Parliament Sitting on 14 February 2022
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
91. Mr Gan Thiam Poh:
To ask the Minister for Communications and Information whether the Ministry will consider asking online service providers to insert advisories on all posts relating to illegal drugs on the harmful effects on potential users and the severe penalty that one will face in trafficking such drugs into Singapore.
Singapore adopts a strict policy of zero tolerance towards illegal drugs and deals with the drug problem through a comprehensive range of measures. Under the Misuse of Drugs Act, it is an offence for persons to traffic in a controlled drug. It is also an offence for persons to import into or export from Singapore controlled drugs without authorisation. Persons who facilitate the sale or importation of controlled drugs via the Internet or other digital means may be liable for such offences.
When the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) is alerted to websites that make illegal drugs easy to acquire in Singapore or promote illegal drug use, it will direct Internet Service Providers to block access to such websites under the Internet Code of Practice (ICOP). Social media platforms generally also have policies prohibiting the sale or promotion of illegal drugs. Users of those platforms may report such problematic content to the platform owner for review.
As part of Singapore’s holistic drug control strategy, government efforts to prevent access to illegal drug content are complemented by public education and awareness. Preventive drug education (PDE) remains the first line of defence in the Central Narcotics Bureau’s (CNB) approach to enhance public awareness of the harms of drugs and to encourage a drug-free lifestyle. CNB has tailored PDE programmes for schools as well as those in positions of influence like parents, counsellors, educators, youth advocates and national service commanders. They also receive informational toolkits to help them provide guidance or peer support to the youths. CNB also promotes anti-drug advocacy by like-minded individuals and community organisations. These efforts are crucial in galvanising public support for the anti-drug cause, and in ensuring that the public is vigilant against online content relating to illegal drugs.