Current Affairs

Jolovan Wham issued stern warning by the police for misuse of national flag


SINGAPORE: Activist Jolovan Wham Kwok Han has been issued with a stern warning for the use of the Singapore flag at an event in Hong Lim Park that he organised last year.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday (Dec 5), Wham uploaded two photos of a warning letter he received from the police, in connection with an event held in solidarity with the Malaysian Bersih movement on Nov 13, 2016. The letter said that the police had concluded investigations into three offences committed by Wham – allowing a Singapore flag to touch the ground, displaying national emblems in public and refusing to sign a statement.

The letter also clarified that the stern warning does not amount to a finding of guilt or a conviction for an offence, or that Wham has a criminal record of the offences. It also added that should Wham commit any offence in the future, “the same leniency may not be shown towards you”.

Under the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Rules, a person in possession of the national flag is prohibited from allowing or causing the flag to touch the ground. Offenders can be fined up to S$1,000.

Under the National Emblems (Control of Display) Act, the public display of the national emblem of any country is prohibited except by certain people, or when an order is published by the Government Gazette to allow it. Offenders can be fined up to S$500 and/or jailed up to six months.

For refusing to sign a statement, offenders can be fined up to S$2,500 and/or jailed up to three months.

Wham was charged in court this November for organising three public assemblies without a permit, vandalism and refusing to sign a statement to police.

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