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We Built This City: Public Participation in Land Use Decisions in Singapore

  • Jack Tsen-Ta LEE (a1)

Abstract

This article considers the extent to which the legal framework for making land use decisions in Singapore allows for public participation. It examines the issue from two angles: the creation and preservation of the built environment, and the transient use of public space. The first angle is discussed primarily from a heritage law viewpoint, focusing on planning law, compulsory acquisition law, and the legal regime for creating national monuments. As for the second angle, the article looks at how the use of common spaces for assemblies and processions is regulated. The foregoing are examined in the context of Edward Soja’s assertion in Seeking Spatial Justice (2010) that the equitable distribution of resources, services, and access in cities is an important right.

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Copyright

Footnotes

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LL.B. (Hons.) (National University of Singapore), LL.M. (UCL, London), Ph.D. (Birmingham); Advocate & Solicitor (Singapore), Solicitor (England & Wales); Assistant Professor of Law, School of Law, Singapore Management University. I would like to thank Tan Dan Feng for inviting me to participate in this project looking at the pertinence of Edward Soja’s ideas in Southeast Asian milieux. Earlier versions of the article were presented at a symposium entitled Spatial Justice in Singapore organized by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore on 24 January 2013, and at the 10th Asian Law Institute Conference held in Bangalore, India, 23–24 May 2013. It is dedicated to the memory of Edward Soja (1940–2015).

Footnotes

References

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1. SOJA, Edward W., Seeking Spatial Justice (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010).

2. Ibid. at 96.

3. UN DESA, World Urbanization Prospects: The 2011 Revision, UN Doc. ST/ESA/SER.A/322 (2012) at 128, Table A.2 (providing the percentage of population residing in urban areas at mid-year), online: UN DESA <http://esa.un.org/unpd/wup/pdf/FINAL-FINAL_REPORT%20WUP2011_Annextables_01Aug2012_Final.pdf> (archived at <http://www.webcitation.org/6DOphYZaN>).

4. Soja, supra note 1 at 6.

5. HARVEY, David, “A Right to the City” (2003) 27(4) International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 939 at 941 (cited in Soja, supra note 1 at 94).

6. Soja, supra note 1 at 96.

7. LEFEBVRE, Henri, Writings on Cities, ed. and trans. by Eleonore KOFMAN and Elizabeth LEBAS (Oxford and Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1996) at 34 (cited in Soja, supra note 1 at 99).

8. Soja, supra note 1 at 75–76.

9. Labor/Community Strategy Center v. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority, DC No. CV-94-05936-TJH (CD Cal 1996).

10. Civil Rights Act of 1964, Pub. L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241 (enacted 2 July 1964).

11. Soja, supra note 1 at vii–viii and x. Subsequently, the plaintiffs claimed that the MTA had not fulfilled its obligations under the consent decree. Since no agreement could be reached on the matter, a special master was appointed under the terms of the decree to give directions. The MTA appealed unsuccessfully against the master’s directions (Labor/Community Strategy Center v. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority, 263 F. 3d 1041 (9th Cir. 2001)), and the US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal (Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority v. Labor/Community Strategy Center, 535 US 951 (2002)). Prior to the consent decree’s expiry the plaintiffs applied to the District Court for an extension, again claiming that the MTA had not properly complied with it. The District Court refused an extension, and the refusal was upheld by the Court of Appeal of the Ninth Circuit on the ground that there had been substantial compliance with the decree by the MTA: Labor/Community Strategy Center v. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority, 564 F. 3d 1115 (9th Cir. 2009).

12. The term “representative democracy” does not appear in the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (1985 Rev. Ed., 1999 Rep.) [Constitution], but in the Proclamation of Singapore contained in the Independence of Singapore Agreement 1965 (1985 Rev. Ed.) which was entered into by the Governments of Malaysia and Singapore to effect Singapore’s separation from Malaysia, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew proclaimed on behalf of the people and the Government that as from 9 August 1965 “Singapore shall be forever a sovereign democratic and independent nation...”. The Government has on various occasions spoken of Singapore as a representative democracy: see, for example, Sing., Parliamentary Debates, vol. 84, col. 3328 (Lee Hsien Loong).

13. Constitution, supra note 12, Art. 12(1).

14. Constitution, supra note 12, Art. 9(1).

15. See generally Soja, supra note 1 at 111–155.

16. As of 2014: Department of Statistics, Singapore, Singapore in Figures 2015 (2015), online: Department of Statistics <https://www.singstat.gov.sg/docs/default-source/default-document-library/publications/publications_and_papers/reference/sif2015.pdf> (archived at <https://perma.cc/R7KQ-4KSL>).

17. PERRY, Martin, KONG, Lily, and YEOH, Brenda, Singapore: A Developmental City State (Singapore: John Wiley and Sons, 1997) at 26 (cited in CAI, Yunci, “Law and Its Impact on Singapore’s Built Heritage” in Kevin Y.L. TAN and Michael HOR, eds., Encounters with Singapore Legal History: Essays in Memory of Geoffrey Wilson Bartholomew (Singapore: Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, 2009), 87 at 88).

18. TAN, Sook Yee, TANG, Hang Wu, and LOW, Kelvin F.K., “Planning and Development” in Tan Sook Yee’s Principles of Singapore Land Law, 3rd ed. (Singapore: LexisNexis, 2009), 751 at 751, para. 23.3.

19. Under the provisions of Pt. IV of the Singapore Improvement Ordinance (Cap. 259, 1955 Ed.): see the Planning Act (Cap. 232, 1998 Rev. Ed.), s. 6 [PA].

20. PA, supra note 19, s. 6.

21. Planning Act 1959 (No. 12 of 1959), now the PA, supra note 19.

22. Tan, Tang, and Low, supra note 18 at 752, para. 23.5. The relevant provision in the current Act is s. 8.

23. Appointment of Competent Authority (Cap. 232, N 7, 2007 Rev. Ed.), para. 1(b). This notification also appoints as competent authorities the Chief Executive Officer of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to implement aspects of the Act other than revision of the Master Plan, and the Housing and Development Board (HDB) in respect of breaches of planning permission concerning its land: ibid., paras. 1(a) and (c).

24. PA, supra note 19, s. 2 (definition of “written statement”) and s. 6.

25. Available on the URA’s website at “URA Maps”, online: URA <https://www.ura.gov.sg/maps/>.

27. PA, supra note 19, s. 9.

28. Ibid., s. 11(1).

29. URA, “About Land Use Planning”, online: URA <http://www.ura.gov.sg/land_use_planning/> (archived at <http://www.webcitation.org/6DRmw36Gs>).

30. LEUNG, Yew Kwong, Development Land and Development Change in Singapore (Singapore: Butterworths, 1987) at 1517 and 22–23 (cited in Tan, Tang, and Low, supra note 18 at 753, para. 23.6).

31. Tan, Tang, and Low, supra note 18 at 753, para. 23.8.

32. URA, “Concept Plan Review 2011: Planning for a Sustainable Singapore”, online: URA <http://spring.ura.gov.sg/conceptplan2011/index.cfm> (archived at <http://web.archive.org/web/20100202222744/http://spring.ura.gov.sg/conceptplan2011/index.cfm>).

34. URA, Final Report of Focus Group on Quality of Life (Singapore: URA, 2010), online: URA <http://spring.ura.gov.sg/conceptplan2011/results/FGC_CPR-Quality_of_Life_FA.pdf > (archived at <http://www.webcitation.org/6DRrvqjvF>).

35. URA, Final Report of Focus Group on Sustainability and Identity (Singapore: URA, 2010), online: URA <http://spring.ura.gov.sg/conceptplan2011/results/FGC_CPR-Sustainability_and_Identity_FA.pdf> (archived at <http://www.webcitation.org/6DRraLzbJ>).

36. PA, supra note 19, s. 8.

37. Under the Planning (Master Plan) Rules (Cap. 232, R 1, 2000 Rev. Ed.), r. 6(3) [PMPR], non-material amendments may be made without complying with the procedure described in the text.

38. Ibid., r. 2 (definition of “notice by advertisement”) and r. 4.

39. Ibid., r. 6.

40. Land Transport Authority, URA, and National Parks Board, Press Release, “Construction of New Dual Four-lane Road to Relieve Congestion Along PIE & Lornie Road and Serve Future Developments” (12 September 2011), online: URA <http://www.ura.gov.sg/pr/text/2011/pr11-109.html> (archived at <http://web.archive.org/web/20140108063907/http:/www.ura.gov.sg/pr/text/2011/pr11-109.html>).

41. CHONG, Terence, “Bukit Brown as Contested Space” in Singapore Heritage Society, Position Paper on Bukit Brown (Singapore: Singapore Heritage Society, 2012), 20, online: Singapore Heritage Society <http://www.singaporeheritage.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/SHS_BB_Position_Paper.pdf> (archived at <http://web.archive.org/web/20121022225529/http:/www.singaporeheritage.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/SHS_BB_Position_Paper.pdf>).

42. SIAU, Ming En, “Exhumation of Bukit Brown Graves to Start in Oct” Today (6 August 2013), online: Today <http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/exhumation-bukit-brown-graves-start-oct> (archived at <http://web.archive.org/web/20130908074635/http:/www.todayonline.com/singapore/exhumation-bukit-brown-graves-start-oct>).

43. URA, “Our Future, Our Home. Draft Master Plan 2013 Exhibition at URA” (20 November 2013), online: URA <http://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/media-room/news/2013/nov/pr13-75.aspx> (archived at http://web.archive.org/web/20140716233702/http://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/media-room/news/2013/nov/pr13-75.aspx).

44. Singapore Heritage Society, “Singapore Heritage Society’s Letter to MND on Draft Master Plan 2013” (18 December 2013), online: Facebook <https://www.facebook.com/notes/singapore-heritage-society/singapore-heritage-societys-letter-to-mnd-on-draft-master-plan-2013-18-dec-2013/611710158876624> (archived at <http://perma.cc/RPL8-U3Z2>); CHONG, Ian, “How You Can Give Feedback on Bukit Brown in the Draft Master Plan 2013” All Things Bukit Brown (3 December 2013), online: All Things Bukit Brown <http://bukitbrown.com/main/?p=8420> (archived at <http://web.archive.org/web/20140111151432/http:/bukitbrown.com/main/?p=8420>); “Your Feedback to MND” All Things Bukit Brown (12 December 2013), online: All Things Bukit Brown <http://bukitbrown.com/main/?p=8459> (archived at <http://web.archive.org/web/20140111151816/http://bukitbrown.com/main/?p=8459>); SOS Bukit Brown, “Gazetting the Land Use Master Plan 2014 – Did MND and URA Just Ignore the Law?” (3 July 2014), online: Facebook <https://www.facebook.com/notes/sos-bukit-brown/gazetting-the-land-use-master-plan-2014did-mnd-and-ura-just-ignore-the-law/664480653634266> (archived at <http://perma.cc/EQ96-7NX9?type=image>).

45. Nature Society (Singapore), Conservation Committee, Feedback on the Updated URA Master Plan (November 2013) (19 December 2013), online: NSS <http://www.nss.org.sg/documents/Nature%20Society%C2%B9s%20Feedback%20on%20the%20Updated%20URA%20Master%20Plan.pdf> (archived at <https://web.archive.org/web/20150327050735/http://nss.org.sg/documents/Nature%20Society%C2%B9s%20Feedback%20on%20the%20Updated%20URA%20Master%20Plan.pdf>) [NSS, Feedback].

46. Nature Society (Singapore), Nature Society (Singapore)’s Response to the Bukit Brown Expressway Plan (23 March 2012), online: NSS <http://www.nss.org.sg/documents/BB_Response_HHC_AS_CL_v3-9.260312.pdf> (archived at <https://web.archive.org/web/20140110103740/http://www.nss.org.sg/documents/BB_Response_HHC_AS_CL_v3-9.260312.pdf>) [NSS, Response to Plan], which was an addendum to its original paper, Nature Society (Singapore)’s Position on Bukit Brown (12 December 2011), online: NSS <http://www.nss.org.sg/documents/Nature%20Society%27s%20Position%20on%20Bukit%20Brown.pdf> (archived at <https://web.archive.org/web/20150524175050/http://www.nss.org.sg/documents/Nature%20Society%27s%20Position%20on%20Bukit%20Brown.pdf>).

47. NSS, Response to Plan, supra note 46 at 13.

48. SOS Bukit Brown, supra note 44; LOH, Andrew, “Did URA & MND Contravene Law on Master Plan?” The Online Citizen (3 July 2014), online: The Online Citizen <http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2014/07/did-ura-mnd-contravene-law-on-master-plan/> (archived at <http://perma.cc/9RXC-H59A>).

49. The text of the letter was posted on All Things Bukit Brown’s Facebook page. A.J. LEOW, “Heritage Singapore – Bukit Brown Cemetery”, online: Facebook <https://www.facebook.com/groups/bukitbrown/permalink/659660330770851/>.

51. NSS, Feedback, supra note 45 at 4; FENG Zengkun, “Nature Society Slams Land-use Plan: URA’s Commitment to Conservation Negligible, It Says” The Straits Times (8 January 2014) at B5.

52. Convention on Biological Diversity, 1760 UNTS 79, 31 ILM 818 (1992).

53. Conference of the Parties, Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 (COP 10 Decision X/2), Annex, online: Convention on Biological Diversity <https://www.cbd.int/decision/cop/?id=12268> (archived at <https://web.archive.org/web/20150620121957/https://www.cbd.int/decision/cop/?id=12268>).

54. HWANG, Yu Ning, “Parks, Nature Reserves Important: URA” The Straits Times (11 January 2014), online: URA <http://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/media-room/forum-replies/2014/jan/forum14-01.aspx> (archived at <https://web.archive.org/web/20140705153419/http://www.ura.gov.sg/uol/media-room/forum-replies/2014/jan/forum14-01.aspx>); and see FENG, Zengkun, “URA Defends Biodiversity Commitment” The Straits Times (11 January 2014).

55. “Feedback and Objections Received for Draft Master Plan 2013”, Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (9 July 2014), vol. 92 (no column numbers assigned yet); see also Ministry of National Development, Written Answer by Ministry of National Development on Draft Master Plan 2013 (9 July 2014), online: Ministry of National Development <http://app.mnd.gov.sg/Newsroom/NewsPage.aspx?ID=5483> (archived at <http://perma.cc/36A5-YXDU>).

56. Ibid.

57. Supra note 37.

58. Ibid., r. 6(1).

59. PA, supra note 19, s. 7.

60. The term “development” is defined compendiously in the PA, ibid., s. 3.

61. The term “works within a conservation area” extends beyond development of land within a conservation area to “any decorative, painting, renovation or other works (whether external or internal) to any building within a conservation area which may affect its character or appearance”: ibid., s. 2.

62. The approval is required by the PA, ibid., s. 12, which also mandates that the URA’s permission be sought before land is subdivided. Carrying out works without permission is an offence punishable by a fine not exceeding $200,000 and, in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding $10,000 for every day or part thereof during which the offence continues after conviction: ibid., s. 12(4). In addition, a convicted offender may be ordered to remove from the land property and materials used in connection with the offence: ibid., s. 12(5).

63. Ibid., s. 13.

64. Ibid., s. 21.

65. Ibid., s. 14(1).

66. Supra note 13.

67. UDL Marine (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. v. Jurong Town Corporation [2011] 3 SLR 94 at 109–114, paras. 48–61 (HC); Yeap Wai Kong v. Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd. [2012] 3 SLR 565 at 569–577, paras. 4–28 (HC).

68. Ng Chye Huey v. Public Prosecutor [2007] 2 SLR(R) 106 (CA).

69. Wong Keng Leong Rayney v. Law Society of Singapore [2006] 4 SLR(R) 934 (HC). See also Yeap Wai Kong v. Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd. [2012] 3 SLR 565 at 569, para. 3 (HC).

70. Borissik v. Urban Redevelopment Authority [2009] 4 SLR(R) 92 (HC).

71. Supra note 9.

72. Public Prosecutor v. Taw Cheng Kong [1998] 2 SLR(R) 489 at 507–508, para. 58 (CA) [Taw Cheng Kong]; Lim Meng Suang v. Attorney-General [2015] 1 SLR 26 at 48, para. 60 (CA) [Lim Meng Suang].

73. Taw Cheng Kong, supra note 72 at 509, para. 60; see also Lim Meng Suang, supra note 72 at para. 4.

74. Supra note 72.

75. Ibid. at para. 68 (emphasis original).

76. Eng Foong Ho v. Attorney-General [2009] 2 SLR(R) 542 (CA) [Eng Foong Ho].

77. Land Acquisition Act (Cap. 152, 1985 Rev. Ed.) [LAA].

78. Eng Foong Ho, supra note 76 at 553, para. 31.

79. Ibid. at 555, para. 35.

80. Ibid. at 553, para. 30.

81. Lim Meng Suang, supra note 72 at para. 45.

82. Lo Pui Sang v. Mamata Kapildev Dave, [2008] 4 SLR(R) 754 at 760, para. 6 (HC). In Lim Meng Suang, the Court of Appeal additionally cited its previous decision Tan Eng Hong v. Attorney-General [2012] 4 SLR 476 at 524, para. 120, which had also cited Lo Pui Sang.

83. Tan Tek Seng v. Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Pendidikan [1996] 1 MLJ 261 (CA).

84. Tan Tek Seng, ibid. at 288.

85. See, for example, SIM, Melissa, “Foreign Workers? Not in My Backyard” The Straits Times (3 September 2008) at 25; CHUA, Lee Hoong, “Power, Pride and Prejudice” The Straits Times (6 September 2008) at 2; LIN, Yanqin, “A Dangerous Divide; Mah: Stop Demonising Workers, Residents and Start Accepting Them” Today (18 September 2014) at 1; ONG, Cheryl and SUDDERUDDIN, Shuli, “‘Not in My Backyard’ Attitude: How MPs Handle It” The Straits Times (9 February 2012); HUANG, Shoou Chyuan, Letter, “Work Together Against Parochial Reactions” Today (11 February 2012) at 10; GOH, Sui Noi, “So in Whose Backyard, Then?” The Straits Times (23 February 2012); LI, Xueying, “PM Lee Flags Two Worries” The Straits Times (5 April 2012) (“Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday identified two worrying trends he sees in Singapore, warning that they stand in the way of a cohesive community. … [One is] people saying ‘no’ to having public facilities in their neighbourhoods, or what has been dubbed the Not In My Backyard, or Nimby, syndrome”); Editorial, “Malaise of Squabbles over Spaces” The Straits Times (9 June 2012).

86. PMPR, supra note 37, r. 6(1).

87. For a history of land acquisition legislation in Singapore, see generally CHEW, Bryanet al., “Compulsory Acquisition of Land in Singapore: A Fair Regime?” (2010) 22 Singapore Academy of Law Journal 166 at 168170, paras. 5–11.

88. Ibid. at 167, para. 3.

89. Supra note 77.

90. Chew et al., supra note 87 at 170–173, paras. 12–21.

91. Constitution, supra note 12, Art. 21(1).

92. LAA, supra note 77, s. 5(1).

93. Ibid., s. 5(3).

94. Evidence Act (Cap. 97, 1997 Rev. Ed.), s. 4(3).

95. Tan, Tang, and Low, supra note 18 at 761, para. 23.32.

96. Teng Fuh Holdings Pte. Ltd. v. Collector of Land Revenue [2007] 2 SLR(R) 568 at 575–578, paras. 24–41 (CA).

97. Republic of Singapore Independence Act 1965 (No. 9 of 1965, 1985 Rev. Ed.), s. 6(3) (“The following provisions of the Constitution of Malaysia shall cease to have effect in Singapore: … Article 13…”); Sing., Parliamentary Debates, vol. 24, col. 435 at 435–436 (Lee Kuan Yew) (speech during the Second Reading of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill).

98. Chew et al., supra note 87 at 176–178, para. 26–31.

99. Master Plan Written Statement 2014, supra note 26 at para. 1.1.3(ii).

100. Ibid. at para. 10.1(i)(b). Such guidelines are issued pursuant to the Preservation of Monuments Act (Cap. 239, 2011 Rev. Ed.), s. 4(c) [PMA].

101. PMA, supra note 100, s. 11.

102. Supra note 100.

104. “Monument” is defined in the PMA, supra note 100, s. 2, as “the whole or any part of, or the remains of — (a) any building, structure, erection, statue, sculpture or other work, whether above or below the surface of the land, and any cave or excavation; (b) any site comprising the remains of any such building, structure, erection, statue, sculpture or other work or of any cave or excavation; or (c) any site comprising, or comprising the remains of, any vehicle, vessel, aircraft or other movable structure or part thereof which neither constitutes nor forms part of any work which is a monument within paragraph (a), and includes any machinery attached to or forming part of a monument which cannot be detached from the monument without being dismantled”. A “national monument” is “any monument that is subject to a preservation order and includes any land containing or adjacent to such monument that is specified in the preservation order”: ibid.

105. Ibid., s. 11(7).

106. Ibid.

107. WOOLF, Lord, JOWELL, Jeffrey, and LE SUEUR, Andrew, De Smith’s Judicial Review, 6th ed. (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2007) at 6970, para. 2-002.

108. R. v. Secretary of State for the Environment, ex parte Rose Theatre Trust Co. [1990] 1 QB 504 (HC) (QB) [ex parte Rose Theatre Trust].

109. Ibid. at 521.

110. Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 (UK), c. 46.

111. Ex parte Rose Theatre Trust, supra note 108 at 521.

112. The case has been “doubted, distinguished and not followed”: Woolf, Jowell, and Le Sueur, supra note 107 at 76, para. 2-103. It was distinguished in R. v. Poole Borough Council, ex parte Beebee [1991] 2 Plan LR 27, [1991] J Plan L 643 (HC) (QB), and R. v. Somerset County Council, ex parte Dixon [1998] Env LR 111 at 121 (HC) (QB); and not followed in R. v. HM Inspectorate of Pollution, ex parte Greenpeace (No. 2), [1994] WLR 570 (CA). According to Henry William Rawson WADE and Christopher F. FORSYTH, Administrative Law, 10th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009) at 597 [Wade and Forsyth, 10th Ed.], since the judge held the applicants had no case on the merits the judgment is best regarded as having been decided on this ground, otherwise no one would have standing in cases of this nature and the law could be violated by public authorities with impunity.

113. R. v. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, ex parte World Development Movement Ltd. [1995] 1 WLR 386 (HC) (Div Ct).

114. Ibid. at 395.

115. Ibid., citing WADE, William and FORSYTH, Christopher, Administrative Law, 7th ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994) at 712; now see Wade and Forsyth, 10th Ed., supra note 112, at 592–593.

116. Jeyaretnam Kenneth Andrew v. Attorney-General [2014] 1 SLR 345 (CA). The Court did not actually refer to ex parte Rose Theatre Trust in its judgment.

117. Ibid. at 363, paras. 46–47.

118. Vellama d/o Marie Muthu v. Attorney-General [2013] 4 SLR 1 at 19, para. 40 (CA), citing Peter Cane, “The Function of Standing Rules in Administrative Law” (1980) Public Law 303 at 313–314.

119. Jeyaretnam, supra note 116 at 365, para. 51.

120. Ibid. at 371, para. 64.

121. Public Entertainments and Meetings Act (Cap. 257, 2001 Rev. Ed.) [PEMA].

122. Public Order Act (Cap. 257A, 2012 Rev. Ed.) [POA].

123. PEMA, supra note 121, s. 2(1) (definition of “public entertainment”) read with the Sched., para. 2(a).

124. Ibid., s. 3. For the meaning of “Licensing Officer”, see ibid., s. 2(1) (definition of “Licensing Officer”), s. 4 (appointment of the Licensing Officer and Assistant Licensing Officers by the Minister for Home Affairs), and the notification entitled Appointment of Licensing Officers and Assistant Licensing Officers (Cap. 257, N 2, 2002 Rev. Ed.).

125. Public Order Act 2009 (No. 15 of 2009), s. 49(3).

126. PEMA, supra note 121, Sched., para. 3(f).

127. POA, supra note 122, s. 7.

128. Ibid., s. 2(1) (definition of “assembly”).

129. Ibid. (definition of “procession”). The terms “public assembly”, “public place”, and “public procession” are also defined in this provision.

130. Public Order (Prohibited Areas) Order 2009 (S 490/2009) (as amended by the Public Order (Prohibited Areas) (Amendment) Order 2014 (S 140/2014)), para. 2 and the Sched. [PO(PA)O].

131. Public Entertainments and Meetings (Speakers’ Corner) (Exemption) (No. 2) Order 2015 (S 551/2015); Public Order (Unrestricted Area) (No. 2) Order 2015 (S 552/2015).

132. Parks and Trees Regulations (Cap. 216, Rg 1, 2006 Rev. Ed.), reg. 8(3).

133. PO(PA)O, supra note 130 at para. 3; Public Order (Exempt Assemblies and Processions) Order 2009 (S 489/2009), First Sched., para. 4.

134. THIO, Li-ann, “Singapore: Regulating Political Speech and the Commitment ‘to Build a Democratic Society’” (2003) 1(3) International Journal of Constitutional Law 516 at 522.

135. Supra note 7.

136. The appellants in Yap Keng Ho v. Public Prosecutor [2011] 3 SLR 66 (HC), who had been charged with taking part in a public procession without a permit contrary to the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) (Assemblies and Processions) Rules (Cap. 184, R 1, 2000 Rev. Ed.) (repealed), argued that the comprehensive ban against outdoor events violated Art. 14(1)(a), and Art. 12(1) because the National Trades Union Congress and the Consumer Association of Singapore had been allowed to conduct marches. The Court dismissed the claims, stating that they could not rely upon the ban as a defence, and that the appellants should have commenced judicial review proceedings against the refusal by the police to issue a permit. In addition, the appellants had not adduced sufficient evidence to show any discrimination: ibid. at 73–77, paras. 11–21.

137. TOH, Yong Chuan, Letter, “Govt Explains Stand on ‘Peaceful’ Demos” The Straits Times (25 October 2007) at 48.

138. YONG, Charissa, “Police Reject ‘Pink Run’ Application” The Straits Times (15 August 2014) at B7.

139. Jeyaretnam Joshua Benjamin v. Public Prosecutor [1989] 2 SLR(R) 419 (HC); Chee Soon Juan v. Public Prosecutor [2003] 2 SLR(R) 445 (HC); Chee Soon Juan v. Public Prosecutor [2011] 2 SLR 940 (HC).

140. Chee Siok Chin v. Minister for Home Affairs [2006] 1 SLR(R) 582 (HC).

141. Ibid. at 602–603, para. 49.

142. Supra note 7.

* LL.B. (Hons.) (National University of Singapore), LL.M. (UCL, London), Ph.D. (Birmingham); Advocate & Solicitor (Singapore), Solicitor (England & Wales); Assistant Professor of Law, School of Law, Singapore Management University. I would like to thank Tan Dan Feng for inviting me to participate in this project looking at the pertinence of Edward Soja’s ideas in Southeast Asian milieux. Earlier versions of the article were presented at a symposium entitled Spatial Justice in Singapore organized by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore on 24 January 2013, and at the 10th Asian Law Institute Conference held in Bangalore, India, 23–24 May 2013. It is dedicated to the memory of Edward Soja (1940–2015).

We Built This City: Public Participation in Land Use Decisions in Singapore

  • Jack Tsen-Ta LEE (a1)

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