New Bill seeks major update to 150-year-old Penal Code

Those who commit offences against vulnerable victims, such as maids and people with disabilities, could face up to twice the maximum punishment for similar crimes against others.
Those who commit offences against vulnerable victims, such as maids and people with disabilities, could face up to twice the maximum punishment for similar crimes against others.PHOTO: ST FILE

Singapore's criminal law framework will undergo a major update to give better protection to vulnerable victims and target emerging crimes, under the Criminal Law Reform Bill introduced in Parliament yesterday by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin.

The Bill seeks to put in place harsher punishments for people who commit crimes against vulnerable victims, such as children under 14 and those in close or intimate relationships with their offenders.

The Bill also seeks to update the 150-year-old Penal Code by tackling new offences with specific provisions for crimes involving voyeurism, sexual exposure and child abuse material. These offences are now dealt within a "patchwork" of existing laws not designed to address the specific crimes, said the Home Affairs Ministry.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 12, 2019, with the headline 'New Bill seeks major update to 150-year-old Penal Code'. Subscribe