SINGAPORE: Singapore on Wednesday issued a stern warning to foreigners to abide by its laws, after Malaysians arrested for staging an illegal protest had appealed for leniency.
“Foreigners who break the law in Singapore should be prepared to face the consequences, including having their visas or work passes revoked,” the foreign and interior ministries said in a joint statement sent to Agence France-Presse.
Twenty-one Malaysians in the city-state were arrested on May 11 after they staged an illegal protest in Singapore following disputed elections in their neighboring homeland.
They had gone ahead with the protest at a park along Singapore’s popular Marina Bay promenade despite police warnings not to repeat a demonstration held on the same spot three days earlier by some 100 Malaysians.
That initial rally coincided with a mammoth protest in Kuala Lumpur by the Malaysian opposition, which claims it was robbed of victory in the May 5 parliamentary elections through fraud.
The protesters were subsequently released on bail, but three of them had their work and visit passes revoked by the Singapore authorities.
Police said that the work passes of the 18 others were also being reviewed.
“It is clear that some of the Malaysians who participated in the two illegal gatherings at Merlion Park deliberately ignored repeated warnings that the protests were illegal,” said the government statement on Wednesday.
It also criticized the protesters for approaching opposition lawmakers in Malaysia to petition for leniency on their behalf.
“Their actions to involve foreign parties are attempts to seek special treatment and to further politicize what is essentially a domestic law and order issue in Singapore,” the statement said.