Singaporean activists charged over protest march

Two Singaporean activists questioning the government`s management of more than $200 billion in pension funds were charged Monday with staging an illegal march at a venue designated for protests.

Singapore: Two Singaporean activists questioning the government`s management of more than $200 billion in pension funds were charged Monday with staging an illegal march at a venue designated for protests.

Roy Ngerng Yi Ling, 33, and Han Hui Hui, 23, led a march on September 27 at Hong Lim Park, the only place in Singapore where protests are allowed, despite having only a permit to stage a rally at a fixed spot.

The protest was the latest in a series they organised calling for greater transparency in how the Central Provident Fund is invested by the government. 

The fund had about Sg$265 billion ($208 billion) under administration as of June this year, according to its website. 

Ngerng and Han can be fined up to Sg$5,000 if found guilty of staging a march without approval from park administrators. 

They and four others were also charged with causing "public nuisance" by marching into another section of the park where a charity event was being held.

Anyone convicted of the offence can be fined up to Sg$1,000.

Ngerng, a former government health worker, is currently facing a separate defamation suit from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for alleging that the leader misused the provident fund. 

Set up in 2000, the Speakers` Corner at Hong Lim Park is loosely based on the free-speech area of London`s famous Hyde Park. 

The venue has seen a rising number of protests following a loosening of rules in 2008.

Two rallies against the government`s immigration policy held in early 2013 garnered crowds of over 5,000, making them the tightly-controlled country`s biggest protests in decades. 

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