Protest against reserved PE2017 is abruptly called off; NParks blamed


By Phyllis Lee/

Initially set for this Saturday at the Speakers’ Corner in Hong Lim Park, the protest event against this year’s Reserved Presidential Elections has been cancelled.

The planned protest already had eight speakers lined up to debate about the contentious issues surrounding the elections. Following the submission of the event’s permit application two weeks ago, the outline of the speeches were then handed in.

Topics covered in the speeches include why the PE should not be reserved for the Malays, and why there is even a need for a President in Singapore.

However, it all came to naught when on Monday evening, the National Parks Board (NParks) sent the organisers an email suggesting that police permits will be required for the speeches to be carried out as they “may cause feelings of enmity, hatred, ill-will or hostility between different racial or religious groups in Singapore.”

Social activist Gilbert Goh, who is also the organiser for the event, announced in a Facebook post last night that the event will be called off.

PHOTO: Gilbert Goh’s Facebook post

In an interview with The Independent, he said that he did foresee such an outcome as race is a sensitive topic in Singapore.

“It’s pretty sore as we spent time and effort on the event organising. We also feel that as Singaporeans, we ought to speak up if we are unhappy with the Reserved PE in a right and proper manner. On hindsight, we probably should have applied earlier, given the feel that a police permit may be required as the race issue is involved.”

As police permits typically require a two-week long wait, even if an application for the permit was submitted now, there will not be any time left for the protest to take off before Nomination Day on 13 September.

Although the event has been cancelled for now, Goh plans to postpone it to an indoor venue at a later date.


  1. If they recognize it is racially sensitive, all the more reason why there should not be a PE reserved for a particular race. Perhaps LHL doesn’t know he’s opening the Pandora box!

  2. “may cause feelings of enmity, hatred, ill-will or hostility between different racial or religious groups in Singapore.”

    Aren’t they themselves the very source of this in the first place with their nonsense of a reserved election?

  3. The police are too sensitive, Kia su, Kia so, Kia huatseng taichi. Now is the 21st century. Of cause they don’t want the Chinese scolding and criticise the Malay especially the coming Malay President election. Chinese do not care how the Malay would scold and criticise them until the cow comes home. I don’t think the Chinese would do the scolding to the Malay, as long as there is TOTO, 4d, drinking pubs and casino for the Chinese. Orther than anything else is not important. just kidding.

  4. Why don’t these people form a party or join the existing ones ? Have guts to strengthen the opposition. Shooting off on non mainstream media or protesting without devoting resources ? Without sacrifice ?

  5. Why is NParks and the police painting the narrative that those who oppose the reserved election are racists or stirring up racial sentiments? This reminds me of those times when people who oppose the government and their policies and behaviour are labelled as “communists”, “Marxists”, “racist”, etc etc.

  6. The very fact that this is a reserved PE for a certain race is already creating divisions among races. They always say black or white cats does not matter, as long as it catches the rat. Why now must insist on a certain colour? Creating your own rules and suka suka changing again with no regards/respect for how the people feel.

  7. There is more than the reserved part to talk about. The fact that some feel the need for such a protest assembly shows that insufficient debate on this matter was given in Parliament, meaning that not all relevant concerns had been addressed.

  8. The very act of reserving the next President for a particular race or community is already racism at its best so govt can do it and citizens cannot talk abt it? North Korea mentality.

  9. They just want to claim later that there was NO Protest in selecting an Indian to Stand for PE reserved for Malay which means Singaporeans are okay with it

  10. Typical “can’t take criticism or refuse to listen” attitude of the white camp. Silent the opposite voice is no surprise under LHL’s dictatorship

  11. Nparks heads will roll if no action, this state of Singapore affairs are frightening. Seem that we Singaporean will be kept in darkness as long as time allow.

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