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9 radicalised maids repatriated since 2015

SINGAPORE — Two more radicalised foreign domestic workers were uncovered by the authorities here recently, including the youngest case picked up since 2015, a 25-year-old planning to go to Syria with her foreign boyfriend to join terror group the Islamic State (IS).

Foreign domestic helpers at a maid agency. TODAY file photo

Foreign domestic helpers at a maid agency. TODAY file photo

Singapore

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Two more radicalised foreign domestic workers were uncovered by the authorities here recently, including the youngest case picked up since 2015, a 25-year-old planning to go to Syria with her foreign boyfriend to join terror group the Islamic State (IS).

The Indonesian had worked in Singapore for two years, Mr Desmond Lee, Second Minister for Home Affairs, disclosed on Tuesday in Parliament.

The other worker is a 28-year-old, from a different part of Indonesia, who had been working here for five years.

Including these two cases detected “a few months ago”, the Ministry of Home Affairs has uncovered nine cases of radicalised foreign domestic workers since 2015. All nine have been repatriated.

While noting that none of them had plans to carry out acts of violence here, Mr Lee said that the authorities “cannot condone support for any radical ideologies in Singapore — whether by locals or foreigners”.

The ministry is working closely with the Manpower Ministry to address the potential threat posed by radicalised foreign workers, Mr Lee said in response to questions from Members of Parliament. Among other initiatives, migrant workers are given an advisory telling them to stay alert, watch out for signs of radicalisation among their co-workers, and to report any possible radicalisation to the authorities.

Foreign domestic workers, in particular, are required to go through a “settling-in programme”, where they learn about the threats of radicalisation.

Mr Lee said: “We will do more, to sensitise our foreign workers to Singapore’s multi-religious social values. This will take place throughout their time working (here).” 

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