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Shanmugam: Singaporeans involved in foreign politics must declare under FICA

Minister of Home Affairs and Law Shanmugam mandates Singaporeans engaged in foreign politics pre-1 Feb 2024 to declare under FICA by Friday (1 March). NCMP Leong Mun Wai’s inquiry about a recent “politically significant person’s” citizenship details met Minister’s refusal, citing confidentiality policy.



SINGAPORE: Singapore Citizens who were involved in foreign legislatures and political organizations before 1 February 2024, are required to declare their participation under the Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Act (FICA) by Friday (1 March), as stated by Mr K Shanmugam, the Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law.

In response to a parliamentary question by Mr Leong Mun Wai, Non-constituency Member of Parliament from the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), Minister Shanmugam emphasized that Singapore Citizens (SCs) must declare their membership in such bodies to the Registry of Foreign and Political Disclosures under section 79 of FICA.

Minister Shanmugam on Monday (26 February) added that SCs joining such bodies after 1 February 2024, need to declare their involvement within one month of joining.

According to him, despite the deadline, as of 14 February 2024, there have been no declarations.

Minister Shanmugam advised individuals to make their declarations on the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) website:

Mr Leong asked the Minister whether the Ministry has data on the number of Singapore citizens who have participated in foreign political or legislative bodies both before and after the enactment of the FICA.

A recent development saw a 59-year-old businessman, Philip Chan Man Ping, being officially declared a “politically significant person” (PSP) under FICA by The Registrar of Foreign and Political Disclosures.

Mr Chan, a Hong Kong-born Singaporean who serves as the managing director of various real estate investment firms, received a notice on 2 February outlining the intention to designate him as a PSP.

The authorities had initially served Mr Chan with the notice based on his perceived susceptibility to foreign influence and willingness to advance their interests.

According to an MHA’s statement on Monday, the MHA reiterated that Chan should be designated as a politically significant person due to his activities being directed towards a political end in Singapore.

Mr Chan retains the right to appeal the decision to Minister Shanmugam without a specified deadline provided by the ministry.

In a separate oral PQ, Mr Leong sought information on when Mr Chan was registered as a permanent resident and naturalized as a Singapore citizen.

However, Minister Shanmugam declined to provide details, citing the ministry’s general policy of not disclosing such information for reasons of confidentiality.

“The Ministry may disclose the information when warranted by specific fact circumstances. ”

“In this specific case, the events which led to the designation of the individual took place much after his naturalisation; and we do not think it appropriate to make an exception to the principle of confidentiality, ” said Minister Shanmugam.

Mr Chan reportedly immigrated from Hong Kong in 1990

Mr Chan stands to be the first individual categorized under this provision since FICA’s enforcement in December of the previous year.

According to an earlier media report, Mr Chan immigrated from Hong Kong to Singapore in 1990 and has been actively involved in various other organizations.

Following MHA’s earlier notice to state its intention to designate him as a ‘politically significant person’, Mr Chan has resigned from his role as president of the Hong Kong Singapore Business Association (HSBA).

The People’s Association revealed on 2 February that Mr Chan has stepped down from all grassroots appointments, including as a patron of the Kampong Chai Chee Citizens’ Consultative Committee and the Bukit Timah Community Club management committee.

While the PA did not respond to queries regarding Mr Chan’s influence on grassroots activities during his appointments, it was noted that he had held these positions since 2014, as indicated on the SPD charity’s website.

As a prominent figure in business, Mr Chan holds managing director positions at several companies, including Wen Way Investments Pte Ltd, and has been instrumental in property investments across multiple countries.

His contributions to the business community and charitable causes, particularly among the Hong Kong immigrant community in Singapore, have been noteworthy.

In a March 2023 article on the Chinese news website 52hrtt (华人头条), Mr Chan was identified as an overseas representative at the National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.

During an interview with the website, Mr Chan said, “It is our duty as overseas Chinese to tell China’s story well, and to both spread and pass on the marvelous traditional Chinese culture while we are abroad.”

“As a member of the Chinese Singaporean community, I have had my articles published in Lianhe Zaobao, a mainstream Chinese media in Singapore. However, my influence is limited. Since we can only do little alone, we therefore need to be more united.”

First PSP declared under FICA’s new provision enforced since December 2023

Mr Chan stands to be the first individual categorized under this provision since FICA’s enforcement in December of the previous year.

FICA’s mandate is to combat hostile information campaigns and the influence of foreign proxies in domestic politics.

This designation, applicable to a range of entities, including political office holders and Members of Parliament, is based on Mr Chan’s activities directed toward a political end.

Under FICA, a person who is designated as PSP will be prohibited from accepting voluntary labour or professional services from non-Singaporean citizens.

Additionally, they are required to disclose any affiliations with a “foreign principal,” which includes foreign governments, government-related individuals, foreign political organizations, foreign public enterprises, or foreign businesses.

Furthermore, they are barred from receiving anonymous donations exceeding S$5,000 within a calendar year and must report donations of S$10,000 or more from permissible donors.

These transparency measures are designed to thwart foreign interference in Singapore’s political sphere.


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Hey Ando,
First Ask your PAP to Declare their Assets & Directorships?
FICA your own party members & cadres first, if cannot sit in one corner.

It’s rather naive to expect these foreign sanctioned agents to voluntarily declare under our law.They have to be flushed out.The one who was caught in the act only represents the “tip of the iceberg”. Given the ease with which citizenships were handed out over the last few decades there must be many more of such individuals operating within our society today.So sad to witness that such things actually happen in our once Sunny Singapore.

So please elaborate about that Polish prick that’s always meddling in our affairs?

Why is it the Critical Spectator and Nas Daily are allowed to flourish and con SGpns?

So which Politicians or countries still wanna accept the Panda Diplomacy. Happy happy use their Chinese outsiders to switch switch the climate … To shield their elites and their corruption.

So Shanmuggam, your rental still amount to corruption to me so I am a foreign interference or SG interference. Speak. I know you ppl are tracking me 24/7 .

I am Not for SG Loong and Wong Leadership. I am Not for SG CPF system. I am Not of SG media group who do not speak for the People. The media serve the Elite Masters. So am I a Foreigner Now?!? Answer Shanmuggam. Am I Not a Sgrean now?!?