Activist Jolovan Wham's application to travel overseas before trial approved by court

Wong Casandra
Senior Reporter
(AFP file photo)

The application by activist Jolovan Wham to travel overseas later this month before the start of his trial was approved in the State Courts on Monday (10 September).

The 38-year-old activist, who will be travelling to Bangkok from 27 to 30 September, faces seven charges, including three for organising illegal public assemblies.

The other four charges include three counts of refusing to sign a statement when required by a public servant and one count of vandalism.

Yahoo News Singapore has reached out to Wham’s lawyer for his application, Eugene Thuraisingam LLP, to ask about the purpose of his visit.

According to his charge sheets, Wham had organised a public assembly along Sin Ming Lane in 2016 at event space The Agora, which is owned by social enterprise The Opinion Collaboration.

On 3 June 2017, he allegedly organised a protest on MRT trains along the North-South Line to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Operation Spectrum, which was a security operation that led to the arrests of 22 suspected Marxists. Wham had affixed two sheets of A4-sized paper on the panel of one of the trains, which included the following messages: “MARXIST CONSPIRACY? #notodetentionwithouttrial” and “JUSTICE FOR OPERATION SPECTRUM SURVIVORS #notodetentionwithouttrial”.

A month later on 13 July, Wham also allegedly organised a public assembly near a bus stop at Upper Changi Road North, outside the Changi Prison Complex, to highlight the impending execution of Malaysian Prabagaran Srivijayan. Prabagaran was executed on 14 July after he was sentenced to death in 2014 for importing 22.24g of heroin into Singapore.

Wham recently made the headlines after he met up with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on August 30 along with several other Singaporeans, including historian Thum Ping Tjin and freelance journalist Kirsten Han.

In a Facebook post, Marine Parade MP Seah Kian Peng slammed Thum’s meeting with Mahathir, saying that the historian “invited Dr Mahathir to bring democracy to Singapore”.

In response, Wham, Thum and Han last week sent letters of complaints to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is also the Secretary-General of the People’s Action Party, and Charles Chong, chairman of the Select Committee. 

Wham’s trial is set for October 1.

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