I was one of the protesters at Hong Lim Park on Saturday. I am sure what I have to say will be shouted down by those who don’t agree to what I saw.
The contention in the limelight is that the protesters heckled the special needs children. The main stream media portrayed it so. The general public and whoever present yesterday at the park, or who watched the video of the march in front of the stage where the special needs children were performing, thinks so too.
It’s even more so when their parents and teachers witnessed the commotion just when their performance was about to start. It’s natural and no surprise they will feel disturbed and the children feel intimidated.
To all those who only witnessed that particular part of the protest - the march in front of the children - and then condemned it, I will say it’s only natural you reacted this way. I am fine with that. I would have too, in your position.
However, if one has the time, I would advise one to have an open mind and look at circumstances before and after the incident. Things aren't that simple.
To say that we heckled the children, one has to be certain that that’s the intention of the protesters before the march. The truth is that it required the group to take about five minutes to march from where it started to reach the performing stage before the children start their performance.
This means the leaders, Roy and Hui Hui, needed to know when the children’s performance will start. Ask any reasonable person whether the YMCA organisers would have informed them when the time would be.
If the answer is 'no', then there’s no way Roy and Hui Hui would have known. If that’s the case, the intention to heckle is not valid.
If the answer is 'yes', given that they were secretly informed, the march was participated by easily one to two hundred people. The majority of them are over 50 years old. Would all these who followed the march have the heart and the intention to heckle these children knowingly? I will be the first to condemn them and myself if that is the truth.
As far as I know, the march was already planned for before it took place. It wasn't an impromptu decision. If you had watched the video of the dialogue between Hui Hui and the NParks official, they contested over where the march can take place in the park.
To me, the truth is it was most unfortunate that when the march reached the stage, the children were just about to start their performance.
After stating the above facts, it’s now up to readers to believe whether we really wanted to heckle the children, For those who didn't know what happened before knowing the above facts, I hold no grudge for your disapproval or condemnation. People don’t usually have the time to see further than what they read, heard or watched the news on TV.
As I had participated in the march, I do sincerely apologise unreservedly for the fright imposed on the children. had I known it beforehand, I would not have joined the march.
For those who doubt my sincerity, I am old enough to face what you will throw at me. You have the right to comment on what you think of what I had said. Whatever it is, I have peace of mind.
Now to another matter. We had two Ministers and several MPs condemning us right after the incident. Now I ask, where were they when two mothers resorted to push their children to death? Where were they when Yang Yin got his PR through unceremonious means? Where were they when their colleague Dr Intan didn't exercise due diligence in assisting Yang Yin get his PR? Where were they when a woman foreigner intruded into Singapore illegally by boat to wrench her child from her ex-husband?
They were very very quick to condemn others when others do wrong. They will hide and pretend not to know when things go wrong on their side.
I understand and know their actions are for scoring political points. I hope these people can sleep well and have peace of mind too. Like what Roy said in his video after the marching incident, I too ask them to search their conscience.