Guidelines for foreigners' use of CC halls may be needed

The news report on the arrest of several Myanmar nationals for using Singapore to mobilise support of the Arakan Army is disturbing to say the least (Group of Myanmar nationals deported, more details surface, July 12).

What is more, they also held a gathering at a community club hall here to celebrate an event that led to the promotion of violent acts against a foreign government.

This raises a few questions:

What checks do community club staff do when foreign nationals want to use the club hall for their activities?

Are there measures to ensure that users state clearly the activities to be carried out at the event?

Are any penalties imposed if what is stated is different from what is carried out?

A community club is basically a place for citizen-oriented activities and the fact that Myanmar nationals used it for their political causes in this instance is an abuse of trust.

Foreigners may also rent function rooms in hotels or commercial buildings to propagate their political ideas.

Government agencies should work closely with stakeholders such as building owners to ensure their facilities are rented out for legitimate purposes.

If not, some may unwittingly be accomplices to causes that are damaging to their public image.

Gabriel Cheng Kian Tiong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 16, 2019, with the headline 'Guidelines for foreigners' use of CC halls may be needed'. Print Edition | Subscribe