At the court hearing over the appeal by activist Jolovam Wham, the deputy public prosecutor charged that the private discussion event is seeking to bring democracy to Singapore:
“The speech that Wham gave at the event, in which the activist noted that the Singapore approach to activism was to have a picnic” like the Pink Dot movement.”
The prosecutor said that the incriminating evidence was when the activist questioned the authoritarianism in the Singapore dictatorship:
“We don’t seem to like this very confrontational civil disobedience types of actions. So how do we get there, I think, this is the billion-dollar question.”
The Singapore judge, Chua Lee Ming, did not accept the argument and asked what the exact charges were, to which the prosecution was unable to respond.
When the defence lawyer questioned the court why does the Public Order Act contradict with the the Constitution on the right of assembly, the Singapore court and judge went silent:
“The requirement for a permit under the Public Order Act was unconstitutional and invalid. Making it an offence for someone to organise a public assembly without a permit was a contravention of a citizen’s right of assembly under the Constitution.”
The Singapore judge was stumped and unable to respond, but he stubbornly refused to award the anti-government activist a successful appeal despite having no official charges explained and brought forth by the public prosecutor. The judge said he will reserve his judgement and reveal it at a later unspecified date. There is no explanation why he needed more time, or who is he consulting for a judgement.