Police reject Gilbert Goh's application for Speakers' Corner permit

Police reject Gilbert Goh's application for Speakers' Corner permit

SINGAPORE - Police have confirmed that they have rejected activist Gilbert Goh's application for a permit to hold an event at the Speakers'Corner tomorrow (Feb 14).

In a statement last night, the police said that Mr Goh was denied the permit "as the event seeks to delve into matters of race and religion" and "runs a significant risk of public disorder and could incite feelings of hostility between different racial and religious groups in Singapore".

The event was meant to rally people behind a call to make Thaipusam a public holiday here, and to allow musical instruments to be played during the celebration, according to a Facebook invite.

The police said that the Speakers' Corner "is a public space where Singaporeans can speak outdoors in public on any issue, except for matters related to religion, or which may cause feelings of enmity, hatred, ill-will or hostility between different racial or religious groups in Singapore".

In a post on Facebook this morning, Mr Goh said that the planned event has been cancelled after failing to get a permit. He also said that there will be no alternative event "as advised by the police".

He advised all speakers and the public to avoid the area tomorrow, to avoid being seen as going against the police order.

However, he did mention that lawyer M. Ravi will be holding a separate event - unrelated to his planned event - on the same day, and said that members of the public "are free to participate in it though we are officially not part of his event organisation team".

sinsh@sph.com.sg

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