Activist Gilbert Goh charged with protesting without a permit, refusing to sign police statement: Report
SINGAPORE: Activist Gilbert Goh Keow Wah was charged on Wednesday (Dec 15) with staging a protest without a permit and refusing to sign a police statement.
Goh, 60, told the court that he planned to contest the charges, TODAY reported.
He is accused of staging a protest on May 1, holding a placard near the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) Building. The placard read: "Please ban all flights from India we are not racist! Just being cautious."
Goh's alleged protest took place soon after the Government barred some visitors from India from entering Singapore in response to a surge in COVID-19 cases there.
Organising or taking part in a public assembly requires a police permit in Singapore but Goh did not have one, the police said in a news release on Tuesday.
He is also accused of refusing to sign a police statement he made at the Bedok Police Division headquarters on May 11 after the authorities began investigating him, reported TODAY.
After a police prosecutor said that they were ready to proceed with the case, Goh said that he intended to contest the charges and was in the process of hiring a lawyer.
District Judge Lorraine Ho offered him bail of S$5,000. He will return to court on Jan 7 next year.
If convicted of taking part in a public assembly without a permit under the Public Order Act, he could be fined up to S$3,000.
Those convicted of refusing to sign a police statement could receive a jail term of up to three months or a fine of up to S$2,500, or both.
In a separate incident, Goh was issued a stern warning on Tuesday for failing to comply with the conditions for organisers of assemblies and for refusing to sign a police statement.
Police said on Tuesday that he had allowed a foreigner to participate in an event that he organised at the Speakers' Corner on Nov 3, 2019.
A police permit is needed if foreigners are involved in organising or taking part in an event at the Speakers’ Corner.
This story was originally published in TODAY.