Singapore opposition members arrested trying to hold rally

March 15th, 2008 - 11:20 pm ICT by admin  

Singapore, March 15 (DPA) Singapore’s most vocal opposition leader and several others were arrested Saturday after protesting against soaring prices outside parliament in the city-state. Sporting red T-shirts, the Singapore Democratic Party group led by Chee Soon Juan hoisted placards and shouted slogans. The shirts said “Tak Boleh Tahan”, Malay for “Cannot Take It”.

Witnesses said about six of the protesters were arrested by the police while trying to stage a rally outside a nearby mall where they noted the annual inflation rate hit a 25-year high of 6.6 percent in January.

Protests are rare in the city-state, where outside gatherings of more than four people are banned without a police permit. The government says the prohibition is necessary to maintain public order and safety.

Juan, who has been repeatedly arrested for attempts to hold similar outdoor protests, was declared bankrupt after failing to pay 500,000 Singapore dollars ($340,000) in libel damages awarded to Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong in February 2006.

Bankrupts are prohibited from running in elections. Singapore’s parliament is dominated by the ruling People’s Action Party with only two opposition members.

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