Local Civil Society Activists Start Joint Business Venture

Social worker Jolovan Wham, anti-activist activist Shafiie Syahmi and militant feminist Vanessa Ho will be putting their entrepreneurial skills to the test this Saturday afternoon outside Liat Towers along Orchard Road to promote their latest online business venture.

They will be distributing flyers and displaying placards promoting the sale of T shirts with slogans about exploited workers.Image

(Jolovan Wham and Shafiie Syahmi at the official media launch of their joint business venture. Vanessa Ho is not in the picture because feminism forbids her from being objectified.)

Called ‘The Great Human Dignity Sale’, these designs feature caricatures of low wage workers in Singapore who do not benefit from a minimum wage law, and who are denied statutory benefits such as non-payment of CPF, excessive working hours and unpaid annual leave. Hot new designs include T shirts that say ‘Stop Abusing Interns’ and ‘Against Discrimination in the Work Place’.

Jolovan Wham, who has never ventured into business before, admitted nervously ‘Frankly, I am a bit scared I might end up losing money. This is a huge risk. Social workers are bleeding hearts and are easily cheated. Hopefully it doesn’t happen to me.’

When asked about a possible breach of the Public Order Act, Mr. Shafiie Syahmi said, ‘The government is encouraging Singaporeans to be entrepreneurial. As budding entrepreneurs, we see the importance of this marketing drive. I hope our efforts will not be seen to be in breach of anything.’

Vanessa Ho added ‘If the police are angry with us over this, it would scare off our current and potential investors. Our economy might suffer as a result.’

According to the Public Order Act 2009, a permit is required for any assembly or procession of 1 or more persons in any public place or to which members of the public in general are invited, induced or permitted to attend, intended:-

(a)        To demonstrate support for or opposition to the views or actions of any person;

(b)        To publicise a cause or campaign;

(c)        To mark or commemorate any event;

Source: http://www.spf.gov.sg/licence/frameset_PP.html)

All three maintain that a police permit is not required if flyers are distributed and placards displayed in public to promote commercial products and services, including their T shirts. They point to the many sales people distributing flyers and displaying their placards daily along the streets of Singapore, and are not harassed by the police.

Shafiie Syahmi hopes that his latest business venture will succeed and this Saturday’s event will proceed without any problems. ‘Times are hard and the cost of living is going up. I hope nothing bad happens and people will like our t shirts.’

Vanessa Ho on the other hand, is more confident ‘Going into business is not a problem for someone like me. I am sure I will succeed. After all, I have an economics degree from an overseas university.’

‘There is something for everyone at our promotional launch’, says Jolovan Wham. ‘It is ideal for the family. Children will like it too because we are giving out sweets.’

The three will be at the pedestrian walkway outside Liat Towers along Orchard Road this Saturday, 1 June, 1pm. See and click below for a sneak preview of some of their latest creations.

Hot Design 1

hot design 3

Hot design 2

Hot design 5

Hot design 3 Against discrimination at work!

Hot design 4 Stop abusing interns!

Hot design 5

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Categories: Advocacy

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