Screenshot from SenseTime software in China

Prime Minister’s Ho Ching is on a shopping spree with Singaporeans’ CPF money again. Earlier on Monday (April 9), Temasek Holdings, together with China’s Alibaba group, poured US$600 million (S$786.95 million) into China’s facial recognition technology company, SenseTime.

The China company will be participating in Singapore’s billion-dollar roll out of the national surveillance system, where all public cameras would be used to monitor Singaporeans. The Singapore government agency in-charge of the project, GovTech, reports to the Prime Minister’s Office under Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The Singapore dictatorship is also currently at experiment stage with the aim to place surveillance cameras on every lamp post. Titled “Lamppost-as-a-Platform”, the tender with undisclosed budget will close in May.

While camera surveillance is common in every country, Singapore is going more invasive, with a requirement to identify every identity including name, contact number, identification and visa status of foreigners. Under the guise of “anti-terrorism”, the technology will monitor movements of Opposition members, government critics and anyone the government wants monitoring on. The data would be useful for political campaigns and targeted character assassination campaigns.

At a Chinese forum in China last week, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong boasted that he is able to track every person’s position through the local telecommunication companies. While there are privacy laws in Singapore, the regulation does not apply to government agencies in the dictatorship.