An unemployed Singaporean has been sentenced to jail for 3 weeks and fined S$20,000 for protesting against Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at Raffles Place last month. A speedy two-day trial convicted 41-year-old Yan Jun for four counts of taking part in a “public assembly” in his solo protest holding a placard and a loudhailer. Yan Jun was also charged for “disorderly behaviour”.
In his protest on July 5 last month, Yan Jun called for dictator Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to resign over the abuse of premiership powers, and also protested against the Singapore judiciary, calling it “corrupted”.
The Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) ridiculed the protester, who was not represented by any Singapore lawyer, saying that the latter has no case at all and he is just using the trial to insult the government further:
“Yan had claimed trial despite the “overwhelming evidence” against him. He proffered no defence at trial, and did not even challenge any of the evidence against him. He has instead abused the trial process and used the trial as a further soapbox for him to cast baseless and spurious allegations against the judiciary, the prosecution and the police.”
State media Straits Times reminded Singaporeans that protesting against Lee Hsien Loong and the government will warrant a “disorderly behaviour” charge that could jail a person up to a year:
“First time offenders convicted of behaving in a disorderly manner can be jailed up to six months and fined up to $2,000. Repeat offenders can be jailed up to a year and fined up to $5,000.”
Singapore is a single party dictatorship that bans protests and freedom of speech. Offenders face lengthy jail sentences and hefty financial penalties for expressing displeasure in public.