Police reject activist Gilbert Goh's application for Speakers' Corner permit

The police have rejected activist Gilbert Goh's application for a permit to hold an event at the Speakers' Corner in Hong Lim Park. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
The police have rejected activist Gilbert Goh's application for a permit to hold an event at the Speakers' Corner in Hong Lim Park. -- ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - The police have rejected activist Gilbert Goh's application for a permit to hold an event at the Speakers' Corner in Hong Lim Park.

The Feb 14 event was to be held to rally people behind a campaign to make Thaipusam a public holiday.

The police said on Thursday night in response to media queries that permission was denied because the planned event "runs a significant risk of public disorder and could incite feelings of hostility between different racial and religious groups in Singapore."

The police added: "The Speakers' Corner is a public space where Singaporeans can speak outdoors in public on any issue, except for matters related to religion, or which may cause feelings of enmity, hatred, ill-will or hostility between different racial or religious groups in Singapore."

The police also reminded members of the public that organising or participating in events on matters of race or religion without a police permit constitutes an offence under the Public Order Act.

Mr Goh organised a protest on Jan 31 against the Population White Paper, which caused an outcry in 2013 by outlining planning parameters for a bigger population of 6.9 million by 2030.