Police will not be given extra powers in Little India, says Shanmugam

SINGAPORE: Police will not be given extra powers as the government moves to enact a temporary law aimed at maintaining public order in Little India.

Law Minister K Shanmugam reiterated this point during a dialogue on MediaCorp’s Vasantham channel on Thursday evening.

Following the December 8 riot, part of Little India was designated a proclaimed area for public order purposes.

Now a new law, introduced in Parliament, will allow police and other agencies to enforce the alcohol restrictions and regulate the movement of persons there.

Mr Shanmugam said the new provision is limited in scope, compared to the wide-ranging powers of the Public Order (Preservation) Act.

He was responding to questions during the dialogue on the need for extra measures in Little India after the riot.

Mr Shanmugam said: “The government already has more power than this. We do not need all that power at the moment.

“We can reduce that and pass a new temporary law lasting only for a year. The Public Order (Preservation) Act provides several powers. The police do not need all such powers. The new law reduces such powers.”

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