1/22/2006

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.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Police job may be difficult at times, I admit that. However, Singapore is paying exremely huge salaries to people to avoid mistakes.

redbean said...

hi anonymous,

ya, pay for talent. i know that those ministries when they pay well sure got no problems.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Police are supposed to protect the people. Police used to harrass the people is a sign of tyranny.

Even peaceful assembly is against the law in Singapore. Police are used to effect political agenda.

Police who suppress peaceful demonstrations and good natured humour must be jailed as CRIMINALS.

... and so should the Minister-in-charge.

MATILAH SINGAPURA! - totalitarian state and corrupt dick-tatership! :-)

Speedwing said...

My, my, Matilah, you do have a very dim view of the fine police force of Singapore. I guess they do only what they have been told. Cannot blame them too much.

redbean said...

generally i think our police are very good. but things like handling the people when they need to is questionable.

they will be put to the test when the world bank/imf meeting is here. now the protesters will not be 4 persons wearing t shirts or innocent school girls selling t shirts.

Matilah_Singapura said...

speedwing,

Not at all. I think police are necessary. They keep law and order - i.e. ensure that private property is not interfered with.

However their role is not to interfere politically. When they do, they become instruments of oppression, manipulated by a ruling political class. They are supposed to "Protect and Serve" the public. When they arrest or accost the public when the public is behaving peacefully, then the police are wrong.

In the US Marines, each Marine is a reasoning agent. That means he can, and MUST use his judgement if he feels that his superiors are incorrect in their judgement.

I consider each individual to be just that - an independent reasoning agent. If you do wrong, because you are told to, and refuse to stand up as an individual to what is right, then you are guilty.

You might say "it's easier said than done". I'll agree with you. But it's the individual's choice: to be courageous or a craven coward.

Matilah_Singapura said...

George Orwell was a cop.

He wrote "1984", a great book on the totalitarian state. As a cop he understood how easily the police and the military can be influenced to fulfill totalitarian political agenda and the quest of supreme and absolute social control.

redbean said...

a uniform group thrives on orders. obey orders and give orders.

the marines seem to have made believing in orders that more critical. whether they have changed that to expect their men to defy orders when they think it is wrong, i am not sure. but their code of conduct speaks otherwise. and if order breaks down, it is very difficult for a uniform group to function.

1984, orwell, military state and the tyranny of order and police state. the nemesis of anarchy.