Do what is good for society: K Shanmugam
PUBLISHED ON 04 May 2018
Ministers have the “ultimate decision-making responsibility” to do what is good for society and not get sidetracked by a vocal minority, said Minister for Law and Home Affairs Mr K Shanmugam.

Speaking at the annual Singapore Police Force Workplan Seminar on 3 May 2018, Mr Shanmugam noted that increasingly, proposed legislation gets opposed by a small but vocal minority. He added that Singapore cannot deal with new threats with legislation that is outdated.

“Some of the opposition is principled, some just opposing for the sake of opposing,” he said. As such, Mr Shanmugam said it is his duty to “distinguish between first of all what is right”. On this, Mr Shanmugam shared why enacting the Public Order and Safety (Special Powers) Act (POSSPA) was the right thing to do.

“I believed it (POSSPA) was doable in Singapore because people trust the Police that they will exercise their powers responsibly, and we need those powers to deal with the situations that are evolving,” Mr Shanmugam added.

Mr Shanmugam cited that some of the online sentiments surrounding POSSPA had created the impression that there was "a lot of opposition" to the legislation. However, he pointed out that a recent REACH poll showed 76 per cent of respondents agreed that POSSPA was necessary to enable the police to handle major security incidents.

 “This is the real Singapore. So we have to be confident about what we do. As long as we believe honestly that it is the right thing to do. As for opposing viewpoints, we have a duty to look into them. Some of them, as I said, can be principled, and if the viewpoints are valid, we have to consider, adapt, make the necessary changes, and then when we make up our mind, proceed,” Mr Shanmugam said.