Charges against Wham raise important questions of whether Singapore laws are too strict: AWARE


Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) Singapore has expressed concerns over the charges activist Jolovan Wham faced in court today.

Wham was charged in court today for vandalism, organising public assemblies without police permits, and for refusing to sign his statements under the Penal Code.

Several prominent individuals and rights groups have condemned the authorities’ decision to prosecute this “peaceful protester.” AWARE is one such group that has come forward to question whether “the laws and regulations on assembly in Singapore are too restrictive” in the wake of Wham’s prosecution.

The Association wrote on its Facebook page:

“AWARE is concerned to hear that charges have been brought against Jolovan Wham, a social worker and civil society activist with a long track record of good work for marginalised people, especially women migrant domestic workers.

“This case raises important questions about whether the laws and regulations on assembly in Singapore are too restrictive. Our own experience of organising events at Hong Lim and elsewhere is that seeking a permit can be cumbersome and uncertain. Sometimes we have not been informed of the outcome of the application until the day just before, which makes publicity and logistics – especially for foreign speakers – difficult.

“It is important to make space for diverse voices in our society. When the conditions for speaking up about social and political issues are restrictive and carry potential criminal liability, this can have an intimidating effect on the public and discourage people from expressing their views.

“Some regulation of public assembly may be necessary to safeguard the public interest in safety and prevent disruption. Yet it may be timely to reconsider how restrictive these regulations should be. Events that do not threaten the safety and well-being of any person, damage any property or cause disruption to ordinary affairs should not be made difficult to organise, and it is doubtful whether society’s interests are best served by making them liable to criminal prosecution.”

Another group, Human Rights Watch, called on Singapore authorities to drop the charges against Wham and said:

“Prosecuting Jolovan Wham for holding peaceful gatherings demonstrates the absurdity of Singapore’s laws on public assemblies and the government’s willingness to penalize those who speak out. “

Singapore: Drop Case Against Peaceful Protester

Activist to be charged for vandalism and organising illegal public assemblies


  1. When foreigners knew that if our citizens want to protest against some issues and have to apply for permit to gather, guess their reaction… they were shocked n laughed until their tears dropped.

  2. The “sue until pants drop” tactic used by our super rich pink “God” along with his chosen band of “brothers” is here to stay. We the citizens are destined with a permanent gag order one way or another. Truly a sad state of affair for this so called “democratic” nation.

  3. It’s cowards who rules and given mandate by brain washed and programmed masses. They will do anything and everything to stay in control. These rulers have no consciousness and their souls are in a state of coma.

  4. These laws are unjust, unconstitutional n have no place in a democracy. The PAP government can make these laws because they always have overwelming majority. In countries where they have high % of votes always have oppressive govies n oppressive laws eg N Koreans voted 100% for Kim Jong Un for presidency as they fear for their lives otherwise. When govies have 50% of the votes or below they fear the people as they could be voted out at the next election.

  5. I think we are mature enough as a nation to raise issues for debate as long as there is no threat to public order. These high handed methods have no place in democracy.

  6. If Singapore law NOT STRICT, many crimes increased n more ppl go to prison. If every country without a strict law, the country cannot be run n control peacefully. Look at other country what happen corruptions n crimes.

    • Michael Chua — This is called management by intimidation. This is one of the key tenets of so-called “good governance” by LKY. Unfortunately, this is one of The Other Hard Truths that are holding back Singapore from going forward.

      While the other advanced economies have more forward in leaps and bounds, Singapore is still stuck in a pair of deep deep ruts, carved out by the old bullock cart of the PAP

    • Gbee G Chen — I see your goodself as a paramount example of the kind of severe brain damage inflicted by the PAP indoctrination juggernaut. Every thing is swallowed — hook, line and sinker….until you are finally fried by the cooks or crooks in the PAP.

    • KS Neoh U shut ur evil mouth! Watch your evil way n stop being big KPO come here barking like a Mad dog. What the hell u know about Singapore n PAP? U surely will fall into your own silly thinking traps!

    • Btw, if u so hate Singapore, Singaporean n our government u better get to hell from here. U don’t have any right to insult Singaporean ppl n condemned our country n government.

    • Gbee G Chen Your mouth is just as stinky. Please wash with mouth watch. PAP is so good we should be living with Swiss Standard and not struggling to live like beggars when better jobs are given to foreigners while only the leftovers are fed to the locals.

    • Howe Peek shut up u Son of a BIG KPO bitch! Your mouth is stinky having shit inside! If u are struggling to live like a beggars n start blaming the PAP then u better get lost to hell n don’t stay in Singapore. Btw, u need to wash your mouth with toilet brush n toilet bowl bleach!

    • Gbee G Chen Thank you, Your mouth is getting better after toilet bleached. PAP really breaches such well educated SOB….really. No wonder my beloved Singapore has gone to the dog. sob sob sob…

    • Howe Peek u are a evil betrayer n traitor for your country. That’s why u cannot get a Singaporean Chinese Wife n u live with so much hate n bitterness inside u just bcos u are not living a rich n satisfied life n u start blaming PAP here n there. Blaming n pointing fingers for your bitterness, hate n unsatisfied life.
      Btw, u are a bloody shameful copy cat! U need toilet bowl brush n bleach to clean your evil mouth n brain if not u cannot live properly. Haha..

    • Hahaha Is this the kind of people Singapore and PAP can produce? No wonder we have degenerated into a profanity mob. Thank you Chen for being such a shining example to the future generation of Singapore. If you’re typical representative of PAP supporters, LKY would turn in his grave. You are a disgrace to Singapore and PAP. I don’t blame you for it is useless to blame without brain. Thank you so much for your toilet bowl without which you have no where to shit. I respect the toilet as much as I respect. Have a nice toilet weekend. You are toilet blessed.

    • Howe Peek u are a great shame, a traitor n a betrayal for Singapore for the government n for the citizen. The real disgraceful pice of shit is u bcos your brain is full of dirty stupid shit! Oh.. Of cos u need to respect the toilet bcos u belong to the dirty toilet n u need to sleep, eat n live a life as dirty as the toilet forever! A toilet week end n a toilet Blessed life belong to u bcos only u will respect n worship the toilet! I don’t need your dirty THANK bcos I’m a bright n shining FOREIGNERS here living in Singapore since young knowing how to love n respect this country perhaps not u this dirty shameful traitor, betrayal n a piece of dirty loser shit from the toilet! Haha..

    • Oh you are a dirty foreigner shit that is not wanted by your own country. You are real betrayer by forsaking your own for a greener pasture of Singapore. It is my right as true blue Singapore, born and bred here to question the Government when it is not doing the right thing. My family has been since the late 1800 and I am not a cheap betrayer like you. NO matter how bad Singapore is, I won’t forsake it like you did to your own country. People like don’t deserve to call Singapore home because if you can betray your country of birth, you can do the same to Singapore. Questioning is not betraying. Please get your fact right. You are the real toilet shit because you are not wanted by your own country – a traitor. I love Singapore and if something is wrong, I would not hesitate to put it right unlike you the shameless traitor and now turn into ball licking lap dog.

  7. Its time we repeal these laws that does not threaten our existence as a nation. It must not be confused with free speech that threaten nor reveals shortcomings of our laws or government policy. With changing times and circumstances? So must our laws and policies. PAP, please practice what you preach.

  8. A leader who believes in Freedom of speech
    Nelson Mandela doesn’t throw people to Sentosa who wants freedom of speech…..
    A leader who does not think of himself first, citizens come first
    A leader who doesn’t always think of the many zeroes $$$$$$

  9. Afraid is the word ! They are afraid so they make the laws extra strict so no one will be allowed to say or do anything different. Seems that they are still in the 1970’s ! Well the world has moved on. So they give psychological threats n rules so everyone is expected to follow or else !!!

    • Dot Lee-

      No!!! this white termite gang fear no one not even The Lord God Almighty!!!

      If they do , they will not be where they are in the past and the present !!!

      They are the white supremacy elitist ruler suppressing the basic rights of the common people of the land !!!

  10. All these laws were enacted cos the government is freaking scared they’d get ousted. They have taken away the basic rights of freedom of expression. Anyway, it’s absurd that you need a permit to protest against the idiots in white sarongs. WTF?

  11. Small garment has small brain n petty heart. They train you to suppress your thoughts, be disciplined like no brains and sense and continue to imagine they are the best. NK > SG.

  12. If used powder to mark running route can be arrested, charged and fjne $1,000. What do you think about Singapore law?
    In Singapore, a good person also can be charged and jailed. Whereas, the evils are getting million, enjoying life.

  13. We have to recognise that this PAP govt is a fascist govt, one that has little tolerance for dissent. Among the first world countries, Singapore stands out for having the most repressive laws: one-man demonstration is illegal, police permits that are often only granted last minute to cause maximum disruption to logistics and other arrangements, no compunction in lying in order to demonise activists, lack of personal integrity to steal ideas or inventions. We must be alert. Use the internet to call out their games. Shame them for the world to see. Bring it on. It’s the People vs the Government of Singapore.

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