THE organiser of the February protest against the Population White Paper is asking foreigners to stay away from the second protest at Speakers' Corner in Hong Lim Park on May 1.

Mr Gilbert Goh, who runs the website Transitioning.org, made the decision after the National Parks Board (NParks) - which manages Speakers' Corner - notified him on April 18 that he would need to apply for a police permit if foreigners were participating in the protest, he said at a press conference yesterday.

Mr Goh, 51, said that as he did not plan on applying for a permit, organisers would be putting up signs at the park on May 1 stating NParks' regulation on foreigners.

"We'll put up the signs. We want a peaceful protest. But if foreigners show up, we can't just chase them off," he said.

Mr Goh had earlier advertised the event on Facebook with a message that said: "Locals and foreigners are all welcome to join in this Labour Day protest and we are expecting a 10,000-size crowd."

He amended the invitation on April 20, Mr Goh said. It now reads: "We apologise that due to NParks' regulation, foreigners are dissuaded from attending the event."

NParks director Chia Seng Jiang said in a statement yesterday that "as Mr Goh's intention was to involve foreigners to participate in the protest event on the Population White Paper, he was required to apply for a police permit".

"This is because the exemption from the need to do so applies only if the event in Speakers' Corner is organised by Singaporeans and is attended by Singaporeans or PRs," said Mr Chia.

"As such, we raised this to Mr Goh's attention and reminded him to apply for a police permit."

The May 1 protest is a sequel to a Feb 16 one held at the park after Parliament endorsed the controversial White Paper.

Mr Goh said yesterday that he was hoping for about 5,000 to attend the second protest, down from the 10,000 stated on the event's Facebook page.