Activist who protested outside ICA to be charged in court, says he’ll ‘go to jail in defiance’

Mr Gilbert Goh's alleged protest outside the ICA building construed taking part in a public assembly without a permit. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Local activist Gilbert Goh will be charged in court on Wednesday (Dec 15) for carrying out a public assembly without a permit and refusing to sign a police statement.

On May 1, the 60-year-old allegedly staged a protest in the vicinity of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) building by holding up a placard which read "Please ban all flights from India we are not racist! Just being cautious".

He posted the picture of himself doing this on Facebook on the same day, a week after Singapore barred all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors who had travelled to India in the past 14 days from entering or transiting through the country.

Mr Goh had also allegedly refused to sign his statement to the police during the course of subsequent investigations into the incident.

He was issued a stern warning on Tuesday for his refusal to sign a police statement and for not complying with the conditions for organisers of assemblies.

Following this, he wrote on Facebook about the two charges he faces in court, and stated that he "will go to jail in defiance".

Mr Goh's alleged protest outside the ICA building construed taking part in a public assembly without a permit, which is an offence under the Public Order Act and carries a fine of up to $3,000.

For allegedly refusing to sign a police statement, he may be jailed for up to three months, fined up to $2,500, or both.

The police had also investigated Mr Goh in November 2019 after he allowed a foreigner to participate in an event that he organised at the Speakers' Corner without a permit.

He organised the event in opposition to the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement free trade agreement between Singapore and India, and the Government's 6.9 million population target.

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