Criminal detention: Fine-tuning the scales of justice

The law to detain criminal suspects is controversial, but given its nature, much care has also gone into ensuring that a right balance is struck between public order and safety and the detainee's rights

Former criminal law detainee Teo Beng Kim, 39, speaking to a resident at HCSA Community Services earlier this year. He said the six years of detention was key to turning his life around.
Former criminal law detainee Teo Beng Kim, 39, speaking to a resident at HCSA Community Services earlier this year. He said the six years of detention was key to turning his life around.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Enhancements to a 63-year-old law used to detain criminal suspects without trial were hotly debated in Parliament in February, but some questions remain.

Many MPs, including opposition Workers' Party (WP) MPs and two Nominated MPs who voted against the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Bill, saw the need for the particular law to swiftly deal with those who threaten Singapore's safety, peace and good order.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2018, with the headline 'Criminal detention: Fine-tuning the scales of justice'. Print Edition | Subscribe