K Shanmugam, the Minister for Home Affairs and Law in Singapore recently opened up about the growing extreme contents which radicalize people in the country. In an exclusive talk with Channel News Asia, the Minister said that dealing with online radical content is always a challenge which involves the 'fight for the hearts and minds.'
K Shanmugam said that every case of radicalization is being taken very seriously by the Government, and assured that authorities will continue to take effective steps to address this challenge.
"We are equally concerned when a kindergarten assistant is radicalized with access to very young children. Parents are very concerned. We take this very seriously, we have been aware of these risks in different sectors for some time," said Shanmugam, referring Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari, a contract infant-care assistant who was arrested under the Internal Security Act last year, Channel News Asia reports.
According to the Minister for Home Affairs, the ideal teachings in mosques and the content put out by local Muslim leaders are the best antidotes for the growing radicalization in the country. The Minister also requested all Singaporeans to work together as a multi-racial and multi-religious country with racial and social harmony.
The comments from K Shanmugam came just hours after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) expatriated a self-radicalized Malaysian citizen. After the expatriation, the MHA has revealed that the 32-year old Malaysian man was self-radicalized after watching online videos of extremist preachers like Imran Hosein, Zakir Naik, and Anjem Choudary. The MHA also added that the expatriated man was preparing to join the ISIS in Syria to take part in the conflict there.
Muhammad Nur Hanief bin Abdul Jalil, who was expatriated has been working in Singapore since 2011 as a driver with an airfreight company. Upon understanding his radicalized thoughts, authorities arrested him under the ISA.