A bill which will allow Singapore authorities to remove apps was introduced in parliament Monday to provide police with broad powers to combat malicious online crime and scams.

If passed, the "Online Criminal Harms Bill" could among other things require app stores to remove an app from Singapore storefronts as well as demand online service providers to disable specified content.

Such orders could be given "when there is reasonable suspicion that an online activity is being carried out to commit a crime," the ministry of home affairs said in a statement.

It added that a "proactive approach" was needed to fight the scale and speed of criminals.

The bill is likely to be passed by parliament, similiar to most proposed laws in the strict city-state.

Last year, 33,669 scams and cybercrime cases were reported in Singapore, a 25.2 percent increase from 2021, according to the ministry.

Authorities also pointed out that in April last year, more than 30 suspected drug offenders were arrested in a police operation that was targeted at transactions conducted via encrypted chat apps.

The ministry said the proposed bill was the next piece in its "suite of legislation" to make the online space safer.

Singapore passed a contentious law two years ago aimed at preventing foreign interference in domestic politics.

Four years ago, the city-state passed a law combating "fake news", which gives government ministers powers to order social media sites to put warnings next to posts authorities deem to be false, and in extreme cases get them taken down.