SINGAPORE - Two months after a protest against the controversial Population White Paper, a second protest rally at Hong Lim park drew a similarly packed crowd.
Speakers, who this time included many ordinary Singaporeans, did not just air grievances over the population size and foreigners, but touched on a wider range of issues, relating to wages, workers' rights, support for single mothers, and language.
Rally organiser Gilbert Goh estimated that between 5,000 and 6,000 people attended the event. AFP meanwhile put the crowd size at around 3,000.
At the start of the rally, he asked people to take out their Identity Cards and wave it in the air to show they were either Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents.
Foreigners were discouraged from attending the protest, because the National Parks Board - which manages Speakers' Corner - had notified Mr Goh that he would need to apply for a police permit if foreigners were participating.
Among the other speakers were former president of the Society of Financial Service Professionals Leong Sze Hian, lawyer M Ravi, social worker Jolovan Wham of the Humanitarian Organisation for Migrant Economic, and former presidential candidate Tan Jee Say, as well as a single mother, a retiree and a cab driver.
The embattled former Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP) board director Nizam Ismail also made a surprise appearance at the rally, after saying earlier that he was pulling out as a speaker as a personal protest against allegations that he was pursuing race-based politics and using AMP for self promotion.
He appeared halfway through the rally with his wife and child, and told reporters that he was attending "to show support for fellow Singaporeans".