Ladies and Gentlemen,
On December 8, 2013 in Little India, an area in Singapore some Indian nationals rioted after one of their fellow men was run over and killed by a bus in front of them. They were also probably unhappy with their meager pay and miserable working conditions causing them to riot.
But what is shocking is the fact that they in fact detained and interrogated no less than 3,700, according to the state controlled press in the island, mostly Indian nationals to investigate this riot. And obviously most of them were innocent and had nothing to do with the riot, since only 30 of them were charged, their names having been chosen at random by the police from government work permit records.
This sort of random arbitrary police action against masses of innocent individuals is a clear violation of police powers, not tolerated by any civilized society. The right of the police to investigate crimes does not override the citizen's right to privacy and be free from unlawful searches and seizures. There has to be probable cause before you demand that someone appear before you to be interrogated. Here there was none. You simply cannot go on a fishing expedition, as in this case of rounding up 3,700 people! Only in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.
This is a clear violation of the privacy rights of people as well as their right to be free from arbitrary and unlawful searches and seizures. If this is allowed, there is no question that it is nothing short of a police state permitting the questioning and search of anyone anytime they please.
Outraged by this police unashamed high handedness, complaints have been lodged by a Human Rights organization called Workfair Singapore that many innocent people among the 3,700, who were asked to report to Police headquarters and beaten up to extract confessions. The Deputy Police Commissioner has confirmed that complaints have been lodged and he is investigating.
No civilized society allows it's police to detain and question anyone they want to investigate crime. Toa Payoh is a housing estate of several housing blocks. Are the police saying that in order to investigate a case of theft in a flat in the area, they have a right to to round up hundreds of thousands of residents in the entire housing estate interrogate and beat up some of them, in the name of crime investigation?
By their rounding up as many as 3,700 people of Indian descent in Singapore, are they also saying that they could stop anyone along the street simply because he looks Indian (since Indians rioted) and bring him in for questioning?
What are they anyway, the Gestapo?
There is no doubt about it, Singapore is plain and simple a police state. The police in Singapore can simply do anything they want. On the claim that they are investigating crime, they can, under Singapore's laws stop and question anyone, demand that they attend at police headquarters for questioning and simply beat you up as well if they choose.
There should be no surprise, given the police's unlimited powers, why thousands and thousands of good educated people are leaving Singapore's shores for settlement in the West preferring to live in a free society under rule of law. And it should be no surprise why people around the world are not making a beeline to apply for settlement in North Korea or to Singapore if you had any choice.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525