Legislation that makes nuclear terrorism a crime in Singapore comes into force Sept 1

A mandatory death sentence will be imposed on those who commit a lethal radioactive attack.
A mandatory death sentence will be imposed on those who commit a lethal radioactive attack. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - A new legislation that seeks to prevent nuclear terrorism by making such acts a crime here will come into force on Friday (Sept 1), the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement on Wednesday.

Passed in Parliament earlier on May 8, the Act, among other things, makes it an offence to use radioactive material to threaten, injure or kill, or cause damage to property and the environment.

A mandatory death sentence will also be imposed on those who commit a lethal radioactive attack.

The legislation gives domestic legal effect to the United Nations' International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, of which Singapore is a signatory. The convention aims to prevent nuclear terrorism.

Second Minister for Home Affairs Desmond Lee said in May that while the threat of a nuclear and radioactive terror attack in Singapore is currently unlikely, it still must be taken seriously.

He cited a heightened global threat with the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has access to funds and an international network of supporters that can conceivably construct a crude improvised nuclear device to be used in a terror attack.

 

Mr Lee added that Singapore cannot discount the possibility of ISIS or its supporters getting hold of nuclear material especially since several countries, including those in the region, use or are actively exploring the use of nuclear energy.

For instance, Malaysia arrested eight people for the theft of iridium-192, a radioactive material that can be used to make dirty bombs, in February.