Setting of bail conditions
Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on setting of bail conditions
Parliamentary Sitting: 2 August 2023
Ms Hazel Poa: To ask the Prime Minister (a) under what circumstances are persons on bail allowed to leave Singapore; (b) since 2022, how many persons on bail have been granted permission to leave Singapore; (c) beyond a high bail amount, what steps are taken to reduce the flight risks of such persons; and (d) whether a person’s income and net worth are considered when bail amounts are set.
Written Reply by Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Education and Minister-in-charge of the Public Service:
1. The purpose of bail is to secure the attendance of the person arrested or charged. The quantum of bail varies according to the specific circumstances of each case. Bail conditions, such as a requirement for the person to surrender his passport, may also be imposed.
2. When setting the quantum of bail and the conditions to be imposed, the law enforcement agency and the Courts consider a variety of factors to assess the flight risk of the accused. These include:
a. the gravity of the alleged offence;
b. the extent of the person’s roots in Singapore; and
c. whether the person has attempted to abscond previously.
3. A person’s background, employment history and financial position are relevant considerations for assessing his flight risk. For example, the fact that a person is employed in Singapore and has assets here is evidence of his roots in Singapore. This would weigh in favour of a lower flight risk. However, the person’s background, employment history and financial position are just some of the many factors considered in determining flight risk.
4. Persons on bail may be allowed to leave Singapore if they are granted permission to do so by the law enforcement agency (for agency bail) or the Court (for Court bail).
5. The main consideration is whether the person will return to Singapore, if granted permission to leave. Apart from the general factors considered in assessing flight risk, the factors considered in deciding whether permission should be granted include:
a. the reason for travel;
b. the intended destination; and
c. the duration and expected date of departure and return to Singapore.
6. If permission is granted, the bail quantum may be increased, and additional bail conditions may also be imposed, to prevent absconding. These bail conditions may include a requirement that:
a. The person furnishes a complete itinerary of his travel, including where he would be staying and his contact number while overseas, before departing Singapore; and
b. The person remains contactable by the Investigation Officer when he is overseas.
The number of persons on bail who are granted permission to leave Singapore is not specifically tracked. It is not uncommon for persons on bail to apply for permission to leave Singapore, and for permission to be granted if the law enforcement agency or the Court is satisfied that the person will return to Singapore.