Yan Jun's arrest outside Raffles Place MRT in 2017. Source: YouTube screengrab

Raffles Place serial protester slapped with new charges 10 months after previous conviction

Serial protestor Yan Jun is facing two charges under the Public Order Act for his protest outside Raffles Place MRT station at the end of last month, just 10 months after he was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment and a S$5,000 fine.

The 43-year-old former research assistant was charged with one count of taking part in a public assembly outside Raffles Place MRT Station without a permit and one count of disobeying a police officer’s instruction to leave the area on Saturday (2 Mar).

Yan is also facing one charge for refusing to cooperate with an investigation officer at the Police Cantonment Complex on Friday (1 Mar).

According to the charge sheets, Yan had allegedly stood outside Raffles Place MRT station on 28 Feb at around 5.03pm with a placard in a protest against Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam, Commissioner of Prisons Desmond Chin, and retired Court of Appeal Judge Chao Hick Tin.

The charge sheets, however, did not reveal the specific wordings on the placard.

Yan had also purportedly displayed a placard calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong over what he had allegedly claimed to be “Singapore’s Watergate Scandal and Nepotism”.

Following the reading of his charges in court on Sat, Yan received an order of remand for the purpose of psychiatric evaluation at the Institute of Mental Health.

He is scheduled to make another court appearance on 15 Mar.

Should Yan be found guilty of his new charges, he could be facing a fine of up to S$5,000 for taking part in an illegal public assembly, as he is a repeat offender.

Meanwhile, the maximum penalty for a first time offender is a S$3,000 fine.

He could also be facing one year in prison and/or be fined up to S$12,000 for not complying with a police officer’s instructions to leave the area of protest, and up to six months in prison and/or a fine of up to S$3,000 for refusing to answer questions issued by the police officer during investigations.

Yan’s protests primarily concern Singapore’s judicial arm, which he has labelled as “corrupt”

A series of solo protests – none of which Yan had obtained a permit for – preceded his recent charges and most recent conviction, and Yan’s dissatisfaction with the Singapore judiciary has been a recurring theme in his protests.

Yahoo! News Singapore reported that in his protest last year, Yan had accused PM Lee and Judge Chao of orchestrating the seizure of Singapore Armed Forces Terrex infantry carrier vehicles by Hong Kong authorities in 2016.

Yan also alleged, in an email on 19 Feb, that the “Terrex detention issue is a carefully laid trap by the PAP (People’s Action Party) Government to embarrass China by exposing to the world Singapore’s military cooperation with Taiwan and by violating China’s sovereignty”, an accusation branded by Deputy Public Prosecutor G. Kannan as “wild-eyed allegations” that contain “not a shred of coherence or semblance of proof”.

The Straits Times reported Judge Tan as saying in his sentencing last year that Yan “has apparently shown no remorse whatsoever from the time of his offences, till he was brought to court, and even while his trial was conducted.

“His abhorrent behaviour has continued, and his disrespect towards persons and institutions of authority has remained unabated,” added Judge Tan.

The judge also sentenced Yan to 10 weeks of imprisonment for refusing to leave the area of protest, in addition to the aforementioned four months of jail for disorderly behaviour and fine of S$5,000 for organising a public assembly without a police permit.

Three years ago in 2016, Yan held his protest outside the Istana and near the Supreme Court.

A change of venue was observed the following year as he decided to protest outside the US embassy and the British High Commission, as well as outside Raffles Place MRT station, for which he was sentenced to three weeks of jail and a S$20,000 fine.

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