Singapore Considers Bill Against Foreign Meddling in Domestic Politics
© AP Photo / Ee Ming TohПара в масках у статуи Мерлиона в Сингапуре
© AP Photo / Ee Ming Toh
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Singaporean government submitted a bill to parliament on Monday that seeks to identify and launch a crackdown on foreign interference in the small Southeast Asian nation's politics.
"The Bill will strengthen our ability to prevent, detect and disrupt foreign interference in our domestic politics conducted through hostile information campaigns and the use of local proxies," the home affairs ministry said.
Singapore has a history of being targeted for foreign meddling, including by Hank Hendrickson, a senior US embassy official who was expelled from the country in 1988 for coordinating opposition and contesting a general election.
More recently, the ministry said, Singapore saw an "abnormal spike" in online commenting on social media critical of Singapore at a time when its ties with other countries were strained.
The Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Bill aims to give the government legislative levers to deal with political tampering, including powers to block online content and compel "politically significant" actors to disclose affiliations with foreign entities.
The ministry stressed that these provisions would not deter Singaporeans from expressing dissident political views unless they were agents of a foreign entity or gag critical foreign media.