continue from Part I..
Next came my turn to question him. I asked him if he could tell me once and for all what is illegal and what is legal and stop confusing me further when the police had issued statements that the first TBT campaigns was not illegal but this time they claim says it’s illegal..
He told me (listen here) : distributing pamphlets is no problem, he used the word “pampletings” is not illegal.. but promoting a campaign or a cause is illegal!!!????
I asked him to explain further what he meant by promoting a campaign or cause is illegal, he told me that I should ask our lawyer friend in our group who will know the law..I replied him that if our lawyer friend know their law he won’t be under investigation with us..
He then asked me to check out AGC’s website and if I am unclear, I can always walk in to the police post, check with them if its legal or illegal before I proceed to show my support (sounds stupid right??)
I asked him if he was a police officer and he said yes. I replied if he is a police officer, he would be in a better position to answer me instead of pushing to lawyers or asking me to read AGC website or asking me to write in..Apparently he is threaten by my pen n notes ready to quote him..
Next, he showed me the Miscellaneous Offenses Act which he claimed was available from the AGC website, citing that promoting of a campaign and cause is no no…(somehow, the website he gave me, I can’t access and when I went through the AGC website on the Miscellaneous Act, I can’t seem to find the same description on the laws as what he has shown me…)
He told me that SDP should try to apply for a permit if they are not too sure..so I ask him..if the permit applications are always rejected then how? he says that will means the event is illegal, that’s why the police permit is not granted..(legal or illegal is deem by them, they can always find reasons to reject the permit, WP’s cycling event is a very good example!).. but wait a minute, isn’t it not that the permit was not granted and that made it illegal? How is it that Inspector Tan is now saying that because it is illegal that is why the police did not grant the permit? Maybe this is a freudian slip, that the Police views everything done by SDP as illegal.
He also mentioned that police will usually only act when someone calls to complain. To which I ask him why is it another political party at the same place conducting similar activities but yet police never take action against them? he asked whether when police came was the other political party there. I replied no. He then said that’s it! its because no one complain about their activities but someone complained about ours!!! (I was just wondering, whether if the police witnessed someone committing an illegal activity, would they just walk away from it or stand there to wait till someone calls to complain before they take actions? or they make the complain call just to justify taking actions? – I’m just curious!)..
Next I asked IO Tan why was it that when asked to disperse and we complied, they were still calling us up for investigations?
His reply was even though we did disperse, but since there was a complaint, police have to act on it and investigate if any offense was committed.
He went on to try and assure me that doesn’t mean that if i am under police investigations, I will be charged. He explained that was why my police statement is important to help in their investigations into whether we did commit any offence. I told him based on experience, probability of police proceeding to charge SDP and us after our police investigations is quite high…so do away with the assurance…
I also cited that on SDP’s 1st TBT campaign in TP, police has openly says that it was not a illegal activities, though we might get into trouble with NEA..he ask me to send him the report on that as he is not aware of it..(later on I realise from another activist who was also called up for the interview before me, when she posed the same question to IO Tan, she was told that May Day event was just distributing pamphlets, so it was ok..but National Day we were promoting a cause, so it was illegal!!! hmm..the inconsistency of IO Tan!!)
I ended my interview with IO Tan because i saw that it was not going anywhere because of the following:-
- his refusal to clearly state the police stance on what is legal and what is illegal
- he does not seem to know the exact offense i have commited..
- his uneasiness on me taking down notes on what he said has made it more difficult to get him to talk.
- I have enough fun with him ;P (i know this is naughty..but I believe much as they put us through investigations, we have to make them justify what the investigations are all about..)
I had a picture of myself taken wearing my TBT t-shirt just outside Bukit Merah West Police Center before leaving the place. If the police continue bend the law to do us in, I believe I won’t see the last of that place.