Six charged over disruption of charity event
SIX people - including activist Han Hui Hui and blogger Roy Ngerng Yi Ling - who took part in a Hong Lim Park protest last month which allegedly disrupted a charity carnival, were charged yesterday with committing a public nuisance act.
Han, 23, and Ngerng, 33, were also charged with organising a demonstration without approval.
The duo appeared in court dressed in white: Ngerng in a white long-sleeved shirt and pants, and Han in an all-white outfit paired with white spectacles and a white hairband.
The other four, each of whom face one charge of being a public nuisance, are Janet Low Wai Choo, 54; Chua Siew Leng, 42; Goh Aik Huat, 41; and Ivan Koh Yew Beng, 59.
Koh owns an apparel manufacturing company, according to official company records. There was no immediate information on the occupations of the rest.
All six are accused of disrupting the YMCA Proms @ The Park event, which was held at Hong Lim Park at the same time on Sept 27 as the Return Our CPF rally co-organised by Han and Ngerng.
The group allegedly marched around the general vicinity of the carnival, shouted loudly, chanted slogans, waved flags, held placards, blew whistles loudly and beat drums.
These were done "in furtherance of the common intention...to disrupt the YMCA event", thereby causing annoyance to the public, said the charge sheet.
The six are represented by lawyer M. Ravi, who asked for more information to be shared via the pre-trial Criminal Case Management System.
This is where the defence and prosecution will meet, without a judge being present, to discuss their cases frankly and in private.
Deputy Public Prosecutor John Lu agreed to his request. The case is adjourned until Nov 24 for a pre-trial conference.
Mr Ravi told reporters his clients were initially anxious. "But now, they have been briefed on the law and are much calmer."
The six were among 14 people investigated by the police for the Sept 27 protest. Five were given conditional warnings, and the outcome of the probe into the remaining three is pending.
A person guilty of being a public nuisance can be fined up to $1,000. Organising a demonstration without approval carries a maximum fine of $5,000.
The law requires a person to get the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation's approval to, among other things, organise any demonstration.