MP Louis Ng under police investigation for not getting permit before holding placard supporting hawkers

Nee Soon GRC MP Louis Ng had posted about his trip to Yishun Park Hawker Centre on Facebook on June 20, 2020.
PHOTO: Facebook/Louis Ng Kok Kwang

SINGAPORE - Nee Soon GRC MP Louis Ng is currently being investigated by the police for not applying for a permit before he visited hawkers with a placard in June last year.

Mr Ng had posted about his trip to Yishun Park Hawker Centre on Facebook on June 20, encouraging residents to visit the hawkers.

In four pictures that accompany the post, Mr Ng is seen holding up a piece of paper that read "Support Them" followed by a smiley face.

In a statement on Wednesday (March 3), the police said they have been looking into a possible offence of public assembly without a permit by Mr Ng.

"We have already interviewed Mr Ng. Police investigations are ongoing," they added.

In Mr Ng's Facebook post in June, he wrote that hawkers "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," he added.

On Wednesday, Mr Ng wrote on his Facebook page that he was at the Yishun Park Hawker Centre in June last year doing his regular walkabout.

"This was an especially important walkabout as we had just emerged from the circuit breaker. I was there to make sure our hawkers were doing okay. As we all know, they suffered badly during the circuit breaker," he wrote.

"I also wanted to urge our residents to support our hawkers and held a sign indicating this and took photos together with the hawkers."

He added that he had also been asked by the police to provide a statement on the matter, and has done so.

Mr Ng also said that in a separate incident in January this year, he held up a sign for the climate change video introducing the first-ever parliamentary motion on climate change.

"To clarify, that sign was an empty piece of cardboard. The words were superimposed into the video which I posted," he wrote.

[ Supporting our hawkers ] I was at the Yishun Park Hawker Centre in June last year, doing my regular walkabout. This...

Posted by Louis Ng Kok Kwang on Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Taking part in a public assembly without a police permit is illegal and an offence under the Public Order Act.

Under the Act, an "assembly" means a gathering or meeting with the purpose of demonstrating support for, or opposing the views or actions of any person, group or government. It also applies to publicising a cause or campaign, marking or commemorating any event, and includes a demonstration by a person alone.

A public assembly refers to an assembly in a public place or to which members of the public are invited, induced or permitted to attend. A person convicted of organising a public assembly without a permit can be fined up to $5,000.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.