|Worst case scenario|
Yesterday the police reminded organisers of public events that a permit is generally required in Singapore for any assembly or procession under the Public Orders Act if the gathering intends to:
a) Demonstrate support for or opposition to the views or actions of any person, group of persons or any government;
b) Publicise a cause or campaign; or
c) Mark or commemorate any event.
A former committee member of the Pilipino Independence Day Council of Singapore (PIDCS) said previous applications for a permit, such as for one similar gathering at Hong Lim Park, were submitted 1 1/2 months to 3 weeks in advance. The police guidelines do accept submissions as late as 4 days before the actual event. If partial or full road closure is required, applications must be turned in at least 21 days beforehand.
June 8 is 46 days away. Kind of early to speculate if PIDCS co-chairman Rychie Andres will stand by his earlier statement about going ahead with the big bash at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza. Police said they have heard nothing from the organisers. The Philippines Embassy is awfully quiet too. Former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada is busy in Hong Kong apologizing for the death of 8 tourists in the August 2010 Manila hostage crisis. The loudest ringing endorsements seem to emanate from Tan Chuan-Jin, Lee Hsien Loong, Warren Fernandez, Kirsten Han - the list is long, and some quarters say, smacks of treachery.
But hey, rules are rules. The PIDCS may be simply taking a leaf from the elections department, giving the shortest notice permissible so that the opposing side has the least time to react.