'Spys' detained under security
Straits Times Jan 22, 1999
[This Straits Times reports as fact what are in truth allegations not proven in a court of law. Editor.]
Since 1965, 591 people have been detained under the Internal Security Act.
Related: Former solicitor general detained in 1987.
Lawyer detainee remembers : A first-hand account of arrest, interrogation, mistreatment and detention.
SIX people were arrested and detained without trial for espionage activities in the last two years.
Four have been released, and investigations against the other two are continuing, Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng disclosed on Wednesday in a written response to a question from Nominated MP Simon Tay.
Under the Internal Security Act, those suspected of being involved in activities that might threaten national security can be arrested without trial and detained under an Order of Detention by the government.
Details on the identities of those arrested were not released. Two were arrested in 1997, and have since been released. One of them, a male Singapore permanent resident, was a deep-cover operative of a foreign intelligence service, and had used the other, a female Singaporean, as a collaborator.
Of the other four male Singapore citizens detained last year, three were agents in another intelligence service. One had recruited the fourth to collect intelligence on and to subvert an unidentified local community organisation, according to the minister. Two of them have been released.
Said Mr Wong: "This followed Internal Security Department's recommendations that their preventive detentions were no longer necessary for reasons of continuing investigation, or of their posing an active threat to national security."
The four who were released from custody had been detained for between four and 11 months.
Since 1965, 591 people have been detained under the Internal Security Act. Most were arrested in the 1960s and 1970s in the struggle against communist groups. The number fell to 39 in the 1980s. The six detained in the last two years were the only ones in the 1990s.