Silent protest held at Hong Lim Park against reserved presidential election

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SINGAPORE: A so-called ‘silent protest’ was held at Hong Lim Park on Saturday (Sep 16) at which people expressed dissatisfaction about the reserved presidential election.

Some of those who attended brought banners and placards with statements such as “The day democracy died” and “Robbed of an election”. Some also wore badges with the words “I am against reserved PE 2017”.

A banner at a silent protest held at Hong Lim Park. (Photo: Howard Law)

The organiser of the event, Gilbert Goh, was dressed in a shirt with the words #NotMyPresident on it.

Organisers of the silent protest speak to media. (Photo: Howard Law)

Empty banners were also placed on the ground and protestors scribbled phrases including “As a citizen, I was not given the right to vote”.

Empty banners placed on the ground at Hong Lim Park for protestors to write messages. (Photo: Howard Law)

Mr Goh said people came to show their dissatisfaction against the system and for being denied a vote, and not because they are against President Halimah Yacob.

“I think the silent protest today was a very powerful message to the Government. It was important for us to come together, to stand together. Because at the end of the day, people want to see the numbers,” added Lim Tean, who was also one of the organisers.

Among the crowd who turned up was Mr Ivan Tan, who arrived at about 4pm and stayed for at least three hours. He said what happened was unfair.

“The President should be voted by the people,” he said. “Everybody’s lives matter.”

Another person in the crowd who only wanted to be known as Mr Ng said being there was a way for the public to “share our unhappiness that certain things are not right”.

“It should not be a reserved election,” he told Channel NewsAsia. “If you want to talk about democracy and fairness, it should be all races when it comes to competitions. If we really want to be fair, it should be fairness for all races.”

Protesters came to show their dissatisfaction towards the presidential election. (Photo: Howard Law)

President Halimah Yacob was sworn in on Thursday, a day after she was declared President-elect as she was the only person to qualify for an election that was reserved for members of the Malay community.

Former presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock also attended the event. Tan Jee Say and Dr Chee Soon Juan were also spotted at Hong Lim Park.

Former presidential candidate Tan Cheng Bock at the silent protest on Saturday. (Photo: Najeer Yusof/TODAY)

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