We hereby categorically make the following open statements with regards to NEA’s action against us in our recent outreach on 4 July 2010 at Blk 137 Tamines St 11:
1) We strongly believe that it is totally inappropriate to use the Environment Public Health Act to charge us for “Illegal Hawking” when we are merely promoting our party publication North Star News. There is no issue of public hygiene with regards to selling a publication. There is no applicable licence, as confirmed by NEA officer, for political parties carrying out such activity. How could we be charged for not applying a licence under the ACT when there isn’t a relevant one to start with?
2) We are a legally registered political party carrying out our legitimate political outreach just like any other political parties or grassroot organizations like the Resident Committees (RC). We sell publications just like all other political parties, including PAP (in some branches) and RC which periodically send members to sell National Flags, dinner tickets, fun fare tickets etc. We are all volunteers who are providing Public Service in terms of grassroot or political activism. WE ARE NOT HAWKERS, least illegal ones, who depend on such activities to earn our individuals’ livelihood.
3) It is a total blatant INSULT to us, including all other social-political activists (from RP, WP, PAP, RC etc), who have sacrificed their free time and effort when NEA considered all of us as ILLEGAL HAWKERS
4) We are a lawful and law abiding organization but we will not ignore UNFAIR and UNREASONABLE rules and regulations. We will fight to change these rules and regulations for the betterment of Singapore.
5) We will defend our Dignity as political activists in Public Service with whatever little resources we could garner.
6) However, we also hope that we could first meet up with the relevant people in NEA with the authority and power to make decisions on such serious matters to resolve this issue ONCE AND FOR ALL for the benefits of ALL social political activists who are actively engaged in their respective organizations.
7) With due respect to NEA as the law enforcer, we will voluntarily take a temporary break for the coming Sunday (11 July 2010) and we hope that NEA would reciprocate by meeting up with us to resolve this serious matter amicably.
Goh Meng Seng
Secretary General of the 13th CEC
Jacob 69er: See my earlier post here.