Opposition candidates made small but unprecedented gains in the May parliamentary elections, winning six out of 87 seats. The government used restrictive laws to silence its critics, bringing criminal defamation cases against them and censoring the media. The death penalty, administrative detention and judicial caning were retained in law and practice.
The authorities continued to threaten and punish government critics, using sweeping criminal and civil defamation laws.
During the parliamentary election, the government eased some restrictions on the use of new media (such as blogs and Facebook) for political campaigning.
In September, the Home Minister rejected a call by former political detainees to repeal the Internal Security Act (ISA).
The government alleged that two ISA detainees, Jumari bin Kamdi and Samad bin Subari, were members of Jemaah Islamiyah, and that a third, Abdul Majid Kunji Mohamad, was a member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. All three were arrested in neighbouring countries and transferred to Singapore.
At least four people were executed and five were sentenced to death. In early 2011, Singapore posted some of its death penalty statistics on the internet. According to the Singapore Prison Service, there were six judicial executions in 2008, five in 2009 and none in 2010. No official information was available on executions carried out in 2011.
Judicial caning was imposed for some 30 offences, including immigration violations.
In May, Singapore’s human rights record was assessed under the UN Universal Periodic Review. The government rejected recommendations to end its use of mandatory death sentences and impose a moratorium on the death penalty. Singapore supported some recommendations to protect the rights of migrant workers.Top of page