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Country Reports
SINGAPORE, Landmine Monitor Report 2000
LM Report 2000 Full Report   Executive Summary   Key Findings   Key Developments   Translated Country Reports


Key developments since March 1999: Singapore was one of 12 non-signatories to attend the First Meeting of States Parties, and one of 17 non-signatories to vote in favor of the December 1999 UNGA resolution in support of the Mine Ban Treaty.

Mine Ban Policy

Singapore has not acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty. The Permanent Secretary for the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Landmine Monitor in May 2000, “There has been no change to Singapore’s position on the Mine Ban Treaty (MBT).... Singapore will continue to support all initiatives against the indiscriminate use of anti-personnel mines.”[1] Singapore described its ban position in November 1999 at the UN:

“Singapore firmly believes that the legitimate security concerns and the right of self-defence of any state cannot be disregarded. Therefore, a blanket ban on all types of anti-personnel landmines might be counter-productive since some countries need to use anti-personnel landmines for their defence and security.”[2]

Singapore was one of 12 non-signatories that participated as observers in the First Meeting of States Parties in Maputo in May 1999, but its representative from the Ministry of Defense did not make a statement. Singapore has not participated in any of the intersessional meetings of the Mine Ban Treaty.

Singapore was one of 17 non-signatories that voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 54/54B in support of the treaty in December 1999. It also voted in favor of similar pro-Mine Ban Treaty resolutions in 1997 and 1998.

Apart from a Radio Singapore International program in April 1999 and an article in the March 2000 magazine BIG-O entitled “Where Singapore Stands on Landmines,” there has been little coverage of the landmine issue domestically.[3] The magazine article repeated major sections of the Singapore country report of Landmine Monitor Report 1999 without comment. A proposal to hold a public workshop on landmines in Singapore in 1999 did not proceed as the academic institutions and NGOs approached were unwilling to host such a forum.

Singapore is not a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and is not a member of the Conference on Disarmament.

Production, Transfer, Stockpiling, Use

Singapore was identified last year by Landmine Monitor as one of 16 countries in the world still producing antipersonnel mines. In May 2000, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated, “Chartered Industries of Singapore (now reorganised as part of ST Kinetic) is the only company in Singapore that produces APLs, for our own defense purposes only.”[4] The Ministry also noted that Singapore is not pursuing alternatives to landmines.

The government will not reveal the types or quantities of mines being produced by Chartered Industries of Singapore. The military trade press notes that Singapore has produced copies of several Italian antipersonnel mines.[5]

In May 1996, Singapore declared a two-year moratorium on the export of antipersonnel mines without self-neutralizing or self-destructing mechanisms. The moratorium was extended for an “indefinite” period and expanded to cover all antipersonnel mines in February 1998.[6]

Information regarding the size or content of Singapore’s stockpile of antipersonnel mines is not available. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states, “For security reasons, we can not discuss the details concerning the stockpiling or destruction of landmines.”[7]

There is no evidence of use of antipersonnel mines by Singapore’s Armed Forces.[8]

Mine Action

It appears that proposals for contributing to international humanitarian mine action programs have not been implemented and are still under consideration.[9] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states it is “not aware of any Singapore government organisation that has contributed to humanitarian mine action programmes,” but it is “considering the most useful way in which a small country like ours can make an effective contribution to such efforts.”[10] Singapore Army Engineers have not been employed in humanitarian demining activities outside Singapore.[11] According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “We are looking into R&D on sensor technology to improve the reliability and efficiency of mine detection.”[12]

The Singapore Volunteers Overseas Program is investigating the possibility of sending a number of volunteers to Cambodia for one year to work with landmine survivors.[13]


[1] Letter from Shamala Kandiah, for the Permanent Secretary, Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Landmine Monitor researcher, 4 May 2000.
[2] Statement by Major Kenny Lim, Singapore, “Singapore’s Explanation of Vote after the First Committee Vote,” 8 November 1999, provided as an attachment to the letter from Shamala Kandiah, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 4 May 2000.
[3] Radio Singapore International, 1 April 1999; “Where Singapore Stands on Landmines,” BIG-O (national monthly magazine), March 2000.
[4] Letter from Shamala Kandiah, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 4 May 2000.
[5] See Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 503-504. It cites annual Jane’s publications listing the Valmara 69, VS-50 (Singapore designation SPM-1) and TS-50. But, Jane’s Mines and Mine Clearance, on-line update, 18 November 1999, no longer lists the TS-50.
[6] Letter from Shamala Kandiah, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 4 May 2000.
[7] Ibid.
[8] In an 11 February 1999 letter to Landmine Monitor, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declares that no mines have been laid in Singapore.
[9] See Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 506 for details.
[10] Letter from Shamala Kandiah, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 4 May 2000.
[11] Telephone interview, Major Kenny Lim, Singapore Ministry of Defence, 12 March 2000.
[12] Letter from Shamala Kandiah, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 4 May 2000.
[13] Interview with Lee Mui Ngah, Assistant Director, Singapore Volunteers Overseas Programme, Singapore, 13 March 2000.