'Return Our CPF' protester discharged after public apology

CPF protester Goh Aik Huat, 41, was on Friday (Oct 23) granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal.
CPF protester Goh Aik Huat, 41, was on Friday (Oct 23) granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - One of four "Return Our CPF" protesters has been let off with a conditional warning, after making a public apology.

Goh Aik Huat, 42, had claimed trial to a charge of committing public nuisance, alongside fellow protesters Han Hui Hui, Koh Yew Beng, 60, and Low Wai Choo, 55, for disrupting a community event at Hong Lim Park on Sept 27 last year by shouting loudly, chanting slogans, waving flags, holding placards, blowing whistles and beating drums.

Goh was on Friday granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal.

Police issued him a conditional warning of 24 months on Wednesday. This means that if he conmits a fresh offence in this period, he can be prosecuted for both the new offence and this one.

Speaking in halting Mandarin, Goh said: "I wish to apologise to the court. I undertake not to repeat this again. I hope Your Honour can grant me one last chance."

The Attorney-General's Chambers said in a statement that it had decided not to prosecute Goh further, after considering his culpability "relative to that of the other co-accused persons, his willingness to apologise unreservedly to those affected by his conduct...as well as his conduct during the trial" .

Goh was represented on Friday by lawyer Suang Wijaya, who had come on board after the first tranche of the trial. The other three co-accused remain unrepresented, and will enter the second tranche of their trial on Feb 24 to 26 next year.

Goh is the eighth person to be given a 24-month conditional warning for the Hong Lim incident. Two others involved, Chua Siew Leng, 43, and Roy Ngerng Yi Ling, 34, have pleaded guilty and been fined $300 and $1,900 respectively.

oliviaho@sph.com.sg