Socio-political activist Gilbert Goh was spotted placing Singapore’s national flag on the ground at a recent event he organised opposing the India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).
The event, which saw a crowd of about 300-400 gathering at Hong Lim Park on Sunday (Nov 3), was organised in the wake of the viral incident in which an India-born condo resident berated an elderly security officer who was doing his job.
The incident outraged Singaporeans, many of whom expressed dissatisfaction with CECA which allows for the free movement of professionals between India and Singapore.
In a video that gripped the anti-CECA event, Mr Goh was spotted placing Singapore’s national flag on the stage floor.
According to the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Act, “No person in possession of the Flag shall allow or cause the Flag to touch the floor or ground, even when lowering the Flag from a staff or flagpole.”
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Hong Lim Park: NO to CECA & 6.9 mil population protestHappening right now at Hong Lim Park, an event organised by transitioning.org, an non-profit organisation that deals with unemployed PMETs. According to the organiser, the gathering acts as a platform for Singaporeans to pen their thoughts on any burning issues, especially on Singapore’s Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) and 6.9 million population plan, in light of the recent incident of Ramesh Erramalli – a foreign talent employee at J.P. Morgan who was caught on video berating security officers.Announcing this news on his Facebook page on Wednesday (30 Oct), Mr Goh called for concerned Singaporeans to “flood the park with our united unhappiness at CECA, Ramesh and 6.9 mil population plan”.“You can be unemployed, under-employed or simply dissatisfied with the current system. If you are a security officer, we want to hear from you as well,” he said in the post.Most of the speakers in this event are ordinary citizens.
Posted by The Online Citizen SG on Sunday, November 3, 2019
Mr Goh was not aware that he had placed the flag on the stage floor when The Independent contacted him. Surprised that he had done so, Mr Goh viewed the video and explained that he used the flag to wave as each speaker took the stage.
Clarifying that he must have placed the flag on the stage floor while he was distracted, Mr Goh said that he did not do so intentionally and asserted that he deeply respects the national flag. He told The Independent: “It’s most likely I was busy with something that distracted me…it’s not done intentionally…I have full respect for my national flag.”
A career counsellor who runs the transitioning.org support site for unemployed and underemployed Singaporeans, Mr Goh is perhaps most well known for the protests he organises, championing the rights of Singaporean workers.
He organised a protest against the government’s 2013 Population White Paper that targeted a 6.9 million resident population.
Mr Goh also has experience working with local opposition parties. He rose to prominence in 2011 when he contested in the Tampines GRC under the National Solidarity Party ticket in that year’s General Election (GE).
In the 2015 GE, Mr Goh ran as part of the Reform Party’s team contesting Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s own ward, Ang Mo Kio GRC. Mr Goh and his colleagues lost both elections.
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