Oral Replies to Parliamentary Questions

Oral Reply to Parliamentary Question on Mandatory Caning Sentences for Persons Convicted for Committing Serious Sexual Offences by Ms Sun Xueling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development

Published: 25 March 2020



Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs (a) in the past five years, how many persons have escaped the imposition of the mandatory caning sentences upon being convicted for committing serious sexual offences such as rape by reason of them being above the age of 50; and (b) whether the Government has plans to remove the age requirement in order that all such convicted persons, irrespective of their age, will be imposed caning sentences so long as they are assessed to be medically fit.    




1. There are two serious sexual offences in the Penal Code that attract mandatory caning, namely: aggravated rape and aggravated sexual assault by penetration. In the past five years, 13 offenders above 50 years old were convicted of these offences. Caning was not imposed on them, as they were above 50 years old.


2. For such offenders, the courts have the discretion to impose an additional imprisonment term of up to 12 months in lieu of the caning.


3. The Government regularly reviews Singapore’s criminal justice policies, including our policy on caning. We will provide an update if there are changes to this policy.


Law and order