Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Monday October 7th 2019

Toy grenade prank discouraged during silent protest for presidential election

Dear Sir/Mdm

I refer to the article “Man admits placing toy grenade at MRT station exit to force Hong Lim Park protestors to leave” (Todayonline, 6 Sep 2019).

As the organizer of the silent protest at Hong Lim Park on September 16, 2017 against the “reserved elected presidency”, I would like to commend the police for their firm action against Mr Ho Hee Hew who placed a bag with a toy grenade near the park “to try to force the protestors to leave the park”. We are also grateful for the prompt action of the officers from the Public Transport Security Command (TransCom) unit who rapidly assessed the situation and allowed the protest to continue uninterrupted so that the views of hundreds of Singaporeans on the sad events surrounding the presidential elections could be made known through the silent protest.

At the same time, the protest organizers are concerned that the Prime Minister’s office and Minister of Home Affairs have not made any statement to date condemning the action of this individual. He clearly did not accept the constitutional right of Singaporeans to disagree with actions by our government – in this case, forcing us to accept a narrow racially limited election for the Presidency of Singapore.

While we acknowledge that this individual most likely had nothing to do with the PMO or the ruling party, there is a risk that supporters of the PMO and ruling party can be over-enthusiastic in their attempts to mis-characterize Singaporeans who disagree with them. This can potentially have serious consequences for our country. We have seen angry rhetoric again and again online by the so-called IBs (internet brigade). In this case, an individual took physical action and fortunately it was only an attempt at intimidation which was promptly stopped by the authorities. In the future, if such actions are not reined in at the source by those in leadership, it is a real possibility that someone could be injured and the peace and harmony we enjoy in Singapore could be compromised.

We are happy to help with the rehabilitation of this individual and others like him who cannot accept that a diversity of views is important for Singapore’s continued peace and prosperity. If the police would like our assistance to educate such individuals on civil society and alternate views, we can certainly try our best in the interests of our country and all our people.

Thanks & Warmest Regards,

Gilbert Goh

Silent protest event organiser

Editor’s note: The letter was emailed to ST forum and Voices, Today Online but was rejected for publication.

Number of View: 34