by: Ravi Philemon/
A pseudonymous character ‘Mandy Mary’ and her team of volunteers had asked “Singaporeans” to wear black and be at Wisma Atria, Orchard, on 12 June 2011, from 12 – 3pm, to register their unhappiness over the high salaries of the Ministers.
The protest called Black Sunday @ Orchard, was first mooted on Facebook. The blog Temasek Review Emeritus commented that the protesters vowed “to turn Wisma Atria BLACK to express their unhappiness against PAP ministers’ salaries”.
‘Mandy Mary’ and her team of volunteers, call themselves the Black Sunday Movement. The Black Sunday Movement, claims that they are made up of professionals in Singapore and have “come up with their own recommendation and salary guidelines for the ministerial salaries.”
They are proposing that “the salaries of ministers to be revised to S$450,000 per annum which would be 15 times the median income.” The Black Sunday Movement, purposes to “educate the public through events and encourage people to come out and discuss politics through social settings like cafes and restaurants.”
This group which is supposedly made up of anonymous Singaporean professionals, seeks to redefine civil disobedience. In a blog entry titled, “What the hell is ‘civil disobedience’ anyway?“, the group says, “we shall not put up with their insolence anymore, we shall not fear speaking up for we live in a free-world and we shall not force our children to live in fear and oppression – the buck stops here.”
The group which gathered at Wisma Atria in black on Sunday, may be under investigation for violating the Public Order Act.
The Act states that any person who organises or assists in organising any assembly or procession in any public road, public place or place of public resort; and any person who participates in any assembly or procession in any public road, public place or place of public resort, shall be guilt of an offence and on conviction be liable for a fine and/or imprisonment.
The Black Sunday Movement has since posted a clarification on Facebook that none of their members have been called up by the police for questioning for any breach of law and that the police presence was meant to intimidate those that had gathered at the restaurant.
Their media release also claim that the photographer harassed by the police was from the mainstream media; and that besides the photographer, the police also harassed the staff of Starbucks Cafe.
Black Sunday Movement promises that it “will continue to organize such events to promote freedom of speech and democracy in Singapore”.
TOC has edited our original article based on this clarification by Black Sunday Movement on their facebook.