Singapore. According to COUNTRYAAH, Singapore has a population of 5.639 million (2018). A Malaysian-registered tanker leaked outside Singapore in May following a collision with a cargo ship. Beaches were blocked off, but most of the roughly 2,500 tonnes of crude oil that leaked could be picked up from the sea. The Strait of Malacca is heavily trafficked; a quarter of the world’s freight transport is estimated to cross the strait.
One British author focused on the use of the death penalty in Singapore and on the sensitive issue of freedom of speech. Human rights groups believe that the authorities often use the courts to silence critics. Author Alan Shadrake was arrested in July, suspected of slander, when he came to Singapore in connection with the publication of a book on the death penalty. The 76-year-old author was sentenced in a first trial in November, for offending the judiciary, to six weeks in prison and a fine of just over SEK 100,000. In the book, Shadrake is critical of how the death penalty is applied. A further trial was awaited.
A terrorist leader who escaped from a Singaporean prison in 2008 but was arrested in Malaysia the following year was extradited to Singapore in September. Mas Selamat Kastari is appointed leader of the Singaporean branch of Islamist group Jemaa Islamiyya. He is accused of planning to hijack an aircraft and crash it at Singapore International Airport.