Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Indonesian preacher Abdul Somad, 'known to preach extremist and segregationist teaching', denied entry into Singapore: MHA

SINGAPORE — Indonesian preacher Abdul Somad was denied entry into Singapore on Monday (May 16) because he is "known to preach extremist and segregationist teachings, which are unacceptable in Singapore’s multi-racial and multi-religious society", the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said.

Mr Abdul Somad, 44, had claimed on Instagram and YouTube that he had been "deported" by Singaporean authorities.

Mr Abdul Somad, 44, had claimed on Instagram and YouTube that he had been "deported" by Singaporean authorities.

SINGAPORE — Indonesian preacher Abdul Somad was denied entry into Singapore on Monday (May 16) because he is "known to preach extremist and segregationist teachings, which are unacceptable in Singapore’s multi-racial and multi-religious society", the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said.

MHA's statement on Tuesday came after the Mr Somad, 44, claimed on Instagram and YouTube that he had been "deported" by the Singapore authorities.

The ministry cited some examples of his extremist and segregationist teachings, including how he had preached that suicide bombings are legitimate in the context of the Israel-Palestine conflict and are considered "martyrdom" operations.

"He has also made comments denigrating members of other faith communities, such as Christians, by describing the Christian crucifix as the dwelling place of an 'infidel jinn (spirit or demon)'.

"In addition, Somad has publicly referred to non-Muslims as 'kafirs' (infidels)." 

On Monday, Mr Somad posted on Instagram a photo and a video of him claiming that he was being kept in a 1m by 2m immigration detention room before being "deported" from Singapore.

In another video posted on YouTube on Tuesday, he said that he had left Batam with his family and friends on a ferry and arrived at Tanah Merah Ferry terminal on Monday at around 2.30pm. 

He added that he told immigration officers that he was in Singapore for a holiday and was asked to point out his family and friends. He then alleged that they were then all taken into detention, only leaving the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal at around 6.10pm.

“I thought, ‘Singapore is such a small country. If everyone in Indonesia were to piss in the direction of this place, this country would sink'," he said when asked about his thoughts on being held in a detention room.

In the YouTube video, he also implored Indonesians to ask Singapore why he was "deported".

Following his comments, Mr Suryo Pratomo, Indonesia's Ambassador to Singapore, clarified that Mr Somad was not deported.  

"(Mr Somad) was not deported but did not get a permit to enter Singapore, so he was asked to return (to Indonesia)," the envoy told Indonesian news outlet Tempo.

In its statement, MHA said that Mr Somad was interviewed when he tried to enter Singapore, before he and the group of six with whom he was travelling were denied entry and placed on a ferry back to Batam on the same day.

"A visitor’s entry into Singapore is neither automatic nor a right. Each case is assessed on its own merits," MHA added.

"While Somad had attempted to enter Singapore ostensibly for a social visit, the Singapore Government takes a serious view of any persons who advocate violence or espouse extremist and segregationist teachings, or both.

"Somad and his travel companions were denied entry into Singapore."

Related topics

Indonesia MHA preacher religion entry immigration

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.