Police set out why permits for Tan Cheng Bock's party launch not approved yet

The logo of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) is seen in the background at its third Meet the People session on June 1, 2019.
The logo of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) is seen in the background at its third Meet the People session on June 1, 2019.PHOTO: DR TAN CHENG BOCK / FACEBOOK

The Singapore Police Force on Monday night (June 3) set out why permits for the launch of former People's Action Party MP Tan Cheng Bock's new political party have yet to be approved.

The launch event for Dr Tan's Progress Singapore Party (PSP) was initially scheduled to be held at Singapore Expo on June 15.

As the PSP wanted to play music and screen a film at the event, police said they had advised party chairman Wang Swee Chuang to apply for a Public Entertainment Licence and submit the film to the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) for classification.

"This is a standard requirement for all public screenings of videos or films," the police said.

In a Facebook post on Monday morning, Dr Tan said the launch would have to be postponed as the permits were "still pending".

"I have told my organising team that we should comply with all the permits required for the event, no matter how many there are," he added. "We are currently looking at a new launch date of end-June or some time in July."

In a statement, the police said: "The suggestion that there has been a delay in granting permits for the launch of the Progress Singapore Party, originally scheduled for June 15, 2019 at Singapore Expo, is untrue."

 
 
 

The police said Mr Wang had applied for a police permit on May 3, when they also asked him for more information.

They said they reminded him on May 7 to provide the information.

The police reminded Mr Wang on May 27 to apply for the licence and submit the film to IMDA for classification, said their statement.

The licence application was eventually submitted on May 27, the police noted.

Such applications usually take 12 working days for approval as stated in the application portal on the police website.

Still, to help the party, IMDA called and e-mailed Mr Wang on May 29, to advise him to submit the film for classification, police said.

"IMDA also shared with him the submission process so that the film can be classified in time for the launch of the PSP. To date, PSP has not done so."

The police, with IMDA, had "proactively engaged Mr Wang several times to get details of the event and were processing the applications, with the intention of facilitating their approval before the planned event date", they added.

"PSP has since postponed the event, without further contacting police," said the police.

ST has contacted the PSP for comment.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 04, 2019, with the headline 'Police: Why permits for Tan Cheng Bock's party launch not approved yet'. Print Edition | Subscribe