Report on Laws and Regulations Governing Civil Society Organizations in Singapore
Prepared by: Siok Chin Chee*
- Establishment & Registration
- Government Supervision & Enforcement
- CSO Activities
Since the 1960s, the Singapore Government has systematically stripped people of their voices, as well as personal and collective power. This has been done by controlling all public institutions including educational, media, law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, and even using government organized NGOs (GONGOs). Civil society organizations (CSOs) that defend human rights and advocate democratic principles in Singapore are still in their nascent stages. Several groups have recently been established to advocate issues such as anti-death penalty, human rights, and democracy.
In order for their advocacy work to be carried out effectively, CSOs must not be intimidated or harassed by government agencies. They must have the freedom to express, associate and assemble. Although not unfettered, civil society actors must have the assurance that their activities are not unduly curbed by the authorities.
Article 14 of the Constitution of Singapore[i]
- (a) every citizen of Singapore has the right to freedom of speech and expression;
- (b) all citizens of Singapore have the right to assemble peaceably and without arms; and
- (c) all citizens of Singapore have the right to form associations.
These, are however, subjected to by-laws that pertain to national security and public order. In addition, section 5 of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) (Assemblies and Processions) Rules or MOR[ii] states:
Subject to paragraph (2), these Rules shall apply to any assembly or procession of 5 or more persons in any public road, public place or place of public resort intended —
- (a) to demonstrate support for or opposition to the views or actions of any person;
- (b) to publicize a cause or campaign; or
- (c) to mark or commemorate any event.
It is clear from the above that the Constitution is overshadowed or limited by the Rules. CSOs are afraid of conducting activities in public places for fear of running afoul of the law. Thus, CSOs have little choice but to restrict their activities and exercise significant self-censorship.
“Civic” society is a term preferred by the authorities in Singapore to suggest the role the citizenry can take in advocating active participation not so much in the realm of civil and political rights but more in promoting a sense of patriotism and nationalism. A Singaporean sociologist notes that “the difference between the two terms, 'civic society' and 'civil society,' is not some inconsequential play of words, but an indication of one's political stance on the appropriate balance in the relationship between state and society in Singapore.”[iii]
Another Singaporean academic writes:
“The term 'civic society' is used by the government to distinguish the people sector from most liberal conceptions of civil society as an associational space that is antagonistic towards a state that, by going beyond its charter to preserve peace and provide security, threatens individual rights, autonomy and self-determination. The more successful civic organizations, such as the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE), have had policy impact mainly because they have adopted a conciliatory or consensual approach to the government, lobbying behind closed doors and offering transparent and well-researched recommendations. On the other hand, a group consisting of socially conscious professionals, theatre practitioners and opposition party members, working towards establishing and upholding basic rights for the large pool of foreign unskilled domestic and construction workers in Singapore were in 1987 branded by the PAP government as dangerous Marxist conspirators and detained under the Internal Security Act. The PAP government's vision of civic society is a vision of a politically emasculated and feminized public sphere.”[iv]
As established, the Singapore Government does not encourage advocacy work done by CSOs, especially those in pursuit of democratic values and human rights issues in the city-state.
To be recognised as a legal entity, civil societies must register themselves with the Registry of Societies (ROS) under Section 2 of the Societies Act[v] (hereinafter “the Act”), which states that: "society includes any club, company, partnership or association of 10 or more persons, whatever its nature or object.”
Section 4 of the Act also states that: “ the Registrar shall refuse to register a specified society if he is satisfied that —
- (a) the rules of the specified society are insufficient to provide for its proper management and control;
- (b) the specified society is likely to be used for unlawful purposes or for purposes prejudicial to public peace, welfare or good order in Singapore;
- (c) the application for registration does not comply with the provisions of this Act or any regulations made there under; or,
- (d) it would be contrary to the national interest for the specified society to be registered.”
Despite Section 14, in practice there are several loosely-formed organisations that have not registered with the ROS. This is due to the fact that once these groups are approved as legal entities, they might be gazetted as political associations. The constraints of such a gazette are discussed further on in this paper.
Section 2 of the Act states that: “political association” includes any society which the Minister may by order declare to be a political association.” As such a political association is required to comply with the Political Donations Act (PDA).[vi] There is no known criteria in gazetting an organisation as a political association. The power to do so lies with the Prime Minister.[vii]
The Singapore Working Group for the ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism, Maruah, was recently gazetted as a political association much to its dismay. This makes Maruah the fourth organisation in Singapore to be gazetted as such.[viii] Another group, Singaporeans for Democracy (SFD) was established in 2009. Its registration was approved by the ROS in February 2010. At the point of approval, SFD was gazetted as a political association.[ix] Although, SFD states clearly on its website that it is “an independent non-governmental organisation that aims to advocate for civil and political issues related to democracy.”[x]
There are other advocacy and rights organizations that are registered with the authorities but are not gazetted as political associations. They include the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE), which is an organisation that advocates for gender equality and rights of women, and the Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2), which advocates for the rights of migrant workers. These examples show inconsistence of the implementation of the Act and the definition of “political association.”
Public Benefit Status
CSOs usually register as societies. If they wish to be registered as charities, their work must fall under one of the categories as mandated by the authorities under the Charities Act: (a) the relief of poverty; (b) the advancement of education; or (c) the advancement of religion[xi] (see reference for complete language).
Given the explicit and comprehensive definition of what constitutes a charitable organisation, CSOs that advocate human rights, social justice and democratic values do not fall under this ambit. All charities are exempt from paying tax. If charities meet certain criteria, they can register as Institutions of a Public Character (IPC).[xii] IPCs are tax exempt in that donors can write off their donations for tax purposes, while charities cannot. That is the only benefit of IPC status but it does impact favourably on the level of giving.
Charities and IPCs are also eligible for membership of the National Council of Social Service, which has benefits such as development capabilities and grant funding. To increase capacity and development in the voluntary sector, the National Council of Social Services set up the Volunteer Capabilities Fund that gives charities grants for consultancy such as drafting of human resource or financial procedures; computer and other hardware grants; and up to 80% subsidy for approved training courses for staff.
As charities are part of “societies,” charities are governed by both the Societies Act and the Charities Act.
Barriers to Entry
Singapore de-registered and banned two religious societies, Jehovah's Witnesses in 1972 and the Unification Church in 1982, making them unlawful societies.[xiii] Scores of Singaporean Jehovah Witnesses males who are compelled to serve in the military, have been detained in army barracks for refusing to carry arms or to swear allegiance to the state. In 1996, eighteen Jehovah's Witnesses were also convicted of meeting unlawfully in an apartment.[xiv] The 2003 US State Department Report on International Religious Freedom states that “the initial sentence for failure to comply with the military service requirement is 15 months' imprisonment, to which 24 months are added upon a second refusal. Subsequent failures to perform required annual military reserve duty result in 40-day sentences; a 12-month sentence is usual after four such refusals.”[xv]
In 1997, the ROS also rejected the application by a gay rights group, People Like Us (PLU), without providing a sufficient reason.[xvi] PLU remains an unregistered group, and it continues to operate. It is of importance to note here that under the Penal Code Section 377A, sexual intercourse or acts between two males is a punishable offence.[xvii] This probably explains the reason behind the ROS rejection of PLU's application.
There are, however, no expressed laws that prohibit the formation and operation of groups that do not register with the ROS, although Section 14 of the Act states that every unregistered society shall be deemed to be an unlawful society “provided that no society shall be deemed to be unlawful under this section if and so long as the Registrar is satisfied that —
- (a) it is organised wholly outside Singapore; and
- (b) does not carry on any activity in Singapore.”
There are currently groups such as PLU that operate without being registered. Thus far, there has been no legal action taken against these organisations. Although unregistered societies can be considered unlawful organisations, there seems to be an implicit acknowledgement that those unregistered societies that are not registered with the ROS do exist and carry out activities. However, as all public services and institutions are controlled by the government, it is difficult to directly acquire banking services, power supply, telecommunications services, etc without registration. As such unregistered CSOs usually appoint a trusted member to open a personal bank account. These CSOs would also sublet office space so that the utilities and telecommunication bills are made out to the landlord.
To register a society, the ROS requires that: “ for a society whose object, purpose or activity, whether primary or otherwise, is to represent persons who advocate; promote; or discuss any issue relating to any civil or political right (including human rights, environmental rights and animal rights), the majority of the Committee Members must be Singapore Citizens. In addition, the President, Secretary, Treasurer and their deputies shall be Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents. Foreign Diplomats shall not serve as Committee Members.”[xviii] It is also required that committee members form the governing body of the society.
Aside from the name, contact details of the society, and details of the committee members, the ROS also requires a copy of the society's constitution. The ROS also asks for information on sources of funding aside from that mentioned in the constitution.
There is no official mandated period for the ROS to review applications. According to the ROS website, the average registration processing time of such a society is two months. However, it took at least six months, several exchanges, and at least one meeting, before the registration of SFD was finally approved. The registration fee for a society of the civil-political nature is about SG$400 to SG$450.
Although there are no biased restrictions on the incorporation of societies or laws to prohibit certain CSO activities, the ROS can implicitly control a society's operational activities by a slew of prohibitions that it can insist upon to be included in a society's constitution. A member of the SFD said that the ROS had insisted on some prohibitions to be included in its constitution. Those prohibitions are:
- The SFD shall not engage in any trade union activity as defined in any written law relating to trade unions for the time being in force in Singapore.
- Only members may participate in any of the activities of the SFD or use the SFD as a channel of expression on matters of a political nature.
- The SFD is not a political party and shall not be affiliated to any political party, local or foreign. It will not allow the Society’s funds and/or premises and platforms (i.e. encompassing the new media) to be used in national, Presidential or Parliamentary election including the sponsoring of any candidate or member.
- The SFD and its members shall not receive or accept funds from organizations with foreign interest or ownership.
- The SFD may invite non-members to participate in its activities in Singapore. Such persons shall be Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents. The SFD shall not engage in activities inside or outside Singapore with foreign persons, groups or organizations which interfere in Singapore’s domestic politics or which subvert or undermine Singapore’s domestic laws or the sovereignty and integrity of its political processes.
- The SFD shall not raise funds from the public for whatever purposes without the prior approval in writing of the Assistant Director Operations, Licensing Division, Singapore Police Force and other relevant authorities.[xix]
The ROS is a department of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). As such the authority that has regulatory controls over societies is the MHA. While the ROS has power to refuse society registration applications, the Minister may dissolve any society.[xx] Section 37 of this Act also allows the Minister to “exempt any society registered under this Act from all or any of the provisions of this Act.”
There are several restrictions under the Act to which a registered society is subjected.
Information to be furnished by societies and persons responsible for supplying information under section 10 of the Act:
The Registrar or an Assistant Registrar may at any time by notice under his hand order any registered society to furnish him with any such information as he may require concerning the society or any documents, accounts and books relating to the society.
Section 12 of the Act lists persons who shall not act as officers of a society:
(1) No person shall act as an officer of a registered society or a branch thereof if —
(a) he has, while being a member of a society, been convicted for an offence involving the unlawful expenditure of the funds of the society; or
(b) he has been declared, in writing, by the Minister to be unfit to act as an officer of a society by reason of any conviction for a criminal offence other than that specified in paragraph (a), unless the written permission of the Minister to so act is first obtained.
(2) Any person who acts in contravention of this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $3,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.
The ROS has the power to mandate a society to change its name and rules under Section 11 A. It states, in part:
If the Registrar is of the opinion that the name of any society registered under section 4A —
(a) is likely to mislead members of the public as to the true character or purpose of the society or so nearly resembles the name of some other society as is likely to deceive members of the public or members of either society;
...(d) is likely to give the impression that the society is connected in some way with the Government or any public authority, or with any other body of persons or any individual, when it is not so connected, the Registrar may, at any time, by notice under his hand, order the society to change its name, within such time as is specified in the notice, to such other name as he may approve.
(2) The Registrar may, at any time, by notice under his hand, order any society registered under section 4A to amend its rules, within such time as is specified in the notice, in such manner as he may direct, if he is of the opinion that the rules of the society, if unchanged, would be contrary to national interest or prejudicial to the public peace, welfare or good order in Singapore.
Laws regarding public assembly and speech are applicable to CSOs under the Miscellaneous Offence Rules.
Under the Societies Regulations, a society is required to submit to the ROS its Annual Returns within a month after the holding of their Annual General Meeting, or if no meeting is held, once in every calendar year within a month after the close of its financial year. The information provided in the Annual Return should contain the latest update on the society and its office-bearers. The Regulations also require the current president, secretary, and treasurer to verify and submit the application online. Statement of accounts must be signed by the society's auditors or qualified company auditors.[xxi]
State Enforcement and Sanctions
Section 10 of the Act clearly states sanctions and penalties as follows:
- If any registered society fails to comply with the whole or part of any order given under this section, each of the persons mentioned in subsection (2) who has been served with the aforesaid order shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 unless he establishes to the satisfaction of the court that he has exercised due diligence and has failed to comply with the order for reasons beyond his control.
- If any information supplied to the Registrar or an Assistant Registrar in compliance with an order given under this section is false, incorrect or incomplete in any material particular, the person who supplied the information shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 unless he establishes to the satisfaction of the court that he had good reason to believe that the information was true, correct and complete.
Under Sections 26 and 27 of the Act, the power is given to the Magistrate or authorized body to enter a premise kept as place of meeting at any time. Under Section 28, the Magistrate or authorised body may also enter a premise, where unlawful meetings held, or books, accounts, etc., kept, may arrest and seize persons and property found.
Dissolution, Winding Up, & Liquidation of Assets
Voluntary dissolution of a society depends on the rules and by-laws that govern the operation of the society. As such the Act states:
7(1) Any registered society which proposes to dissolve itself voluntarily in accordance with its rules shall inform the Registrar in writing, and a certificate of dissolution, signed by the president, the secretary and the treasurer or officers of the society holding analogous positions, shall be sent to the Registrar within one week of the society’s dissolution.
(2) On receiving the certificate of dissolution, the Registrar shall, if he is satisfied that the society has been dissolved in accordance with its rules, publish a notification in the Gazette declaring that the society has ceased to exist.
Grounds for involuntary dissolution made upon the order of the Minister are based on the broad basis spelled out in Section 24 of the Act which in part reads:
Minister may order dissolution of any society whenever it appears to the Minister that:
- “any registered society is being used for unlawful purposes or for purposes prejudicial to public peace, welfare or good order in Singapore;”
- “the rules of any registered society which is a political association do not provide for its membership to be confined to Singapore citizens, and the society has failed without reasonable cause to amend its rules within 3 months of, and in accordance with, a direction from the Registrar to amend its rules for those purposes;”
- “any registered society which is a political association has such an affiliation or connection with any organisation outside Singapore as is considered by the Registrar to be contrary to the national interest, and has failed to satisfy the Registrar that it has taken appropriate action to sever that affiliation or connection within 3 months of, and in accordance with, a direction from the Registrar to take such action.”
The procedure according to the Act is found under Section 26 to 33 of the Act.
Civil society actors are reluctant to work with political activists to advocate their cause. This is largely because the existence and survival of many CSOs depend on the good graces of the Singapore Government. As such, CSOs tend to work in isolation and are not able to synergize efforts with other groups to achieve optimal results.
Expressive / Advocacy / Public Policy Activities
As mentioned in the Introduction to this paper, although the Constitution of Singapore guarantees freedom of speech, expression and assembly, these rights are severely curtailed under the MOR.
Several activists including the writer of this paper have been arrested, charged, tried and imprisoned under the MOR for assemblies and processions without permit. Several of the charges explicitly stated that the defendants were carrying out actions that were in opposition to the views and actions of the Government.
All outdoor political activities or what is deemed as such, are prohibited except at the Speakers' Corner. In a parliamentary sitting in 2008, the Minister for Home Affairs (MHA) proclaimed that the government had “stopped short of allowing outdoor and street demonstrations.” This was reiterated earlier this year in a written reply by the Minister that states: “The issue of political parties organizing outdoor activities has been raised several times before in this House. The government’s position remains unchanged. Police will not grant permits for outdoor political events. This is due to the assessed potential for public disorder which politically-driven events can lead to, even when this is not intended by the organizer.”[xxii] The Public Order Act (POA) was amended in 2009 to tighten the noose against public assembly and expression. Section 2 of the POA now reads:
"Assembly" means a gathering or meeting (whether or not comprising any lecture, talk, address, debate or discussion) of persons the purpose (or one of the purposes) of which is —
(a) to demonstrate support for or opposition to the views or actions of any person, group of persons or any government;
(b) to publicise a cause or campaign; or
(c) to mark or commemorate any event,
and includes a demonstration by a person alone for any such purpose referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c).[xxiii]
It is important to note that with this recently passed Act, an assembly by even one person is now prohibited. This law applies to a procession as well.
The POA also now “empowers law enforcement officers to prohibit persons from filming, communicating and exhibiting films of law enforcement activities which if exhibited will either endanger the safety of officers or prejudice the effective conduct of an operation.It will be an offence if a person wilfully disobeys the prohibition order given to him.”[xxiv]
Party political films, such as political party advertisements, films made by anybody related to politics, are banned in Singapore, as stated in Section 33 of the Films Act:[xxv]
Any person who —
- (a) imports any party political film;
- (b) makes or reproduces any party political film;
- (c) distributes, or has in his possession for the purposes of distributing, to any other person any party political film; or
- (d) exhibits, or has in his possession for the purposes of exhibiting, to any other person any party political film, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe the film to be a party political film shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years.
Communication & Cooperation
There is no law that prohibits CSOs from contacting, cooperating or networking with other organisations in Singapore. However, CSOs are extremely reluctant to work with the more vocal opposition political parties as they are afraid of being singled-out or marginalised by the authorities. This is especially so when many of them are registered entities and as such dependent on the tacit approval of the Government.
Political associations, however, do face restrictions from cooperating with foreign organizations, apart from receiving foreign donations under the Political Donations Act (PDA). It must be also be noted that the term “donations” as defined by the political donations act is not confined to funds. It also means:
(2) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, “donation”, in relation to a political association, means—
- (a) any gift of money or other property to the political association;
- (b) any money spent (otherwise than by the political association or a person acting on its behalf) in paying any expenses incurred, directly or indirectly, by the political association;
- (c) any money lent to the political association otherwise than on commercial terms;
- (d) the provision otherwise than on commercial terms of any property, services or facilities for the use or benefit of the political association (including the services of any person);
- (e) the provision of any sponsorship in relation to the political association; or
- (f) any subscription or other fee paid for affiliation to, or membership of, the political association.
Seeking / Securing Funding
The Political Donations Act (PDA) comprehensively explains the prohibitions in foreign funding for CSOs that are gazetted as political associations.
- Economic Activities: CSOs can carry out fundraising activities through the sales of merchandise but the appropriate licence, depending on the venue and the types of merchandise sold, must be applied for.
- Government Funding: Registered societies are permitted to compete for government funds, however, there is limited government funding for CSOs. Rather, through the National Council of Social Service, there are developmental and capacity grants (e.g. for office development, computers, etc.).
There is not only the pervasive fear of the law that exists in Singapore, but also the fact that all public institutions serve to further the influence of the government. As such, individuals and groups become extremely diffident to the authorities. It is easy for the government of Singapore to prosecute any individual or group using a myriad of draconian acts and laws that are in place.
In addition, the judiciary in Singapore is less than independent when it comes to trying cases that involve government dissenters. The International Bar Association in its 2008 report stated:
“The judiciary in Singapore has a good international reputation for the integrity of their judgments when adjudicating commercial cases that do not involve the interests of PAP members or their associates. However, in cases involving PAP litigants or PAP interests, there are concerns about an actual or apparent lack of impartiality and / or independence, which casts doubt on the decisions made in such cases. Although this may not go as far as claimed by some non-governmental organisations, which allege that the judiciary is entirely controlled by the will of the executive, there are sufficient reasons to worry about the influence of the executive over judicial decision making. Regardless of any actual interference, the reasonable suspicion of interference is sufficient. In addition, it appears that some of the objective characteristics of judicial independence, including security of tenure, separation from the executive branch and administrative independence may be absent from the Singapore judicial system.”[xxvi]
A group of Singaporeans have been pushing the boundaries of freedom of speech and assembly in the city-state. Several political activists have been arrested, charged, tried in court and imprisoned several times for procession and assembly without permits. The author of this report and several of her colleagues have served five prison terms from January to August 2010 for those charges. Given the heavy handedness of the police and the compliant judiciary, CSOs are fearful of carrying any advocacy activity in a public place except at the Speakers' Corner.
International support for CSOs and political activists is crucial. The Singaporean government is sensitive, to the point of being overly-defensive, to criticism from abroad. However, given the fact that the country strives to be the hub for business, financial, corporate, and medical industries, it cannot ignore criticisms of its draconian laws, the judiciary, the media and other public institutions.
Cooperation with CSOs from the region is also important. This is especially so when civil and political space in once-dictatorships such as Taiwan, the Philippines, and Indonesia, have made the transition to becoming democratic societies. Civil society actors in Singapore have much to learn from their counterparts in the region, given that the common thread of “Asian culture” runs through the region.
The rule of law and how it is selectively implemented by the authorities must also be addressed. Apart from the challenges that have been mounted by local activists, the legal community in Singapore and beyond must take an active interest in the judicial system especially when the government or state leaders are involved. Organizations, such as the American Bar Association, UK's Law Society, and International Community of Jurists, must lend their voices to the findings of the IBA's 2008 Singapore report.
One very practical way is to send trial observers to witness the trial of civil society actors and democracy activists who are prosecuted by the state for exercising their rights to assembly, speech, and procession. The report by the trial observers will serve as notice to the legal and judicial system that democratic principles must be practiced if Singapore wants to be considered an open, modern, “First World” society.
1. Constitution of the Republic of Singapore http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/cgi-bin/cgi_retrieve.pl?&actno=Reved-CONST&date=latest&method=part
2. Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) (Assemblies and Processions) Rules www.elections.gov.sg/agc/presidentialSubLeg10.htm
3. Politics of Society in Singapore, Terence Lee, Murdoch University.
4. “Civic Society” and the “New Economy” in patriarchal Singapore, Kenneth Paul Tan, 2001.
5. Societies Act http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/cgi-bin/cgi_retrieve.pl?&actno=Reved-311&date=latest&method=part
6. Maruah gazetted as a political association www.todayonline.com/Singapore/EDC101112-0000099/Maruah-gazetted-as-a-political-association
7. Singaporeans For Democracy gazetted as political association www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1035061/1/.html
8. Singaporeans for Democracy http://sfd.sg/content/ros-approval
9. Political Donations Act http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/cgi-bin/cgi_retrieve.pl?actno=REVED-236&doctitle=POLITICAL%20DONATIONS%20ACT%0A&date=latest&method=part
10. Singaporeans for Democracy http://sfd.sg/content/preamble
11. Charity Portal www.charities.gov.sg/charity/index.do
12. Institutions Of A Public Character www.charities.gov.sg/charity/charity/viewIPCs.do
13. US Dept. of State, International Religious Freedom Report 2003 www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2003/24320.htm
15. Christianity Today, Jehovah's Witnesses Jailed in Singapore for Meeting www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1996/january8/6t164b.html
16. Homosexual Rights as Human Rights: Activism in Indonesia, Singapore and Australia, Offord, Baden, Oxford: Peter Lang, 2003
17. Penal Code (Cap 224) http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/cgi-bin/cgi_retrieve.pl?actno=REVED-224
18. Registry of Societies www.ifaq.gov.sg/mha/apps/fcd_faqmain.aspx
19. Singaporeans for Democracy, Constitutionhttp://sfd.sg/content/prohibitions">http://sfd.sg/content/prohibitions">http://sfd.sg/content/prohibitions
20. Registry of Societies www.ifaq.gov.sg/mha/apps/fcd_faqmain.aspx
21. Ministry of Home Affairs, Home Team Speeches, 11 Jan 2010 www.mha.gov.sg/news_details.aspx?nid=MTY1Mw%3D%3D-Jtw%2F0PoZ7G8%3D
22. Public Order Act 2009 http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/cgi-bin/cgi_legdisp.pl?actno=2009-ACT-15-N&doctitle=PUBLIC%20ORDER%20ACT%202009%0A&date=latest&method=part&sl=1
23. Films Acthttp://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/cgi-bin/cgi_legdisp.pl?actno=2009-ACT-15-N&doctitle=PUBLIC%20ORDER%20ACT%202009%0A&date=latest&method=part&sl=1
24. Prosperity versus individual rights? Human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Singapore, IBA HRI Report, July 2008.
25. Ministry of Home Affairs, Home Team Speeches, 23 Mar 2009 www.mha.gov.sg/news_details.aspx?nid=MTM5OQ%3D%3D-3BtUG%2B2xe3A%3D
*Statements and views expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of the World Movement for Democracy, the National Endowment for Democracy, or the International Center for Not-for-Profit.
[i] Constitution of the Republic of Singapore http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/cgi-bin/cgi_retrieve.pl?&actno=Reved-CONST&date=latest&method=part.
[ii] Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) (Assemblies and Processions) Rules www.elections.gov.sg/agc/presidentialSubLeg10.htm.
[iii] Politics of Society in Singapore, Terence Lee, Murdoch University.
[iv] “Civic Society” and the “New Economy” in patriarchal Singapore, Kenneth Paul Tan, 2001.
[v] Societies Act http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/cgi-bin/cgi_retrieve.pl?&actno=Reved-311&date=latest&method=part.
[vi] Political Donations Act http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/cgi-bin/cgi_retrieve.pl?actno=REVED-236&doctitle=POLITICAL%20DONATIONS%20ACT%0A&date=latest&method=part.
[vii] Singaporeans for Democracy http://sfd.sg/content/ros-approval.
[viii] Maruah gazetted as a political association www.todayonline.com/Singapore/EDC101112-0000099/Maruah-gazetted-as-a-political-association.
[ix] Singaporeans For Democracy gazetted as political association. www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1035061/1/.html.
[x] Singaporeans for Democracy http://sfd.sg/content/preamble.
[xi] Charity Portal www.charities.gov.sg/charity/index.do.
[xii] Institutions of a Public Character www.charities.gov.sg/charity/charity/viewIPCs.do.
[xiii] US Dept. of State, International Religious Freedom Report 2003 www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2003/24320.html.
[xiv] Christianity Today, Jehovah's Witnesses Jailed in Singapore for Meetingwww.christianitytoday.com/ct/1996/january8/6t164b.html.
[xvi] Homosexual Rights as Human Rights: Activism in Indonesia, Singapore and Australia
[xvii] Penal Code (Cap 224) http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/cgi-bin/cgi_retrieve.pl?actno=REVED-224.
[xviii] Registry of Societies www.ifaq.gov.sg/mha/apps/fcd_faqmain.aspx.
[xix] Singaporeans for Democracy, Constitution http://sfd.sg/content/prohibitions.
[xx] This is discussed in detail on page 7 (see PDF version).
[xxi] Registry of Societies www.ifaq.gov.sg/mha/apps/fcd_faqmain.aspx.
[xxii] Ministry of Home Affairs, Home Team Speeches, 11 Jan 2010 www.mha.gov.sg/news_details.aspx?nid=MTY1Mw%3D%3D-Jtw%2F0PoZ7G8%3D.
[xxiii] Public Order Act 2009 http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/cgi-bin/cgi_legdisp.pl?actno=2009-ACT-15-N&doctitle=PUBLIC%20ORDER%20ACT%202009%0A&date=latest&method=part&sl=1.
[xxiv] Ministry of Home Affairs, Home Team Speeches, 23 Mar 2009
[xxv] Films Act http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/cgi-bin/cgi_legdisp.pl?actno=2009-ACT-15-N&doctitle=PUBLIC%20ORDER%20ACT%202009%0A&date=latest&method=part&sl=1.
[xxvi] Prosperity versus individual rights? Human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Singapore, IBA HRI Report, July 2008.