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SINGAPORE, Feb 16 — The recent detention of a 16-year-old Singaporean who planned and prepared to conduct terrorist attacks against Muslims in Singapore is the subject of eight parliamentary questions by Members of Parliament (MPs) when the House sits today.
Among the MPs who have filed questions is Holland-Bukit Timah Group Representation Constituency (GRC) MP Christopher de Souza, who asked what further legal tools should be put in place to support the Home Team’s ability to detect, trace and apprehend self-radicalised terror suspects before any terror incident occurs.
De Souza also asked about measures that could be undertaken to tighten up legislation to prevent self-radicalised individuals from getting their hands on firearms or explosives to carry out terror attacks in Singapore.
Other MPs who filed questions on the matter included Tampines GRC MP Desmond Choo, who asked whether investigations were conclusive that the teen was operating as a “lone wolf”.
Bukit Batok Single Member Constituency MP Murali Pillai also asked what steps have been identified by the government to counter the trend of self-radicalisation via the internet.
The teenager in question is the youngest person to be detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for terrorism-related activities.
The self-radicalised youth intended to strike two mosques in Singapore on March 15, exactly two years after far-right extremist Brenton Tarrant livestreamed the massacre of more than 50 Muslims at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2019.
He had been influenced by Tarrant, who had released a manifesto before the mass shooting, the Internal Security Department had said last month.
Acting on intelligence, the authorities arrested the teen on November 26 last year, and he was handed a detention order under the ISA on December 23.
Security issues aside, Covid-19 is also the subject of numerous questions by MPs.
Sengkang GRC MP He Ting Ru asked if attendees at the World Economic Forum’s Special Annual Meeting in Singapore in August will be subject to stay-home notices and quarantine rules to prevent it from becoming a super spreader event, and also whether attendees will be required to use TraceTogether technology.
Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Gan Thiam Poh asked whether the Health Ministry will require all foreigners arriving into Singapore to buy travel insurance, including hospitalisation insurance for Covid-19 coverage.
Non-Constituency MP Leong Mun Wai asked why Singapore has not closed its borders to travellers from India and Indonesia “given the disproportionately large number of imported cases coming from the two countries”.
Aljunied GRC’s Gerald Giam, meanwhile, asked if has been an increase in the number of requests for consular assistance from Singaporeans in Myanmar following the February 1 coup, and whether the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) will be issuing a joint statement on the situation there.
Also on the agenda today will be Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat’s Budget statement, which will be delivered at 3pm. — TODAY