At first glance, the term ‘detained at the President’s Pleasure’ or TPP may seem like a strange combination of words but in reality, it’s a fairly simple concept.

Under Singapore’s Criminal Procedure Code, capital offenders under the age of 18 are sentenced to life imprisonment instead of TPP, and will have to serve a minimum period of 20 years before being reviewed for a possible release.

To know more about what constitutes an arrest, read this.

In one such case, a 15-year-old teenager who was involved in the highly-publicised murder of Anthony Ler’s wife in 2001 has been released after President Halima pardoned him.

Since 2012, three inmates detained earlier under TPP have been freed after being jailed for between 13 and 19 years. They were released before the 20-year mark because their offences were committed before the Court of Appeal’s decision in the case of Abdul Nasir Amer Hamsah on Aug 20, 1997.

In this case, the Court of Appeal ruled that “life imprisonment” meant imprisonment for the duration of the prisoner’s natural life, and not 20 years.

Before this decision, it was understood that life imprisonment sentences lasted for 20 years with remission, and a similar duration was used to review TPP detainees for release.

Another form of TPP administered by the Singapore Prison Service relates to people of any age acquitted of criminal offences after being proven of being of unsound mind at the time of the offence.

Such cases are reported to the Minister for Law, who may then make the decision that they undergo TPP detention.

There is no minimum period of detention, and their mental state is reviewed by psychiatrists twice a year. If the review finds that they no longer run the risk of dangering themselves or others, the minister may call for their release.

During detention, they may be released into the custody of a friend or relative who can guarantee security and care for them to prevent them from injuring themselves or others.

Our Criminal Lawyer, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu, has defended numerous clients over the years. With vast experience in Singapore’s laws, Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu will be able to provide valuable and timely advice for your situation. For more information, or if you have been caught in a similar situation, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

Leave Comments