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Contents  

Long Title

Part I PRELIMINARY

Part II PRINTING PRESSES

Documents

Part III NEWSPAPER COMPANIES

Part IV NEWSPAPERS

Part V GENERAL

Legislative History

Comparative Table

 
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PART IV
NEWSPAPERS
No newspaper to be published without permit
21.
—(1)  No person shall print or publish or assist in the printing or publishing of any newspaper in Singapore unless the chief editor or the proprietor of the newspaper has previously obtained a permit granted by the Minister authorising the publication thereof, which permit the Minister may in his discretion grant, refuse or revoke, or grant subject to conditions to be endorsed thereon.
[19/90]
(2)  No permit shall be granted to the chief editor or the proprietor of any newspaper whose publication will constitute an offence under section 8.
[19/90]
(3)  Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Minister may —
(a)
direct that the newspaper shall be printed in such language as may be specified in the permit; and
(b)
before granting the permit require the applicant to execute a bond with or without sureties to secure the payment of any penalties which may be imposed upon the newspaper company, proprietor or editor of the newspaper under this Act or under any other written law.
(4)  Every such permit unless sooner revoked shall ordinarily be for one year from the date of its issue, and may be renewed for further periods not exceeding 12 months in respect of each renewal.
[19/90]
(5)  Notice of the withdrawal of a permit to publish a newspaper shall be published in the Gazette.
[6/77]
(6)  The Minister may make rules prescribing the particulars to be supplied by an applicant for a permit under this section.
(7)  A permit under this section shall be in addition to any licence granted under section 3 in respect of the printing press at which any newspaper is to be printed.
(8)  Any person dissatisfied with any decision of the Minister or with any condition imposed by the Minister under this section may appeal to the President whose decision shall be final.
(9)  Any person who contravenes this section or fails to comply with any condition attached to the grant of a permit under this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to the penalty prescribed by section 35.
(10)  This section shall not apply to any offshore newspaper within the meaning of section 23.
[14
[19/90]
Permit required for sale and distribution in Singapore of newspapers printed or published in Malaysia
22.
—(1)  No newspaper printed in Malaysia shall be published, sold, offered for sale or distributed in Singapore unless the proprietor of the newspaper or his agent has previously obtained and there is in force a permit granted by the Minister authorising the publication, sale or distribution of the newspaper in Singapore, which permit the Minister may in his discretion grant, refuse or revoke, or grant subject to conditions to be endorsed thereon.
[19/90]
(2)  Nothing in this section shall affect the publication, sale, offer for sale or distribution of any newspaper in respect of which a permit has been granted under section 21.
(3)  Every such permit shall have effect only in respect of the proprietor to whom it was granted and shall unless sooner revoked ordinarily be for one year from the date of its issue, and may be renewed for further periods of 12 months.
(4)  It shall be a condition of the grant of any permit under this section that any newspaper to which it refers shall have printed legibly in the English or Malay language on its first or last printed leaf —
(a)
the name and address of its printer and its publisher;
(b)
the place or places where it is printed and published; and
(c)
an address within Singapore for the service of legal process upon the printer and the publisher or of a person or persons authorised by the printer and the publisher to accept service on their behalf.
(5)  The Minister may in his discretion impose as conditions of the grant of a permit that the proprietor shall —
(a)
establish and maintain a place of business within Singapore;
(b)
appoint persons within Singapore authorised to accept service of any notice or legal process on his behalf and on behalf of the printer or the publisher; and
(c)
furnish the Registrar with the names and addresses of the persons so appointed.
(6)  Notice of the grant, refusal or revocation of a permit to sell and distribute a newspaper shall be published in the Gazette.
(7)  Any person dissatisfied with the decision of the Minister as to the grant, refusal or revocation of a permit or with any condition imposed by the Minister as a condition of the grant of a permit under this section may appeal to the President whose decision shall be final.
[15
Permit required for sale and distribution in Singapore of offshore newspapers
23.
—(1)  No person shall sell or distribute, or import for or possess for sale or distribution any offshore newspaper in Singapore unless there is in force a permit granted by the Minister to the proprietor of the newspaper or his agent authorising the sale or distribution of that newspaper in Singapore.
[19/90]
(2)  The Minister may grant the permit subject to such conditions as he may impose or may refuse to grant or revoke the permit without assigning any reason.
[19/90]
(3)  Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), the Minister may in imposing conditions under that subsection —
(a)
specify that the maximum number of copies for each issue of the newspaper which may be sold or distributed in Singapore shall be determined from time to time by the Minister;
(b)
require the proprietor of the newspaper to appoint a person within Singapore authorised to accept service of any notice or legal process on his behalf and on behalf of the publisher and to furnish the Registrar with the name and address of the person so appointed; and
(c)
require the proprietor of the newspaper to furnish to the Registrar a deposit or some other form of security of such amount as the Minister may determine for the purpose of meeting any liability or costs arising out of any legal proceedings in connection with the publication of the newspaper.
[19/90]
(4)  Every such permit shall have effect only in respect of the proprietor to whom it was granted and shall unless sooner revoked ordinarily be for one year from the date of its issue, and may be renewed for further periods not exceeding 12 months in respect of each renewal.
[19/90]
(5)  Notice of the grant or revocation of a permit to sell or distribute an offshore newspaper shall be published in the Gazette.
[19/90; S 92/97]
(6)  In any proceedings under this section, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, that any person found in possession of more than 5 copies of the same issue of an offshore newspaper had possession of them for sale or distribution.
[19/90]
(7)  In this section —
(a)
“offshore newspaper” means a newspaper published outside Singapore at intervals not exceeding one week which contains news, intelligence, reports of occurrences, or any remarks, observations or comments, pertaining to the politics and current affairs of any country in South-East Asia, except where the circulation of every issue of the newspaper in Singapore is less than 300 copies;
(b)
for the purposes of paragraph (a), a newspaper is published outside Singapore if, and only if, its contents and editorial policy are determined outside Singapore.
[19/90]
(8)  This section shall not apply to any newspaper in respect of which there is in force a permit granted under section 22 or to any copy of a newspaper reproduced with the approval of the Minister under section 25.
[16
[19/90]
Declared foreign newspapers
24.
—(1)  The Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, declare any newspaper published outside Singapore to be a newspaper engaging in the domestic politics of Singapore.
[22/86]
(2)  No person shall, without the prior approval of the Minister, sell or distribute or import for or possess for sale or distribution any declared foreign newspaper.
[22/86]
(3)  The Minister may grant his approval under subsection (2) subject to such conditions as he may impose or may refuse to grant or revoke such approval without assigning any reason.
[22/86]
(4)  The Minister may restrict the sale or distribution of each issue of any declared foreign newspaper granted approval under subsection (2) to such number of copies as he thinks fit, and may require such copies to be marked in such manner as he may direct.
[22/86]
(5)  Any person who contravenes subsection (2) or fails to comply with any of the conditions imposed under subsection (3) or who sells or distributes any copy of a declared foreign newspaper which is not marked in accordance with subsection (4) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both.
[22/86; 20/2002]
(6)  In any proceedings under this section, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, that any person found in possession of more than 5 copies of the same issue of a declared foreign newspaper had possession of them for sale or distribution.
[17
[22/86]
Prohibition on reproduction of declared foreign newspapers for sale or distribution
25.
—(1)  No person shall reproduce for sale or distribution in Singapore any copy of a declared foreign newspaper without the prior approval of the Minister.
[4/88]
(2)  The Minister may grant his approval under subsection (1) subject to such conditions as he may impose or may refuse to grant or revoke such approval without assigning any reason.
[4/88]
(3)  Any person who has been granted approval by the Minister under subsection (2) to reproduce copies of a declared foreign newspaper shall not make any profit as a result of the sale or distribution of copies of the declared foreign newspaper so reproduced but shall be permitted to recover the cost of production and services connected with the sale and distribution of such copies.
[4/88]
(4)  Any person who contravenes subsection (1) or (3), or fails to comply with any of the conditions imposed under subsection (2), shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both.
[4/88; 20/2002]
(5)  Copies of a declared foreign newspaper reproduced with the approval of the Minister under subsection (2) shall not constitute an infringement of copyright.
[18
[4/88]
Examination of persons entering Singapore
26.
—(1)  Any person entering Singapore shall, if he is required to do so by the Registrar or any authorised officer —
(a)
declare whether or not he has with him any declared foreign newspaper; and
(b)
produce such declared foreign newspaper for examination.
[22/86]
(2)  The Registrar or any authorised officer may examine or search any person entering Singapore or any article which the person has with him for the purpose of ascertaining whether he has in his possession any declared foreign newspaper and may seize any such newspaper which is not marked in accordance with section 24(4).
[22/86]
(3)  Any newspaper seized under subsection (2) may be detained for so long as the Registrar or authorised officer considers necessary.
[22/86]
(4)  The Registrar or authorised officer may, if any newspaper seized under subsection (2) is a declared foreign newspaper —
(a)
confiscate such newspaper; and
(b)
in his discretion, destroy it or cause it to be destroyed or permit it to be sent to a destination outside Singapore.
[22/86]
(5)  Any person who fails to comply with any requirement made by the Registrar or authorised officer under subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.
[22/86; 20/2002]
(6)  In this section, “authorised officer” means any person authorised by the Registrar or any police officer or officer of customs.
[19
[22/86]
Power to examine packages
27.
—(1)  Any —
(a)
officer of a postal licensee not below the rank of postal superintendent;
[34/2007 wef 24/08/2007]
(b)
officer of customs;
(c)
police officer; and
(d)
other officer authorised in that behalf by the Minister,
may detain, open and examine any package or article which he suspects to contain any declared foreign newspaper and if such newspaper, which is not marked in accordance with section 24(4), is found in the package or article, the whole package or article may be impounded and retained by the officer who shall deliver it to the Registrar.
[22/86; 12/92]
(2)  The Registrar may destroy any declared foreign newspaper delivered to him under subsection (1) or may dispose of such newspaper in such manner as may be directed by the Minister.
[20
[22/86]
Subscription of declared foreign newspapers
28.
—(1)  No person shall subscribe to any declared foreign newspaper except through a distributor who is authorised by the Minister.
[22/86]
(2)  Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.
[21
[22/86; 20/2002]
Registrar of Newspapers
29.
—(1)  The Minister may appoint a Registrar of Newspapers and such Deputy Registrars and Assistant Registrars of Newspapers as he thinks necessary for the proper administration of this Act.
(2)  The Registrar shall be charged with the general administration of this Act and the exercise of functions imposed upon him by this Act.
(3)  The Registrar may authorise or appoint any person to assist him in the exercise of his functions and duties under this Act whether generally or in any particular case.
(4)  The Registrar and any person authorised or appointed by him under subsection (3) shall be deemed to be public servants for the purposes of the Penal Code (Cap. 224).
[22
Newspaper register
30.  The Registrar shall keep a newspaper register in books consisting of copies of the applications for permits and of the permits granted under section 21.
[23
[6/77]
Right to inspect newspaper register
31.
—(1)  Any person may search and inspect the newspaper register during normal working hours on payment of a fee of $1 for every such search and inspection.
(2)  Any person may obtain a copy of any entry in the newspaper register certified by the Registrar on payment of a fee of $2 for every such copy.
[24
Copy of entry in register to be evidence
32.
—(1)  Every such certified copy shall be received as conclusive evidence of the contents of the entry of which it purports to be a copy.
(2)  Every such certified copy shall in all proceedings, whether civil or criminal, be accepted as sufficient evidence of all the matters and things thereby appearing, until the contrary is proved.
[25