CPF blogger Roy Ngerng has been sentenced to a fine of S$1,900 for protesting without approval at Singapore’s only protest site, Hong Lim Park. This is so despite earlier making a successful application with the authority, NParks.
On Sep 27 2014, NParks officers came to the site and demanded that Roy Ngerng hold his protest elsewhere without presenting proper documentations. A representative of the group presented a name card and claimed he was the director of NParks and made demands for Roy Ngerng’s event to be held at another corner of Hong Lim Park.
As Roy Ngerng and his co-organisers were not informed that their protest was supposed to be constrained at another area, the group were reluctant to comply in addition due to the insufficient identity of the NPark officers.
The Singapore court however ruled that Roy Ngerng and five other protest participants were guilty of “public nuisance” and “organising a demonstration without approval”, and fined Roy Ngerng of S$1,900 as his defence lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam requested after Roy Ngerng pleaded guilty. The S$1,900 fine is short of the S$2,000 fine that will place a mandatory ban on Roy Ngerng from contesting in future election.
Ever since this 2014 conviction, there has been only been one public protest held in Hong Lim Park on May Day by Gilbert Goh and attendees have dropped significantly. Gilbert Goh has also seen interrogations from the Singapore Police over other matters. Singapore has continued to be a dictatorship under Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong despite the death of his father, the former dictator Lee Kuan Yew.