Iswaran: Lapse in allowing foreigners to abscond in Suntec brawl due to ‘individual error’
Posted by temasektimes on July 11, 2012
The shocking lapse which allows foreigners involved in a brawl at Suntec City to abscond from Singapore without facing charges is due to an ‘individual error’ rather that a systemic shortcoming, declared Second Minister for Home Affairs S Iswaran in Parliament on Tuesday.
The case made the headlines and caused a massive outcry among Singaporeans as the foreigners absconded after posting bail without facing justice, prompting the police to conduct an internal inquiry to establish if there were any lapses or negligence in how the case was handled.
The inquiry revealed that the Investigation Officer in charge of the case has been negligent and he has been charged with neglect of duty.
When asked by PAP MP Tin Pei Ling if the impounding of passports should be made a standard operating procedure in such cases.
“Impounding their passports would not restrict their movement or freedom of movement in Singapore, but would ensure that when the courts need them or when the judgement is made, they are in Singapore to receive the judgement,” she said.
However, Mr Iswaran felt the decision to impound passports should be left solely to the discretion of the court.
“I think most importantly and fundamentally, we have to strike that balance between his or her right to freedom to move before he or she is judged or found to be guilty,” he added.