Draft law proposes more checks in registration of new societies

Draft law proposes more checks in registration of new societies

SINGAPORE: According to a new proposed Bill, new societies that would have been quickly registered may have their applications denied if it is determined that they pose an immediate threat to Singapore’s security.

In accordance with draft amendments to the Societies Act that were presented to parliament on Monday( Sep 18 ), the Registrar-of-Societies would also be permitted to request additional information from new societies applying to register through the automatic route.

As long as their program satisfies conventional needs, such as paying the required payment, the proposed measures would be applicable to societies that are already automatically registered.

Now, there are two ways to register new cultures: the automatic way for” non-specified” cultures and the regular way, both of which are listed in the Schedule of the Societies Act.

According to a press release from the Ministry of Home Affairs( MHA ), the automatic route was made available in 2004 to make it easier to register non-specified societies that typically pose no threats to national interests or security.

Applications from particular societies, on the other hand, come through a more thorough vetting and evaluation process that may call for many rounds of applicant clarification.

Social organizations and societies that support or discuss issues pertaining to church, any racial group, vocabulary, nationality, and civil and political rights are examples of specialized societies.

Additionally, they include civilizations established under the direction of a foreign state or an organization whose primary source of funding is outside of Singapore.

Societies associated with controlled substances, gaming, and paid physical services are also regarded as specified cultures.

About 280 enrollment programs have been submitted to the recorder over the past five years, with roughly equal numbers going through the automated and normal channels. Each year, an average of five uses were turned down.


MHA stated that there might be non-specified societies that pose a risk and shouldn’t be registered when describing the proposed changes to the computerized registration route.

Let’s say a group of people with cause for concern wanted to establish societal organization to represent the interests of cultural groups. However, they are aware that they would have to go about it the traditional way if they wanted to establish a culture that would advance the interests of that particular race, according to the ministry.

The secretary would be able to review the group’s application using the customary process, such as by posing questions to understand the societys’ goals and the makeup of its leadership.

” To avoid being questioned, this team tries to establish a nation with an innocent goal, such as an interest group in history.” The automated route, which will presently be approved instantly, could then be used to submit such an application, according to MHA.

If the secretary has cause to be concerned, the proposed revisions to the Bill would enable the register to make comments on all applications submitted, including those submitted via the automatic route.

If the Bill is approved, the registration will be able to reject applications if they are likely to be used illegally, endanger Singapore’s peace, welfare, and order, or go against regional interests or security.

Candidates who were turned down for the automatic way could file an appeal with the Minister of Home Affairs.

According to MHA, there may be times when the registration may require more details to determine whether a culture actually qualifies through the automatic route. The secretary would be able to conduct such inquiries under the proposed Bill, which is already prohibited.

The modifications are anticipated to go into effect in the first fourth of 2024 if the Bill is passed.