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Singapore

Monthly Event Reports

February 2024 | Singapore enacts indefinite detention and expands police powers

On 5 February, Singapore’s parliament passed the Sentence for Enhanced Public Protection (SEPP) law, allowing for the indefinite detention of “dangerous offenders” beyond their completed sentences. The SEPP law applies to individuals above 21 years of age convicted of serious crimes like rape and homicide. Offenders will now require the approval of the Home Affairs Minister to determine if they are no longer a threat to the public in order to be released. Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said the decision to impose a normal versus SEPP sentence lies with the court in which the person is first convicted, with a review board consisting of retired judges and psychologists to aid in assessing each case at a later point. The law was passed with broad support from parliament; however, rights experts have raised concerns about the law violating due process rights and the potential for over-detention. Simultaneously, parliament passed the Criminal Procedures (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill on 5 February, granting police officers more powers to conduct searches without a warrant as well as force suspects to undergo a forensic medical examination, if relevant.

January 2024 | Minister charged in rare corruption case
Watch flag

On 18 January, Singapore’s Transport Minister S. Iswaran resigned as a minister and member of the People’s Action Party (PAP) after being charged with 27 offences related to corruption, obstruction of justice and taking bribes. The charges follow a year-long investigation led by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), which alleged that Iswaran received bribes worth more than hundreds of thousands of dollars from billionaire property tycoon Ong Beng Seng – who is also under investigation. Iswaran is the first sitting minister in Singapore to be charged with corruption in decades, as the country is rarely affected by graft scandals involving political leaders. Iswaran rejects the allegations and maintains his innocence amid the ongoing case.

September 2023 | Tharman Shanmugaratnam wins presidential election

Former Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and leader of the ruling People’s Action Party won a landslide victory in the presidential election held on 1 September, securing 70.4 per cent of the vote. Voter turnout for the presidential election was 93.55 per cent. Among the three candidates running, there were no female candidates for the largely ceremonial position. No election disputes were reported.

November 2022 | New law gives government another tool to control online content

On 9 November, Singapore passed legislation empowering authorities to order social media platforms to remove "egregious" content. This includes posts advocating sexual violence, terrorism, or content likely to incite racial or religious tensions. The new law is said to tighten current regulations of social media, whereby social media firms will face fines if they fail to comply. Human rights activists have expressed concern over the potential of the law being used by government to stifle freedom of expression online and repress dissent due to the vague nature of what is deemed “harmful content.”

Explore past monthly event reports

GSoD Indices Data 2013-2022

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Basic Information

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Population Tooltip
5 453 570
System of government
Parliamentary system
Head of government
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (since 2004)
Head of government party
People's Action Party
Electoral system for lower or single chamber
First Past the Post Party Block Vote
Women in lower or single chamber
29.1%
Women in upper chamber
Not applicable
Last legislative election
2020
Effective number of political parties Tooltip
2.48
Head of state
President Halimah Yacob
Selection process for head of state
Direct election (plurality)
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) date
12/05/2021
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) percentage of recommendations supported
64.81%
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Human Rights Treaties

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State Party State party
Signatory Signatory
No Action No action
United Nations Human Right Treaties
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
No Action
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
No Action
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
State Party
Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
State Party
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
No Action
Convention on the Rights of the Child
State Party
International Convention on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
No Action
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance 
No Action
International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
State Party
International Labour Organisation Treaties
Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention
No Action
Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention
State Party
Equal Remuneration Convention
State Party
Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
No Action
Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention
No Action
Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment
State Party
Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
State Party
in
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Performance by category over the last 6 months

Representation neutral Representation
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Mar 2024
Representation neutral Rights
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Nov
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Representation neutral Rule of law
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Nov
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Representation neutral Participation
Oct 2023
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Mar 2024

Global State of Democracy Indices

Hover over the trend lines to see the exact data points across the years

Explore the indices
Representation
Representation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rights
Rights
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rule of Law
Rule of Law
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Participation
Participation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4

Factors of Democratic Performance Over Time

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