"He (Fong Sip Chee) said things which are untrue. He says that I was marching in front of the demonstration. I was never there! I was not there at all!
I tell you this so-called City Hall Riot was also a big humbug. Not only a misnomer. A terrible humbug. There was no such thing! You see, it all depends on who controls the radio and who controls the press.
What happened was this. Many of our party leaders and union leaders were arrested in February 1963 under Operation Cold Store, and they were put into prison and treated badly. They were put into solitary confinement. And in hot, suffocating cells. They were complaining! And the parents were not allowed to see them. The parents were complaining and asking that better treatment be given to the detainees. But the PAP government ignored our complaints.
And in order to let people know about it, some of our Assemblymen and the families of the detainees held a peaceful demonstration. It started from the party headquarters in Victoria Street, going around to North Bridge Road, to South Bridge Road, and then to City Hall.
Of course, they wanted to see Lee Kuan Yew. They wanted to ask him, why don’t you release them? Or give them better conditions of treatment? Don’t ill-treat them! So, holding their placards, they walked up the steps to his office in City Hall. The police said that he was not in his office. But everybody knew that he was in. So the families of the detainees refused to believe the policeman.
Thev continued up the steps. And when they went up the steps, the policemen who were under the charge of an inspector who I believe is the Police Chief today, pushed back the group of detainee's families, including old women and young girls. Some of them fell! And what do you expect when people push you? Of course you push back!
That was the so-called City Hall Riot ! "
("Leaders of Singapore", Melanie Chew, page 126)
Lots of things untrue have been said about what happened at Hong Lim Park. Fortunately Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob has recognized that comments on the event will fall foul of sub judice laws and should not be allowed in the House. When Khaw Boon Wan refrained from Parliamentary discussion of the subject - specifically, addressing questions tabled by MPs Denise Phua and Zainal Sapari concerning Speakers Corner’s rules and the incident on 27 September 2014 - he simply said, "It is not appropriate". To admit that it is plain illegal was apparently too much a bitter pill for him to swallow.