The Online Citizen "is a political association"

K Shanmugam (file picture)

SINGAPORE: The Online Citizen is not a passive website which simply hosts social or political commentaries by individuals, says Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam.

He adds that the Attorney General’s Chambers has advised the government that The Online Citizen is a political association within the meaning of the provisions of the Political Donations Act.

Mr Shanmugam was speaking in Parliament on Monday.

Nominated MP Viswa Sadasivan had wanted to know the principal considerations for the government’s decision to gazette The Online Citizen as a political association.

Replying, Mr Shanmugam explained that the website provides coverage, commentary and analysis of political issues and also organises on—line and off—line campaigns to change legislation and government policies.

The Minister assured the House that declaring The Online Citizen (TOC) as a political association will not impede its freedom of expression.

Mr Shanmugam said: "It has no impact on any activity TOC wishes to do and that is critical. So whatever netizens or others may think, look at what the consequences are. The consequences are.....TOC cannot receive foreign donations and anonymous donations of over S$5,000."

— CNA/ir