kan seng apologises for cops
Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng on Saturday apologised for the way the police overreacted to a group of school girls' plan to sell and wear white elephant T-shirts at the opening of Buangkok Station. The white elephant cut-outs had become such icons that a group of Raffles Girls School girls planned to sell T-shirts with their design, and wear them at the opening of the Buangkok Station. But not everything went as planned. The police advised the organiser to apply for a permit when they found out that the proceeds were for charity. For this, Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng, who's also the Home Affairs Minister praised the police for being flexible and helpful, and the students for their creative plan and sense of humour. But Mr Wong was disappointed the police had clamped down on those wearing the T-shirts for fear that doing so in large groups may be "misconstrued by some as an offence".... Mr Wong said the police may have overreacted on this, but there were also other instances where the police were criticised for not doing enough to check overly exuberant behaviour. One example was the use of foam sprays at the Christmas Orchard Road Party, where some young women were blinded and then molested by some men. Instead of clamping down on the use of foam at the New Year's Eve party the following week, the police adopted a softer approach, by appealing to the common sense and cooperation of the public. Police also warned that if the foam spray was used to commit a criminal act, such as molest, the offenders would be arrested. DPM Wong said: "The recent episode at Buangkok showed how difficult it is for police to act. On one hand they have to maintain law and order and public interest, on the other hand they have to consider that society changes all the time and they have to continue to open up and liberalise some of the rules that we have in place." But Mr Wong stressed, that in so doing, the ultimate interest must be that of Singapore's, and not just specific groups or individuals. - CNA/ a little discretion will go a long way.