HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST: S’PORE IS A POLICE STATE THAT HARASSES INNOCENT S’POREANS

Jason Chua of Fabrications about the PAP has now suffered the same fate as Roy and me, Kumaran and Ravi of TSIG and many other activists. His home was raided and his computers and mobile phone seized by the police. He had also been subjected to hours of police interrogation.

The situation is totally absurd. It is as absurd as the scene from The Trial by Kafka. In The Trial, K was suddenly woken up from his sleep and surrounded by police officers. Subjected to endless investigation for no crime over a long period of time, The Trial ended with the explosion of a grenade thrown by two poor and incompetent policemen.

Have our police force gone stupid? Have they nothing better to do than investigate petty matters? Is it their job to subject people to terror, inconvenience and loss of personal properties? How many police officers and forensic experts have been engaged in investigating these petty matters? How many days and months have been and will be wasted carrying out such investigations? How many real crimes have they neglected?

Singapore has been a police state for a long time now. In recent years, the situation has become worse. I often see young people at shopping malls being confronted by police officers. They are asked to produce their identity cards. These officers scan their identity cards for no good reason. The young people had not committed any crime. They were just enjoying a chat.

Elderly people sitting quietly and enjoying a puff are also not spared. Young police officers interrupt their peace, demanding to see their identity cards, checking on where they live. And young school children too are subjected to such harassments. I once saw a group of timid school kids surrounded by police officers. They were compelled to sit on the pavement and subjected to questioning. When I asked what they were doing, the police said they were just checking.

At the Kenna Police How? event at Hong Lim Park on Saturday, 18 June, young speakers lament that migrant workers, LGBT people and sex workers are also subjected to relentless police harassment.

Our identity cards contain personal data – our age, blood group and address. Why should the police be entitled to see our identity cards when we have not committed any crime? Why are they permitted to scan identity cards with sophisticated equipment?

What has become of our country? Are the police so powerful that they can do anything they want? Are we emulating the white police officers in America who constantly harass and even kill black people? Will such practices result in violence one day?

In the absence of an independent institution where aggrieved persons can complain about the conduct of police officers, I urge the Attorney-General of Singapore to check the conduct of our police and ensure that they do not abuse their power. It will be tragic if another Little India incident happens, this time involving Singaporeans.

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