SINGAPORE – In response to media queries, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) clarified today (30 Jan) that the burning of effigies at the Speaker’s Corner may constitute offences under legislations such as the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act.
The police added that under regulations set by the National Parks Board, which manages the Speakers’ Corner, activities that involve the use of fire at the venue also require the approval of the Commissioner of Parks.
Last Saturday, protest organisers shelved plans to burn an effigy of Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew after they were spoken to by the police.
The protest was against the impending 3.2 per cent public transport fake hike, which will kick in from April 6.
Under the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act, any person who sets fire to or burns any material to the annoyance, inconvenience or danger of the public shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000.
In its statement, the Police said it had advised Mr Gilbert Goh, who led the protest, that the burning of effigies in the Speakers’ Corner may constitute an offence.
“Upon the Police’s engagement, the organiser decided against burning the effigy,” said the police.
Mr Goh could not be reached immediately for comments.