Photo of Seelan Palay holding his artpiece in front of the Parliament House.

Artist charged for illegal one-man procession from Hong Lim to Parliament House

Seelan Palay, a local artist, has been charged by the Attorney-General's Chambers for participating in a public procession from Hong Lim Park to the National Gallery, and to the Parliament House on 1 October 2017.

It is written in the charge sheet that the public procession is to publicise the cause of "the illegal detention of Dr Chia Thye Poh" and as no permit has been granted under Section 7 of the Public Order Act (POA), Seelan is deemed to have committed an offence punishable under Section 16(2)(a) of the POA.

The subject person, Dr Chia is a physicist and former Member of Parliament who was detained without trial by the Singapore government and his movement restricted for a total of 32 years, under the allegation of conducting pro-communist activities against the government. He was arrested in 1966 and all restrictions upon him were only lifted in 1998. This makes him the longest serving prisoner of conscience in the world.

Seelan wrote in his charge sheet, "The charge has correctly stated that the detention of Dr Chia Thye Poh was illegal."

He will be standing trial tomorrow in court and if found guilty, subjected to a fine not exceeding $3,000.