Just returned from house visits in Eunos (with an interesting exchange with a new citizen), but this story has been on the back of my mind the whole evening. The preamble of the Internal Security Act states – “An Act to provide for the internal security of Singapore, preventive detention, the prevention of subversion, the suppression of organised violence against persons and property in specified areas in Singapore, and for matters incidental thereto.”
What the Ministry needs to share is how the Act has been extended to such foreigners who – as reported – do not plan to act against Singapore or Singaporeans, but foreign targets. These Bangladeshis should be deported and sent back to their home countries, for their own agencies to deal with, without invoking the ISA. It would be a different situation if the evidence reveals that they “could” do something in Singapore specifically – but that is not established by the Ministry of Home Affairs’ press release.
I have no sympathies for this lot or any other lot that professes violence. But the real worry I have is that we invite ourselves to become a target for terrorism, not least because this sets a precedent for all other “terror” “groups” that fit in our definition of radicalisation. If Hamas or some Aum Shinrikyo-type sect members meet in Singapore to plan attacks elsewhere, this precedent will require us to lock them up under ISA, and to be prepared for the consequences, like revenge.
It is too late to file parliamentary questions for next week’s parliamentary session, but I hope the Minister of Home Affairs makes a statement in parliament to MPs on this matter so that we have a chance to query these arrests.