SDP pair again contest charges Accuse police of 'selective enforcement'
Wednesday • November 28, 2007
ANSWERING charges of speaking in public without a permit for the third time, Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan and party supporter Yap Keng Ho yesterday accused the police of "selective enforcement".
The duo, who represented themselves in court, claimed that they and about nine other SDP members, did not flout the rules by promoting their party newspaper in front of Causeway Point on April 8 last year.
Comparing themselves to hawkers who peddle their wares in public without permits but are not prosecuted, they questioned if the action against them was "politically motivated".
Cross-examining the first witness, Mr Loh Zhen Hong, a former police officer who had reported the incident, Yap tried to show there was "unfairness in enforcing the law between the ruling party and the opposition".
He used examples of banks holding roadshows to promote their credit cards and people who sell their products with loudhailers to argue that the party's activities on that day were "nothing out of the ordinary".
Yap also grilled Mr Loh, who was off-duty when he spotted the SDP's activities, on whether he would have gone to the police if he had seen members of the People's Action Party or Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew making speeches.
Mr Loh said that he would have done the same thing in those instances.
District Judge Jasvender Kaur cut off Yap several times to remind him that his cross-examination should focus on proving that Mr Loh "had ill motivations to report to the police".
After the court was shown the video clip of the SDP's activities that day, Yap contended that the police, by filming the proceedings, had already assumed the party had committed an offence.
The court also allowed the footage to be released to the duo to help them prepare their defence. The hearing continues today and is scheduled to last till next Monday. If convicted, the pair face a maximum fine of $10,000 each.
More from Singabloodypore on Coporal Loh's performance in court:
Asked if he had come across other people promoting and selling products (such as credit cards) along Singapore streets (such as Orchard Road), the witness replied in the affirmative.
Question: Did you think they had a permit?
Question: Why?Answer: Because they have a booth. SDP's did not have a booth, no roof.
Question: So if there's a roof, you think that it's legal?
Mr Loh added that he might not have called his police colleagues if the SDP had a roof at their event.
Dr Chee, who is also acting-in-person, then asked the witness that if he saw other people talking and selling products without a roof, would he call the police?
Mr Loh said yes. (Joke of the Day!)
Dr Chee then asked the witness if he had seen hawkers and street vendors selling and verbally promoting their ware "without roofs", to which Mr Loh said no.
I bet my last dollar Mr Loh WILL DO NOTHING if he saw the ruling party making a speech in public.
Also police corporal Loh claims that’s if he saw other people talking and selling product without roof he would have call the police. The reason he did not do so yet is because he had not seen one yet.
Corporal Loh not only telling us he is a liar but also blind since he claim he had never in his life see people selling product without roof.
Also if indeed calls are made whenever from a police, no matter whether was he on or off duty, when he see anyone selling stuff without a roof. Then our police are really busy man!!
Anyway can’t the police just admit that it was a selective discrimination? I am sure we all can accept this fact in Singapore.