Uncomfortable with more Singaporeans voicing out their complaints, the Singapore government have implemented new restrictions on the dictatorship’s only protest site, the Speakers’ Corner, with new police requirements and approvals.
Previously, one just need to complete an online form and approval will be automatically generated by the website.
The new application form now requires the applicant to fill in his residential address, so the Singapore Police could make an easier arrest. Approvals will take 14 days and the police will do a comprehensive background check of the applicant – from his friends and family members to his employment workplace. A police permit will also be required when a sound system is used – which is literally applicable for every gathering of crowd more than 10. Applicants will also have to set up identity checks at their events to ensure only citizens and permanent residents are present. If a foreigner is found participating in the event, the applicant and his event co-organisers will be fined.
The secret police in plain clothes will also participate in every protest, and make private requests to check the identity card of event participants. Police presence is also deliberately made aware to instill fear among protest participants, with them openly recording participants’ faces using professional camcorders and voice recorders. It is also common police officers conduct “follow-up” visits to event participants, especially for events that voice dissent against the Singapore government.
It is unknown when were these new restrictions first set up, but it is a natural course the Singapore dictatorship takes regardless as it is losing public confidence in their capability to govern.
The new restrictions have deterred event organisers over the years, with official figures saying they see applications now halved compared to previous years. State media Straits Times, in their propaganda article, claimed that the “novelty” have worn off and that there are lesser demands because the people are now happier.