Monday, January 18, 2010

Woman from China "protests" at MOE for 2 days, but Singaporeans are arrested in 30 minutes

Just last week, a PRC woman was apparently staging a solo “protest” at the Ministry of Education (MOE) HQ at Buona Vista for 2 days straight to demand that MOE transfer her child to a top primary school in Singapore.

The tipoff on Temasek Review reads: “The lady has been coming to MOE HQ at Buona Vista for the past 2 days, arriving at 8am daily and refusing to budge from the customer service centre. During her stay in the customer service centre from 8am – 6pm she continues to wail, scream and shout with full theatrics!!! Despite, officers trying to reason with her.”

Read the report on Temasek Review.

And then contrast such an incident with the arrest of my friend and I last year just for holding a placard in support of Burmese activists in Singapore. We were arrested in 30 minutes and led away handcuffed into police cars. We were then put in the lockup at Cantonment Police HQ and interrogated for half the day.

I'm not saying the woman should be arrested, but watch this video of our protest and decide for yourselves whether we were causing a bigger disturbance to the public than the woman at MOE:

If her claim to "protest" is considered legitimate and allowed to continue, so should ours.


sgcynic said...

Woman from China "protests" at MOE for 2 days, but Singaporeans are arrested in 30 minutes. This is one instance of what Lee Hsien Loong says "Singaporeans come first (gets priority)". LOL. I am sickened by the double standards our world class government practises when it comes to Singaporeans vs corporate or foreign citizens.

Nyved said...

Agreed. Thanks to this government, only when it is about coming in last, Singaporeans will come first.

Benjamin said...

I dont think this is an issue with singaporean vs. foreigner but the actual issue protested.

The woman from china protested against a personal issue. The people of this blog against a political one.

The woman from China protested an issue which only affected herself and her child, while these guys on the video protested on behalf the fate and lives of many more.

Robox said...

I too am unsure that this is a Singaporean vs non-Singaporean issue, although I would still like to see how the authorities would have handled an identical case involving a Singaporean mother.

And then again, I would also like to see the difference in treatment by the authorities in the cases where she is:

a) Malay - we should handle them with kid gloves so as not to anger the Malay community who are guaranteed to react with terrorism;

b) Chinese - the standard procedures are likely to apply in this case; and,

c) Indian - only the harshest treatment for those troublemakers will do.

I actually think that it is primarily an opposition political party (made worse if it is a left flank one) versus all others, making adjustments for the above scenarios.

If we recall the events of 2007, the year of the 377a debates and the tensions that existed then, the police let off the groups of LGBTs despite having declared (mistakenly) a group picnic and a group jog as "assemblies". (An "assembly" is strictly for a political activity, and not social or recreational ones.)

It is oppositon political parties that are treated with an exceptional amount of harshness.

My guess, not an uneducated one I think, is that the PAP with their hands firmly on the goose that lays them the golden egg, is jealously guarding against anyone else who might bring an end to their ill-gotten financial gains.

Anonymous said...

Criminal tress pass is an offense regardless of it being due to a personal issue or a political one. If the Police can't apply consistent rule of law, theres obviously a breakdown in the system.

Seelan Palay said...

There is no rule of law in Singapore and definitely not a consistent application in the first place. Perhaps you should read the book "Lee's Law".

Robox said...

I should include one more test case which is especially pertinent in the current socio-poiltical environment.

I also wonder how differently the authorities would have reated if the woman were a recent immigrant from India.

I would also have liked to gauge the majority Chinese readers' responses to the story after racist new media like Temasek Review, who will take delight in publishing it if it involved a woman from India.

Anonymous said...

It is a public place so how can it be Criminal Trespass? These are trump up charges and have no merits.