COS 2022: Surveys

MP Pritam Singh

Mr Pritam Singh (Aljunied): Mr Speaker, I did not file a cut for this Ministry but in view of some of the earlier remarks made by the Minister, I have two clarifications.

Both pertain to the surveys. I just need to be sure that both were surveys; the first one covered the mandatory death penalty. If I heard the Minister right, he said the Ministry is studying the results. And then, thereafter, Minister went on to say that in the case, for example, for intentional murder, 81% approved of the mandatory death penalty. I think there were three other statistics that he revealed in that part. Can I just confirm then what is Ministry studying with regard to the mandatory death for this particular survey?

The second question pertains to the first survey Minister referred to which covered foreigners in countries, I understand Minister said where some of these drug offenders originate from. Can I confirm that that survey would be made public and not for its own sake but at least people can understand the argument vis-a-vis deterrence quite squarely and also understand the structure of the survey itself?

Mr K Shanmugam: I thank Mr Singh for both those questions. The first question relates to a survey amongst Singapore residents. We did one in 2019. We do this regularly. And then 2021, on my instructions, a part of the survey specifically focused on mandatory death penalty. Because people may have differing views on death penalty and mandatory death penalty. And the figures I gave were for mandatory death penalty.

But having said that, I have to put a caveat, as I said, there is a statistical methodology and this survey has been completed fairly recently, the results are still being analysed. I have been given these figures with a reasonable degree of confidence. When it is finalised, we will make it available, we will make it public, as we have made public previous surveys. There is no issue about that. It will just take the appropriate time and we will release it.

Second is the survey that Mr Singh spoke about or referred to my speech, where I spoke about a survey in the region where not a small number, well, many of our drug traffickers come from. The results are known to us. I think it is important and I have given instructions for it to be made public in some form, in a way that will not prejudice Singapore’s public interest and foreign policy interest.

Ministry of Home Affairs
3 March 2022

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