20140928 NParks does an Intan, PAP’s wayang shown countless times already

The incident at Hong Lim Park on 27 September was preventable and the error was unmistakably NParks’. One should also take WP’s Bernard Chen’s comments on the “heckled” allegation with a lorry load of salt. It is not only irresponsible but utterly stupid to play into the media’s hand and comment without any verification.

Recently, when Intan made headlines daily, we did not hear PAP MPs or WP MPs uttering a single word on the issue. Suddenly, WP Bernard Chen, paper generals Tan Chuan Jin and Chan Chun Sing, escaped-NS Puthucheary, Zagy Mohamad and Ang Wei Neng found their voices? What’s going on?

And the latest to add to the chorus is Tin Pei Ling who did not know what to say a few years back suddenly has a lot to say on an allegation.

Politicians who comment on an unverified event are irresponsible and out to score political points. Frequently, they are also ineffective leaders. When the source of the “heckled” allegation comes to light, all those who have commented will look like fools.  Why can’t they just let the police complete their investigation?

Not politically motivated?

PAP MP Intan became a liability to the PAP on 8 September by trying to redefine grassroots ‘position’ as well as giving her support to a foreigner in his appeal for Singapore PR, someone she “does not know (Yang) personally”.

9 September – YMCA given approval by NParks and the police to use Hong Lim Park.
22 September – Han Hui Hui given approval to use the same venue.

The intention of holding another protest rally at Hong Lim Park was made known one month ago after the last one held on August 23. Is it a coincidence YMCA’s event was given approval on 9 September, one day after Yang Yin made headlines?

Why was YMCA allowed to change its timing to afternoon to coincide with the protest rally?

Or stupidity?

NParks cannot claim it does not know:
– Protest rallies at Hong Lim Park are very noisy events
– The turnout could be unpredictable as it has numbered thousands in the past.

Would any average-intelligent person from NParks have approved both events with loudspeakers drowning out each other and an unpredictable crowd turnout? Is this an “honest mistake” or stupidity?

Abuse of public resources

Instead of admitting to its error, Mr Chia, Parks Director 1, was sent to ‘request’ Han’s cooperation. This was not done in a civilised but intimidating manner. As can be seen from this video, link Chia required 6 plainclothes policemen to accompany him for a simple task. As a Director, Chia’s competence has now been called into question.

1 – Chia clearly felt he was unable to perform the simple task of talking to the organiser and convincing her to cooperate.
2 – Since it was NParks’ error, Chia should be upfront and not hide behind the SPF ‘show of force’.
3 – Chia clearly does not know his job from the way he replied to Han’s questions in the video.

It is also an abuse of police/public resources to require 6 plainclothes policemen, a few looking more like thugs, for a simple task. Citizens have frequently complained on social media that our men in blue usually show up after a reported fight has taken place. This already reflected the low confidence in the SPF and the video has tarnished SPF’s image further.

Bullying citizens again?

The show of force was certainly an overkill. Why do we need 6 policemen to convince a 34 kg Singaporean?

It turned out the services of the SPF were not even required. They were there simply as a show of force, a waste of tax dollars, to intimidate citizens. This appears to be an intimidation tactic used by the PAP in the past on citizens. Where were the police when citizens were assaulted by foreigners? Why were the police able to arrest the Toa Payoh vandals within days but unwilling to commit resources to quickly arrest foreigners who had assaulted Singaporeans, especially taxi drivers?

Sending 7 middle-aged men, one highly paid, at taxpayers’ expense to ‘fix’ a young Singaporean is like calling in heavy artillery to target a lone soldier on the battlefield. This would not have happened in any other country and is such a disgraceful act.

Hong Lim Park is an open public area in Singapore, not some slums in countries which are out of bounds to the police.

Don’t always resort to force/threats, other solutions available

NParks direct role in the Hong Lim Park incident is unmistakable because the previous 3 CPF protest rallies were all uneventful. Director Chia could have applied some common sense PR which would have made Han looked really unreasonable if she did not cooperate. Instead, he blindly applied PAP’s tactics of intimidation and threat.

More than a year ago, PAP MP Zagy had also threatened TRS with legal action for an article written by his frustrated resident. As was highlighted, Zagy could have also used some common sense PR and gained political mileage by engaging his resident. Like Chia, as well as other PAP politicians, Zagy had chosen not to engage.

PAP MP Intan and NParks no different

Intan made an epic error in supporting Yang Yin’s PR appeal. She did not apologise but subsequently shifted the issue to one of trying to help a fellow elderly citizen. The mainstream media were roped in to her rescue and her Facebook administrator was also blamed.

Fast forward to 27 September, we can see the similarities between Intan and NParks. NParks had made an ‘error’ in approving 2 noisy events with big turnouts to be held simultaneously. Like Intan, there has been no apology from NParks. The media is now helping to deflect the issue from one of NParks’ error to something else.


It is unmistakable that NParks must shoulder the responsibility for the Hong Lim Park incident. Remove NParks politically-motivated ‘error’ or its stupidity in approving both events, the incident would not have arisen.

PAP MPs and ministers are acting irresponsibly by commenting on the “heckled” allegation without verification. When the dust has settled, the source of the “heckled” allegation is likely to be linked to the PAP.

What’s shocking this time round are the comments by WP’s Bernard Chen. Why did Bernard speak up on an unverified incident when he has been silent on more serious and chronic issues such as housing, healthcare, public transport and education? Is this to score political points or put himself in PAP’s good books?

PAP wayang has been ongoing for decades, same script but different players. The PAP is always right, blame is shifted to something/someone, the media help to deflect blame and PAP wins every time. More citizens are losing trust in the PAP system but we keep being treated to the same wayang. It’s getting really boring so how about something new?

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8 Responses to 20140928 NParks does an Intan, PAP’s wayang shown countless times already

  1. Xmen says:

    Actually, HHH received an email approval on July 26 to use the venue for the CPF event. She has shared the email here –


    YMCA also claimed that it received the permission as far back as in April (?).

    Regardless, how could NParks allow 2 major events to be held at the same time/location? Both CPF events prior to July 26 attracted 1000 or more people. How could NParks predict the size of the September protest when they approved both events? This is either bad judgment, or more likely incompetency,

    I totally agree with you on WP’s Bernard Chen. I hope we will see more progressive MPs in the next GE.

    • phillip ang says:

      CPF protest rallies are planned well in advance. Did NParks AGAIN make another error to state 22 September as the approval date?
      Ir’s frustrating for many to see the WP remaining silent throughout the whole CPF episode. WP could have been the straw that broke the camel’s back but why didn’t it? Maybe they are just freeloading on Roy, Leong, HH and online/social media? Now that WP MPs are getting their 15K allowance, they can easily afford it. Guess the most cost effective strategy is to do minimum work, wait for the right time to get into power.

    • Xmen says:

      YMCA Singapore apparently posted some inaccurate statements on September 26 on FB –

      “Regarding the concerns raised by Ms Han Hui Hui, we would like to note the following:
      1) YMCA is a voluntary welfare organisation and is the organiser of YMCA Proms @ the Park. This activity has been organised annually since 2007. We do not represent any grassroots organisation.
      2) We also have not made changes to any plans.
      3) We applied to National Parks for permission to use Hong Lim Park in December 2013 and were given permission in April 2014 to hold the event on 27th September 2014.
      4) Neither YMCA nor its representatives have had communication with Ms Han.

      Point 1 – Let me just say that I am not convinced that YMCA has nothing to do with any grassroots organization. Technically they may be correct about the representation but will they say that they don’t work with grassroots and/or receive help/benefits from them?
      Point 2 – This is a bold statement to make. Any well run organization will be careful to make this kind of blanket statement. HHH claimed that the event time had been moved a few times.
      Point 3 – On September 28, YMCA had to “clarify” the statement. Here is Today’s headline, “Final approval for Hong Lim Park event given on Sept 9: YMCA.” So it was not approved in April as they claimed initially.
      Point 4 – HHH has provided the name and phone number of the YMCA representative who contacted her. Does that person not come from YMCA Singapore?

      Finally, I have a question for YMCA wrt point 1. How many grassroots people are YMCA volunteers and if so, how much hold leadership/management positions? If YMCA Singapore is not political, why are they challenging the #RETURNMYCPF protesters by announcing over the loudspeaker that “They Love CPF”?! Good grief.

      • phillip ang says:

        Most of these organisations are politically affiliated to the PAP but of course they will claim otherwise. Events are not approved 5 days (HHH on 22 Sep) or YMCA just weeks in advance. Even on Roy’s website, everyone knew about the event one month ago.
        Got final approval means there was interim approval. Got such thing meh? Our stat boards are making a fool of themselves. Anyway, this issue will come back to bite NParks.
        Just like the Brompton bike issue, MND has come to its support by saying “multiple events have been held on the same date…eg, Pink Dot 2013, anti-haze speech and protest against LTA….”.
        But they all share a common anti PAP sentiment whereas the YMCA event and CPF protest don’t. So again, Singaporeans are so stupid not to be able to see apples being compared to oranges? 😦
        The more PAP uses public resources against the people, the more respect and trust they will lose.

  2. joker says:

    Well planned and executed, just like the staging of riots and subsequent arrest in the 60s. Not since the nailing of JBJ, Chee and Francis have we seen such superb execution. Give the man a Tiger

  3. phillip ang says:

    One thing unpredictable is Singaporeans’ perception of the staged ‘heckling’. In the past, PAP monopolised information. Presently, they have yet to understand the power of the internet besides having administrators, and blaming them, to manage their social media accounts.
    How everything pans out, no one knows at the moment. Too early to give them a Tiger. 🙂

  4. Johnny says:

    We live in a different era now. Not too many Singaporeans will buy the official ‘heckling’ story this time. The facts and videos are available for all to see.

    This may yet backfire on the PAP. Stay tuned. 😉

  5. wongcheokwan says:


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