Internal Security Department (Singapore)

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Coordinates: 1°19′24.58″N 103°50′38.72″E / 1.3234944°N 103.8440889°E / 1.3234944; 103.8440889

Internal Security Department
Internal Security Department (Singapore) logo.png
Seal of the ISD
Agency overview
Formed 17 February 1966
Preceding agency
  • Special Branch, as part of the Malayan Security Service (1948)
Jurisdiction Government of Singapore
Headquarters New Phoenix Park, 28 Irrawaddy Road, Singapore
Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • Classified
Parent agency Ministry of Home Affairs
Website Official Site

The Internal Security Department (ISD; Chinese: 内部安全; pinyin: nèi bù ān quán jú; Malay: Jabatan Keselamatan Dalam Negeri; Tamil: உள்நாட்டுப் பாதுகாப்புத் துறை) is a domestic intelligence agency of the Ministry of Home Affairs of Singapore. It was formerly part of the Ministry of Interior and Defence until it was split on 11 August 1970. It has the utmost right to detain without trial individuals suspected to be a threat to national security.

The stated mission is to confront and address security threats, including international terrorism, foreign subversion and espionage. The ISD also monitors and addresses potential threats from communism, prevention of racial tension which might affect the public peace, domestic counterterrorism, international counterterrorism, fraud against the state, surveillance, apprehension of suspected militants or terrorists and protection of Singapore's national borders.

Most of its manpower is drawn from the Singapore Police Force.[1]

In 2004, it was placed under the National Security Coordination Secretariat to improve intelligence sharing with other national intelligence agencies.[2]


ISD was first established as part of the Special Branch in 1948 by the British colonial government. In 1963, it became part of the Malaysian Special Branch when Singapore joined Malaysia. After Singapore gained independence, Internal Security Department was formally established on 17 February 1966.


An ISD hotline number on a sticker alongside a SPF hotline number.

The powers of investigation and arrest of the ISD are regulated by several laws, including:[3]


These events are related to ISD and internal security of Singapore.

Known Directors[edit]

The identity of ISD's director is not conspicuously made known to the public, until he relinquishes the post. Many of ISD's former directors went on to take up higher offices, including:

See also[edit]


  • Lee Kuan Yew. (1998). The Singapore Story. Federal Publications. ISBN 0-13-020803-5
  • Mathew Jones, "Creating Malaysia: Singapore Security, the Borneo Territories and the Contours of British Policy, 1961-1963" in Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, Vol. 28, No. 2, May 2000. pp. 85–109
  1. ^ "SOC Listing Of Foreign Intelligence Services". Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2010. 
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  3. ^ "About ISD". Internal Security Department. Archived from the original on 21 July 2010. Retrieved 12 July 2010. 
  4. ^ ""Countering Threats", Ministry of Home Affairs". Archived from the original on 5 December 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2013. 
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  6. ^ ""Pastor called up by ISD", Straits Times". Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
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  19. ^ "". Retrieved 2017-09-04.  External link in |title= (help)
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  21. ^ New appointments for other permanent secretaries, The Straits Times, 13 August 2010
  22. ^ "". Retrieved 2017-09-04.  External link in |title= (help)
  23. ^ "". Retrieved 2017-09-04.  External link in |title= (help)
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External links[edit]