Police informs member of public that performance of lion/dragon dance on public road, is not a total obstruction to traffic and not illegal.
A member of public, Nic shared the video he took, which showed a lion/dragon dance troupe performing in front of a private residential unit along Frankel Ave on Friday evening.
According to Nic, the lion and dragon dance held up traffic for up to 10 minutes each time the performance goes on the road.
“Apart from the occasional honking cars, the rest of the people around the area were just watching the show”, said Nic.
While residents around the area were gathering to spectate on the performance but Nic said that he could not imagine how could this performance be considered as legal.
“Over half an hour of nonstop lion / dragon dance and thats only while i’ve been here. I can’t imagine such late night noise and clamour on a major PUBLIC ROAD is legal.” said Nic.
Police was called to the scene by Nic at 9.11pm and took over 30 minutes to arrive at the scene.
When the police called Nic as they just arrived on scene, they told him that in terms of noise pollution, that his complaint is only valid after 10.30pm and so this case is not a valid case of disturbance.
As for the obstruction of traffic, the police told Nic since “they allow one lane to open so that traffic can pass through so it’s not a total obstruction”.
But they conceded that the vehicles are parked illegally at the other lane, and called LTA to the scene to issue summonses. However at that point, the illegally parked lorry, lion dance equipment etc has already been loaded up and drove off.
Nic said to the police, “having a live street performance like this, how is it legal? Arent we supposed to apply for permit?”
According to Nic, the police who was on the phone could not answer him.
“I get that its nice and festive and all. I grew up here i know. But the blatant double standards for allowing this (the incident), roadside incense paper burning and then clamping down on Thaipusam procession just pisses me off.”
The Law Minister, K Shanmugan had earlier commented on his facebook page about the Thaipusam procession in comparison with events such as lion dances,
“Lion dances, kompangs and other such celebrations are often held during social, community events. These are usually non-religious events. Likewise, at Hindu community events, musical instruments are also used – Nathaswaram, Melas. There are many such community celebrations: both on a national scale and in the local communities across Singapore. They are not religious foot processions. The ban on religious foot processions (as opposed to such communal/ social events) is because they carry a particular sensitivity – the risk of incidents is considered to be higher.”
TOC has written to the police on this matter and sought their response.
Clarification: Nic is a Chinese male Singaporean.