Little India riot: 'Repatriation after due process and careful consideration'

Little India riot: 'Repatriation after due process and careful consideration'

SINGAPORE - The Government has defended the repatriation of foreign workers after the riot in Little India two weeks ago.

Due process was given to the 57 who were repatriated, Senior Minister of State for Law and Education Indranee Rajah said. It was done after careful consideration, extensive interviews and investigation, Channel NewsAsia on Saturday quoted her as saying.

"Each country has its right to determine its own laws. This is the system that we have chosen for Singapore. It has worked for the safety and security of Singaporeans which we place at paramount importance," she was quoted as saying at a ceremony where she presented cheques of $200 to $400 to some 100 students from low-income families in Tanjong Pagar and Tiong Bahru.

The Law Ministry also addressed the issue in a reaction to two letters published in the Today newspaper.

The letters, from Mr Jolovan Wham and Ms Braema Mathi, confuse the issues of those who have been charged before a court of law and foreign nationals who are subject to repatriation, said Press Secretary Praveen Randhawa.

The latter have no right under Singapore's laws to challenge the repatriation order in court. Had a court process been involved, some of them could have stayed on in Singapore for a while. This could be less of a deterrent and some may also go underground, the statement said. "Our system is firm, just and fair," it said.

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