Parliament likely to debate issue of hate speech

Singapore's Parliament House in the civic district seen in a photo taken on Jan 16, 2019.
Singapore's Parliament House in the civic district seen in a photo taken on Jan 16, 2019.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

There are plans to table a parliamentary motion next month to discuss hate speech as well as racial and religious relations, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said yesterday.

He said it was important to have a proper debate about these issues to see where the "lines ought to be drawn, and whether they need to be redrawn".

Addressing Muslim leaders at the annual Religious Rehabilitation Group retreat at the Shangri-La's Rasa Sentosa, Mr Shanmugam also spoke about the terror attacks in New Zealand's Christchurch city last Friday that killed 50 people and injured 50 others.

He said the shooting - which was carried out by a 28-year-old Australian man, a suspected white supremacist - was a reminder that tough laws are needed to curb the spread of hate speech, which is not being tackled adequately by online platforms.

Mr Shanmugam also affirmed Singapore's approach to hate speech, saying that tough laws and efforts by the different faiths and the Government have helped Singapore achieve racial and religious harmony.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 20, 2019, with the headline 'Parliament likely to debate issue of hate speech'. Print Edition | Subscribe