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Police reject SDP’s application to conduct ‘Walk the Talk’ public fundraiser: Chee Soon Juan

SINGAPORE — The police have rejected an application from the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) to conduct a three-day outdoor fundraiser this weekend, citing concerns that it would attract crowds and risk public health and safety.

Police reject SDP’s application to conduct ‘Walk the Talk’ public fundraiser: Chee Soon Juan

Dr Chee Soon Juan, who will be contesting in Bukit Batok Single Member Constituency in the upcoming General Election, said he had conducted a similar fundraiser in 2015.

SINGAPORE — The police have rejected an application from the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) to conduct a three-day outdoor fundraiser this weekend, citing concerns that it would attract crowds and risk public health and safety.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday (June 24), SDP secretary-general Chee Soon Juan said his plan had been to conduct a three-day event called Walk the Talk, during which he would traverse Singapore on foot to raise funds for the party. 

However, he said, the police rejected the party’s application, saying that cause-based activities, even if carried out by an individual, may cause crowds to gather, which would put people at risk of contracting Covid-19.

Dr Chee, who announced on Sunday that he will be contesting in Bukit Batok Single Member Constituency (SMC) in the upcoming General Election (GE), said he had conducted a similar fundraiser in 2015.

“The rejection of our application further curtails our efforts to raise funds for our GE campaign,” said Dr Chee. “We ask Singaporeans to please contribute to our campaign by donating or buying our merchandise.”

He added: “If the authorities are afraid of activities that might cause crowds to gather during the Covid pandemic, why call for elections now?”

Polling Day for the upcoming General Election will take place on July 10. 

In response to TODAY’s queries, the police confirmed that SDP had submitted an application to hold the public fundraiser, which it later rejected. 

“Given the prevailing health situation and safe distancing measures in Phase Two… the police have not granted, and will not be granting, permits for any public assemblies or processions regardless of the cause, whether political or non-political in nature, and regardless of the size of the participating group,” it said.

SDP had previously applied for a permit to hold such an event from April 3 to 5 and the police had issued the permit to the party on March 24, when events of such a size were still permitted under safe distancing guidelines. 

SDP then informed the police on April 1 that it had decided to postpone the event, the police said.

“Political parties and their members can continue with their usual meet-and-greet sessions, which had been going on even before the Covid-19 crisis, so long as they adhere to prevailing safe distancing measures,” it added.

It also referred to the announcement last week by the Elections Department that political parties and candidates may conduct walkabouts and door-to-door campaigning as long as they observe safe distancing measures.

“This balances health concerns and ensures that voters have access to the campaigning messages of political parties and candidates so that they can make an informed choice,” the police said.

Related topics

Singapore Democratic Party Chee Soon Juan SGVotes2020 Singapore General Election police

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