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Contents

Long Title

Part I PRELIMINARY

Part II DONATIONS TO POLITICAL ASSOCIATIONS

Division 1 — Restrictions on donations

Division 2 — Reporting of donations by political associations

Part III DONATIONS TO CANDIDATES

Division 1 — Restrictions on donations

Division 2 — Declarations and donation reports

Part IV Obligations OF CERTAIN DONORS

Part V OFFENCES

Part VI MISCELLANEOUS

THE SCHEDULE Details to be Given in Donation Reports

Legislative History

Comparative Table

 
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PART I
PRELIMINARY
Short title
1.
—(1)  This Act may be cited as the Political Donations Act.
Interpretation
2.
—(1)  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“anonymous donation” means a donation which the recipient is (whether because the donation is offered anonymously or by reason of deception or concealment) unable to ascertain the identity of the person giving the donation;
“bequest” includes any form of testamentary disposition;
“candidate” means a person who is nominated as a candidate at an election or at a presidential election, and includes any person (whether or not a member of any political association) who, on or after the date of the issue of a writ for the election or presidential election, as the case may be, is declared, by himself or others, as seeking nomination as a candidate at that election or (as the case may be) presidential election;
“donation report” means a report required to be prepared under section 12, 18, 19 or 21;
“election” has the same meaning as in the Parliamentary Elections Act (Cap. 218);
“election agent”, in relation to a candidate, means the person named as his election agent under section 62(1) of the Parliamentary Elections Act or section 43(1) of the Presidential Elections Act (Cap. 240A);
“gift” includes bequest;
“market value”, in relation to any property, means the price which that property might reasonably be expected to fetch on a sale in the open market;
“nomination day” means the day of nomination at an election or presidential election, as the case may be;
“organisation” includes any body corporate (other than a body established by written law) and any combination of persons or other unincorporated association;
“permissible donor” means —
(a)
an individual who is a citizen of Singapore and is not less than 21 years of age;
(b)
a Singapore-controlled company which carries on business wholly or mainly in Singapore; or
(c)
in relation to a candidate, any political party he is standing for at an election;
“political association” means —
(a)
a political party or an organisation which has as one of its objects or activities the promotion or procuring of the election to Parliament or to the office of President of a candidate or candidates endorsed by the organisation; or
(b)
an organisation (not being a branch of any organisation) whose objects or activities relate wholly or mainly to politics in Singapore and which is declared by the Minister, by order in the Gazette, to be a political association for the purposes of this Act;
“presidential election” means an election under the Presidential Elections Act (Cap. 240A);
“principal election agent” has the same meaning as in the Presidential Elections Act;
“property” includes any description of property, and references to the provision of property accordingly include the supply of goods;
“recordable donation”, in relation to any donation report, means a donation required by this Act to be recorded in that report;
“Registrar” means the Registrar of Political Donations appointed under section 7, and includes any Assistant Registrar appointed under that section;
“reporting period” means any period for which a donation report is required to be prepared under this Act;
“responsible officers”, in relation to a political association, means —
(a)
in the case of a political association which is a body corporate, the persons for the time being holding the offices of chairman, managing director and company secretary, respectively, of the association, or any positions analogous thereto; or
(b)
in the case of a political association which is an unincorporated association, the persons for the time being holding the offices of president, secretary and treasurer, respectively, of the committee of the association, or any positions analogous thereto,
and includes any person carrying out the duties of any such office referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) if the office is vacant;
“Singapore-controlled company” means a company incorporated in Singapore, the majority of whose directors and members are citizens of Singapore or, in the case of any member being another company, where that other company is incorporated in Singapore and the majority of whose directors and members are citizens of Singapore, and where that other company has a member who is a company which in turn has a member who is a company and so on, where each of those member companies are companies incorporated in Singapore and the majority of whose directors and members are citizens of Singapore;
“writ” means a writ of election issued under section 24 of the Parliamentary Elections Act (Cap. 218) or, in the case of a presidential election, under section 6 of the Presidential Elections Act (Cap. 240A).
[19/2001]
(2)  Where a company has for the time being only 2 directors or 2 members, then, notwithstanding the definition of “Singapore-controlled company” in subsection (1), the company shall still be regarded as a Singapore-controlled company for the purposes of this Act if —
(a)
one of the directors is a citizen of Singapore; or
(b)
one of the members is a citizen of Singapore or a Singapore-controlled company.
(3)  For the purposes of this Act —
(a)
any money or other property which is transferred to a candidate, election agent or political association for a consideration which is less than the value of the money or (as the case may be) the market value of the property shall be regarded as constituting a gift to the candidate, election agent or political association, as the case may be;
(b)
anything given or transferred to any branch of a political association or to any officer, member or agent of a political association in his capacity as such (and not for his political activities or his own use or benefit) is to be regarded as given or transferred to the political association, and references to donations received by a political association accordingly include references to donations so given or transferred; and
(c)
any reference in this Act to the giving or transfer of anything to —
(i)
a candidate or his election agent; or
(ii)
a political association,
shall include a reference to its being so given or transferred either directly or indirectly through any third person.
(4)  For the purposes of this Act, any document or sum that is required by any provision of this Act to be sent to the Registrar shall be regarded as sent only when it is actually received by the Registrar.
(5)  For the purposes of this Act, any donation received by a candidate, election agent or political association by way of a donation by a trustee, in his capacity as such, shall be regarded as a donation received by the candidate, election agent or association, as the case may be, from a person who is not a permissible donor.
(6)  In this Act, “for the purposes of the candidate’s election” means with a view to, or otherwise in connection with, promoting or procuring the candidate’s election at the election or presidential election, as the case may be, including prejudicing the electoral prospects of another candidate at that election or presidential election.
Meaning of “donation”
3.
—(1)  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, “donation”, in relation to a candidate at an election or at a presidential election, means —
(a)
any gift of money or other property to the candidate or his election agent;
(b)
any money spent (otherwise than by the candidate as permitted by any other written law) in paying any expenses incurred, directly or indirectly, by the candidate or by his election agent or any person authorised by his election agent;
(c)
any money lent to the candidate or his election agent otherwise than on commercial terms;
(d)
the provision otherwise than on commercial terms of any property, services or facilities (including the services of any person) to the candidate or his election agent; or
(e)
the provision of any sponsorship in relation to the candidate,
which is given, spent, lent or provided (whether before or after he becomes a candidate) for the purposes of the candidate’s election.
(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.
Excluded donations
4.
—(1)  Notwithstanding section 3, the following shall not be regarded as donations:
(a)
the lawful transmission by a broadcaster, free of charge, of a party political broadcast;
(b)
the postage-free election communications provided to candidates pursuant to any written law;
(c)
the provision by an individual of his own services which he provides voluntarily and free of charge (even if they fall within the course of his normal work); and
(d)
any interest accruing to a candidate or his election agent or a political association in respect of any donation which is dealt with by the candidate, election agent or political association, as the case may be, in accordance with section 9(2) or 15(2).
(2)  In the case of a candidate, the following shall also not be regarded as donations:
(a)
any money or other property, or any services or facilities, provided out of public moneys for the personal security of the candidate; and
(b)
where the candidate is the President or Prime Minister, a Minister, Parliamentary Secretary or Member of Parliament, any remuneration or allowances paid to the candidate in his capacity as such.
(3)  In subsection (1), “broadcaster” means a person who is licensed under the Singapore Broadcasting Authority Act (Cap. 297) to provide broadcasting services.
Value of donations
5.
—(1)  The value of any donation which is a gift to a candidate, election agent or political association shall be the market value of the property in question.
(2)  Where any donation, being money or property, is transferred to a candidate, election agent or political association for a consideration which is less than the value of the money or market value of the property, the value of the donation shall be taken to be the difference between —
(a)
the value of the money, or the market value of the property, in question; and
(b)
the consideration provided by or on behalf of the candidate, election agent or political association, as the case may be.
(3)  The value of any donation, being —
(a)
any money lent to a candidate, election agent or a political association otherwise than on commercial terms; or
(b)
the provision otherwise than on commercial terms of any property, services or facilities (including the services of any person),
shall be taken to be the amount representing the difference between —
(i)
the actual cost (if any) to the candidate, election agent or political association; and
(ii)
the cost that would have been incurred by the candidate, election agent or the political association, as the case may be, had the loan been made, or the property, services or facilities been provided, on commercial terms.
(4)  The value of any donation, being the provision of any sponsorship in relation to a candidate or political association, shall be taken to be the value in monetary terms of the benefit conferred by the sponsorship in question on the candidate or association; and any such value conferred on the sponsor shall be disregarded.
(5)  Where a donation referred to in subsection (3) or (4) confers an enduring benefit on any candidate, election agent or political association during the whole or part of the relevant reporting period, the amount to be recorded in any donation report required to be prepared under this Act shall be so much of the total value of the donation (as determined in accordance with subsection (3)) as accrues during the whole or part of that relevant reporting period to which the donation report relates.
(6)  In subsection (5), “relevant reporting period” means —
(a)
any period for which a donation report is required to be prepared under this Act; or
(b)
2 or more such periods.
Acceptance, receipt, etc., of donations: general
6.
—(1)  Subject to the provisions of this Act, a donation is accepted —
(a)
by a candidate or his election agent if it is received and retained by the candidate or his election agent for the purposes of the candidate’s election; or
(b)
by a political association if it is received and retained by the political association for its use and benefit.
(2)  Where a donation is made to any candidate, election agent or political association by paying an amount into any account held by the candidate, election agent or political association with a financial institution, it shall be taken for the purposes of this Act to have been received by the candidate, election agent or political association at the time when the candidate, election agent or association, as the case may be, is notified in the usual way of the payment into the account.
Registrar of Political Donations, etc.
7.
—(1)  The Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint a public officer to be the Registrar of Political Donations for the purposes of this Act, and such number of Assistant Registrars of Political Donations as he considers necessary.
(2)  An Assistant Registrar of Political Donations may exercise all powers and may perform all duties of the Registrar under this Act subject to the general or specific directions of the Registrar.