The Singapore Government wants to make subtle but significant improvements in how it handles religious insult. These tweaks are contained in the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act’s (MRHA) proposed new Section 17F, dealing with incitement of religious hatred and ill will.
The provision takes up only three of the amendment Bill’s 60-plus pages, but its importance should not be underestimated. It refines a legal line that has been breached regularly over the past decade and a half, mainly in online speech. Three key features of this section are worth noting.