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Singapore warns foreigners against using country to further political causes amid Israel-Hamas war

Published November 2, 2023 Updated November 2, 2023 Bookmark Bookmark Share WhatsApp Telegram Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s government agencies on Thursday (Nov 2) reminded foreigners working or living in the country to not use it as a platform to further their political causes, amid the ongoing war between Israel and militant group Hamas.

“Given the heightened tensions, it is important that we remain calm and not let these external events affect the racial and religious harmony and peace in Singapore,” the Manpower Ministry (MOM) said in a Facebook post.

“We would also like to remind everyone to engage in responsible and respectful discussions on this sensitive topic.”

A joint advisory by MOM, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security Department reiterated Singapore’s zero-tolerance approach against extremism, violence or terrorism.

Foreigners in Singapore were also asked to “not support or import foreign politics”, including through the public display of materials such as banners, flags and posters. 

They were reminded not to write, post or share any information in-person or online that may “stir up emotions that result in violence or cause hatred among different races or religion”. 

“Doing so is an offence and punishable under Singapore law. Offenders may be banned from working in Singapore,” the advisory read.

It also called on the foreign workforce to not speculate or spread unverified information “that may cause discomfort to others”.

Those who wish to donate to help victims of the conflict were advised to use official channels such as the Singapore Red Cross or the Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation.

The Singapore Government in October said it would contribute S$300,000 towards relief operations through the Singapore Red Cross, in response to the humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip.

During an emergency session of the United Nations General Assembly, Singapore also voted in favour of a resolution to protect civilians and uphold legal and humanitarian obligations amid the war.

Earlier, local authorities said related events and public assemblies would not be permitted due to public safety and security concerns.

Israel has relentlessly pounded Gaza in retribution for the worst attack in the country’s history on Oct 7. Hamas gunmen had stormed across the border, killing 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and taking more than 230 hostages, according to Israeli officials. CNA

For more reports like this, visit cna.asia.

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