6 issued warnings by police over protest outside MOE building

·Editorial Team
·3-min read
(From left) Elijah Tay, Lune Loh and Kokila Annamalai seen protesting outside the Ministry of Education headquarters at Buona Vista on Tuesday (26 January) afternoon. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman/Yahoo News Singapore)
(From left) Three individuals were seen protesting outside the Ministry of Education headquarters at Buona Vista on Tuesday (26 January) afternoon. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman/Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE —Six individuals have been issued a warning by the police for being involved in an illegal protest outside the Ministry of Education (MOE) headquarters earlier this year.

No further action will be taken against three other individuals who were investigated by the police.

The police said in a statement on Tuesday (30 November) that they have completed their investigations against nine individuals, aged between 19 and 41, for public order offences over their involvement in a public assembly without a permit on 26 January.

On 26 January 2021 at about 5.00pm, a group of five individuals, aged between 19 and 41, had protested by holding placards outside the MOE HQ along Buona Vista Drive without having a police permit to carry out the public assembly.

Upon police’s arrival, three individuals remained outside the building, including the 33-year-old organiser of the public assembly. The police said they warned the trio to cease their activities as they were liable for an offence under the Public Order Act. However, they ignored the warning and continued with their activities.

The trio were then issued with a ‘Move-on’ direction under the Public Order Act and were told that they would be arrested if they failed to adhere to the direction. They refused to comply despite the police’s repeated warnings, and were arrested at around 5.35pm.

When a Yahoo News Singapore reporter arrived at the scene, he witnessed a dozen plain clothes police officers on duty, some of whom were seen interviewing the trio. After about 30 minutes, the trio were arrested by uniformed officers and escorted away in a police van.

According to a media statement issued by the group involved in the protest, they were there to stage a “peaceful demonstration” and asked the authorities to end what they perceived as discrimination against LGBTQ+ students at MOE schools. 

Apart from the five individuals who were involved in the protest, four others, aged between 23 and 41, who were not part of the public assembly, were also investigated for their suspected involvement in the incident.

The police, in consultation with the Attorney-General’s Chambers, have issued the following warnings to six individuals:

A 24-month conditional warning to a 33-year-old individual for organising the public assembly without a permit and contravening a ‘Move-on’ direction by the police under the Public Order Act.

A 12-month conditional warning to two individuals, aged 19 and 24, for participating in a public assembly without a permit and contravening a ‘Move-on’ direction by the police under the Act.

A stern warning to two individuals, aged 24 and 41, for participating in a public assembly without a permit under the Act. Both individuals had complied with the directions given by the security officer stationed at the building and left promptly before police’s arrival.

A stern warning to a 23-year-old individual for abetting an offence of participating in a public assembly without a permit. The individual was involved in the preparation of placards that were used at the public assembly.

The police remind the public that organising or participating in a public assembly without a police permit is illegal and constitutes an offence.

“The Government takes a zero-tolerance approach towards illegal demonstrations and protests as these may lead to public order incidents. The measures in place to regulate public protests allow the Government to uphold public order, to ensure a peaceful and stable society.”

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