Published: 17 May 2022
1. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) confirms that Indonesian preacher Abdul Somad Batubara (Somad) arrived at Singapore’s Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal on 16 May 2022 from Batam with six travel companions. Somad was interviewed, following which the group was denied entry into Singapore and placed on a ferry back to Batam on the same day.
2. Somad has been known to preach extremist and segregationist teachings, which are unacceptable in Singapore’s multi-racial and multi-religious society. For example, Somad has preached that suicide bombings are legitimate in the context of the Israel-Palestine conflict, and are considered “martyrdom” operations. He has also made comments denigrating members of other faith communities, such as Christians, by describing the Christian crucifix as the dwelling place of an “infidel jinn (spirit/demon)”. In addition, Somad has publicly referred to non-Muslims as “kafirs” (infidels).
3. A visitor’s entry into Singapore is neither automatic nor a right. Each case is assessed on its own merits. While Somad had attempted to enter Singapore ostensibly for a social visit, the Singapore Government takes a serious view of any persons who advocate violence and/or espouse extremist and segregationist teachings. Somad and his travel companions were denied entry into Singapore.