SINGAPORE: More than a dozen people who were convicted under a now-repealed law on gay sex could get their criminal records rendered spent, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Wednesday (Nov 30).
Based on the ministry’s records, 17 people who were convicted between 1988 and 2007 for consensual, private, homosexual acts between adults are still alive today, MHA said, in response to queries by CNA.
On Tuesday, Singapore’s Parliament voted to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises sex between men.
In his closing speech during the two-day debate, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said he would instruct his ministry to consider how the records of a “small number” of people who were convicted between 1988 and 2007 for consensual, private, homosexual acts between adults could be rendered spent.
2007 was the year the Government said it would retain 377A but choose not to enforce it.
“The significance of a spent conviction is that the individual will no longer have a criminal record for the spent offence. If asked whether he has a ‘criminal record’, the person can lawfully answer no’,” said MHA on Wednesday.
Mr Shanmugam made those remarks in response to a question by Member of Parliament Louis Ng who had asked what would happen to individuals with existing records of convictions under 377A.