
  4. Alexander Luciano Roberto
  5. Alfian Sa’at
  6. Alvina Khoo
  7. Ana Abdullah
  8. Ananth Tambyah
  9. Andre Goh
  10. Ang Chong Leong
  11. Annie Jael Kwan
  12. Ariffin Sha
  13. Ashukumar Veerapan
  14. Ashura Chia
  15. Azmi Monday
  16. Benjamin Matchap
  17. Benjamin Seet
  18. Bhavan Jaipragas
  19. Brendan Goh
  20. Brenton Wong
  21. Brian Yang
  22. Bryan Choong
  23. Cecilia Joven Ong
  24. Celine Lim
  25. Chang May Lian
  26. Chan Wai Han
  27. Chew Keng Chuan
  28. Chng Nai Rui
  29. Christine Sng Mechtler
  30. Chui Yong Jian
  31. Dan Koh
  32. Dana Lam
  33. Darius Zee
  34. Daryl Yang
  35. David Lee
  36. Dinah Sim
  37. Dolly Peh
  38. Edmund Wee
  39. Edward Eng
  40. Edwina Shaddick
  41. Elisa Kang
  42. Emily Lim
  43. Erica Chung
  44. Esther Kong
  45. Fadli Bin Fawzi
  46. Fadly Razali
  47. Farhan C. Idris
  48. Fenwick Melville
  49. Fong Hoe Fang
  50. Gina Lim
  51. Godwin Koay
  52. Goh Chok Chai Ricky
  53. Ho Choon Hiong
  54. Hong Weizhong
  55. Irene Oh
  56. Ivan Heng
  57. Jackie Heng Lim
  58. Jamal Ismail
  59. James Weng Hong Lam
  60. Jason Soo
  61. Jeremy Tiang
  62. Jocelyn Teo
  63. Johannes Hadi
  64. Jolene Tan
  65. Jolovan Wham
  66. Jony Ling
  67. Joo Hymn Tan
  68. Joshua Chiang
  69. Keith Tan
  70. Kenneth Lin
  71. Kokila Annamalai
  72. Kuan Wee
  73. Lee Yi Ting
  74. Li Xie
  75. Lim Jialiang
  76. Lim Kay Siu
  77. Lim Xiuhui
  78. Linda Ong
  79. Lionel Deng
  80. Lisa Li
  81. Lita Patricio
  82. Loo Zihan
  83. Low Yit Leng
  84. Lucas Ho
  85. Lukas Godfrey
  86. Lynn Lee
  87. Mansura Sajahan
  88. Mark Wong De Yi
  89. Matilda Gabrielpillai
  90. Megan Boey Sean Ching
  91. Melvin Wong
  92. Merv Tan
  93. Miak Siew
  94. Morgan Awyong
  95. M Ravi
  96. Muhammad Faliqh Rahman
  97. Muhd Firdaus
  98. Nathanael Tan
  99. Neo Swee Lin
  100. Ng Guohui Nigel
  101. Ng Yi-Sheng
  102. Niki Ng
  103. Nina Chabra
  104. Ong Sooi Eng
  105. Pak Geok Choo
  106. Rachel Zeng
  107. Robyn Yzelman
  108. Roy Tan
  109. Sam Lim
  110. Sam Ong
  111. Sathiya Moorthy
  112. Sean Francis Han
  113. Semangeline Teo
  114. Sha Jumani Basari
  115. Shelley Thio
  116. Shimin Wong
  117. Shirleen Chong
  118. Siauw Chong
  119. Siew Kum Hong
  120. Smith Adrian Jude
  121. Sonny Liew
  122. Stephanie Chok
  123. Stephen Baldy Ho
  124. Tan Elice
  125. Tan Pin Pin
  126. Tan Tee Seng
  127. Tan Zong Xuan
  128. Tay Kheng Soon
  129. Teng Qianxi
  130. Teng Yong Ping Daryl
  131. Terry Xu
  132. Thum Ping Tjin
  133. Timothy Todd
  134. Trevor Chan
  135. Valence Sim
  136. Vanessa Ho
  137. Vivian Wang
  138. Wendy Chan
  139. Wong Souk Yee
  140. Yap Ching Wi
  141. Yap Hon Ngian
  142. Yee Kai
  143. Zee Wong
  144. Zulkarnain Hassan