08 Oct 2020

Zulfikar Bin Mohamad Shariff Charged Under Passports Act

1          Zulfikar bin Mohamad Shariff (Zulfikar; aged 49) was arrested by the Internal Security Department (ISD) in Singapore, and has been detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) since July 2016 for his active promotion of terrorism and glorification of the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) online. His actions had contributed to the radicalisation of at least two Singaporeans, Muhammad Shamin bin Mohamed Sidek (detained under the ISA for terrorism-related activities) and Mohamed Saiddhin bin Abdullah (Restriction Order allowed to lapse on 26 July 2020). Zulfikar had also exhorted Muslims to reject the constitutional, secular, democratic state in favour of the establishment of an Islamic state governed by Syariah law. He believed that violence should be used to achieve this goal if necessary.

2          At the time of his arrest, Zulfikar – who had resettled with his family in Australia in 2002 – held dual citizenship for Singapore and Australia. During investigations by ISD and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), he admitted that he had entered Singapore using his Singapore passport and withheld information regarding his Australian citizenship. He also admitted to having falsely declared to the ICA that he did not hold the citizenship of another country when he applied to renew his Singapore passport in 2013, as he did not want to give up either citizenship. Zulfikar has since renounced his Singapore Citizenship and ceased to be a Singapore citizen as of 26 August 2020.

3          In view of his false declaration to ICA in 2013, he was charged in Court under section 39(1) of the Passports Act, Chapter 220 on 8 October 2020 for making a false statement in connection with his Singapore passport renewal application.

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