SINGAPORE: The police have concluded investigations into the imam who made controversial remarks against Christians and Jews, said Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam on Saturday (Apr 1) adding that the matter is now with the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).
"The AGC has almost finalised their views and they expect to come back to us by today. And once they come back to us with their position in law, then we will decide what to do," Mr Shanmugam told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar organised by the Association of Muslim Professionals.
When asked when results of the investigations can be expected, Mr Shanmugam said: "My own sense of these things is that this will be within a few days, a couple of days, three to four days maximum, this should be dealt with."
The imam in question, Nalla Mohamed Abdul Jameel, made an apology on Friday, in front of Christian, Sikh, Taoist, Buddhist, Hindu representatives, as well as members of the Federation of Indian Muslims.
He said he was "filled with great remorse" over his comments and stressed that the supplication was not an extract from the Quran.
"As a resident here from a foreign land, I should have practised my faith in accordance with, and appropriate to, the social norms and laws of this country. I fully admit that my said actions have no place, wheresoever, in this extremely multi-religious and multi-cultural society," said the imam who is from India.
Lawyers Channel NewsAsia spoke to said that the imam's apology could be a strong mitigation factor if the case is brought before a court.
Mr Shanmugam said on Saturday that "lawyers will understand the significance of giving such an apology" but did not want to elaborate further as the matter has not been concluded.
Separately, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim said the imam's apology, done in front of other religious communities, shows a sense of unity in Singapore.
"It shows that the effort that we put in over many many years to build up ties between the inter-faith community is in fact bearing fruit, that they understand that this is just a mistake by one man, it doesn’t reflect the entire community," said Dr Yaacob on Saturday.
He added that it was a "great gesture" on the part of non-Muslim communities to come forward to accept the apology and to forgive and move on. "I think that’s something that we should cherish in Singapore.”