In a new regulation proposed by Law Minister K Shanmugam, the Singapore Police will have the power to arrest anyone who take a picture of any ongoing police incident. The new law will give the police new powers to issue “communications stop order”, where any eyewitnesses will be required to stop filming or spreading videos and pictures of an incident area, and to stop communicating text or audio messages about security operations happening there.
The new law will also make it an offence for anyone to post a Facebook update or even whatsapp a family member of any event the police demand to censor.
This move is believed to follow up on the 2013 Little India Riot, where videos of police officers running away from the rioters embarrassed the police force. Photos showing police vehicles being set fire on while private vehicles were untouched by the rioters, also embarrassed the Singapore government who were trying to blame the riot on alcohol instead of anti-government sentiments.
Two new regulations were also added: one where the police is allowed to take down any drone regardless of intention, and a second one allowing the police to take over any private building.