INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS AND NATIONAL INTERESTS
53. For the purposes of the conduct of any international telecommunication service by a public telecommunication licensee, and subject to this Act, the licensee may enter into direct communication, arrangement and agreement with the lawfully constituted telecommunication authority of any country or with any duly authorised international agency or organisation concerned with telecommunication matters for the purpose of providing facilities, fixing rates, arranging terms of payment or accounting, for operational, engineering or administrative purposes or for any other purpose necessary for the proper fulfilment of its functions.
54. Nothing in section 53 shall be deemed to abrogate the right of the Government at any time to determine its relations with any country or with any international agency or organisation and a public telecommunication licensee shall so discharge its responsibilities and conduct its business as to comply with and fulfil all international agreements, conventions or undertakings relating to telecommunication to which Singapore is a party.
55. A public telecommunication licensee shall be fully responsible for meeting all financial obligations arising from the operation of any international telecommunication service and shall settle accounts with other telecommunication authorities.
56. Where the Government considers it necessary that any telecommunication service of an exceptional nature should be provided, and where a public telecommunication licensee considers it uneconomic to provide the service without contribution from the Government, the Government may make such contribution towards the capital outlay necessary to provide any such service as may be estimated by the licensee and agreed to by the Government.
57. The Minister may direct a public telecommunication licensee to undertake and provide such telecommunication services and facilities as may be necessary for aeronautical, maritime, meteorological, governmental, defence or other purposes and upon being so directed, the licensee shall so provide the services or facilities, and shall be entitled to fair and proper payment therefor.
—(1) The Minister may, after consultation with the Authority or any public telecommunication licensee, give to the Authority or licensee, as the case may be, such directions as the Minister thinks fit as to the exercise by the Authority or that licensee of its functions under this Act.
(2) Without prejudice to subsection (1), if it appears to the Minister to be requisite or expedient to do so —
on the occurrence of any public emergency, in the public interest or in the interests of public security, national defence, or relations with the government of another country; or
in order —
to discharge or facilitate the discharge of an obligation binding on the Government by virtue of its being a member of an international organisation or a party to an international agreement;
to attain or facilitate the attainment of any other object the attainment of which is in the opinion of the Minister requisite or expedient in view of the Government being a member of an international organisation or a party to an international agreement; or
to enable the Government to become a member of an international organisation or a party to an international agreement,
the Minister may, after consultation with the Authority or any public telecommunication licensee, give such directions to the Authority or that licensee as are necessary in the circumstances of the case.
(3) Any direction given under subsection (1) or (2) may include —
provisions for the prohibition or regulation of such use of telecommunications in all cases or of such cases as may be considered necessary;
provisions for the taking of, the control of or the usage for official purposes of, all or any such telecommunication system and equipment; and
provisions for the stopping, delaying and censoring of messages and the carrying out of any other purposes which the Minister thinks necessary.
(4) Nothing in any direction given under subsection (3) shall apply to the use of any telecommunications for the purpose of making or answering signals of distress.
(5) The Authority and any public telecommunication licensee shall give effect to any direction given to it under subsection (1) or (2) notwithstanding any other duty imposed on the Authority or the licensee by or under this Act.
(6) The Authority and any public telecommunication licensee shall not disclose any direction given to that person under subsection (1) or (2) if the Minister notifies that person that the Minister is of the opinion that the disclosure of the directions is against the public interest.
(7) The Minister may —
pay compensation for any damage caused to a public telecommunication licensee by reason of its compliance with the directions of the Minister under subsection (3)(b); or
make grants to public telecommunication licensees for defraying or contributing towards any losses which they may sustain by reason of their compliance with the directions of the Minister under any other provisions of this section.
(8) Any sums required by the Minister for paying compensation or making grants under subsection (7) shall be paid out of the Consolidated Fund.
(9) If any doubt arises as to the existence of a public emergency or as to whether any act done under this section was in the public interest or in the interests of public security, national defence or relations with the government of another country, a certificate signed by the Minister shall be conclusive evidence of the matters stated therein.