BY WALTER SIM, Straits Times
SIX people, including activist Han Hui Hui and blogger Roy Ngerng Yi Ling, were yesterday charged with committing a public nuisance act at Hong Lim Park last month which disrupted a charity carnival.
Han, 23, and Ngerng, 33, were also charged with organising a demonstration without approval.
The duo appeared in court dressed in white: Ngerng in a white long-sleeved shirt and pants, and Han in an all-white outfit paired with white spectacles and a white hairband.
The other four, each facing one charge of being a public nuisance, are Janet Low Wai Choo, 54; Chua Siew Leng, 42; Goh Aik Huat, 41; and Ivan Koh Yew Beng, 59.
Koh owns an apparel manufacturing company, according to official company records. There was no immediate information on the occupations of the rest.
All six are accused of disrupting the YMCA Proms @ The Park event, which was held at Hong Lim Park at the same time on Sept 27 as the Return Our CPF rally co-organised by Han and Ngerng.
The group allegedly marched around the general vicinity of the carnival, shouted, chanted slogans, waved flags, held placards, blew whistles and beat drums.
These were done “in furtherance of the common intention… to disrupt the YMCA event”, thereby causing annoyance to the public, said the charge sheet.
The six are represented by lawyer M. Ravi, who asked for more information to be shared via the pre-trial Criminal Case Management System. This is where the defence and prosecution meet, without a judge present, to discuss a case frankly and in private.
Deputy Public Prosecutor John Lu agreed to Mr Ravi’s request. The case is adjourned until Nov 24 for a pre-trial conference.
Mr Ravi told reporters that his clients were anxious initially. “But now, they have been briefed on the law and are much calmer.”
Eight others were investigated by the police over the Sept 27 protest. Five were given conditional warnings and the outcome of the probe on the remaining three is pending.
A person guilty of being a public nuisance can be fined up to $1,000. Organising a demonstration without approval carries a maximum fine of $5,000.
The law requires anyone wanting to organise a demonstration to get approval from the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation.