The Internal Security Department (Abbreviation: ISD; Chinese: Template:Linktext; pinyin: Xīn jiā pō nèi bù ān quán jú) is a domestic intelligence agency of the Ministry of Home Affairs of Singapore. It was formerly part of the Ministry of Interior and Defence until it was split on 11 August 1970. It has the utmost right to detain without trial individuals suspected to be a threat to national security.
The stated mission is to confront and address security threats, including international terrorism, foreign subversion and espionage. The ISD also monitors and addresses potential threats from communism, prevention of racial tension which might affect the public peace, domestic counterterrorism, international counterterrorism, fraud against the state, surveillance, apprehension of suspected militants or terrorists and protection of Singapore's national borders.
The identity of ISD's director is not conspicuously made known to the public. Former directors include S R Nathan, Eddie Teo, Lim Chye Heng (acting), Tjong Yik Min, and Pang Kin Keong. Many of them went on to take up higher offices, with S R Nathan subsequently becoming the President of Singapore; Eddie Teo becoming the chairman of the Public Service Commission, and Pang Kin Keong becoming Permanent Secretary in various ministries.
Legislation[edit | edit source]
The powers of investigation and arrest of the ISD are regulated by several laws, including:
- Criminal Procedure Code
- Official Secrets Act
- Internal Security Act
- Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act
History[edit | edit source]
ISD was first established as part of the Special Branch in 1948 by the British colonial government. In 1963, it became part of the Malaysian Special Branch when Singapore joined the Malayan Federation. After Singapore gained independence, Internal Security Department was formally established on 17 February 1966.
Timeline[edit | edit source]
These events are related to ISD and internal security of Singapore.
- 1950, Maria Hertogh riots.
- 1963, arrest of left-wing politicians and trade unionists during Operation Coldstore.
- 1964, 21 July - 8 September, race riots, took place on the Prophet Muhammad's birthday.
- 1965, 10 March, MacDonald House bombing by Indonesian saboteurs killed three people, during the konfrontasi period.
- 1966, arrest of 22 members of Barisan Sosialis.
- 1969, communal clashes spillover from the 13 May incident.
- 1974, 31 January, Laju incident, the Japanese Red Army bombed petroleum tanks at Pulau Bukom and hijacked a ferry boat.
- 1982, uncovered Singapore People's Liberation Organisation activities.
- 1982, two Soviet spies exposed for espionage activities.
- 1985, local network of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam uncovered.
- 1987, arrest of 22 alleged pro-Marxist activists during Operation Spectrum.
- 1991, four Pakistanis hijacked Singapore Airlines Flight 117.
- 1997, 1998, six arrested for involvement in espionage and foreign subversive activities.
- 2001, 9 December, members of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) arrested for bomb plots on the American, Australian, British and Israeli embassies.
- 2008, 27 February, Mas Selamat bin Kastari, alleged leader of JI's Singapore branch, escaped while under the ISD's custody.
- 2009, 1 April, the Malaysian authorities captured Mas Selamat in Skudai, Johor.
- 2010, 8 February, the ISD summoned Pastor Rony Tan of Lighthouse Evangelism over video clips posted on the church website that were deemed 'highly inappropriate and unacceptable' as they "trivialised and insulted the beliefs of Buddhists and Taoists".
See also[edit | edit source]
- Security and Intelligence Division, the external intelligence agency.
References[edit | edit source]
- Lee Kuan Yew. (1998). The Singapore Story. Federal Publications. ISBN 0-13-020803-5
- Mathew Jones, “Creating Malaysia: Singapore Security, the Borneo Territories and the Contours of British Policy, 1961-1963” in Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, Vol. 28, No. 2, May 2000. pp. 85–109
- "SOC Listing Of Foreign Intelligence Services". http://www.specialoperations.com/Intelligence/foreign.html. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
- New appointments for other permanent secretaries, The Straits Times, August 13, 2010
- "About ISD". Internal Security Department. http://www.mha.gov.sg/isd/abt-isd.htm. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
- ""Pastor called up by ISD", Straits Times". http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_488212.html. Retrieved 2010-02-09.