No further action against MP Louis Ng for holding placard without permit in support of hawkers: AGC
SINGAPORE: No further action will be taken by the police against MP Louis Ng under the Public Order Act for holding up a sign in support of hawkers more than two years ago, said the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) in a statement on Thursday (Oct 6).
"Investigations have revealed that Mr Ng was exercising his duty as a Member of Parliament, in expressing care and support for the welfare of the hawkers in his constituency during the COVID-19 pandemic," said an AGC spokesperson.
The statement added that police investigations have been completed.
The AGC also highlighted that Mr Ng's case is different from that of activist Jolovan Wham, who was charged and convicted of taking part in an assembly in a prohibited area. He had held up a sign that read "Drop the charges against Terry Xu and Daniel De Costa" outside the State Courts in December 2018.
An AGC spokesperson said: "Mr Jolovan Wham was charged and convicted because he was demonstrating in a prohibited area (the State Courts entrance). This is an offence under s 15(2) of the POA (Public Order Act). Mr Wham did not offer any defence to the Charge. The facts of the case involving Mr Jolovan Wham are different from the case involving Mr Louis Ng."
WHAT LOUIS NG DID
Mr Ng made a Facebook post about his trip to Yishun Park Hawker Centre on Jun 20, 2020, and asked Singaporeans to support hawkers as they "worked hard during the past few months to try to make ends meet and to provide yummy food for us. More than ever, our hawker heroes need our support.”
The post included five photos of Mr Ng with hawkers, in which he could be seen holding up a sign with the words "Support Them".
The police then conducted an investigation on March 3, 2021, as there was a possible offence of public assembly without a permit by Mr Ng.
In response, Mr Ng wrote on Facebook on the same day, stating that he was on his regular walkabout and wanted to urge residents to support the hawkers.
"I was there to make sure our hawkers were doing okay. As we all know, they suffered badly during the circuit breaker," he said. "I also wanted to urge our residents to support our hawkers and held a sign indicating this and took photos together with the hawkers."
Mr Ng was also asked by the police to provide a statement, and had done so.