Posted by: Chuck | August 30, 2013

Singapore Strike Chapter Five: The Gavel Falls


Outline of Singapore and the surrounding islan...

Outline of Singapore and the surrounding islands & waterways (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Thursday, Nov. 29, two days after a strike by Chinese bus drivers captured public attention in Singapore, prosecutors charged four men – He Junling, Liu Xiangying, Gao Yueqiang and Wang Xianjie – with engaging in a conspiracy to instigate others to participate in a strike.

Mr. He faced an additional count of incitement, related to an Internet essay he wrote to spur on his co-workers. At least an additional 50 drivers were picked up on that day for questioning, according to drivers who were part of that investigation. Police released them within hours, according to the drivers. Police have not commented on the drivers’ specific accounts. Police detained a fifth man a day later. Bao Fengshan, a 38-year-old who joined SMRT Corp. in 2008, was charged with participating in the strike.

Prosecutors said in a court submission that he made “threatening comments” during a meeting with SMRTS53.SG +0.38% officials on the first day of the strike. Prosecutors said he suggested that a further strike might happen if the drivers’ demands weren’t met within a week.

He later pleaded guilty without engaging a lawyer, was sentenced to six weeks in jail, and then returned to China, according to court documents. He could not be located. By then, the drama in Singapore had caught the attention of Beijing. In a statement, China’s Commerce Ministry said it hoped “all relevant parties can treat the requests of the Chinese drivers fairly, respond to their requests actively and take care of them reasonably to defend [their] legitimate rights.” (Source: SOUTHEASTASIA REALTIME 8/30/13)

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