Tuesday, May 06, 2014
Protest Letter to Philippines Embassy in Singapore
I have sent the following protest letter to the Ambassador H.E. Minda Calaguian-Cruz to urge her to stop sponsoring PIDC's planned public celebration of Philippines Independence Day at Orchard Road.
H.E. Minda Calaguian-Cruz
Philippines Ambassadress to Republic of Singapore
20 Nassim Road, Singapore 258395.
Re: Protest Against Embassy of the Philippines Sponsorship of PIDC Independence Day Celebration
1. I am writing to you today to register my protest against your Embassy’s sponsorship and support of PIDC (Pilipino Independence Day Council Singapore) in organizing a PUBLIC celebration of your country’s Independence Day.
2. As you should know, it is diplomatically sensitive to hold PUBLIC celebration of one’s country’s Independence Day or National Day in foreign land. PIDC’s past and present intention of organizing a Public Celebration event for Philippines Independence Day is a blatant breach of such diplomatic protocols.
3. On top of that, PIDC has put up insensitive posters and banners in the past, right from 2011 till now for this public celebration. Singapore is not part of Philippines and I do not understand why Singapore’s skyline and iconic landmark have been used for propagating Philippines Independence Day. Moreover, PIDC has been basically rude, insensitive and displayed inherent aggressive attitude in the following poster and banner:
4. I believe Singaporeans at large will find extremely offended by the design of such posters and backdrop which basically depicts a “conquer” of our land. They actually reminded me of the Japanese occupation era way back in World War II.
5. On top of that, as you should know, it is an offence in Singapore to display your National flag or emblems representing your country in public places without special consent or permission from our minister. However, as you and your staffs have attended the previous events organized by PIDC, you should realize that they have contravened our law on National Emblems (Control of Display) ACT Chapter 196. Apart from the backdrop for 2011 shown above which has prominently displayed the Philippines flag, the following are the proofs of such illegal acts carried out in previous PIDC events:
6. Singapore Police has also issued a public statement that PIDC has not applied for any of the necessary licenses or permits for their planned public event in celebration of Philippines Independence Day. It is quite puzzling to us why PIDC has publicized the event without applying for these permits. I wonder if they have applied for the necessary permits in events held in previous years!
7. It is understandable that each country like yours would want to celebrate your Sovereignty and Independence Day with your people. However, it should be done as private functions either at your Embassy compound or in hotel as most countries’ diplomatic missions or embassies have been doing all these years.
8. It would be inevitable for such public event aimed at celebrating your country’s Independence Day to end up contravening our law as it is only human nature for your people wanting to express their patriotism by displaying the Philippines flag. However, such act will be considered as a trespassing of our sovereignty and it would not do good to the friendship established between both countries and their people.
9. I would urge Your Excellency to reconsider your sponsorship and support for PIDC to organize such public event to celebrate Philippines Independence Day publicly in Singapore. I would also urge Your Excellency to discourage and dissuade PIDC from organizing such event now and in future as it is offensive and it has hurt Singaporeans’ feelings.
10. Last but not least, I also suspect that You Excellency’s support of PIDC has somewhat emboldened some of the Filipino businessman in Singapore. They have also openly displayed the Philippines Flag on their shop’s signage in public places. (Photo shown a Pinoy shop at Bedok Bus Interchange) Knowingly or unknowingly, they have committed a seizable offence in Singapore as stated in our National Emblems (Control of Display) Act Chapter 196. I hope that Your Excellency’s office could provide proper advisory to these Filipinos to observe the law of our land.
11. I hope that Your Excellency and your Embassy would do the right thing and take necessary steps to ensure that the relationship between Singapore and Philippines people would not be marred by insensitive and law breaking acts by the minority of Filipinos in Singapore.
Goh Meng Seng