Criticism grows in Singapore of proposed foreign meddling law

SINGAPORE, Oct 1 (The Straits Times/ANN): Almost 6,000 Singaporeans have signed a petition expressing concerns about a 249-page draft foreign interference law which is scheduled to be put to a second reading in parliament next week.

In a rare show of dissent in the wealthy city-state, which has been governed by the People's Action Party (PAP) since it was founded in 1965, the petitioners said the proposed law gives the government "vast powers" and is "overly broad."

The legislation aims "to protect the public interest by counteracting acts of foreign interference," which, though "not inherently unreasonable," according to the petitioners, should also not "be seen as an excuse to concentrate power in the hands of the state."

The PAP won all but 10 of 93 seats in parliamentary elections last year.

Several of the handful of opposition lawmakers have called for the draft law to be revised.

Singapore is also currently grappling with rising Covid-19 cases issue in the country as infection has been rising rapidly over the last two weeks.

Singapore had reported 2,478 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday night (Sept 30), hitting a new record high and bringing the total tally in the country to 96,521.

Of the new cases, 2,022 were in the community, 452 were in migrant worker dormitories and four were imported cases, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement.

As of Wednesday, 82 per cent of the local population have been fully vaccinated, and 85 percent have received at least one dose, according to the MOH. - dpa

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