Singapore

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Contents

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

LEGAL TRAINING RESOURCE CENTER


BACKGROUND

Singapore is a republic with a parliamentary system of Government based on the Westminster Model.


The roots of Singapore’s legal system can be traced back to the English legal system and it has evolved over the years. The sources of law are derived from its Constitution, legislation, subsidiary legislation (e.g. Rules and Regulations et cetera) and judge-made law.


The Constitution[1] is the supreme law of the land and lays down the basic framework for the three organs of state, namely:


(a) Executive


(b) Legislature


(c) Judiciary.


BRANCHES

(a) Executive

The Executive includes the Elected President, the Cabinet and the Attorney-General. The President is elected by the people and is empowered to veto government budgets and appointments to public office. The Cabinet comprises the Prime Minister and Ministers appointed from among the Members of Parliament and is responsible for the general direction and control of the Government and is accountable to Parliament. The Attorney-General is the principal legal advisor to the government and has the power and discretion to prosecute offenders.


Executive power rests with the Cabinet. The Cabinet is led by the Prime Minister, who is appointed by the President. On the advice of the Prime Minister, the President appoints other Ministers from among the Members of Parliament to form the Cabinet. The Cabinet is responsible for all government policies and the day-to-day administration of the affairs of state.


(i) Prime Ministers of Singapore


1959 to 1990: Mr Lee Kuan Yew

1990 to 2004: Mr Goh Chok Tong

2004 to Present: Mr Lee Hsien Loong


(b) Legislative


The Legislature comprises the President and Parliament and is the legislative authority responsible for enacting legislation. Parliament is made up of elected, non-constituency and nominated Members of Parliament. The President’s assent is required for all bills passed by Parliament and he may in his discretion withhold assent to certain bills.


The Singapore Parliament is unicameral and together with the President of Singapore, is known as the Legislature. It is modelled after the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy, where Members of Parliament (MPs) are voted in at regular General Elections. In Singapore, a General Election must be held at least once every five years. The leader of the political party that secures the majority of seats in Parliament will be asked by the President to become the Prime Minister. MPs consist of either Elected, Non-Constituency or Nominated members.


The present 12th Parliament of Singapore, which opened its first session on 10 October 2011, has 99 MPs, comprising 87 elected MPs, 3 Non-Constituency MPs and 9 Nominated MPs.


(c) Judiciary


The Judiciary is made up of the Supreme Court and the State Courts. The Judiciary administers the law independently of the Executive and this independence is safeguarded by the Constitution. The Supreme Court consists of the Court of Appeal and the High Court. The Chief Justice, Judges of Appeal, Judicial Commissioners and High Court Judges are appointed by the President from candidates recommended by the Prime Minister.


Singapore practices the common law legal system, where the decisions of higher courts constitute binding precedent upon courts of equal or lower status within their jurisdiction, as opposed to the civil law legal system in continental Europe. The current criminal code was preceded by the Indian Penal Code which was adopted when Singapore was a Crown Colony.


Singapore has a comprehensive judicial system. The State Courts (previously known as Subordinate Courts) form the first tier in the judicial hierarchy to administer justice amongst the people. It comprises the District Courts, Magistrates' Courts, specialised courts – Family Court, Juvenile Court, Coroner's Court – Small Claims Tribunals and the Court Mediation Centre. The District Courts, Magistrates’ Courts and Small Claims Tribunals can hear civil matters where disputed amounts do not exceed $250,000, $60,000 and $10,000 respectively.


The second tier is the Supreme Court, made up of the High Court and Court of Appeal (the highest Court in the land). Both courts hear criminal cases and civil claims exceeding $250,000. The Chief Justice, Judges of Appeal, Judges and Judicial Commissioners are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.


While the judicial system has been efficient in dispensing justice, the Government has found it necessary and expedient to complement the courts with other modes of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), namely arbitration and mediation. Having established itself as a major international commercial centre, Singapore has made giant leaps to cater to the demands of business for cheaper, quicker and, at times, confidential dispute resolution.


It has positioned itself as a competitive arbitration centre to match that of London and Hong Kong. Major law firms in Singapore now offer arbitration services, and institutions with state-of-the-art hearing facilities are in place to meet the arbitration needs of disputants.


For smaller claims, mediation has been promoted as an alternative method of resolving disputes. The State Courts via their Primary Dispute Resolution Centre and the Singapore Mediation Centre are the two main mediation avenues. The rest are initiatives spearheaded by the Government or industry namely Maintenance of Parents Tribunal, Community Mediation Centre and Consumers’ Association of Singapore.


(a) The Supreme Court[2]


The Supreme Court is made up of the Court of Appeal and the High Court, and hears both civil and criminal matters. Led by the Honourable the Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, the Supreme Court Bench consists of the Judges of Appeal, Judges and Judicial Commissioners of the Supreme Court.


The High Court has jurisdiction to try all offences committed in Singapore and may also try offences committed outside Singapore in certain circumstances. In criminal cases, the High Court generally tries cases involving capital offences or cases involving imprisonment terms that exceed 10 years. Generally, except in probate matters, a civil case must be commenced in the High Court if the value of the claim exceeds $250,000. Probate matters are commenced in the High Court only if the value of the deceased's estate exceeds $3,000,000 or if the case involves the resealing of a foreign grant. In addition, ancillary matters in family proceedings involving assets of S$1,500,000 or more are also heard in the High Court.


Since 2002, various specialised courts like the Admiralty Court, the Intellectual Property Court and the Arbitration Court have also been set up in the Supreme Court in response to the increasing complexity of commercial cases reaching the judiciary. The establishment of dedicated specialist commercial courts underscores the Supreme Court´s depth of expertise and experience in these areas, and its commitment to position and promote Singapore as a premier centre for dispute resolution and as a jurisdiction of choice for the resolution of both domestic and international commercial disputes.


(b) State Courts of Singapore


The Judiciary is one of the three constitutional pillars of government along with the Legislature and the Executive. As an Organ of State, the Judiciary's function is to independently administer justice. The Chief Justice is the head of the Judiciary which comprises the Supreme Court and the State Courts (originally called Subordinate Courts).


The State Courts of Singapore include the District Courts, the Magistrates´ Courts, the Specialised Courts (i.e. Family Courts, Juvenile Courts, etc.) and the Small Claims Tribunals. As a critical component of the Judiciary, the State Courts handle more than 95% of the Judiciary's caseload.


The Chief District Judge has overall responsibility for the administration of the State Courts. The Chief District Judge leads a team of Judicial Officers who adjudicate on cases brought before the State Courts. He is assisted administratively by the Registrar who is also concurrently the Deputy Chief District Judge.


THE PRESIDENT

(forms part of the Executive)


Roles and Responsibilities[3]


The President of Singapore is the Head of State.


Prior to 30 November 1991, the President was a titular Head of State with a largely ceremonial role. On 30 November 1991, the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore was amended to make the President’s office an elected office with discretionary powers relating to the safeguarding of national reserves and the appointment of key personnel in the public sector and certain Government companies. Broadly, the roles and responsibilities of the President can be categorised as follows:


(a) Constitutional


The powers of the Elected President are set out in the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore and these powers largely fall into two categories - discretionary powers and non-discretionary powers.


(b) Discretionary powers


The President has the power to veto or disagree with the Government’s proposals in the following areas:


• Use of Past Reserves – i.e. Reserves not accumulated by the Government during its current term of office.


• Appointment and removal of key office holders in the public service and in the statutory boards and Government companies, which are listed in the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution.


• Changes to investment powers of the Central Provident Fund Board


• Restraining Orders under the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act (Cap. 167A)


• Continued detention under the Internal Security Act (Cap. 143)


• Refusal of investigations by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB)


The President’s discretionary powers provide an important check and balance to the Government with regard to preventing the misuse of the nation’s reserves and ensuring that the public service is impartial.


The President must consult the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA) on matters relating to Past Reserves and the appointment and removal of key office holders (Article 21(3) of the Constitution). On other areas involving the President’s discretionary powers, consultation of CPA is optional (Article 21(4) of the Constitution).


If the President vetoes (i) the Government’s budget (on the basis that it is likely to lead to a draw on Past Reserves) or (ii) the appointment/removal of any key office holder, and the President’s decision is contrary to CPA’s advice, Parliament may overrule the President’s decision with a two-thirds majority vote.


On other matters involving the President’s discretionary powers, the President’s decision is final.


(c) Protection of Past Reserves


The President acts as the guardian of Past Reserves – reserves that were accumulated before the current term of the Government, including reserves accumulated by key statutory boards and Government companies (SBGC) listed under the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution.


SBGCs include GIC Pte Ltd, Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd, the Housing and Development Board (HDB), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Central Provident Fund Board (CPFB) and Jurong Town Corporation (JTC).


The President may exercise his discretionary power and veto any budget or specific transaction (such as the giving of guarantees or raising of loans) of the Government or a Fifth Schedule SBGC if, in his opinion, the proposed budget or transaction is likely to lead to a draw on the Past Reserves.


The President does not direct the operations or the investment strategies of the Government or the Fifth Schedule SBGCs. However, in the case of the CPF Board, the President can veto any Bill passed by the Parliament that directly or indirectly affects the Board’s investment powers.


(d) Appointment of Key Office Holders


In the interest of ensuring the impartiality of the public sector, the President has the discretionary power to veto the appointment or removal of —


key office holders in the public service listed in Article 22 of the Constitution (such as the Chief Justice, Judges of the Supreme Court, Attorney-General, Auditor-General, Director of Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau, Chairman and members of the Public Service Commission, Chief of Defence Force and Commissioner of Police);


any chairman, board member or chief executive officer of a Fifth Schedule statutory board (Article 22A of the Constitution); and


any director or chief executive officer of a Fifth Schedule Government company (Article 22C of the Constitution).


(e) ISA detention orders, CPIB investigations and restraining orders in relation to maintenance of religious harmony


The continued detention of a person under the Internal Security Act (ISA) requires the President’s concurrence if the Government disagrees with the recommendation of the advisory board (established under the ISA) that the person be released (Article 151(4) of the Constitution).


Investigations by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) may be carried on with the President’s concurrence under Article 22G of the Constitution notwithstanding that the Prime Minister does not consent to such investigations.


Restraining orders made under the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act (MRHA) must subsequently be confirmed by the President. The President also has the power under Article 22I of the Constitution to cancel or vary a restraining order if the advice of the Cabinet on the matter differs from the recommendation of the Presidential Council for Religious Harmony (established under the MRHA).


(f) Non-discretionary powers[1][2][4]


Non-discretionary powers of the President refer to matters in which the President has no discretion and must act in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet or a Minister. For example, the President must act in accordance with the Cabinet's advice regarding the pardon of a person convicted of an offence. The President must also act in accordance with the Prime Minister's advice on the appointment of Ministers.


(g) Ceremonial


As the Ceremonial Head of State, the President is the symbolic figure representing Singapore at ceremonies and internationally.


(h) Foreign Relations


All foreign ambassadors-designate and high commissioners-designate will present their credentials to the President before assuming office in Singapore. The President also presents letters of credence to ambassadors-designate and high commissioners-designate of Singapore before they leave to assume office overseas.


The President promotes friendship and economic ties between Singapore and other countries by hosting and engaging visiting dignitaries and making State Visits overseas.


A meeting between countries at the Head of State level is the highest form of a diplomatic exchange. Such exchanges promote international and bilateral trade and investments, and cooperation in various areas such as defence, education, research and development, and arts and culture, to open doors to opportunities around the world that Singaporeans can tap on.


(i) Officiating at State Events & Conferment of National Awards


As the highest office of the land, the Presidency is vested with several ceremonial functions. Each Parliament session is opened by the President who will deliver a Presidential address laying out the key challenges for each term of government. The President officiates at swearing-in ceremonies of key appointment-holders such as the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, the Chief Justice and Judges of the Supreme Court. The annual National Day Parade is officiated by the President. The President also confers awards, such as the National Day Awards, on the advice of the Cabinet.


(j) Community[5]


The President may use the influence of his position to support charitable and social causes, such as sports, volunteerism, social entrepreneurship, culture and the arts. The President's Challenge championed by the President is one such example. The President is often invited to grace events organised by grassroots, community and welfare groups, ethnic and religious celebrations and social activities.


The Istana is open to the public on national festivities such as the Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Puasa, Deepavali, Labour Day and National Day. President will interact with members of the public during these open houses.


(k) Awards

The President lends his name to awards in recognition of excellence achieved in various fields, which are of importance to our nation and society and to encourage the development of our youths.


(l) Presidential office


• Council of Presidential Advisors

The Constitution of Singapore was amended in 1991 to give the Elected President custodial and discretionary powers to safeguard the reserves of the Government, which were not accumulated by the Government during its current term of office. The Constitutional amendments, which came into effect on 30 November 1991, also provided for a Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA) to advise the President in the exercise of his custodial and discretionary powers. It is obligatory for the President to consult the Council before he vetoes the budgets of the Government and key government-linked bodies and the appointments of government nominees to key posts.


The Council comprises six members and two alternate members. Two members are appointed by the President at his discretion; two are the Prime Minister's nominees; one is the Chief Justice's nominee; and one is the nominee of the Chairman of the Public Service Commission. One alternate member is appointed by the President at his discretion while the other is appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister, in consultation with the Chief Justice and Chairman of Public Service Commission.


Members are appointed on a six-year term on their first appointment. They are eligible for re-appointment for further terms of four years each. Alternate members are appointed on a four-year term. The present Chairman of the CPA is Mr J Y Pillay. The other members are Mr S Dhanabalan, Mr Po'ad Bin Shaik Abu Bakar Mattar, Mr Goh Joon Seng, Mr Bobby Chin Yoke Choong and Mr Lee Tzu Yang. The two alternate members are Mr Lim Chee Onn and Mr Stephen Lee Ching Yen. As Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers, Mr Pillay exercises the functions of the office of the President in the absence of the President. If he is unavailable, this duty then falls on the Speaker of Parliament.


(i) Role of the CPA


The CPA advises the President in the exercise of his discretionary veto powers. The President must consult the CPA in the exercise of any of his discretionary powers in connection with appointments and the reserves. It is optional for the President to consult the CPA as regards other areas where he has discretionary powers. CPA proceedings are private. The CPA may ask public officers to furnish information. Should any public officer appear before the CPA, the officer is prohibited by the Constitution from disclosing his discussions before the CPA with anyone else.


(ii) Members of Council of Presidential Advisers


Chairman – Mr J Y Pillay

Member – Mr S Dhanabalan

Member – Mr Po'ad Bin Shaik Abu Bakar Mattar

Member – Mr Goh Joon Seng

Member – Mr Bobby Chin Yoke Choong

Member – Mr Lee Tzu Yang

Alternate Member – Mr Lim Chee Onn

Alternate Member – Mr Stephen Lee Ching Yen


(iii) Other Presidential Councils


Presidential Council for Minority Rights


The Presidential Council for Minority Rights has its origins in 1970 when it was established as the Presidential Council under the Constitution. In 1973, the Council was renamed to its present name.


The Council examines all legislation to ensure that they are not disadvantageous to any racial or religious community as compared to other such communities. Its report on such legislation is presented to Parliament. In addition, the Council also considers matters affecting any racial or religious community that are referred to it by Parliament or the Government.


In its advisory capacity, the Council advises the President on nominations of appointees to the Presidential Council for Religious Harmony (under the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act), the Malay Community Committee, and the Indian and Other Minorities Communities Committee (under the Parliamentary Elections Act).


Members of the Council are appointed by the President on the advice of the Cabinet. Currently, the Council has 16 Members comprising the Chairman, six permanent Members and nine other Members, as follows:


Chairman:

The Honourable the Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon


Permanent Members:


Tuan Haji Othman bin Wok

Mr Goh Chok Tong, Emeritus Senior Minister

Mr S Dhanabalan

Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister

Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law


Other Members:

Mr VK Rajah, Attorney-General

Mr J Y Pillay

His Grace Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye

Mr Othman Haron Eusofe

Mr Timothy James de Souza

Mr Abdullah Tarmugi

Prof Chan Heng Chee

Mr Barry Desker

Mr Philip Jeyaretnam

Mr Surjit Singh s/o Wazir Singh

Shaikh Syed Isa bin Mohamed Semait

Venerable Sik Kwang Sheng


(iv) Presidential Council for Religious Harmony


The Presidential Council for Religious Harmony is set up under the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act (MRHA). The Chairman and members are appointed by the President of the Republic of Singapore. The Council gives its advice to the Minister for Home Affairs on matters affecting the maintenance of religious harmony in Singapore which are referred to it by the Minister or by Parliament, and considers and makes recommendations to the President on restraining orders issued under the Act. The Council can number from six to fifteen members, excluding the Chairman. The Council serves a three-year term.


The Chairman and members of the Council are:


Chairman:

Mr Goh Joon Seng


Members:

Venerable Seck Kwang Phing (Buddhist Representative)

His Grace Archbishop William Goh (Roman Catholic Representative)

Mr Rajendran s/o Sinnathamby (Hindu Representative)

Mufti Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram (Muslim Representative)

Mr Lim Khay Tham (Protestant Christian Representative)

Mr Surjit Singh s/o Wazir Singh (Sikh Representative)

Associate Professor Lee Cheuk Yin (Taoist Representative)

Mr Wee Heng Tin (Layperson)

Ms Lai Siu Chiu (Layperson)


(v) Aides-de-Camp


The term "Aide-de-Camp' is of French origin, meaning 'camp or field assistant'. The ADC was originally a military assistant in the field to a Sovereign, Chief of State, or General. They transmitted orders and supervised operations in the name of their commander, and even exercised delegated authority on occasions. In modern day, the ADC is an officer of the armed forces who serves as a personal assistant to the President, Head of State, General, Admiral, or other high-ranking commanders. Compared to the military importance and tasks of ADCs in 19th Century armies, the role of ADCs today have changed to become mainly those of rendering personal assistance and acting as confidential secretaries to their commanders.

In some countries, the ADC to the sovereign or Head of State is an honorary position. In others, ADCs have more detailed and important duties. In most countries, the tour of duty of an ADC is between two and four years, and it is usually required that an ADC appointee has served several years with troops previously. Currently, the President of the Republic of Singapore has three full-time ADCs. The full-time ADCs are assisted by a corps of Honorary ADCs from the Singapore Armed Forces, the Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Civil Defence Force at major events.

The full-time ADCs to the President attend to the general administration, security and social needs of the President, and accompany him whenever he attends, presides, or is involved in State functions, gatherings, ceremonies or occasions of ceremonial or charitable/social nature. They are responsible for the co-ordination, planning, execution and follow-up of all of President’s events, both locally and for overseas visits. Honorary ADCs assist the full-time ADCs in the discharge of their duties to the President. They help in areas such as receiving guests and serving as liaison officers for VIPs or as emcees at official events, to ensure the smooth running of these functions.


(vi) The Aiguillette


Internationally, Aides-de-Camp may be identified by the thick distinctive cords worn across their right shoulder, called aiguillettes. The aiguillettes are plaited cords ending at two points called aglets. Historically, the aglets were used by knights to fasten the plates of their armour together. Aiguillettes are worn on the right shoulder by officers of certain appointments only. They include:


Chief of Defence Force in the Singapore Armed Forces

Commissioner of Police in the Singapore Police Force

Commissioner in the Singapore Civil Defence Force

Aides-de-Camp to the President

Honorary Aides-de-Camp to the President


In Singapore, ADCs from the Singapore Armed Forces and the Singapore Civil Defence Force wear gold aiguillettes, while those from the Singapore Police Force wear silver aiguillettes.


(vii) Civil List


The Civil List provides the funds to maintain the President’s Office, including salaries of the President and his personal staff, and operational expenditures, such as the costs of running events and functions. The Civil List of the President of the Republic of Singapore, which is provided for under the Constitution (Article 22J) to enable the President to perform his functions, shall not be diminished during the continuance in office of the President.


(viii) Presidents of Singapore[6]


1965 to 1970: Mr Yusof bin Ishak

1971 to 1981: Mr Benjamin Sheares

1981 to 1985: Mr Devan Nair

1985 to 1993: Mr Wee Kim Wee

1993 to 1999: Mr Ong Teng Cheong

1999 to 2011: Mr S R Nathan

2011 to Present: Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam


SINGAPORE LEGAL SYSTEM[7]

(Criminal)

Although Singapore’s legal system has its root in the common law, the criminal law of Singapore is largely statutory in nature. The general principles of criminal law, as well as the elements and penalties of common criminal offences such as homicide, theft and cheating, are set out in the Penal Code.


Penal Code[3][8]


REVISED EDITION 2008 – 30TH NOVEMBER 2008


(CHAPTER 224)


(Original Enactment: Ordinance 4 of 1871)

(numerals being the section number)


1. Short title


2. Punishment of offences committed within Singapore


3. Punishment of offences committed beyond, but which by law may be tried within Singapore


4. Jurisdiction over public servants for offences committed outside Singapore


5. Certain laws not to be affected by this Code


Chapter II


GENERAL EXPLANATIONS


6. Definitions in this Code to be understood subject to exceptions


7. Expression once explained is used in the same sense throughout this Code


8. "Gender"


9. "Number"


10. "Man" and "woman"


11. "Person"


12. "Public"


17. “Government”


19. “Judge”


20. “Court of justice”


21. “Public servant”


22. “Movable property”


23. “Wrongful gain” and “wrongful loss”


24. “Dishonesty”


25. “Fraudulent”


26. “Reason to believe”


27. Property in possession of spouse, clerk or servant


28. “Counterfeit”


29. “Document”


29A. “Writing”


29B. “Electronic Record”


30. “Valuable security”


31. “A will”


31A. “Die” and “instrument”


32. Words referring to acts include illegal omissions


33. “Act” and “omission”


34. Each of several persons liable for an act done by all, in like manner as if done by him alone


35. When such an act is criminal by reason of its being done with a criminal knowledge or intention


36. Effect caused partly by act and partly by omission


37. Co-operation by doing one of several acts constituting an offence


38. Several persons engaged in the commission of a criminal act may be guilty of different offences


39. "Voluntarily"


40. "Offence"


41. Offence with specified term of imprisonment


42. "Obscene"


43. "Illegal", "unlawful" and "legally bound to do"


44. "Injury"


45. "Life"


46. "Death"


47. "Animal"


48. “Vessel”


49. “Year” and “month”


50. “Section”


51. “Oath”


52. “Good faith”


CHAPTER III


PUNISHMENTS


53. Punishments


54. Imprisonment for life


57. [Repealed]


71. [Repealed]


72. Punishment of a person found guilty of one of several offences, the judgment stating that it is doubtful of which


73. Enhanced penalties for offences against domestic maids


74. Enhanced penalties for racially or religiously aggravated offences


75. Punishment of persons convicted, after a previous conviction, of an offence punishable with 3 years’ imprisonment


CHAPTER IV


GENERAL EXCEPTIONS


76. Act done by a person bound, or by mistake of fact believing himself bound by law


77. Act of judge when acting judicially


78. Act done pursuant to the judgment or order of a court of justice


79. Act done by a person justified, or by mistake of fact believing himself justified by law


80. Accident in the doing of a lawful act


81. Act likely to cause harm but done without a criminal intent, and to prevent other harm


82. Act of a child under 7 years of age


83. Act of a child above 7 and under 12 years of age, who has not sufficient maturity of understanding


84. Act of a person of unsound mind


85. Intoxication when a defence


86. Effect of defence of intoxication when established


87. Act not intended and not known to be likely to cause death or grievous hurt, done by consent


88. Act not intended to cause death done by consent in good faith for the benefit of a person


89. Act done in good faith for the benefit of a child or person of unsound mind, by or by consent of guardian


90. Consent given under fear or misconception, by person of unsound mind, etc., and by child


91. Acts which are offences independently of harm caused to the person consenting, are not within the exceptions in sections 87, 88 and 89


92. Act done in good faith for the benefit of a person without consent


93. Communication made in good faith


94. Act to which a person is compelled by threats


95. Act causing slight harm


Right of private defence


96. Nothing done in private defence is an offence


97. Right of private defence of the body and of property


98. Right of private defence against the act of a person of unsound mind, etc.


99. Acts against which there is no right of private defence


100. When the right of private defence of the body extends to causing death


101. When such right extends to causing any harm other than death


102. Commencement and continuance of the right of private defence of the body


103. When the right of private defence of property extends to causing death


104. When such right extends to causing any harm other than death


105. Commencement and continuance of the right of private defence of property


106. Right of private defence against a deadly assault when there is risk of harm to an innocent person


CHAPTER V


ABETMENT


107. Abetment of the doing of a thing


108. Abettor


108A. Abetment in Singapore of an offence outside Singapore


108B. Abetment outside Singapore of an offence in Singapore


109. Punishment of abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence, and where no express provision is made for its punishment


110. Punishment of abetment if the person abetted does the act with a different intention from that of the abettor


111. Liability of abettor when one act is abetted and a different act is done


112. Abettor, when liable to cumulative punishment for act abetted and for act done


113. Liability of abettor for an offence caused by the act abetted different from that intended by the abettor


114. Abettor present when offence committed


115. Abetment of an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life


116. Abetment of an offence punishable with imprisonment


117. Abetting the commission of an offence by the public or by more than 10 persons


118. Concealing a design to commit an offence punishable with death or imprisonment for life


119. A public servant concealing a design to commit an offence which it is his duty to prevent


120. Concealing a design to commit an offence punishable with imprisonment


CHAPTER VA


CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY


120A. Definition of criminal conspiracy


120B. Punishment of criminal conspiracy


CHAPTER VI


OFFENCES AGAINST THE STATE


121. Waging or attempting to wage war or abetting the waging of war against the Government


121A. Offences against the President’s person


121B. Offences against authority


121C. Abetting offences under section 121A or 121B


121D. Intentional omission to give information of offences against section 121, 121A, 121B or 121C by a person bound to inform


122. Collecting arms, etc., with the intention of waging war against the Government


123. Concealing with intent to facilitate a design to wage war


124. Assaulting President, etc., with intent to compel or restrain the exercise of any lawful power


125. Waging war against any power in alliance or at peace with Singapore


126. Committing depredation on the territories of any power in alliance or at peace with Singapore


127. Receiving property taken by war or depredation mentioned in sections 125 and 126


128. Public servant voluntarily allowing prisoner of State or war in his custody to escape


129. Public servant negligently suffering prisoner of State or war in his custody to escape


130. Aiding escape of, rescuing, or harbouring such prisoner


130A. “Harbour”


CHAPTER VIA


PIRACY


130B. Piracy by law of nations. Cf. 12 and 13 Victoria c. 96 (Admiralty Offences (Colonial) Act 1849)


130C. Piratical acts


CHAPTER VIB


GENOCIDE


130D. Genocide


130E. Punishment for genocide


CHAPTER VII


OFFENCES RELATING TO ARMED FORCES


131. Abetting mutiny, or attempting to seduce an officer or a serviceman from his duty


132. Abetment of mutiny, if mutiny is committed in consequence thereof


133. Abetment of an assault by an officer or a serviceman on his superior officer, when in the execution of his office


134. Abetment of such assault, if the assault is committed


135. Abetment of the desertion of an officer or a serviceman


136. Harbouring a deserter


137. Deserter concealed on board merchant vessel through negligence of master


138. Abetment of act of insubordination by an officer or a serviceman


139. Saving


140. Wearing the dress of a serviceman


140A. “Harbour”


140B. Application of Chapter VII to Singapore Police Force


CHAPTER VIII


OFFENCES RELATING TO UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY


141. Unlawful assembly


142. Being a member of an unlawful assembly


143. Punishment


144. Joining an unlawful assembly armed with any deadly weapon


145. Joining or continuing in an unlawful assembly, knowing that it has been commanded to disperse


146. Force used by one member in prosecution of common object


147. Punishment for rioting


148. Rioting, armed with a deadly weapon


149. Every member of an unlawful assembly to be deemed guilty of any offence committed in prosecution of common object


150. Hiring, or conniving at hiring, of persons to join an unlawful assembly


151. Knowingly joining or continuing in any assembly of 5 or more persons after it has been commanded to disperse


151A. [Repealed]


152. Assaulting or obstructing public servant when suppressing riot, etc.


153. Wantonly giving provocation, with intent to cause riot


154. Owner or occupier of land on which an unlawful assembly is held


155. Liability of person for whose benefit a riot is committed


156. Liability of agent of owner or occupier for whose benefit a riot is committed


157. Harbouring persons hired for an unlawful assembly


158. Being hired to take part in an unlawful assembly or riot


159. [Repealed]


160. [Repealed]


CHAPTER IX


OFFENCES BY OR RELATING TO PUBLIC SERVANTS


161. Public servant taking a gratification, other than legal remuneration, in respect of an official act


162. Taking a gratification in order, by corrupt or illegal means, to influence a public servant


163. Taking a gratification, for the exercise of personal influence with a public servant


164. Punishment for abetment by public servant of the offences above defined


165. Public servant obtaining any valuable thing, without consideration, from person concerned in any proceeding or business transacted by such public servant


166. Public servant disobeying a direction of the law, with intent to cause injury to any person


167. Public servant framing an incorrect document or electronic record with intent to cause injury


168. Public servant unlawfully engaging in trade


169. Public servant unlawfully buying or bidding for property


170. Personating a public servant


171. Wearing garb or carrying token used by public servant, with fraudulent intent


CHAPTER X


CONTEMPTS OF THE LAWFUL AUTHORITY OF PUBLIC SERVANTS


172. Absconding to avoid arrest on warrant or service of summons, etc., proceeding from a public servant


173. Preventing service of summons, etc., or preventing publication thereof


174. Failure to attend in obedience to an order from a public servant


175. Omission to produce a document or an electronic record to a public servant by a person legally bound to produce such document or electronic record


176. Omission to give notice or information to a public servant by a person legally bound to give such notice or information


177. Furnishing false information


178. Refusing oath when duly required to take oath by a public servant


179. Refusing to answer a public servant authorised to question


180. Refusing to sign statement


181. False statement on oath to public servant or person authorised to administer an oath


182. False information, with intent to cause a public servant to use his lawful power to the injury of another person


183. Resistance to the taking of property by the lawful authority of a public servant


184. Obstructing sale of property offered for sale by authority of a public servant


185. Illegal purchase or bid for property offered for sale by authority of a public servant


186. Obstructing public servant in discharge of his public functions


187. Omission to assist public servant when bound by law to give assistance


188. Disobedience to an order duly promulgated by a public servant


189. Threat of injury to a public servant


190. Threat of injury to induce any person to refrain from applying for protection to a public servant


CHAPTER XI


FALSE EVIDENCE AND OFFENCES AGAINST PUBLIC JUSTICE


191. Giving false evidence


192. Fabricating false evidence


193. Punishment for false evidence


194. Giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of a capital offence


195. Giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of an offence punishable with imprisonment


196. Using evidence known to be false


197. Issuing or signing a false certificate


198. Using as a true certificate one known to be false in a material point


199. False statement made in any declaration which is by law receivable as evidence


200. Using as true any such declaration known to be false


201. Causing disappearance of evidence of an offence committed, or giving false information touching it, to screen the offender


202. Intentional omission to give information of an offence, by person bound to inform


203. Giving false information respecting an offence committed


204. Destruction of document or electronic record to prevent its production as evidence


204A. Obstructing, preventing, perverting or defeating course of justice


204B. Bribery of witnesses


205. False personation for the purpose of any act or proceeding in a suit


206. Fraudulent removal or concealment of property to prevent its seizure as a forfeiture or in execution of a decree


207. Fraudulent claim to property to prevent its seizure as a forfeiture or in execution of a decree


208. Fraudulently suffering a decree for a sum not due


209. Fraudulently or dishonestly making a false claim before a court of justice


210. Fraudulently obtaining a decree for a sum not due


211. False charge of offence made with intent to injure


212. Harbouring an offender


213. Taking gifts, etc., to screen an offender from punishment


214. Offering gift or restoration of property in consideration of screening offender


215. Taking gift to help to recover stolen property, etc.


216. Harbouring an offender who has escaped from custody, or whose apprehension has been ordered


216A. Harbouring robbers or gang-robbers, etc.


216B. “Harbour”


217. Public servant disobeying a direction of law with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture


218. Public servant framing an incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment, or property from forfeiture


219. Public servant in a judicial proceeding making an order, etc., which he knows to be contrary to law


220. Commitment for trial or confinement by a person having authority who knows that he is acting contrary to law


221. Intentional omission to apprehend on the part of a public servant bound by law to apprehend


222. Intentional omission to apprehend on the part of a public servant bound by law to apprehend person under sentence of a court of justice


223. Escape from confinement negligently suffered by a public servant


224. Resistance or obstruction by a person to his lawful apprehension


225. Resistance or obstruction to the lawful apprehension of another person


225A. Public servant omitting to apprehend or suffering other persons to escape in cases not already provided for


225B. Resistance or obstruction to lawful apprehension, or escape, or rescue, in cases not otherwise provided for


225C. Offences against laws of Singapore where no special punishment is provided


226. Unlawful return from banishment


227. [Repealed]


228. Intentional insult or interruption to a public servant sitting in any stage of a judicial proceeding


229. Personation of an assessor


CHAPTER XII


OFFENCES RELATING TO COIN AND GOVERNMENT STAMPS


230. “Coin” and “current coin”


231. Counterfeiting coin


232. Counterfeiting current coin


233. Making or selling instrument for counterfeiting coin


234. Making or selling instrument for counterfeiting current coin


235. Possession of instrument or material for the purpose of using the same for counterfeiting coin


236. Abetting in Singapore the counterfeiting out of Singapore of coin or current coin


237. Import or export of counterfeit coin


238. Import or export of counterfeits of current coin


239. Delivery to another of coin, possessed with the knowledge that it is counterfeit


240. Delivery of current coin, possessed with the knowledge that it is counterfeit


241. Delivery to another of coin as genuine, which when first possessed the deliverer did not know to be counterfeit


241A. Delivery to another of current coin as genuine, which when first possessed the deliverer did not know to be counterfeit


242. Possession of counterfeit coin by a person who knew it to be counterfeit when he became possessed thereof


243. Possession of current coin by a person who knew it to be counterfeit when he became possessed thereof


243A. [Repealed]


246. Fraudulently or dishonestly diminishing the weight or altering the composition of any coin


247. Fraudulently or dishonestly diminishing the weight or altering the composition of current coin


248. Altering appearance of any coin with intent that it shall pass as a coin of a different description


249. Altering appearance of current coin with intent that it shall pass as a coin of a different description


250. Delivery to another of coin possessed with the knowledge that it is altered


251. Delivery of current coin possessed with the knowledge that it is altered


252. Possession of altered coin by a person who knew it to be altered when he became possessed thereof


253. Possession of current coin by a person who knew it to be altered when he became possessed thereof


254. Delivery to another of coin as genuine, which when first possessed the deliverer did not know to be altered


254A. Delivery to another of current coin as genuine, which when first possessed the deliverer did not know to be altered


255. Counterfeiting a Government stamp


256. Having possession of an instrument or material for the purpose of counterfeiting a Government stamp


257. Making or selling an instrument for the purpose of counterfeiting a Government stamp


258. Sale of counterfeit Government stamp


259. Having possession of a counterfeit Government stamp


260. Using as genuine a Government stamp known to be counterfeit


261. Effacing any writing from a substance bearing a Government stamp, or removing from a document a stamp used for it, with intent to cause loss to Government


262. Using a Government stamp known to have been before used


263. Erasure of mark denoting that stamp has been used


CHAPTER XIII


OFFENCES RELATING TO WEIGHTS AND MEASURES


264. Fraudulent use of false instrument for weighing


265. Fraudulent use of false weight or measure


266. Being in possession of false weights or measures


267. Making or selling false weights or measures


CHAPTER XIV


OFFENCES AFFECTING THE PUBLIC TRANQUILITY, PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY, CONVENIENCE, DECENCY AND MORALS


267A. Affray


267B. Punishment for committing affray


267C. Making, printing, etc., document containing incitement to violence, etc.


268. Public nuisance


269. Negligent act likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to life


270. Malignant act likely to spread infection of any disease dangerous to life


271. Disobedience to a quarantine rule


272. Adulteration of food or drink which is intended for sale


273. Sale of noxious food or drink


274. Adulteration of drugs


275. Sale of adulterated drugs


276. Sale of any drug as a different drug or preparation


277. Fouling the water of a public spring or reservoir


278. Making atmosphere noxious to health


279. Rash driving or riding on a public way


280. Rash navigation of a vessel


281. Exhibition of a false light, mark or buoy


282. Conveying person by water for hire in a vessel overloaded or unsafe


283. Danger or obstruction in a public way or navigation


284. Negligent conduct with respect to any poisonous substance


285. Negligent conduct with respect to any fire or combustible matter


286. Negligent conduct with respect to any explosive substance


287. Negligent conduct with respect to any machinery in the possession or under the charge of the offender


288. Negligence in pulling down or repairing buildings


289. Negligence with respect to any animal


290. Punishment for public nuisance


291. Continuance of nuisance after injunction to discontinue


292. Sale of obscene books, etc.


293. Sale, etc., of obscene objects to young person


294. Obscene songs


CHAPTER XV


OFFENCES RELATING TO RELIGION OR RACE


295. Injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class


296. Disturbing a religious assembly


297. Trespassing on burial places, etc.


298. Uttering words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound the religious or racial feelings of any person


298A. Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion or race and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony


CHAPTER XVI


OFFENCES AFFECTING THE HUMAN BODY


Offences affecting life


299. Culpable homicide


300. Murder


301. Culpable homicide by causing the death of a person other than the person whose death was intended


302. Punishment for murder


304. Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder


304A. Causing death by rash or negligent act


305. Abetment of suicide of child or insane person


306. Abetment of suicide


307. Attempt to murder


308. Attempt to commit culpable homicide


309. Attempt to commit suicide


310. Infanticide


311. Punishment for infanticide


Causing miscarriage; injuries to unborn children; exposure of infant; and concealment of births


312. Causing miscarriage


313. Causing miscarriage without woman’s consent


314. Death caused by act done with intent to cause miscarriage


315. Child destruction before, at or immediately after birth


316. Causing death of a quick unborn child by an act amounting to culpable homicide


317. Exposure and abandonment of a child under 12 years by parent or person having care of it


318. Concealment of birth by secret disposal of dead body


Hurt


319. Hurt


320. Grievous hurt


321. Voluntarily causing hurt


322. Voluntarily causing grievous hurt


323. Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt


324. Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means


325. Punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt


326. Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means


327. Voluntarily causing hurt to extort property or to constrain to an illegal act


328. Causing hurt by means of poison, etc., with intent to commit an offence


329. Voluntarily causing grievous hurt to extort property, or to constrain to an illegal act


330. Voluntarily causing hurt to extort confession or to compel restoration of property


331. Voluntarily causing grievous hurt to extort confession or to compel restoration of property


332. Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty


333. Voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from his duty


334. Voluntarily causing hurt on provocation


335. Causing grievous hurt on provocation


336. Punishment for act which endangers life or the personal safety of others


337. Causing hurt by an act which endangers life or the personal safety of others


338. Causing grievous hurt by an act which endangers life or the personal safety of others


339. Wrongful restraint


340. Wrongful confinement


341. Punishment for wrongful restraint


342. Punishment for wrongful confinement


343. Wrongful confinement for 3 or more days


344. Wrongful confinement for 10 or more days


345. Wrongful confinement of person for whose liberation a writ has been issued


346. Wrongful confinement in secret


347. Wrongful confinement for the purpose of extorting property or constraining to an illegal act


348. Wrongful confinement for the purpose of extorting confession or of compelling restoration of property


Criminal force and assault


349. Force


350. Criminal force


351. Assault


352. Punishment for using criminal force otherwise than on grave and sudden provocation


353. Using criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty


354. Assault or use of criminal force to a person with intent to outrage modesty


354A. Outraging modesty in certain circumstances


355. Assault or criminal force with intent to dishonour otherwise than on grave and sudden provocation


356. Assault or criminal force in committing or attempting to commit theft of property carried by a person


357. Assault or criminal force in attempting wrongfully to confine a person


358. Assaulting or using criminal force on grave and sudden provocation


Kidnapping, abduction, slavery and forced labour


359. Kidnapping


360. Kidnapping from Singapore


361. Kidnapping from lawful guardianship


362. Abduction


363. Punishment for kidnapping


363A. Punishment for abduction


364. Kidnapping or abducting in order to murder


364A. [Repealed]


365. Kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine a person


366. Kidnapping or abducting a woman to compel her marriage, etc.


367. Kidnapping or abducting in order to subject a person to grievous hurt, slavery, etc.


368. Wrongfully concealing or keeping in confinement a kidnapped person


369. Kidnapping or abducting child under 10 years with intent to steal movable property from the person of such child


370. Buying or disposing of any person as a slave


371. Habitual dealing in slaves


372. Selling minor for purposes of prostitution, etc.


373. Buying minor for purposes of prostitution, etc.


373A. Importing woman for purposes of prostitution, etc.


374. Unlawful compulsory labour


Sexual offences


375. Rape


376. Sexual assault by penetration


376A. Sexual penetration of minor under 16


376B. Commercial sex with minor under 18


376C. Commercial sex with minor under 18 outside Singapore


376D. Tour outside Singapore for commercial sex with minor under 18


376E. Sexual grooming of minor under 16


376F. Procurement of sexual activity with person with mental disability


376G. Incest


377. Sexual penetration of a corpse


377A. Outrages on decency


377B. Sexual penetration with living animal


377C. Interpretation of sections 375 to 377B (sexual offences)


377D. Mistake as to age


Theft


378. Theft


379. Punishment for theft


379A. Punishment for theft of a motor vehicle


380. Theft in dwelling-house, etc.


381. Theft by clerk or servant of property in possession of master


382. Theft after preparation made for causing death or hurt in order to commit theft


Extortion


383. Extortion


384. Punishment for extortion


385. Putting person in fear of harm in order to commit extortion


386. Extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt


387. Putting person in fear of death or of grievous hurt in order to commit extortion


388. Extortion by threat of accusation of an offence punishable with death, or imprisonment, etc.


389. Putting person in fear of accusation of offence, in order to commit extortion


Robbery and gang-robbery


390. Robbery


391. Gang-robbery


392. Punishment for robbery


393. Attempt to commit robbery


394. Voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery


395. Punishment for gang-robbery


396. Gang-robbery with murder


397. Robbery when armed or with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt


399. Making preparation to commit gang-robbery


400. Punishment for belonging to gang-robbers


401. Punishment for belonging to wandering gang of thieves


402. Assembling for purpose of committing gang-robbery


403. Dishonest misappropriation of property


404. Dishonest misappropriation of property possessed by a deceased person at the time of his death


Criminal breach of trust


405. Criminal breach of trust


406. Punishment of criminal breach of trust


407. Criminal breach of trust by carrier, etc.


408. Criminal breach of trust by clerk or servant


409. Criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant, or agent


Receiving stolen property


410. Stolen property


411. Dishonestly receiving stolen property


412. Dishonestly receiving property stolen in the commission of a gang-robbery


413. Habitually dealing in stolen property


414. Assisting in concealment or disposal of stolen property


Cheating


415. Cheating


416. Cheating by personation


417. Punishment for cheating


418. Cheating with knowledge that wrongful loss may be thereby caused to a person whose interest the offender is bound to protect


419. Punishment for cheating by personation


420. Cheating and dishonestly inducing a delivery of property


Fraudulent deeds and dispositions of property


421. Dishonest or fraudulent removal or concealment of property to prevent distribution among creditors


422. Dishonestly or fraudulently preventing a debt or demand due to the offender from being made available for his creditors


423. Dishonest or fraudulent execution of deed of transfer containing a false statement of consideration


424. Dishonest or fraudulent removal or concealment of property or release of claim


425. Mischief


426. Punishment for committing mischief


427. Committing mischief and thereby causing loss or damage to the amount of $500


428. Mischief by killing or maiming any animal


429. [Repealed]


430. Mischief by injury to works of irrigation or by wrongfully diverting water


430A. Mischief affecting railway engine, train, etc.


431. Mischief by injury to public road, bridge or river


431A. Mischief by injury to telegraph cable, wire, etc.


432. Mischief by causing inundation or obstruction to public drainage, attended with damage


433. Mischief by destroying or moving or rendering less useful a lighthouse or sea-mark


434. Mischief by destroying or moving, etc., a landmark fixed by public authority


435. Mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage


436. Mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy a house, etc.


437. Mischief with intent to destroy or make unsafe a decked vessel or a vessel of 20 tons burden


438. Punishment for the mischief described in section 437 when committed by fire or any explosive substance


439. Punishment for intentionally running vessel aground or ashore with intent to commit theft, etc.


440. Mischief committed after preparation made for causing death or hurt


Criminal trespass


441. Criminal trespass


442. House-trespass


443. Lurking house-trespass


444. Lurking house-trespass by night


445. House-breaking


446. House-breaking by night


447. Punishment for criminal trespass


448. Punishment for house-trespass


449. House-trespass in order to commit an offence punishable with death


450. House-trespass in order to commit an offence punishable with imprisonment for life


451. House-trespass in order to commit an offence punishable with imprisonment


452. House-trespass after preparation made for causing hurt, etc.


453. Punishment for lurking house-trespass or house-breaking


454. Lurking house-trespass or house-breaking in order to commit an offence punishable with imprisonment


455. Lurking house-trespass or house-breaking after preparation made for causing hurt, etc.


456. Punishment for lurking house-trespass by night or housebreaking by night


457. Lurking house-trespass by night or house-breaking by night in order to commit an offence punishable with imprisonment


458. Lurking house-trespass by night or house-breaking by night after preparation made for causing hurt, etc.


458A. Punishment for subsequent offence under section 454 or 457


459. Grievous hurt caused while committing lurking house-trespass or house-breaking


460. Lurking house-trespass by night or house-breaking by night when death or grievous hurt is caused


461. Dishonestly breaking open any closed receptacle containing or supposed to contain property


462. Punishment for same offence when committed by person entrusted with custody


CHAPTER XVIII


OFFENCES RELATING TO DOCUMENTS OR ELECTRONIC RECORDS, FALSE INSTRUMENTS, AND TO CURRENCY NOTES AND BANK NOTES


463. Forgery


464. Making a false document or false electronic record


465. Punishment for forgery


466. Forgery of a record of a court of justice, or a public register of births, etc.


467. Forgery of a valuable security or will


468. Forgery for the purpose of cheating


469. Forgery for the purpose of harming the reputation of any person


470. “A forged document” or “a forged electronic record”


471. Using as genuine a forged document or forged electronic record


472. Making or possessing a counterfeit seal, plate, etc., with intent to commit a forgery punishable under section 467


473. Making or possessing a counterfeit seal, plate, etc., with intent to commit a forgery punishable otherwise


473A. Making or possessing equipment for making a false instrument


473B. Making or possessing equipment for making a false instrument with intent to induce prejudice


473C. Meaning of “prejudice” and “induce”


474. Having possession of certain document or electronic record known to be forged, with intent to use it as genuine


475. Counterfeiting a device or mark used for authenticating documents described in section 467, or possessing counterfeit marked material


476. Counterfeiting a device or mark used for authenticating documents or electronic records other than those described in section 467, or possessing counterfeit marked material


477. Fraudulent cancellation, destruction, etc., of a will


477A. Falsification of accounts


Currency notes and bank notes


489A. Forging or counterfeiting currency notes or bank notes


489B. Using as genuine forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes


489C. Possession of forged or counterfeit currency notes or bank notes


489D. Making or possessing instruments or materials for forging or counterfeiting currency notes or bank notes


489E. [Repealed]


CHAPTER XX


OFFENCES RELATING TO MARRIAGE


493. Cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage


494. Marrying again during the lifetime of husband or wife


495. Same offence with concealment of the former marriage from the person with whom subsequent marriage is contracted


496. Marriage ceremony gone through with fraudulent intent without lawful marriage


498. [Repealed]


CHAPTER XXI


DEFAMATION


499. Defamation


500. Punishment for defamation


501. Printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory


502. Sale of printed or engraved substance containing defamatory matter


CHAPTER XXII


CRIMINAL INTIMIDATION, INSULT AND ANNOYANCE


503. Criminal intimidation


504. Intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace


505. Statements conducing to public mischief


506. Punishment for criminal intimidation


507. Criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication


508. Act caused by inducing a person to believe that he will be rendered an object of divine displeasure


509. Word or gesture intended to insult the modesty of a woman


510. [Repealed]


CHAPTER XXIII


ATTEMPTS TO COMMIT OFFENCES


511. Punishment for attempting to commit offences

THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE[9]

(a) Individual Rights


(i) Police can make an arrest on any person without a warrant of arrest if the police reasonably suspect a man of committing a serious offence. Arrestable offences without a warrant include rape, causing serious hurt, robbery, theft or drug consumption. However, for a normally non-arrestable offence, it is mandatory for the police to conduct an investigation before executing an arrest.


(ii) Upon arrest, the individual has the right to request the police for identification and the reason for his or her arrest, at this point handcuffs may be used. Should there require a body search, the female accused can only be searched by female police officers.


(iii) At the police station, the accused has the right to consult a lawyer within a reasonable time. Accused may also contact their family members provided that they do not interfere with the investigation that the accused is charged with.


(iv) The Police can only detain the accused for 48 hours at most, but extension may be made by obtaining a Magistrate’s order if the police deem fit to hold the accused under custody to continue with the investigations. Should extension be requested, police must then make a submission to the Judge entailing the reason(s) for the extension of the detention. The Judge will then have to consider the adequacy of the reason(s) submitted and decide whether extension may be allowed.


(v) The accused has the right against self-incrimination and the right to a lawyer. This ensures impartiality which is an important element in due process; protecting the fairness and reliability of the statement that had been taken[4]. However, adverse inference may be drawn[5] and guilt may be inferred if the accused remains silent and does not state his defence, if any at the earliest possible time.


(vi) Investigations are mandatory before an individual can be charged in Court. Investigations are carried out to determine the reliability of any evidence claiming your innocence or guilt.


(vii) The following are some of the enforcement agencies that are empowered to conduct Investigations[6]:


• Police officers;

• Central Narcotics Bureau (‘CNB’) officers;

• Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (‘CPIB’) officers;

• Immigration officers;

• Customs officers;

• Commercial Affairs Department (‘CAD’) officers;

• Any other officers who are given the power to investigate under the Law; and


(viii) Some of the powers of an investigating officer are as follows[7]:


• To order a person to go to a police station or other place for questioning and for taking of a statement:

• To record what you have to say and ask you to sign it;

• To search a place and take away things to be used as evidence; and

• To seize properties which may be exhibits in the case.


(b) Arrest and Court Procedure[10]


Once being arrested, police officers may conduct a search on you physically and bring you to a nearby Police Station for questioning. After the questioning session, you may be held in a lock-up. Any personal belongings that you have with you will be taken by the Police and a list of these belongings will be recorded and subject to your confirmation. A copy of this list will also be given to you.


(i) Types of Arrest[11]


• Arrest without a warrant


This happens when a police officer possesses credible information or reasonable believed that the suspect is involved in an arrestable offence. An arrest without warrant must be founded on reliable and definite facts.


• Arrest with a warrant


A warrant of arrest or a summon is required for a non-arrestable offence before the arrest is made. Police are not allowed to make an arrest in the absence of a warrant.


• Private arrest


Private arrest is only allowed in situations where any person who commits a non-bailable and arrestable offence in another’s view or presence. The arrested person must be handed over to the nearest police officer or police station without unnecessary delay. A private person has the right to arrest another as long as he is in a close proximity to the incident even if he is not a witness to the incident.


In the second situation, a victim of the crime can apprehend the perpetrator, who commits an offence against the victim or the victim’s property. In order to make an arrest, the name or residential address of the perpetrator must be unknown; or his residential address must be outside Singapore; or there is reason to believe that the name or residential address he gave is false.


(ii) At The Police Station[12]


• Detained at the police station


The accused only be detained for maximum 48 hours. If it is for more than 48 hours, police will have to prefer the charge via videolink or bring the accused to court where the officer furnish reasons for the extension of the accused’s detention. The Judge will then have to consider the adequacy of the reasons that were given to decide whether the accused should be further detained or to be placed on bail.


If the accused is not detained for more than 48 hours, he or she will be put on Police bail to ensure he or she will come back to the station or to attend Court when told to do so. The accused will require a family member or friend in order to be bailed out.


• Process of Interview


Upon being arrested and detained, the accused is entitled to make a call to his or her family member, friend or lawyer to inform them of his or her arrest. Whilst in custody, the accused will be interviewed at length with breaks in between. He or she can also be taken to the crime scene. DNA samples, such as blood sample, fingerprint and photo identification are taken of he or she. Sometimes, the accused can be asked to take a lie-detector test. Any statement taken from him or her is called the ‘long statement’. When the accused is shown his or her statements, he or she has to look through the statement and correct the discrepancies and sign at the relevant amendments and at the bottom of the page as indicated by the police officer.


• Translator


The accused is allowed to request for an interpreter to help with the translation during recording of the statement. This is to ensure accuracy of the statement that is taken. It is always a good practice to record what had been told to the police officer before the accused meet the lawyer.


(ii) Investigation


• Investigations can stretch from a few days to a year or two. It is advisable to co-operate with the police to provide witnesses, Defence or Alibi (if any). Alternatively, the accused can engage a lawyer to prepare a letter of representation on his or her behalf. If the accused has an Alibi, he or she has to give the full details to his or her lawyers so that they can do the necessary. Once investigations are done, the police officer will submit the case file to the Prosecution who will then make the decision of whether or not to charge the accused.


The police officer will contact the accused if he or she is being charged. The meeting at the police station will be for the purposes of preferring the charge against the accused, i.e. reading the charge and asking the accused if he or she will be admitting to the charge. Signing the sheet without having to agree to the charge does not mean that there was any admittance. That is only a formality. Any refusal to sign on the sheet will be recorded as the accused being refused to sign on it. However, not signing on the sheet does not mean serious consequence, it is also one of the right of the accused not to sign on the sheet. The charge is followed by a notice of warning, which is known as the “Cautioned Statement”.


This is the opportunity for the accused to state his or her Defence. Do not be hasty to think that all has been recorded accurately in the long statement, thus no repetition is necessary. The accused will be given the choice to either write down his or her defence or it must be recorded by the investigating officer in the English Language, which will be read it to the accused. Correction must be made should there appear to be any mistake.


Once verified, the accused must signed on it and this will constitute his or her Cautioned Statement.


BAIL[13]

Bail is a form of property deposited or pledged by the family member or friend of the accused, as the “Bailor”, either with the police or the courts in order to secure the release of an accused person from remand prison on the understanding that you will ensure that the accused will return to court for the hearing until the final completion of the case.


• What are the common types of bail?


(i) The two common types of bail are:


(a) bail granted by the prosecuting agency (commonly known as ‘Police Bail’); and


(b) bail granted by the courts (commonly known as ‘Court Bail’).


(ii) Does this mean an accused person cannot be his own Bailor?


Yes, unless the Court directs otherwise.


(iii) Who can offer bail?


The prosecuting agencies, including the Police, the Commercial Affairs Department, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau, and the courts can offer bail. If no bail is offered by the prosecuting agencies, the accused may still make an application to the court for bail to be offered when the case is first heard in court.


(iv) Who can be a bailor?


You can be a bailor if you are:


• Aged 21 years and above

• Not a bankrupt.

• No pending case in the courts

• A Singapore citizen or a Permanent Resident of Singapore

• Prepared to accept the responsibilities of a bailor until the case is over

• Prepared to pledge security whether in cash or in personal properties for the amount of bail as ordered by the Court.


(i) What if there is no suitable bailor?


An accused will have to remain in remand prison pending hearing of his case if there is no suitable bailor.


(ii) Can the accused still be bailed out later even though he was initially unsuccessful in getting a bailor? If so, what is the procedure?


The accused may be bailed out at any time provided that bail has been offered. A willing bailor should then personally attend at the prosecuting agency (for Police Bail) or at the Bail Centre of the State Courts (for Court Bail) with the necessary documents and security required.


(vi) What are the usual conditions that may be imposed before bail is offered?


The prosecuting agency or the Court may impose the following conditions:


• The accused’s passport be surrendered

• Requiring that accused person be only able to leave at and/or shall return to his home by a certain time

• Requiring the accused to report to the Investigation Officer (‘IO’) on certain days of the week

• Requiring that that there be only one or more bailors

• That only cash may be used as security for bail.


(vii) What are the responsibilities of a bailor?


A bailor’s key responsibility is to ensure that the accused attends all court hearings at the required time and date until the case has been concluded. If the accused fails to attend a court hearing, the full bail amount pledged as security may be forfeited. The bailor must also ensure that the accused does not leave Singapore without the Court’s permission.


(viii) What documents must a bailor bring if the bail is being processed at the prosecuting agency and/or Bail Centre?


The bailor must bring along with him the following documents:


• The bailor’s Identity Card or Passport

• The accused’s passport (if it is required by the prosecuting agency or the Court as a condition of bail)

• The documents as stated in S/N 12 below and depending how the bailor wishes to furnish the bail sum.


(ix) What if the bailor cannot speak English?


Court Staff will assist those who are not able to speak English but are able to converse in Malay, Mandarin, local Chinese dialects and Tamil.


(x) What can the bailor pledge or deposit to the court as security for the bail amount?


In addition to cash, the bailor may pledge:


• Fixed or Time Deposit. This is provided the bailor is the account holder with at least 6 months before its maturity, and that the sum has not already been used as a form of security


• Monies in the savings account. This is provided there are no deductions made from that account for GIRO or any other payment. The updated savings passbook or bank statement, must be brought to the prosecuting agency or Court offering bail as the case may be


• Cashier’s Order. This should be made payable either to the prosecuting agency (for Police Bail) or the “Registrar, State courts” (for Court Bail) for the exact bail amount


• NETS payment. This is through the bailor’s own ATM card. Please note that for ATM cards, there may be a maximum withdrawal up to $2,000 per day


• Bailor’s personal properties not exceeding $15,000.


Note: If the bailor is using cash, a copy of his bank statement (indicating Name and NRIC No. of account holder & Account No.) must be provided either to the prosecuting agency (for Police Bail) or the Bail Centre (for Court Bail).


(xi) Can the bailor pledge money or assets that belong to the accused person as security for bail?


No. The monies and properties must belong to the bailor.


(xii) Can the bailor still use his bank account, fixed/time deposit as he wishes after he has pledged the amount as bail sum?


No. In addition, the bank will be notified to freeze the bank account/deposits.


(xiii) What if the bank account has joint names?


Joint account cannot be used as security by one account holder. To utilize such an account as bail sum, both account holders will have to be bailors.


(xiv) When will the bailor get the bail monies back?


When a case has concluded or if the bailor has been granted a discharge, the bailor may obtain the return of the full sum of bail monies deposited. For Court Bail, if cash was deposited with the State courts, the bail amount would be directly refunded to the bailor by the Accountant-General by way of crediting directly into the bailor's bank account furnished by the bailor at the point of standing bail. The bailor may enquire from the Finance Section (Tel: 6435-5869) of the State courts should there be any further queries. For Police Bail, the bailor can contact the IO assigned to the case for more information on refund of bail sum.


(xv) What if the bailor no longer wishes to stand as bailor for the accused person?


The bailor will have to apply in writing (min. 1 week in advance) to the Court for the application to be heard. During the court mention, the bailor must be personally present together with the accused for the application to discharge as bailor. Once the bailor is discharged, to secure the release of the accused pending hearing, the accused must arrange for a substitute bailor.


(xvi) Can the accused leave Singapore after bail is given?


The accused person may only leave Singapore with the permission of the Court. Both the bailor and the accused must be present when the application is made to leave jurisdiction. The application can be made at the next court mention. If it is urgent, the accused can request in writing to the Court seeking an early date to make the application. In such instances, it is common for the Court to increase the bail amount to allow the accused to leave jurisdiction.


(xvii) What if the accused person fails to turn up in court as required?


If the accused fails to attend Court as required, a Warrant of Arrest may be issued against the accused. The bailor will also have to attend a hearing to explain why the full bail amount should not be forfeited. The latter is commonly known as a hearing for the Bailor To Show Cause.


(xviii) Will fresh bail be offered after an accused person is first charged in court?


Whether the original Police Bail will be extended or fresh Court Bail offered is at the discretion of the Court.


(xix) When should the bailor attend court?


The bailor should attend court:


• At the first court hearing of the accused person, where possible

• If the bailor wishes to apply to the court to discharge himself as a bailor

• If the accused wishes to make an application to the Court to leave Singapore

• Where the bailor has been asked to Show Cause why the bail monies should not be forfeited as a result of the accused failing to attend a court hearing.


(xx) Can the bailor later ask for the bail amount to be lowered?


The application may be made through the accused. The granting of such an application is rare.


(xxi) What if the assets that the bailor pledged are insufficient to meet the bail amount forfeited?


When the bail amount is forfeited and the assets sold are insufficient to meet the forfeited bail amount, the bailor will have to pay the difference. If the bailor does not pay, enforcement action will be taken.


(xxii) Is there a channel to request to review or appeal on bail related matters?


There is no channel to appeal against a decision on the bail offered for Police Bail before an accused is charged in court. If an accused has been charged in court, and it is felt that either bail ought to have been offered or that a lower sum of bail ought to have been offered, the accused can request for a bail review to be conducted. If the bail amount was forfeited whether in full or in part, the aggrieved bailor may appeal to the High Court against the forfeiture.


(xxiii) Where is the Bail Centre?


The Bail Centre is at the Crime Registry of the State courts.

The Crime Registry is located on the ground floor of the State courts,

1 Havelock Square, Singapore 059724.


(xxiv) What are the operating hours of the Bail Centre?


Mon-Thu 9.00AM - 6.00PM (Last registration at 12.30 pm & 5.00 pm)

Fri 9.00AM - 5.30PM (Last registration at 12.30 pm & 4.30 pm)

Sat 9.00AM – 1.00PM (Last registration at 12.00 pm)

FIRST COURT APPEARANCE[14]

The accused will be informed of the date to appear in Court once he or she is on the police bail bond. He or she may instruct his or her counsels to act on his or her behalf. The lawyer may attend the court session with the accused. However, if the notice is too short, the accused may attend court session with his or her bailor and seek for adjournment while looking for a lawyer to represent you. The court will allow the adjournment and to extend the police bail or to place the accused on court bail. Each offence you are alleged to have committed will be listed as a SEPARATE CHARGE.


1. When Charged in Court


(a) Pleading Guilty


It is always advisable to have an understand of the minimum and maximum punishment that the accused may receive for the alleged offence that he or she is charge with. The accused must accept whatever punishment the Court may sentence. The Statement of Facts (relating to the accused/the offence that he or she had committed) will then be read out. There is no need for defence counsels if the accused is ready to accept the sentences that are to be meted out to him or her. However, counsels must voice out should there be any dispute with any of the facts.


Should there be any dispute with the Statement of Facts regarding important issues, the Court will NOT accept any plea of guilt. He or she will be directed to claim trial to the charge.

(b) Not Pleading Guilty


A Pre-Trial Conference (PTC)[8] will be fixed in the event where there is no admittance of guilt.


(c) Trial Process


(i) Examination-in-chief


The Prosecution will present their case by calling their witnesses to stand and asking them questions.


(ii) Cross Examination


The defence lawyer will be allowed to question the Prosecution’s witness.


They can challenge and/or contradict what the Prosecution Witness has said with documentary evidence (if any). The challenge will be 
based on what was said or not said. The Defence lawyer will also put forth events according to the perspective of the accused to check if the Prosecution’s witness agrees with it.


(iii) Re-Examination


The Prosecution would then ask their witness further questions, to clarify their answers given to your lawyer during cross-examination.


(iv) Submission of no-case to answer


If the accused felt that the prosecution has not proven the case against him or her, he or she can consult and instruct the defence lawyers to give a submission on NO CASE.


(v) Post Trial


1. Making closing submissions. - Both sides will have to summarize all the evidences and make respective arguments to the Court.


2. The Court will then decided if the accused is guilty (convicted) or not guilty (acquitted). The court also has the power to reduce the charge against the accused.


3. Can the accused contest the Court’s final decision?


If the accused is convicted after a trial, he or she can appeal against the Court’s decision on his or her conviction and/or his or her sentence. However, if the accused have pleaded guilty, he or she can only appeal against the sentence and this appeal must be filed with the Criminal Justice Division’s Registry within 10 calendar days from the date the verdict of the accused was announced. It is important to note that there is no guarantee the appeal will be successful and always advised the accused to consult the advice of the defence counsel when making such important decision.


PRESIDENTIAL CLEMENCY

(only applicable to accused who are sentenced with the death penalty)


Singapore’s President may grant pardons, reprieves, respites and re- missions under Article 22P of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (hereinafter ‘Singapore Constitution’). Article 22P of the Singapore Constitution also states that ‘The President, as occasion shall arise, may, on the advice of the Cabinet, grant a par- don’.


Article 21 of the Singapore Constitution clearly lists out the discharge and performance of functions of the President. The powers of the president consist of 4 things and unless otherwise provided for the President must act on the advice of the Cabinet. Article 21(2) lists eight specific matters which the president has personal discretion and a final open-ended one: the President has personal discretion in performing ‘any other function’ authorized by the Singapore Constitution.


However, under Article 21(3), the President must consult the Council of Presidential Advisers before performing functions specifically provided for[9]. Under Article 21(4), the Council may be consulted in performing some of the independent functions provided for in Article 21(2). Hence, the President has both independent and dependent powers[10].


In relation to the power to grant pardons, there have been arguments stating that the open-ended Article 21(2)(i) when read together with Article 22P suggests that the President is not bound by the Cabinet’s advice in such matters[11].


REFERENCES

  1. This Journal Article is brought to you for free and open access by the School of Law at Institutional Knowledge at Singapore Management University. It has been accepted for inclusion in Research Collection School of Law by an authorized administrator of Institutional Knowledge at Singapore Management University. For more information, please email libIR@smu.edu.sg
  2. D A MShubhankar. Presidential Pardon in Singapore: A Comment on Yong Vui Kong v A.G. (2013). Common Law World Review., 42(1), 48. Research Collection School of Law.
  3. An Act to consolidate the law relating to criminal offences. [16th September 1872]
  4. Singapore Academy of Law Journal (2013) 25 SAcLJ – The Privilege Against Self-Incrimination and Right of Access to a Lawyer; A Comparative Assessment
  5. Section 22 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Also see Kwek Seow Hock v Public Prosecutor [2011] 3 SLR 157
  6. Reference was made to: http://www.singaporecriminallawyer.com/your-rights/
  7. Reference was made to: http://www.singaporecriminallawyer.com/your-rights/
  8. A PTC is to update the judge on how the case is progressing, and to determine if the case is ready to proceed to trial. Trial dates will only be fixed when all parties are ready and prepared for trial.
  9. This Council is a constitutional body under Article 37B of the Singapore Constitution. It comprises six members, of whom two are appointed by the President, two are appointed by the Prime Minister, while the Chief Justice and the Chairman of the Public Service Commission appoint one member each.
  10. D A MShubhankar. Presidential Pardon in Singapore: A Comment on Yong Vui Kong v A.G. (2013). Common Law World Review., 42(1), 48. Research Collection School of Law.
  11. Also see: Yong Vui Kong v Attorney-General [2011] SGCA 9. The ('Pardon Case')

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