Crime among foreign workers is lower than in general population: Shanmugam

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(Home Affairs K. Shanmugam (left) REUTERS/Greg Baker/Pool)

Crime incidents within the foreign worker population are lower than that among the general Singapore population, Minister for Home Affairs K. Shanmugam told Parliament on Monday (14 March).

“They are here for a purpose and if they get into trouble they will be sent back straight away,” he said.

The minister was responding to questions from Marine Parade GRC Member of Parliament Fatimah Lateef in relation to the 27 radicalised Bangladeshi nationals who were arrested and repatriated in January.

The Bangladeshis were found to be planning armed violence in their home country. Radical and jihadi-related material were recovered from the group.

“I don’t want to give the impression that therefore everything is perfect, but it (radicalisation) is certainly a problem that has been recognised,” Shanmugam said.

In response to Fatimah’s question on foreign worker dormitories, Shanmugam said that dormitories were subject to “a number of guidelines”. For example, the sizing and how the dormitory was structured had to be cleared by security agencies, the minister shared.

Singapore’s security agencies would continue to monitor and investigate any signs of radicalisation in the country, he said. Singapore also shares intelligence with its foreign security partners as part of the broader counter-terrorism efforts.

But the fight against terrorism should not just involve the security agencies, Shanmugam said.

He called on Singaporeans to help safeguard family and friends from radicalisation, employers to monitor dormitories, and workers to report any suspicious activities.

“Everyone has a part to play to enhance our collective security.”

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