Local human rights group MARUAH has shared their statement on the amendments to the Public Order Act, which in effect would prevent foreigners from participating in political events at the Speakers Corner in Hong Lim Park.
Human rights activists argue that the changes to the rules make it practically impossible for organizers to fulfill the conditions of organizing events there as no organizer can prevent foreigners from being observers at Hong Lim Park. This can be seen as an attempt to undermine the rights to freedom of expression and assembly, they say.
Read MARUAH’s full statement below.
“Maruah would like to express its concern with the amendment to the Public Order Act.
We would like to emphasize the practicality of the new rules.
Hong Lim Park is a public place. We believe that organizers do not have the authority to exclude anyone from the park, even if they wanted to.
Are we arguably, being insincere in having a Speakers Corner – and yet making it practically impossible to fulfill the conditions because there is no way any organizer can prevent foreigners from being observers at Hong Lim Park.
Why change the regulations such that foreigners who could attend in the past as observers, will no longer be allowed to?
Why place such an unreasonable onerous burden (to comply with the law) on the organisers, to arguably, further undermine the rights to freedom of expression and assembly?
Leong Sze Hian