SINGAPORE: Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Ms Hazel Poa from the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) recently submitted a written parliamentary question seeking clarity on the conditions under which persons on bail are permitted to leave Singapore.
Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Education, representing the Prime Minister, provided a detailed written response to Ms Poa’s question.
According to Mr Chan, “The purpose of bail is to secure the attendance of the person arrested or charged. The quantum of bail varies according to the specific circumstances of each case. Bail conditions, such as a requirement for the person to surrender his passport, may also be imposed.”
In his response, Mr Chan detailed the factors taken into account when setting the quantum of bail and the conditions. These factors include “the gravity of the alleged offence,” “the extent of the person’s roots in Singapore,” and “whether the person has attempted to abscond previously.”
Addressing Ms Poa’s question regarding the consideration of a person’s income and net worth when setting bail, Mr Chan clarified, “A person’s background, employment history and financial position are relevant considerations for assessing his flight risk…however, the person’s background, employment history and financial position are just some of the many factors considered in determining flight risk.”
On the matter of individuals on bail leaving Singapore, Mr Chan stated, “Persons on bail may be allowed to leave Singapore if they are granted permission to do so by the law enforcement agency (for agency bail) or the Court (for Court bail).”
He also revealed the factors considered when deciding whether permission to travel should be granted, such as “the reason for travel,” “the intended destination,” and “the duration and expected date of departure and return to Singapore.”
If such permission is granted, according to Mr Chan, “the bail quantum may be increased, and additional bail conditions may also be imposed, to prevent absconding.”
Interestingly, Mr Chan noted that “The number of persons on bail who are granted permission to leave Singapore is not specifically tracked.”
This parliamentary query comes in the wake of the recent controversy surrounding businessman Ong Beng Seng.
The Malaysian billionaire, together with Transport Minister S Iswaran, is currently under investigation by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), and was granted permission to travel to Bali while on bail.
While specific details surrounding the ongoing corruption investigation remain undisclosed, both Ong and Minister S. Iswaran were released on bail, with Iswaran’s passport confiscated and Ong’s bail set at S$100,000.
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