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Shanmugam: 5 S’pore citizens declared overseas political memberships under FICA

MHA Minister Shanmugam in a written reply to NCMP Leong confirmed that as of 1 March, five Singapore citizens have disclosed their foreign affiliations. He reiterated that under FICA, failure to disclose memberships in foreign bodies is an offence.



SINGAPORE: Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam on Tuesday (2 April) disclosed that as of 1 March, five Singapore Citizens (SCs) have disclosed their memberships in foreign legislatures or political organizations under The Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Act (FICA).

Minister Shanmugam emphasized that Singapore Citizenship and Permanent Residency applicants are required to declare their membership in professional societies, clubs, associations and other organisations.

However, the Minister did not elaborate further on the identities of the five individuals or the specific foreign organizations they are associated with.

He was replying to a Parliamentary Question filed by Mr Leong Mun Wai, Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) in a written reply.

Mr Leong from the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) inquired about the number of Singapore citizens who had declared their memberships in foreign legislatures and political organizations under section 79 of the foreign interference law as of the aforementioned date.

He also asked whether the Immigrations and Checkpoints Authority screens applicants for permanent residency (PR) and Singapore citizenship for participation in foreign legislatures and political organisations.

Minister stressed disclosure obligation despite no prohibition for SCs and PRs in foreign entities membership

In a separate query, Associate Professor Jamus Lim, Workers’ Party MP for Sengkang GRC, asked whether Singapore citizens and PRs are permitted to join entities like the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC, 中国人民政治协商会议) and Chinese Overseas Friendship Association, provided they register with the local authorities and their activities do not have political implications in Singapore.

CPPCC is the People’s Republic of China’s top advisory body that provides political and social advice to government bodies.

In response, Minister Shanmugam affirmed that there is no prohibition on membership by SCs or PRs in such foreign entities.

However, he reiterated the requirement for citizens to disclose their memberships in foreign legislatures or political organizations, emphasizing that failure to do so constitutes an offence.

He explained that this requirement is for the Government to have oversight of those who are members of foreign legislatures or foreign political organisations.

“(Singapore citizens) who join such bodies or are thinking of joining such bodies will need to be discerning as to whether their participation could potentially go against Singapore’s interests.”

The Government is particularly mindful of foreign affiliations of individuals who are politically significant persons (PSPs) under FICA, said the minister.

“FICA allows the Registrar of Foreign and Political Disclosures to issue a directive to any politically significant person to end an arrangement with any foreign principal, including membership of any foreign entity.”

“The Registrar can do so if he is satisfied that the PSP is undertaking, has undertaken or is likely to undertake an activity on behalf of a foreign principal, and that it is in the public interest that such a directive be given,” the Minister added.

HK-born Singaporean businessman became the first PSP declared under FICA

FICA, a law enacted to address foreign interference in domestic politics, was passed in Parliament in October 2021 and fully enforced on 29 December 2023.

Under section 79 of FICA, SCs who were involved in foreign bodies before 1 February 2024 are required to declare their participation under FICA by Friday (1 March).

SCs joining such bodies after 1 February 2024, need to declare their involvement within one month of joining.

On 26 February,  Philip Chan Man Ping, a 59-year-old businessman, became the first individual in Singapore officially designated as a Politically Significant Person.

The MHA in a press statement mentioned that Mr Chan should be designated as a politically significant person due to his activities being directed towards a political end in Singapore.

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.

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 marvellous 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.”

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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If Philip Chan was identified, all the rest should also be identified. As I have said in previous posts, is all this work necessary if the Home Ministry had functioned effectively in screening when dishing out citizenships? It seems like the MIW waste State funds in cleaning the shit they create themselves. It is much to do about nothing however it endangers the State.

Declare Your Assets: Next Opposition Campaign!!!! Or VTO.

I member of Tiger Tattoo on backside. Informal society. How need to register or not.
I think we interfere also, Shanmugam cannot do anything. Hahaha.

Obsessively concerned about “exterior/foreign” political influences and infiltration, whence most involved within the local political scene or holding key and sensitive positions within the judiciary or communications, … are mostly and predominantly their very own “kaki lang” anyways, … bar the odd few members of the opposition and the committed activists and opposing voices to the decades long regime !!! Wouldn’t a full declaration of one’s assets and “other” income prove just as, if not, far more helpful, … in furthering one’s “insight” into those in “politics” as to their “streams and sources” of income !!! But, of course, …… Read more »