Home News Featured News Foreign Religious Leaders May Be Banned from Entry to Singapore

Foreign Religious Leaders May Be Banned from Entry to Singapore




- Advertisement -

Home Affairs and Minister K. Shanmugam said in Parliament that religious leaders from other countries may be from entering Singapore if they teach hatred, division or intolerance among religions. According to Mr Shanmugam, these teachings are harmful to Singaporean’s diverse , and anyone who preaches these will not be allowed to enter the country.

The ban refusing to admit these preachers does not depend on the context in which they spoke these words—whether or not it had anything to with Singapore, nor does it depend on how many followers these preachers have.

Should any visitor to Singapore wish to discuss delicate matters, whether they be political, racial or religious, he or she must first apply for a Miscellaneous Work Pass from the Manpower Ministry. This office works with other agencies and evaluates each applicant according to his or her merits.

In 2017, three visiting Muslim clerics where disallowed entry into Singapore because of the content of their preaching.

- Advertisement -

Yusuf Estes, an American Muslim preacher was not allowed to enter Singapore in November. Officials deemed that Estes’ views were opposed to the multiethnic and multi-religious society in Singapore.

In October, Haslin Baharim, originally from Malaysia, was also banned from entering Singapore. Baharim is also known as Ustaz Bollywood since he sings in a Hindi-inspired manner. In the same month, national Ismail Menk was also banned from entry. Bahrain and Menk are known to have extreme and segregationist teachings.

Messrs. Estes, Baharim and Menk were supposed to have taken part in an international spiritual cruise from Singapore to Aceh that would have lasted five days. This luxury retreat had been organized by Islamic Cruise, which is based in Malaysia. Mr. Estes later joined the cruise and spoke to the passengers when the ship was at Banda Aceh.

Mr Shanmugam reiterated that entry to Singapore is a privilege for foreigners, and not a right. When questioned by Mr Faisal of the Worker’s Party whether the banned religious leaders had been given the chance to speak for themselves before being denied entry into the country, Mr. Shanmugam mentioned that the preachers had been critical of other religions and had called Allah a false god. This should be enough to cause an outright ban. Only religious leaders who would not affect Singapore’s interests negatively should be granted entry, Mr. Shanmugam said.

- Advertisement -

Many Singaporeans applauded Mr. Shanmugam for his decisive action, and showed their support.

- Advertisement -

Others derided Faisal for what they considered to be a senseless question.

Another netizen said that the ban must apply to preachers from other religions as well.



 Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Sudden closure of Hong Lim Market leaves hawkers no choice but to throw away ingredients

Singapore — After the emergence of two new Covid-19 clusters on Friday (Jul 16), with Hong Lim Market & Food Centre being one of them, the sudden closure of the venue has left hawkers with no choice but to throw their...

Lim Tean: What economic benefits does Singapore derive from granting KTV operators a $50K grant to “Pivot” into an “F&B” outlet?

Singapore — Opposition People's Voice (PV) party leader Lim Tean took to social media to ask if there were economic benefits to extending a S$50,000 grant to KTV operators to pivot them into a food and beverage establishment. The questions, directed at...

Nurse harassed by Sengkang neighbours granted protection order

Singapore — After being harassed by their for over a year, a Singaporean nurse has been granted an expedited protection order (EPO), providing him and his family “an overwhelming sense of relief.” Muhammad Najib bin Ngasewan, who works at Sengkang General...
Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg