SINGAPORE: Police are investigating after a report that a foreigner participated in a rally organised by activist Gilbert Goh.
Mr Goh had organised a demonstration against the Singapore-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) at the Speaker’s Corner in Hong Lim Park on Nov 3.
In response to CNA queries, the Singapore Police Force said on Friday (Dec 6) that it had received a report on Nov 8 that a foreigner had participated in the assembly.
“The Speakers’ Corner was set up primarily for Singaporeans,” police said.
“Singaporeans can organise assemblies at the Speakers’ Corner without the need for a permit, but must ensure that only Singapore citizens or permanent residents of Singapore participate in the assembly. Police investigations are ongoing.”
A police permit is needed if foreigners are involved in the organisation, or participate in, an event at the Speaker’s Corner.
According to the Public Order (Unrestricted Area) Order 2016, organisers must be a Singaporean and must ensure that only Singapore citizens or PRs take part in the rally.
Mr Goh wrote on Friday that he will be assisting the police with the investigations.
WHAT WAS THE RALLY ABOUT?
The rally on Nov 3 was conducted after the furore surrounding a man named Ramesh Erramalli, who was shot on video in October arguing with a security guard at the Eight Riversuites condominium in Whampoa. The video attracted much criticism from Singaporeans.
Police later said that Mr Erramalli is married to a local-born Singapore citizen and obtained his citizenship on the sponsorship of his wife.
Writing on the event’s Facebook page, Mr Goh said CECA would “sideline many Singaporeans”.
In the aftermath of the incident, falsehoods relating to free trade agreements (FTAs) also surfaced.
Among these was the claim that CECA has allowed Indian nationals to take PMET (professional, managerial, executive and technician) jobs away from Singaporeans.
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Nov 9 that the trade agreement does not grant Indian nationals unconditional access into Singapore or immigration privileges.
Claims that the agreement has cost job opportunities for Singaporeans were aimed to stoke fears in times of economic uncertainties, the minister added.