News

Town Council had no permit for CNY event

The Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC), run by the opposition Workers' Party, was yesterday found guilty of holding a Chinese New Year event without a permit.

District Judge Victor Yeo will pass sentence on Dec 24.

AHPETC can be fined up to $1,000 under Section 35 of the Environmental Public Health Act for the event from Jan 9 to 30 this year. It had not been given a permit by the National Environment Agency (NEA) because its application forms were incomplete.

The town council argued that the event was a "community event" or a "mini-fair" and disputed the NEA's assertions that it was a "trade fair" or a "temporary fair" for which a permit was required.

The court agreed with NEA.

APPROVAL LETTER

The court had earlier heard that the town council had submitted forms, such as for fire safety.

But it did not get a letter of approval from the area's Citizens Consultative Committee, chaired by a People's Action Party grassroots leader, because the town council deemed the requirement "unreasonable".

District Judge Yeo said it was not appropriate for the court "to examine the conditions, given that it would not change the issue of non-issuance of a permit". He said that for the defence to argue that there is no requirement for the town council to apply for a permit is "simply unconvincing".

The event had five stalls selling festive decorations, cookies, fruit, flowers and potted plants in a space managed by the town council.