Jail, fine for man who demonstrated at Raffles Place

Yan Jun, 41, had demonstrated against Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the Singapore judiciary. He was jailed for three weeks and fined $20,000.
Yan Jun, 41, had demonstrated against Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the Singapore judiciary. He was jailed for three weeks and fined $20,000.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - The man caught on video holding a solo demonstration at Raffles Place last month was jailed for three weeks and fined $20,000 on Monday (Aug 14).

Following a two-day trial, a district court convicted Singaporean Yan Jun, 41, of four counts of taking part in a public assembly without permit and one count of disorderly behaviour.

Yan, who is unemployed, had demonstrated against Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the Singapore judiciary by displaying placards in front of the US Embassy at Napier Road at around 4pm on Oct 20 last year.

He committed the same offence about two months later with similar placards in front on the British High Commission at Tanglin Road.

And on July 3 this year, Yan, reoffended yet again by displaying a placard outside Raffles Place MRT station at around noon.

He returned to the same spot at around 1pm on July 4 with a similar sign and behaved in a disorderly manner about 15 minutes later, shouting repeatedly through a loudhailer at police officers who arrived at the scene.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Randeep Singh Koonar told District Judge Ng Peng Hong that Yan refused to stop doing so when police told him to.

DPP Singh said: "Instead, he continued yelling at them through the loudhailer at close proximity."

The prosecution also said the Yan had claimed trial despite the "overwhelming evidence" against him.

DPP Singh added: "He proffered no defence at trial, and did not even challenge any of the evidence against him. He has instead abused the trial process and used the trial as a further soapbox for him to cast baseless and spurious allegations against the judiciary, the prosecution and the police."

Yan, who was unrepresented, did not present any evidence in court in his defence.

DPP Singh urged the court to jail him for at least three weeks for disorderly behaviour and fine him the maximum $5,000 for each count of taking part in a public assembly without permit.

Judge Ng agreed with the prosecution that Yan had shown blatant disregard for the law.

Yan said he intends to appeal against his conviction and sentence.

First-time offenders convicted of behaving in a disorderly manner can be jailed up to six months and fined up to $2,000. Repeat offenders can be jailed up to a year and fined up to $5,000.