Written Replies to Parliamentary Questions

Oral Reply to Parliament Question on Protecting Women in Crowded Places by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Published: 11 September 2017



Mr Desmond Choo: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs in view of the rising cases of outrage of modesty (a) how is the Ministry working with entertainment outlet operators to better protect female patrons; (b) how is the Ministry enhancing its measures in other crowded public places such as the public transport areas; and (c) whether there is a need to enhance the current legislation to curb such crimes.




1. Public entertainment outlets are licensed by the Police under the Public Entertainments Act. As part of licensing conditions, operators must take steps to prevent crime on their premises, including outrage of modesty. They must, for example, ensure sufficient lighting and prevent overcrowding. The Police have also been working with nightclubs on additional measures such as the installation of CCTVs. These help to discourage commission of outrage of modesty.


2. In public transport areas, officers from the Public Transport Security Command conduct patrols to project Police presence. The Police have also been active in their crime prevention outreach efforts to commuters, through posters, videos and crime prevention roadshows in areas such as trains, train stations and bus interchanges. Such efforts heighten commuters' awareness of and vigilance against crime, including outrage of modesty.


3. Currently, the punishment for outrage of modesty can include a fine, caning, and imprisonment up to two years. If committed against persons under 14 years of age, the term of imprisonment can be up to five years.


4. We are watching the situation closely and will continue to take a tough stance against outrage of modesty. We will enhance the legislation if necessary. We urge the public to be vigilant and to report incidents to the authorities as soon as possible.


Law and order