We have finally confirmed the speaker list after going through twenty over people who wanted to speak on that day.
I have tried my best to see everyone personally who have written in wanting to speak on that day as I felt that this is respectful of their earnest desire.
We now have confirmed Mr Lee Kah Jing - actuary, Mr Cradius Tan – medical technologist, Ms Samantha Chia – event co-ordinator, Mr Nizam Ismail - lawyer and Ms Sem Teo - customer service officer as part of the 12-strong speaking contingent.
Ordinary Singaporeans speaking
Most of these speakers are ordinary Singaporeans who want their voices to be heard on the population white paper and they will be stepping out on to the green grass of Hong Lim Park for the first tiime - I am sure that it will be a very poignant moment for them as well.
They are not solid eloquent speakers like Nicole Seah but I felt that they have a strong message to bring across to the country and more importantly they will speak from their heart from what I have found after talking to them for an hour or two individually.
I realise that those who come forward to speak are ordinary Singaporeans who love their country alot and I have to control my emotions a few times when I heard of how they felt increasingly frustrated by the policies of our government.
Many are sadly looking at emigration to get out of the country in search of a greener pasture abroad and I don’t blame them one bit for doing that given the circumstances we are in right now.
Mr Tan Jee Say, Mr Tan Kin Lian, Mr Vincent Wijey, Mr Leong Sze Hian, Mr Ravi Philemon, Ms Jeannette Chong, and Mr Kumaran Pillai are among the other prominent speakers for the event.
Each of them will be given ten minutes to speak so that everyone will have their chance to express their views equally.
On that day, every speaker is a Singaporean first regardless of political party affiliation, race, profession or religion.
We also want to emphasize the message of unity on that day as I feel Singaporeans are basically disunited, fragmented and very much fighting their own personal battle alone.
Hopefully, the event can unite Singaporeans together as one powerul voice in peaceful protest against the population white paper.
A professional singer Ms Oniatta Effendi is also singing on that day and it promises to be an occasion whereby nationalistic emotions will be stirred as we try to encourage frustrated Singaporeans to fall in love with their country again.
I have a hard time rejecting alot of professional people who want to be part of the peaceful mass protest on 16th Feb at 4pm at Hong Lim Park.
We are also hearing the concerns of many people when they heard that politicians are speaking and have tried our best to include common people so that the event does not look like a opposition rally.
Politcians have their part to play in local politics but this is a Singapore-first event and I have ask them to speak mainly on a personal capacity ie. as a Singaporean rather than a politican.
So far, we have close to 4000 people indicating on the event facebook page that they may want to turn up for the event and hopefully most of them will honour their commitment.
Largest post-independence protest in Singapore?
For all we know, this event may turn out to be the largest post-independence protest in history as so far only Mr Tan Kin Lian’s minibond event has managed to garner more than a thousand people protesting against the loss of investment money few years back.
I hope that Singaporeans will turn out in full force to protest peacefully against the damaging anti-Singapore population white paper.
We also want you to draw out your own placards and protest banners and wave them around so that your voice will be hard loud and clear.
It is legal to have protest banners and placards in Hong Lim Park.
Amazing, the foreign press has being most supportive of our event and so far Bloomberg, AFP, CNN, ABC news, Reuters and Yahoo have all indicated their interest to cover the event on that historic day.
I am sure that our local press will also turn out on that day to cover the historic occasion.
Someone is volunteering to paint the 6.9 million logo on the faces of children and adults and she has generously donated all the proceeds to offset the cost of the event organisation – thanks Mee Lee!
She will also be decorating the whole Hong Lim Park with balloons and hopefully this will soften the tense message that we are trying to send out to the government.
We are planning to carry out livestreaming for the event so that 200, 000 overseas Singaporeans can watch it live in whatever part of the world they are in – we hope that the event will bring back fond memories of a Singapore they have miss while staying abroad.
We have also forwarded our event half an hour earlier so it will start at 4 pm instead of 4.30pm and it will end at 7 pm insteed of 6.30pm due to the sheer number of speakers and programmes involved.
The tentative programme is listed as follows:
1.30pm Arrival of key co-ordinators
2.00 pm Arrival of volunteers
2.30 pm Sales of 6.9 million tee shirts – one person to buy one only
3.00 pm Arrival of speakers
4.00 pm Start of event – led by Mr Kwan who will be our MC
4.05 pm First speaker to sixth speaker
5.15 pm Performance – subject to change
5.20 pm Saying of pledge
5.25 pm Seventh speaker to twelve speaker
6.45 pm National anthem and closing of event
7.00 pm Press conference on site
The event promises to be historic and I am sure many Singaporeans will be stepping into Hong Lim Park for the first time – many want to be part of the evolving change process here.
Come out Singapore and don’t miss being part of the change for our country!
We need you to say NO to a 6.9-million population on 16th Feb at 4pm!
Written by: Gilbert Goh