Singapore govt stands pat on measures against Malaysian protesters

Foreigners who break the law in Singapore should be prepared to face the consequences, including having their visas or work passes revoked, say MHA and MFA.

Singapore authorities on Tuesday rebuffed appeals to grant leniency to 21 Malaysians arrested for participating in two protests at Merlion Park earlier this month.

“Foreigners who break the law in Singapore should be prepared to face the consequences, including having their visas or work passes revoked,” the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a joint statement.

They said it is clear that some of the Malaysians who participated in the Merlion Park protests, which were held on 8 and 11 of May after Malaysia’s general election, deliberately ignored repeated warnings that such gatherings were illegal.

The protesters had decried alleged fraud in the May 5 election, which saw the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional continue its 56-year reign of the country after winning a simple majority of parliament seats though losing the popular vote.

MFA and MHA added that foreigners should not import the differences that they may have over issues in their countries into Singapore.

That some offenders have approached Malaysian Members of Parliament and their political parties to intercede on their behalf shows attempts to seek special treatment and to further politicise what is essentially a domestic law and order issue in Singapore, the ministries said.

The ministries also stressed that Singapore values its strong bilateral relations with its neighbours, and that these are based on mutual respect and the principle of non-interference in each other’s domestic affairs.

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim branded the recent election results a heist by Prime Minister Najib Razak and accused the Election Commission (EC) of bias.

Last week, Malaysian opposition politicians urged Singapore authorities to show leniency to the 21 people arrested.

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