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Media statements on Hong Lim Park

20 Oct 2014

Joint media statement by NParks and Singapore Police Force (21 October 2014)


NParks has confirmed that Han Hui Hui made two applications to use Speakers Corner on 25 Oct 14. The first application was made on 28 Sept 14 to speak, while a second application was made on 19 Oct 14 to demonstrate, both at Speakers’ Corner on 25 Oct 14. The Police is investigating Han Hui Hui and other individuals for the “Return Our CPF” event on 27 Sept 14. As advised by the Police, NParks has decided to cancel the approvals granted to Han Hui Hui to speak and to demonstrate at Speakers Corner on 25 Oct 14, and will also cancel any existing approvals or not approve any further applications made by individuals under investigation for the 27 Sept event, until their cases are concluded. 



NParks media statement (29 September 2014)


The Speaker’s Corner in Hong Lim Park is designated by the Government as an area for public speaking and gatherings for all Singaporeans. Any Singaporean wishing to conduct a public speaking event or activity can apply for a permit to do so, so long as their activities are not unlawful or incite feelings of enmity, hatred, ill-will or hostility between different racial or religious groups in Singapore. 


There have been multiple events held on the same date at Hong Lim Park previously. For example, on 29 June 2013, the Pink Dot 2013, anti-haze speech and protest against LTA cross island MRT Line took place. Other examples include 1 May 2013 (Stand up for the Rest, and Say No to 6.9m population and others), and 29 November 2008 (Mini-bond & General Election, and Dance India, Taste India). In general, where there is more than one application, our approach has been to allow the participants to share the space in Speaker’s Corner. Until the incident on Saturday, no  adverse or disorderly incidents have ever ensued in these previous events because the groups showed consideration and respect for each other, despite their different views and agendas. 


On Saturday, the Return Our CPF rally as well as a YMCA charity event took place simultaneously. YMCA was allocated one lawn to hold their charity event. The adjacent lawn was allocated for Ms Han Hui Hui who had applied to speak. The two separate spaces were clearly demarcated. Unfortunately, members from the Return Our CPF rally refused to conduct their activities in their designated area in the Speakers’ Corner and encroached into the separate area where the YMCA charity event was held. They noisily disrupted the charity event by chanting and waving Singapore flags and marching around the site.  Their conduct caused alarm and anxieties to a group of special needs children who was about to perform a dance item on stage and left some of these children as well as elderly members of the audience shocked and traumatised.  


Our officers are authorised to exercise the powers conferred on and perform the duties of the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation. As the Police will be conducting investigations into this incident, it is inappropriate for NParks to comment further on other specific issues relating to the events on 27 September 2014.


Joint Statement by NParks and SPF (27 September 2014)


Speaker’s Corner in Hong Lim Park is designated by the Government as an area for public speaking and gatherings.


Application to use the park was first received from YMCA and approval to use the park was given to YMCA on 9 September.  Ms Han’s application was received on 22 Sep and approval was granted to Ms Han on the same day.


In anticipation of the crowd this afternoon, NParks demarcated and allocated space for both events. There are two lawns at Hong Lim Park, and each event was allocated a lawn. NParks and SPF approached Ms Han to request her cooperation to speak at the allocated space.  


We regret to note that Ms Han did not heed our advice and continued to hold her event at the same lawn as YMCA. Ms Han’s group encroached into the YMCA event area, holding placards and shouting slogans, disrupted performances and frightened participants, including special needs children who were performing at the charity event. 


The Police will be conducting investigations into this incident.

Last updated on 06 April 2021

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