Over this weekend, everyone could only talk about one thing.
The Trump-Kim Summit happening on 12 June 2018.
That’s tomorrow, people!
Okay, I am one of those people that call it the Trump-Kim Summit instead of the US-North Korea summit, because the two of them are not just the leaders of their countries.
They are personalities.
And these two personalities are gonna meet for the first time.
And our little always-not-on-the-radar island has been chosen to be the hallowed grounds for this important, historic event.
Years from now, our grandkids are going to ask us what we did on 12 June 2018 – please do something cool and historic tomorrow. Or pretend like you did.
Anyway, with all this hooplah going on, we are seeing news reports of this and that area being gazetted as a ‘Special Events Area’.
Now, what does this all mean?
1. Special Events Area is a recent thing in Singapore.
We are such a young country, right?
So that means all the big, big things going down tomorrow is a major first in our history.
We have a controversial ‘leader of the free world’ and one of the last remaining faces of communism meeting right here in our country.
For such unprecedented international attention (our late PM Lee always knew we didn’t need Hollywood to be international superstars), it seems like some major security measures need to be placed.
And last year, the Ministry of Home Affairs deemed that public events expected to draw in crowds of over 5000, and private events drawing over 10,000 people, need to be declared to the Police.
And the Police can declare where the event is held as a Special Events Area, should they deem it appropriate.
2. What does it mean to cordon off an area as a ‘Special Events Area’?
So there is no proper definition for what a Special Events Area is.
If you have to travel in or out of these areas for whatever reason, factor in a major delay in your travel time.
Special Events Areas will have signages, police barricades and security officers.
For a high-risk event like the Summit, the security will include armed auxiliary police officers, full body scans, bag checks, and measures against vehicle-borne checks.
If you are entering these areas and the police stop you for a bag-check or vehicle-check, you must comply. Well, come on, just comply lah.
3. What are not allowed in these areas?
For the Special Events Areas cordoned off for the Summit, there are certain items you are not allowed to bring in.
So please be mindful of what you take in.
Don’t blame the Police if they confiscate or throw away your things ah.
Items like explosives, arms (this one quite duh right?), aerosol paint containers or any substances that can be used to vandalise/graffiti, flags and banners measuring larger than 1m x 1m, or those with handles measuring longer than a metre, and loudhailers, are all amongst items that cannot enter the Special Events Area.
Penalties for being caught with these items can be anything from a fine up to $20,000. Or a jail of up to a year. Or both.
4. What areas are deemed Special Events Areas for the Summit?
Let’s find out which places to avoid. Unless you bopian and work in those areas. Then you might want to consider taking MC (but don’t tell your boss this was our idea, k?)…
So for the week, the area around Shangri-La hotel will be deemed a Special Events Area.
Sentosa will also be marked as a Special Events Area.
The Sentosa Special Events Area will stretch all the way from Harbourfront MRT and into Sentosa Island.
5. There can be Special Zones inside Special Events Areas.
If you think Special Events Areas are already a huge hassle, wait till you hear this.
Within Special Events Areas, there can be Special Zones too!
What are Special Zones? It’s just a more ‘special’ area that has more security focus.
Getting into Special Zones will earn you extra security checks, and a more thorough one at that.
For the Trump-Kim Summit, the area within Sentosa that covers Universal Studios and the Capella Hotel will be deemed a Special Zone (lest you’ve been living in a cave, Capella Hotel is where President Trump and Chairman Kim would meet).
Please ah, just avoid USS for the week. Save yourself the trouble.
There will be a Special Zone in the Special Events Area surrounding Shangri-La hotel.
The Special Zone will be the Tanglin area.
This includes Claymore Road, Cuscaden Road, Nassim Road, Grange Road, Tanglin Road, Bukit Timah Road, Paterson Road, etc.
Good luck if you work in those areas.
But at least your boss cannot scold you if you are late for work.
6. When was the Special Events Area first used in Singapore as a security measure for international events?
As we have established, this is a relatively new security measure in Singapore.
So when was it first used as a security measure for an international event?
Well, it was used at the 32nd ASEAN Summit this year (which was held on 25-28 April, in case you didn’t know).
Over the course of April 27-28, the Istana and Shangri-La areas were deemed as Special Events Area.
The security measures that were put in place to ensure everyone’s safety are similar to the measures currently in place for the Trump-Kim summit.
7. Please don’t fly drones in any of the Special Event Areas or Special Zones.
To me this was a bit of common sense. But you know what they say.
Common sense ain’t so common anymore.
So this is a PSA to anyone with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones.
DO NOT fly drones in the Special Event Areas or Special Zones.
It is a very serious offence and will get you some severe penalties.
Your drone will be seized (meaning fat chance you will get it back), and if you are the one operating the drone, you will be arrested (meaning you better be rich enough to pay some huge fines).
8. Police can remove you from the Special Zones.
It goes without saying that the Police can deny entry to any person or vehicle entering the Special Zones.
But did you know that the Police can also remove anyone already in the Special Zones if they deem it necessary?
So please abide by all the rules that they have set and behave properly, so you can avoid any embarrassing or awkward Police encounters.
9. In case you want to conduct/take part in a Public Assembly or Procession within Special Area Zones…
We all know that having protests or demonstrations in Singapore, no matter how peaceful, is generally frowned upon.
So if you want to organise or take part in a procession or a Public Assembly within these Special Area Zones, you absolutely must have a Police permit.
If you don’t, you can get a fine of up to $5,000 (repeat offenders fine is up to $10K), or imprisoned for up to 6 months. Or both.
Please be careful. It’s better to stay away from any kind of Assembly or procession during this week, especially in those sensitive areas.
If it is an absolute must, ensure you have a Police permit allowing you to do so.
10. Traffic Matters
In light of these Special Events Areas and Special Zones, traffic will obviously be affected.
And we are not just talking about huge delays that will be occurring due to security checks.
In a media release by the Police, there will be slow-moving traffic around St Regis Hotel – Tanglin Road, Tomlinson Road, Orchard Boulevard and Cuscaden Road from 9 June to 14 June; Shangri-la Hotel – Anderson Road and Orange Grove Road from 10 June to 14 June; Keppel Road, Telok Blangah Road and Sentosa Gateway from 12 June to 13 June.
A full list of roads and lanes that will be closed can accessed here.
Commercial vehicles with ‘G’, ‘Y’, ‘X’ and ‘W’ number plates will also have restricted entry into the Special Events Areas.
Bus stops BS09191 (along Tomlinson Road) and BS09159 (along Tanglin Road) will also be closed. Buses will not serve these stops.
Full details regarding the affected bus services can be accessed here.
Well guys, Trump and Kim are both in Singapore right now. Exciting things are about to go down.
And we are going to be in history books forever!
So don’t forget these 10 facts about Special Events Areas and you can avoid any awkward brushes with the law. And plan for all the wonderful traffic we are gonna experience.
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