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Confessions of a Protestor, World Consumer Rights’ Day – Protest in front of Parliament House Part 4

“I am exercising my constitutional rights.”

“I am responsible for my own actions.”

“I myself will answer for what I did.”

It came statement taking. I was amongst the first to be called. I was led to another room where I would sit down facing an officer in front of a PC.

The Officer taking my statement was polite. He revealed that he would be asking me a number of questions. He told me that I could decline to answer them.

I must say frankly that I co-operated with the police. I answered the questions the best that I could. However, any questions that turned towards pinning blame on other persons, I declined to answer.

Each time I was faced with a difficult question, I repeated my position to the Police officer. I am exercising my constitutional rights. I will take responsibility for my own actions.

There were of course attempts by the officer to allude persuasion and instigation by persons within the SDP persuading people to take part in the protest.

Honestly since I was there to support a valid course. I answered that I was there on my own accord. I will answer for my actions.

The Officer then asked why i was there. I told him that I was there to protest against price hikes. I was there to speak on behalf of Singaporeans.

I was asked whether I went to the protest because of SDP’s encouragement and instigation. I told them that i went on my own accord.

I was asked how I came to know about the protest. I named the Sammyboy forums. [Samsters can feel really proud this time!]

I was asked if I knew of SDP’s website, of course I did but I realised that I did not really did not know SDP’s website very well. Seriously, I did not have time to surf around. Therefore even sammyboy forum’s access was done through saved links and not by way of typing the address.

I was asked who I went there with. How I got there. All these I declined to answer.

After signing my statement, the officer questioned me on my personal belongings. He then told me that he would have to confiscate my phone and my camera. I told him of private photos in my camera which I would have to delete, of course in his presence and that I would only surrender them if I was allowed to delete them.The officer claimed that the IO would decide whether it could be done. We waited some time after he contacted the IO.

The answer was no.

I explained the need to have certain private matters kept confidential. I asked again the relevance of private matters for the offences being investigated.

The answer again was no.

I told the officer that I was resisting and picked up my bag of belongings and tucked them under my arm. I stood up and made my way to the door. The officer ordered me to sit down. He told me that this was a lock up and asked me where did I intended to go? I thought of Kastari. But I was missing a limp.

I then decided to reason it out with the senior officer when he came. A total of 4 officers came to my room. Station Inspector Tan Kok Ann and the officer taking my statement gave me their gentleman’s word that my personal data would not be messed around with. After I extracted the promise and assurance from both of them, I surrendered my Tak Boleh Tahan shirt, my phone and my camera. I was then given a yellow T-shirt in exchange with compliments from the Singapore Police Force.

I was then led to a smaller lock up. There I found Ghandi and Dr. Chee. Soon thereafter the rest followed.

I thought I was tough but I soon found out that though 4 officers were needed for me to surrender my stuff, 5 were needed to forcibly pry John’s Tak Boleh Tahan shirt off.

When we were in the smaller cell. We heard Siok Chin’s raised voice arguing with the police.

To be continued in part 5

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March 17, 2008 - Posted by | Politics

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