Published: 14 February 2023
Mr Murali Pillai: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs having regard to the recent cases of persons, particularly youths, being self-radicalised through the internet posing imminent threats to the society and the associated difficulty in identifying such persons, whether any additional legislative measure should be introduced to allow the Internal Security Department to continue to play an effective role in keeping Singapore safe from terrorism.
Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Social and Family Development:
1. Mr Speaker, Sir. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) adopts a zero-tolerance approach towards radicalisation and any form of extremist ideology. The Internal Security Act (ISA) has been an effective tool for us to pre-emptively tackle such threats, evident from, among others, the arrests of three self-radicalised Singaporean youths and the foiling of their attack plans over the past two years.
2. In the online space, the Government has in place levers under the Broadcasting Act to disable access by Singapore users to websites that contain material that is objectionable on the grounds of public security. In addition, the Online Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act (OSMAA), which has taken effect from 1 February 2023, further strengthened regulations under the Broadcasting Act to disable access to egregious content on social media services, including content instructing or advocating terrorism and violence.
3. During the MHA Committee of Supply debate in March 2022, then-Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr Desmond Tan, announced that MHA was working with agencies to develop a framework that will tackle online criminal activity, including terrorism and content inciting violence in our community. This framework will complement the provisions under OSMAA, and we will provide more information at an appropriate juncture.