Serial protestor charged for demonstrating outside Raffles Place MRT again

·Senior Reporter
Video screen shot of Yan Jun protesting outside Raffles Place MRT on 3 July 2017.
Video screen shot of Yan Jun protesting outside Raffles Place MRT on 3 July 2017.

The man who was previously convicted and jailed for protesting outside Raffles MRT station has done it again.

On Saturday (2 March), Yan Jun, 43-year-old Singaporean, was slapped with two charges under the Public Order Act – one count of taking part in a public assembly outside Raffles Place MRT Station without a permit and one count of disobeying a police officer’s instruction to leave the area.

Yan, a former research assistant, also faces one charge of refusing to answer questions posed by an investigation officer in Police Cantonment Complex on 1 March this year.

Yan’s charge sheets state that he protested outside Raffles Place MRT station on 28 February at around 5.03pm by displaying a placard objecting to the actions of Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam, and Commissioner of Prisons Desmond Chin on one side. On the other side of the placard, Yan stated his opposition to the actions of retired Court of Appeal Judge Chao Hick Tin. The charge sheets did not mention what was written on the placard.

Yan is also accused of displaying another placard that called for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to resign over “Singapore’s Watergate Scandal and Nepotism”. On the reverse side of the placard, Yan allegedly printed, “Protest against the Hong Kong government for betraying the sovereignty of China in the armoured vehicles conspiracy!” in Mandarin.

His charges come 10 months after he was convicted of a similar offence, committed in the same location on 22 February last year. Yan was also found guilty of behaving in a disorderly manner by shouting at a police inspector and for refusing to leave the area despite being told to do so, after a trial.

Then, District Judge Luke Tan sentenced Yan to six months and two weeks’ jail and fined him $5,000.

The conviction last year follows a string of at least seven similar offences beginning from 2016.

In 2016, Yan staged demonstrations outside the Istana and near the Supreme Court. The following year, he protested outside the US embassy and the British High Commission, as well as outside Raffles Place MRT station during lunch hour. He did not have a permit for any of the protests.

In his one-man protests then, Yan alleged a “corrupt” judiciary. He also accused PM Lee and Judge Chao of being part of a purported conspiracy involving the seizure of Singapore Armed Forces Terrex infantry carrier vehicles in Hong Kong in 2016.

After his charges were read to him on Saturday, Yan was ordered to be remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric observation. He will next appear in court on 15 March.

As Yan is a repeat offender, he may be fined up to $5,000 on the charge of taking part in an illegal public assembly if convicted. The maximum penalty for a first time offender is a $3,000 fine.

If convicted for contravening a direction given to him by a police officer, he can be jailed up to a year and/or fined up to $12,000.

For refusing to answer the investigation officer, Yan can be jailed up to six months, and/or fined up to $3,000 upon conviction.

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