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     Singapore Law

Legal Matters      Police     Notaries Public

Not illegal for security guards to hold NRIC

 

Copyright © 2002 Andrew Reeves

     Drug Abuse

     Drug abuse is viewed seriously in Singapore. The death penalty is mandatory for those convicted of trafficking, manufacturing, importing or exporting more than any one of the following:

     - 15g of heroin                         30g of cocaine

     - 30g of morphine                    500g of cannabis

     - 1.2kg of opium                       200g of cannabis resin

     Possession of such quantities is deemed as prima facie evidence of trafficking.

     Those convicted of unauthorised drug consumption face maximum imprisonment of 10 years, fine of S$20,000 or both.

     Littering

     There are laws in place to discourage littering. A carelessly thrown tissue could result in a S$1,000 fine for first offenders, and up to S$2,000 fine and a stint of corrective work order cleaning a public place for repeat offenders.

     Smoking

     Smoking is banned on public buses, in taxis, lifts, theatres, government offices, cinemas, shopping centres and covered areas. First time offenders may be fined up to a maximum of S$1000. Smoking is not prohibited in air-conditioned pubs, discos, karaoke bars and nightspots.

     - Smoking ban to cover more public places from 1 Oct 2005

 

Excerpt of a letter by Billy CHEW, signing for Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Environment, to The Straits Times of 29 Sep 2000

  "..It is an offence under the law to take a lighted cigarette into the lift, even if the person is not smoking it.

  "To state this clearly, the Ministry of the Environment is in the process of standardising all smoking signs in lifts to that which shows a lighted cigarette with a slash across.

  "This year, so far, our officers have apprehended 400 offenders who smoked in places where smoking is prohibited. Our officers will continue to be on the lookout for those who blatantly flout the law...."

    Common Driving Offences & their prescribed punishment

      TYPE OF OFFENCE                 APPLICABLE LAW                       PUNISHMENT

Speeding Section 63 of the Road Traffic Act Fine up to S$1000 or jail up to 3 months; and on subsequent conviction, fine up to S$2000 or jail up to 6 months. Disqualification from driving.
Reckless/dangerous driving Section 64 of the Road Traffic Act Fine up to S$3000 or jail up to 12 months, or both. Subsequently, fine up to S$5000 or jail up to 2 years, or both. Disqualification from driving.
Driving without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration Section 65 of the Road Traffic Act Fine up to S$1000 or jail up to 6 months, or both. Subsequently, fine up to S$2000 or jail up to 12 months, or both. Disqualification from driving.
Use of mobile phone while driving Section 65B of the Road Traffic Act Fine up to S$1000 or jail up to 6 months, or both. Subsequently, fine up to S$2000 or jail up to 12 months, or both. Disqualification from driving.
Causing death by reckless or dangerous driving Section 66 of the Road Traffic Act Jail up to 5 years. Disqualification from driving.
Drink driving Section 67 of the Road Traffic Act Fine between S$1000 and S$5000, or jail up to 6 months. Subsequently, fine between S$3000 and S$10000, and jail up to 12 months. Disqualification from driving.
Causing the death of any person by a rash or negligent act Section 304A of the Penal Code Jail up to 2 years or fine or both. Disqualification from driving.
Rash or negligent driving Section 279 of the Penal Code Jail up to 6 months or fine up to S$1000, or both. Disqualification from driving.

     NEWS SNIPPETS

     2007

 

10,221 reported cases of loan shark harassment activities in 2006

"In 2006, 294 persons were arrested for UML offences and related harassment activities. This is an increase of 11% as compared to 2005.
"In 2006, Police also dealt with 39 UML syndicate members under the CL(TP) Act, which is an increase of 63% compared to 24 in 20053. In addition, Police smashed 8 syndicates last year4 ..."

More.....

 

Proposed changes to rules for unsecured credit

"A measured step of lowering the minimum annual income threshold for unsecured credit facilities from $30,000 to $20,000. A more conservative maximum credit limit of twice the borrower's monthly income will be set for individuals in this $20,000 to $30,000 income group, with no access to credit cards...
"Create appropriate modifications to the moneylenders regime.  For instance, for unsecured loans of $3,000 and below, no minimum income requirement would be imposed but such loans would be subject to an interest rate cap..."

More.....

 

Secondhand Goods Dealers Bill 2007 passed

"The current Act does not cover dealers operating without a shop. We recognise that many secondhand goods dealers today actually carry on their business via other means, such as on the Internet, or in an open-air setting like Sungei Road. This is unacceptable, as thieves and robbers will simply get rid of their loot through these other dealers who do not have a shop-front...
"MHA is hence widening the coverage of the law to include those dealers who do not operate within a shop. However, in keeping with the emphasis on a sharper regulatory focus, only dealers who trade in secondhand goods that are listed in the Schedule will come under the ambit of the Act..."

More.....

 

Commissioner of Charities completes inquiry on Youth Challenge

"The COC found that the Executive President's total annual remuneration for the financial year ended 31 January 2006 was $248,867. Of this amount, only $53,836 was disclosed as the Executive President's salaries in the Income and Expenditure Statement.
"Another $164,475 was disclosed in Note 3 to the audited financial statements as salaries apportioned to various projects/events...
"The Executive President's total remuneration of $248,867 amounted to 56% of the total donation and other income of $442,287 raised for the same period..."

More.....

 

The Banking (Amendment) Bill passed

"Entities that have not been approved to issue credit cards in Singapore will be prohibited from soliciting for or accepting card applications in Singapore, and this applies equally to third parties acting on their behalf...
"The proposed regime also clarifies that single party merchant credit is exempted from regulation.  Such an arrangement, where the card is used only for transactions with the issuer, is essentially a deferred payment scheme offered by merchants to their customers.
"In addition, a new exemption for cards granting credit in small amounts not exceeding S$500 will be introduced.  This allows flexibility in payments for small-ticket items without raising substantial concerns about Singaporeans spending beyond their means..."

More.....

     - Two students to be charged in court for misuse of sparklers

 

SMU starts School of Law

"The Third Committee on the Supply of Lawyers estimated that an additional 140-150 legal professionals will be required each year from 2010 until 2015 to meet the needs of Singapore’s legal industry.

"To meet this number, the SMU School of Law will take in 90 students in AY2007, reaching a steady-state intake of 120 from AY2008 onwards.
"The NUS Faculty of Law will also increase its intake from the current 220 to 240 beginning in AY2007..."

More.....

     2006

 

What really happened with Chee in prison

"Coincidentally, on the day that Chee stopped eating (28 Nov 06), the SDP website posted a statement “Dr Chee Soon Juan’s health deteriorates in prison” and started to purvey the story that Chee was unwell because of his treatment in prison.
"Soon after that, several foreign Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) wrote to express concerns similar to that purveyed by the SDP over Chee’s health and his treatment in prison.
"Then just as strangely as Chee had stopped eating on 28 Nov 06, Chee abruptly resumed eating his meals on 4 Dec 06. He ate his dinner ordered from a menu of choices at Changi General Hospital...

More.....

     - Police nab armed robber preying on convenience stores

     - Withdrawal of 1998 off-budget concession on stamp duty deferment

     - Police arrest 12 people in island-wide anti-piracy raids

 

Police nab Internet trickster selling car parts and accessories

"The culprit lured unsuspecting car enthusiasts in an online motoring forum into parting with their money by claiming that he was able to get bulk discounts on car parts and accessories.

"The victims would place orders with the culprit and make payment electronically. However, the victims never received their goods. When the victims discovered that they had been cheated, the culprit taunted them to catch him if they could..."

More.....

 

Banking (Amendment) Bill - First Reading in Parliament

"The Bill introduces a requirement for foreign full and wholesale bank branches to maintain a minimum level of eligible assets in Singapore in proportion to their liabilities...

"Such a requirement would help to improve the recovery of assets from a failed foreign bank branch in Singapore to meet the claims of Singapore depositors..."

More.....

     - Proposed amendments to the Penal Code

     - Singapore ranks 5th in 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index

     - Stricter smoke test for diesel vehicles from 1 January 2007

     - Police bust foreign housebreaking syndicate

     - 34 people to be charged in court for assisting loansharks

     - SCV fined for showing footage of lesbian sex on Zone Reality Channel

     - Record 15,000 household products registered with SAFETY mark

 

Singapore eases admission criteria for new lawyers

"Government announced on 17 August 2006, its in-principle acceptance of the recommendation of the Third Committee on the Supply of Lawyers chaired by the former Attorney-General, to allow Singaporean citizens or Permanent Residents ("PRs") who graduated from Overseas Scheduled Universities with Second Class (Lower Division) Honours to practise law in Singapore, provided they possessed certain relevant work experience or qualifications..."

More.....

     - AVA to implement grading scheme for pet shops

 

Option for foreign maids to have salary paid into their bank account

"To ensure prompt salary payment, FDWs can ask for their salaries to be paid into their bank accounts in Singapore.

"Effective 1 November 2006, MOM will introduce this as a new work permit condition for employers to comply..."

More.....

     - Singapore withdraws circulation approval for Far Eastern Economic Review

     - Police bust foreign syndicate using cloned ATM cards

 

Incident at Speakers’ Corner

"On 16 Sept 2006, Chee Soon Juan and a few of his associates gathered in the late morning at the Speakers' Corner...

"After making speeches at Speakers' Corner, Chee attempted to proceed on a protest march to Parliament House.

"However, he and his group were stopped by the Police and advised not to break the law..."

More.....

     - Police may not allow some IMF/WB civil society representatives to enter Singapore

     - Chee Soon Juan distributing pamphlets at Raffles City

     - Update On Subutex Voluntary Rehabilitation Programme

     - Singapore tightens security ahead of IMF/World Bank meetings

 

New personalised employment pass not tied to any employer

The Ministry of Manpower will introduce a Personalised Employment Pass (PEP) from 1 January 2007 to help us better attract and retain global talent...

The PEP allows the holder to remain in Singapore for up to six months in between jobs to evaluate new employment opportunities. This helps us to retain selected global talent who would otherwise have to leave Singapore...

The PEP will be issued only once with a validity of 5 years. It will be nonrenewable. A PEP holder will retain the dependant privileges of his original EP type and the minimum annual basic salary requirement of S$30,000 will continue to apply throughout the 5-year duration...

More.....

     - New "R18" rating for cabaret shows

     - Commissioner of Charities appointed

     - Circulation Of Foreign Newspapers In Singapore

     - Police arrest Malaysian for smuggling counterfeit S$1 coins

 

Subutex a Class A Controlled Drug from 14 Aug 2006

"From 14 August 2006, doctors will not be permitted to prescribe and dispense any take-home dosages for existing patients.

"All patients who require Subutex will have to consume their medication under direct visual observation of the pharmacist, doctor and/or his treatment team on a daily basis1 ."

More.....

 

Proposed Changes to Unsecured Credit Rules

"To lower the minimum income threshold for unsecured credit facilities to $20,000 from $30,000.  The minimum income requirement for credit cards remains at $30,000.

"To set the maximum aggregate credit limit of all unsecured personal credit facilities and credit cards granted by a financial institution at four times monthly income for individuals with at least $30,000 in annual income. For individuals with annual income of at least $20,000 and below $30,000, the maximum aggregate credit limit will be twice their monthly income..."

More.....

     - Proposed changes to the Banking Act

 

Subutex to be classified as a controlled drug

"While some heroin addicts appeared to have benefited from Subutex, many others seem to have merely shifted their addiction from heroin to Subutex.

"In addition, many more who have never tried drugs before have become new addicts. Within 4 years of introduction, we now have at least 3800 Subutex users, 45% of them Malay, 43% Chinese and 10% Indian..."

More.....

     - No outdoor demonstrations and processions during IMF/WB meetings

 

Exit permit rules relaxed for National Servicemen from 1 Aug 2006

"Full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) will henceforth be exempted from applying for exit permits for short overseas trips of less than 3 months...

"NSmen who have completed their Operationally-Ready National Service Training Cycle and have been phased into the MINDEF Reserve (MR) will no longer be required to notify the MNC of their overseas trips of more than 24 hours and less than 6 months..."

More.....

 

Singapore Crime Situation - First half 2006

"Crimes involving handphones being stolen, which was one of the key concerns in 2005, decreased significantly, from 2,423 to 1,962 cases, in the first half of 2006...

"The drop in handphone crimes, despite the continued high mobile phone penetration rate in Singapore3 , may be in part due to enhanced public education on such crimes as well as tighter enforcement against errant second-hand handphone dealers..."

More.....

     - Foreign Worker Levy and S Pass quota to go up

     - Use the National Flag during National Day Celebrations 2006

     - Police arrest 77 foreigners illegally working as masseuses

 

Entrapment: A Necessary Enforcement Tool

"...When Yeo was asked if he had any drugs, Yeo volunteered to bring drugs to the hotel where he was subsequently arrested with Ecstasy, ‘Ice’, and Ketamine.

"Adrian Yeo was, therefore, not a law-abiding person enticed into committing an offence by CNB.

"In omitting to highlight the fact that Yeo was a habitual drug abuser, the ST report has misled readers into thinking that CNB had acted unethically when the circumstances of the case clearly show the contrary and that CNB had acted professionally..."

More.....

 

Smoking ban in eating places starts today

Food outlets such as hawker centres, coffeeshops, cafes and fast food restaurants will be smoke-free from 1st July. To protect patrons from second-hand smoke, smokers are reminded to light up only at designated smoking corners.

Under this new regulation, smoking is banned within the indoor refreshment areas (IRA) of all foodshops (Eg. Coffeeshops, Cafes, Restaurants). They can designate up to 20% of the floor area in their outdoor refreshment areas (ORA) as a smoking corner upon NEA’s approval....

More.....

 

Changes To Conditions For Massage Establishments

Under the new requirements, establishments administering foot-reflexology, physiotherapy, traditional massage or curative massage must ensure that the massage services are conducted in full view of the public and satisfy the following new requirements before they are exempted from the provisions of the Act...

To safeguard public health and safety, masseuses, therapists and reflexologists who are working or will be working in licensed massage establishments may be required to undergo and pass a medical health screening before they can be allowed to work for any licensed establishment for massage...
Those who are currently already operating in the industry are required to register their details by 26 Aug 2006...

More.....

 

Hawker centres, coffeeshops and cafes prepare for smoking ban

Smoking ban will be extended to hawker centres, coffeeshops and cafes come 1st July.

To protect patrons from second-hand smoke, foodshop operators can set up smoking corners for those who want to light up. To date, close to half of the affected outlets have decided to set up smoking corners in their outdoor refreshment areas....

More.....

     - Chief Justice expresses shock about lawyer's alleged misappropriation of clients' moneys

     - Q & A on lewd photos posted by bloggers on blogs

     - New Website lets ex-offenders check own 'spent' criminal records

     - Counting of ballot papers & announcement of election results

     - General Election: Podpasting for campaigning not allowed

 

Amended Enlistment Act requires males 13 years & older to get exit permits

MINDEF will require pre-enlistees aged 13 to 16½ to apply for Exit Permits if they intend to be away from Singapore for 3 months or more.

Those who require Exit Permits of 2 years or more will be required to furnish a bond...

The penalty regime for Exit Permit offences for those aged 13 to 16˝ will be only a fine of up to $2,000, with no custodial sentences...

We will thus be introducing a new offence in the Enlistment Act under which parents and guardians can be made liable for the Exit Permit offences of their children or wards of ages 13 to 16½ so that the penalty can be imposed on their parents or guardians when the circumstances warrant it. The penalty regime for the offence will also be a fine of up to $2,000...

More.....

     - Law against Singaporeans who sexually exploit minors overseas

     - Police arrest kidnappers of two Indonesian men

     - Police bust illegal 4-D syndicate

 

2nd Defence Minister speaks on NS deferment & disruption

Therefore, MINDEF will only grant deferment for pre-enlistees to gain their basic educational qualifications of ‘A’ levels, polytechnic diploma, or below.
This is reasonable as most of our 18 year old NS enlistees would either have completed their basic qualification programme or are about to complete it.
As university degrees are considered higher educational qualifications, deferments for university studies will no longer be allowed. This new policy for deferments has been in place from the end of last year.

More.....

 

Home Affairs Minister tackles MPs' questions on crime situation

"As for snatch theft, where a person’s belongings are forcibly snatched away from him, cases involving handphones have increased from 160 cases in 2004 to 280 cases in 2005 and accounted for 45 per cent of the total number of snatch theft cases in 2005.
"Of particular concern are the cases specifically targeting the handphones of young victims, which has increased from 50 cases in 2004 to 93 cases in 2005.
"Robbery and theft cases involving handphones remain a key area of concern for the Police. The number of such cases increased significantly by 42 per cent to 4,830 cases in 2005.
"This is due to the higher mobile phone penetration rate in Singapore, thereby giving rise to a larger pool of potential victims. There are 4.3 million handphone subscribers in Singapore..."

More.....

 

Singapore Crime Situation 2005

Robbery and theft cases involving handphones taken remain a key area of concern for the Police. The number of such cases increased significantly by 1,414 cases, from 3,411 to 4,825 cases in 2005.

Handphone crimes increased most notably for theft in dwelling (excluding shop theft) from 832 to 1,119 cases (+287 cases), and for other thefts (from 1,096 to 1,837 cases in 2005).
Robbery (from 344 to 488 cases), snatch thefts (from 162 to 283 cases) and cheating and related offences (from 275 to 343 cases) also saw notable increases.
The increase in handphone crime may be due to the rise in mobile phone penetration rate9 in Singapore indicating a larger pool of potential victims...

More.....

 

Casino Control Bill 2006

To discourage locals from developing into problem gamblers, Section 116 of the Bill shall require the casino operators to collect an entry levy from Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents for every consecutive 24 hours in the casinos or $2,000 for an annual membership.

This levy will also underscore the message that gambling is an expense and not a means to get rich...
Section 108 of the Bill shall prohibit casino and junket operators from extending credit to Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, unless they maintain a credit balance of at least $100,000 with the casino operator at the start of their gaming which would qualify them as premium players.
Automated Teller Machines or ATMs shall be prohibited within the casinos under Section 109 of the Bill so that patrons will not have easy access to their savings accounts to gamble continuously.
Minors are also another potentially vulnerable group who may fall prey to the glamour of the casino, without realising the possible dangers of gambling. Sections 130 to 137 of the Bill will prohibit persons below the age of 21 years from entering the casinos...

More.....

     - Robber who fired gun faces death penalty if convicted

     - Exhibition of the Registers of Electors

     - LTA to administer bus lane offences from 1 Feb 2006

 

MINDEF to press for jail sentence in serious cases of NS defaulters

"Since the appeal case in the High Court in 1993, besides Melvyn Tan there have been 13 other cases of convicted defaulters who were sentenced only to a fine and who were not subsequently enlisted because they were already over 40 or almost 40.
"This is something that we need to look into more closely, especially as there may now be more defaulters who are 40 or older coming before the courts with the passing of time...
"MINDEF will be proposing to the House to increase the maximum fine provided for in the Enlistment Act from the current $5,000 to $10,000...
"...from now on, MINDEF will ask the prosecutor to press for a jail sentence in serious cases of NS defaulters, and explain why we consider a jail sentence appropriate in a particular case..."

More.....

     - New speed limits for 65 roads in Western Singapore

     2005

Changes proposed for nomination of beneficiaries in insurance policies

"Presently,...a nomination by a policyholder of his spouse and/or children will automatically create a statutory trust in favour of the spouse and/or children governed by section 73 of the Conveyancing and Law of Property Act (CLPA).

"The creation of a statutory trust effectively causes the policyholder to lose all rights to and control over the policy. This means that without the consent of all the beneficiaries, he cannot make any change to his nomination or the terms of the policy...
"MAS proposes to amend the Insurance Act to bring under its purview the nomination of beneficiaries in respect of the proceeds of insurance policies..."

More.....

      - Manpower Ministry responds to HRW's report on maids in Singapore

     - National Service Dues: Did pianist Melvyn Tan get off too lightly?

 

Nguyen Tuong Van Case: Separating fact from fiction

"If we let off a convicted courier because of age, financial difficulties or distressed family background, it will only make it easier for drug traffickers to recruit more "mules", with the assurance that they will escape the death penalty..."

More.....

     - Small Claims Tribunal to cover short-term residential tenancy agreements

 

Law amended to impose heavier penalties on loansharks

"But the number of unlicensed moneylending and related harassment cases continues to rise: from some 1,500 cases in 1995 to almost 6,000 cases in 2004.

"In some instances, parties who did not borrow money were also harassed; for example, new occupants of dwellings that were formerly occupied by debtors and people who had lost or misplaced their identity cards.
"In addition, the number of arrests made in harassment cases more than doubled from 123 arrests in 2003 to 284 arrests in 2004..."

More.....

 

Prevention of child abuse and neglect in Singapore

"Over the last 5 years, my Ministry investigated an average of 188 complaints of alleged child abuse each year. Only in 40% of cases did our investigations reveal real evidence of abuse.
"Granted, the number of cases with evidence of abuse increased by about one and a half times from 61 in 2000 to 90 in 2004. This is due largely to greater awareness among those who have regular contact with children and who reported the incidents to the authorities for intervention..."

More.....

 

Survey shows some companies infringing software copyright law

"...a recent survey highlighted that for small medium enterprises, nearly a third of them are still not fully compliant in the proper usage of software products in their business environment. This could be as a result of the use of illegal software or under-licensing the use of software products...
"The survey also found that among those who were non-compliant, a significant number were smaller companies, averaging ten workstations or less. 47.3% of this group were non-compliant...

More.....

      - New speed limits for 55 stretches of roads in southern Singapore

 

Compulsory registration for pre-paid SIM card holders

"From 1 November, mobile service providers, such as the Singapore Telecom Mobile Pte Ltd, StarHub Mobile Pte Ltd and MobileOne Ltd, will be required to ensure compliance in recording the personal details of all customers who buy prepaid SIM cards...

"...all existing prepaid SIM card users are required to re-register at retail outlets which sell prepaid SIM cards sold by their respective mobile service providers.

"Customers must be at least 15 years old before being eligible to purchase a prepaid SIM card..."

More.....

      - Draft Casino Control Bill released for public consultation

     - Law to let criminal records of minor offenders be rendered spent

     - Police raid company using pirated software

     - Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre launched

     - Police act against unlicensed second-hand handphone dealers

 

Three arrested for illegally distributing copyrighted songs online

"A pre-dawn raid on 3 locations by the Police on 17 August 2005 saw the arrest of 3 male subjects aged between 16 and 22 years old for distributing infringing copies of copyrighted music on the Internet.
"The 16 year-old student, 21 year-old unemployed man and 22 year-old factory operator were arrested in their respective residences..."

More.....

 

Rehabilitation for first- & second-time synthetic drug abusers

"From 1 July 2005, first- and second-time abusers of MDMA (Ecstasy, Ketamine), Methamphetamine (Ice or Yaba) and Nimetazepam (Erimin-5) will undergo a new rehabilitation regime in Drug Rehabilitation Centres (DRCs)....."

More.....

     - Give your view on changes to Income Tax Act

     - Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill 2005

     - Singaporeans engaging in sex with minors overseas

 

Registration of Criminals (Amendment) Bill 2005

"We are amending the Registration of Criminals Act or 'RCA' to allow the record of a conviction kept in the Register of Criminals for a less serious crime to be considered as spent if the person stays clean after a specified period...

"As we are making a start in this area, we have decided to do so on a more cautious note, by providing for criminal records to become spent. In the light of experience gained, we can consider expunging criminal records in the future..."

More.....

     - New speed limits for 43 roads from 1 Apr 2005

     - Smoking ban to cover more public places from 1 Oct 2005

     - 11,790 Immigration Offenders Arrested in 2004

     - Release/detention of persons involved with JI and MILF

     2004

Copyright (Amendment) Bill

Changes At A Glance

New Right of Communication for works

New Rights for Producers of Sound Recordings

New Rights for Performers

Removal and alteration of rights management information

Technological Measures protecting Copyrighted Works

Stronger Enforcement Measures

Criminal Liability for wilful infringement of copyright

 

Amendments to the Immigration Act

"..in 2003, ICA repatriated more than 11,800 foreigners who had either entered Singapore illegally or violated the conditions set out in their immigration passes.

To enable swifter repatriation of these undesirable foreigners, clause 16 will empower the Controller to seize monies found in possession of any prohibited immigrant to cover any expenses incurred by the Government in connection with his or his dependents' detention, maintenance, medical treatment and removal from Singapore.

More.....

      - Review of laws governing sexual offences

      - Employer ordered to compensate maid for failure to pay her salary

      - Enhanced safety requirements for motorised bicycles & riders

      - Automatic registration of societies from 1 Sep 2004

      - Changes to citizenship laws from 15 May 2004

      - Home Detention Scheme to be expanded

      - Rules on use of national symbols relaxed from 1 Jan 2004

     2003

 

  Figures from World Prison List, released last month by Britain's Home Office, shows that Singapore has 16,310 in its jails, or 359 people in prison for every 100,000 people. The rate is above the sum total of Cambodia (46), Malaysia (121), Brunei (120) and Indonesia (29). The Prison Department here believes the high rate here is because of the nature of the country - a city-state with a dense population. The study of 100 countries was topped by the US which has 686 inmates per 100,000 people. (Straits Times 31 Mar 2003)(H2)

     2002

 

  The Constitution was amended yesterday to bar immediately any MP who has been declared a bankrupt or is guilty of a crime from sitting or voting in Parliament even while waiting for the appeal to be heard. The MP will also lose his seat after 180 days if he does not succeed in his appeal by that time. The Constitution was also amended to extend the term of nominated MPs from two years to 2˝ years. (Straits Times 28 Aug 2002) (H5)

  Drivers who flee from the scene of a hit-and-run crash will now be disqualified from driving for a year, on top of possibly being fined and jailed. Parliament passed the amendments to the Road Traffic Act on Tuesday to make the one-year disqualification mandatory, just as it is for drink-driving. Other changes include suspending a motorist's licence until his trial if he is charged with failing to stop after a fatal or serious accident. (Straits Times 24 Jul 2002) (H4)

     2001

  A Prisons Department Study looking into who would qualify for home detention, how to determine curfew times and detention periods may result in first-timers convicted of minor offences being allowed to go home, instead of jail. But they would have to wear electronic tags which monitor their movements and curfew hours. Serving sentences this way, said Home Affairs Minister WONG Kan Seng, would help them maintain their ties with their families and continue to work. (Straits Times 27 Mar 2002) (1)

  Chief Justice YONG Pung How yesterday sent a strong message to molesters, saying that from now on they can expect to be jailed for a minimum of nine months. Stiffer sentences were needed to deter potential offenders, he said, as the number of molestation cases had risen by 25 per cent this year. (Straits Times 31 Oct 2001) (4)

  People who commit violence on the road can expect to be jailed, not fined, the Chief Justice said yesterday as he refunded a motorist's fine before sending him off to jail for punching a cabby in the face. He dismissed construction company director KOH Seng Koon's earlier conviction for punching a cabby at an open-air carpark along Somerset Road on 25 March 2000. Then, he sentenced KOH, 53, to one month in jail instead. (Straits Times 13 Jul 2001) (H3)

  All weapons that give off harmful gases, whether or not they look like guns, are illegal here. Such devices could be used to commit crimes, the police said in a statement yesterday in response to media enquiries. It said that under the Arms and Explosives Act, anyone who has such a device in his possession or brings it into Singapore without a licence can be fined up to S$2,000 and jailed for up to two years. (Straits Times 29 Jun 2001)

  A Thai woman who used fake fruits to smuggle almost 3,000 Yaba tablets into Singapore yesterday was detained outside Golden Mile Shopping Centre along Beach Road by Central Narcotics Bureau officers. The CNB officers, responding to a tip-off, had tailed the woman when she got into a cab at Woodlands Checkpoint. (Straits Times 20 Jun 2001)

News Snippets commenced on 20 Jun 2001