In Singapore Law, unlawful assembly is governed by Chapter 8 of the Penal code. An unlawful assembly is defined as “an assembly of 5 or more persons”.
Section 141 – Unlawful Assembly
An assembly of 5 or more persons is designated an “unlawful assembly”, if the common object of the persons composing that assembly is —
- to overawe by criminal force, or show of criminal force, the Legislative or Executive Government, or any public servant in the exercise of the lawful power of such public servant;
- to resist the execution of any law, or of any legal process;
- to commit any offence;
- by means of criminal force, or show of criminal force, to any person, to take or obtain possession of any property, or to deprive any person of the enjoyment of a right of way, or of the use of water or other incorporeal right of which he is in possession or enjoyment, or to enforce any right or supposed right; or
- by means of criminal force, or show of criminal force, to compel any person to do what he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do what he is legally entitled to do.
Section 142 – Being a member of an unlawful assembly
As long as you are aware of any of the circumstances which render an assembly unlawful and yet “intentionally join” such assembly, or continue in it, you will be considered to be a member of the unlawful assembly and punishable under section 143 of the Penal Code with imprisonment for up to 2 years, or fine, or both.
Section 144 – Joining an unlawful assembly armed with any deadly weapon
A member of an unlawful assembly who is armed with any weapon or object that if “used as a weapon of offence, is likely to cause death”, is liable to be more severely punished with an imprisonment term of up to 5 years, or fine, or caning, or a combination of any of these punishments.
Section 145 – Joining or continuing in an unlawful assembly, knowing that it has been commanded to disperse
If you remain a member of an unlawful assembly that has been commanded to disperse, you will also be liable to enhanced punishment of imprisonment of up to 5 years, or with fine, or both.
Section 146 – Rioting
If you are a member of an unlawful assembly, and any member of such assembly uses any force or violence in pursuit of the common object of the assembly, every member of the unlawful assembly will be guilty of the offence of rioting. Rioting is punishable under section 147 of the Penal Code, and carries a much heavier penalty of a mandatory imprisonment sentence of up to 7 years and with caning.
Section 148 – Rioting, armed with a deadly weapon
Rioting with any weapon or object that if “used as a weapon of offence, is likely to cause death”, attracts a severe penalty of a mandatory imprisonment term of up to 10 years, and with caning.