Alleged MFA trespasser faces 2 more charges

The Malaysian teacher who entered Singapore illegally last month faces three charges, read to her at her first court appearance yesterday.

Nurul Rohana Ishak, a 27-year-old Kedah native, slipped past immigration officers at the Woodlands checkpoint on Jan 17 by tailgating a car.

Several missteps by border security and police officers led to her arrest only three days later, when she entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) compound without authorisation.

At first, she faced a single charge of criminal trespass for entering the MFA, but now has two additional immigration charges for failing to present her passport for examination and to stop her vehicle upon arrival at the Woodlands checkpoint.

But the court also heard yesterday that Nurul, in remand at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) since her Jan 20 arrest, is of unsound mind and unfit to make a plea.

She reportedly has had a history of mental illness, and The Straits Times understands she has yet to communicate with her family, despite two visits to IMH by her parents.

Nurul was offered a $15,000 bail and her case is expected to be mentioned in a pre-trial conference on Tuesday.

This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.