Singapore Authorities Decline Permits for Israel-Hamas Related Events Amid Safety Concerns
In light of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the National Parks Board (NParks) have jointly announced that events and public assemblies related to the conflict will not be permitted.
This decision has been made due to concerns over public safety and security.
Today (18 Oct), the authorities confirmed that any applications to hold such events would be declined.
S’pore Will Reject All Applications for Events & Public Assemblies Related to the Israel-Hamas Conflict
The police have been made aware of various events and public assemblies being organized in relation to the conflict.
Additionally, NParks has received applications for the use of the Speakers’ Corner for events related to the same topic.
The police stated, “The police have assessed that there are public safety and security concerns associated with such events, given the heightened tensions. NParks shares the same concerns.”
For those looking to use the Speakers’ Corner at Hong Lim Park (for other purposes), they must first submit an application to NParks.
As per the NParks website, foreigners, non-Singapore entities, and non-Singapore citizens are required to apply for a police permit if they wish to organize, assist in organizing, or engage in public speaking at the Speakers’ Corner.
So, what are the concerns?
Violence Overseas Raises Concerns
The authorities highlighted several incidents of violence reported in various countries due to the Israel-Hamas conflict.
For example, an Israeli staff member from the Israeli Embassy in Beijing was attacked in front of a supermarket, and a teacher in France was fatally stabbed by a Chechen individual.
The authorities emphasized the importance of maintaining peace and harmony among different races and religions in Singapore.
They stated, “The peace and harmony between different races and religions in Singapore should not be taken for granted, and we must not let events happening externally affect the internal situation within Singapore.”
Given the sensitivity and volatility of the situation overseas, there is a genuine risk that such events could lead to public disorder in Singapore. Hence, the authorities reiterated their stance on not permitting such events.
A few days ago, Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam has also spoken about the security issue of this conflict:
Regulations Under the Public Order Act 2009
The police further clarified that public assemblies in Singapore are governed by the Public Order Act 2009. Organizing or participating in a public assembly without the necessary police permit is considered an offence under this act.
The SPF has a clear policy of not granting permits for assemblies that advocate for the political causes of other countries or foreign entities, especially if they have the potential to evoke strong emotions and lead to public order incidents.
The police also urged the public to engage in responsible and respectful discussions on this topic, whether online or offline.
Yes, even online.
They cautioned against making insensitive or offensive remarks about race or religion, which could jeopardize Singapore’s racial and religious harmony.
The SPF emphasized its commitment to preserving harmony in Singapore, stating, “Any person who makes remarks or acts in a manner which potentially causes ill-will and hostility between different races or religious groups in Singapore will be dealt with swiftly and in accordance with the law.”