Candidate Services

When can I access Candidate Services?

ELD’s digital services for candidates will be open for use after the Writ for the election is issued.

Is my use of ELD digital services and the information I have provided to ELD kept private?

ELD’s digital services are to provide greater convenience to voters, political parties, candidates and their election agents. ELD only uses the data provided by users for the purpose of processing the transactions.

Qualifying Criteria

What qualifications does a person need to have to be a candidate for elections?

The qualifications a person needs to be a candidate for election depends on the type of election the person intends to run for.

For Parliamentary elections
A person is qualified to be a candidate for election as a Member of Parliament (MP) if he:
  1. is a citizen of Singapore;
  2. is 21 years old and above on Nomination Day;
  3. is registered as an elector in the current Registers of Electors;
  4. is resident in Singapore on Nomination Day and has been so for a total period not less than 10 years;
  5. is not subject to any of the disqualifications specified in Article 45 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore; and
  6. possesses a sufficient degree of proficiency in spoken English, Malay, Mandarin or Tamil and, unless incapacitated by blindness or other physical cause, be able to read and write at least one of the said languages so that he can take an active part in the proceedings of Parliament.
The qualifications and disqualifications for membership of Parliament are set out in Articles 44 and 45 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore.

For Presidential elections
A person is qualified to be a candidate for election as President if he:
  1. is a citizen of Singapore;
  2. is 45 years old and above on Nomination Day;
  3. is registered as an elector in a current Registers of Electors;
  4. is resident in Singapore on Nomination Day and has been so for a total period not less than 10 years;
  5. is not subject to any of the disqualifications specified in Article 45 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore;
  6. is not a member of any political party on the date of his nomination for election; and
  7. satisfies the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) that he has, at the date of the Writ of Election, met either the public sector or private sector service requirement and the period(s) of service that he relies on falls partly or wholly within the 20 years that immediately precede the date of the Writ of Election.
The qualifications and disabilities of the President are set out in Article 19, 19A and 19B of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore.

Preparing for Nomination

What is a Nomination Day?

Nomination Day is for the Returning Officer to conduct proceedings to accept nominations of prospective candidates to stand for the election. Successfully nominated candidates will proceed to campaign after the close of nomination proceedings, and voters will make their choice on Polling Day.

What documents do candidates need to submit on Nomination Day?

For Parliamentary elections (Single Member Constituency)
  1. Nomination Paper (in duplicate);
  2. Political Donation Certificate (in duplicate);
  3. Election deposit receipt (as evidence of having paid).

For Parliamentary elections (Group Representation Constituency)
  1. Nomination Paper (in duplicate);
  2. Political Donation Certificate (in duplicate);
  3. For a minority candidate in a GRC, at least one Certificate of the Malay Community or Certificate of the Indian and Other Minority Communities Committee (in duplicate); and
  4. Election deposit receipt (as evidence of having paid).

For Presidential elections
Key documents required for Presidential Elections
  1. Nomination Paper (in duplicate);
  2. Certificate of Eligibility issued by the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) (in duplicate);
  3. Community Certificate issued by the Community Committee (or in an open election, in lieu of the Community Certificate, the written decision of the Committee rejecting the application; or the Committee’s written notification that the community declaration that did not include an application for a Community Certificate is accepted and a statutory declaration stating that the applicant does not consider himself to belong to the Chinese community, the Malay community or the Indian or other minority communities)(in duplicate)
  4. Political Donation Certificate (in duplicate); and
  5. Election deposit receipt (as evidence of having paid).

What is a Certificate of Malay Community Committee?

The certificate issued by the Malay Community Committee certifies that a person belongs to the Malay community.

What is a Certificate of Indian and Other Minority Communities Committee?

The certificate issued by the Indian and Other Minority Communities Committee certifies that a person belongs to the Indian or other minority community.

Is a member of the Chinese community exempted from applying for a Chinese Community Certificate?

For Parliamentary elections
There is no requirement for a Chinese Community Certificate at Parliamentary elections.

A Group Representation Constituency (GRC) has 3 to 6 MPs. Each GRC is designated to comprise one MP from
  1. The Malay community; or
  2. The Indian or any other minority community.
This is to provide for minority representation in the Parliament.

For Presidential elections
A prospective candidate from the Chinese community needs to apply for a Chinese Community Certificate to contest at a Presidential Election.

The Presidential Election may be
  1. An open election which is contested by candidates from all races; or
  2. A reserved election for the Chinese community.

How much is the election deposit for elections?

Election Election Deposit
Parliamentary elections Fixed monthly allowance payable to an elected Member of Parliament for the month immediately before the date of dissolution of Parliament, rounded to the nearest $500.
Presidential elections Three times the election deposit for a Parliamentary election.

The exact amount of the election deposit is published in the Returning Officer’s Notice of Election.

When must the election deposit be paid?

An election deposit must be paid after the issuance of the Writ of Election and before 12 noon on Nomination Day.

How do I pay for my election deposit?

The election deposit must be paid by electronic funds transfer, bank draft, or by a cheque that has been certified by the drawee bank as good for payment of the sum stated on it, or in such other form or manner as the Returning Officer allows.

Payment can be made any time after the issue of the Writ for the election but must be made before 12 noon on Nomination Day.

Candidates are encouraged to make payment early before Nomination Day. They may do so electronically or at ELD.

Is the election deposit kept by the state?

The election deposit will be returned to the candidate if -
  1. He is elected as a Member of Parliament in the case of a Parliamentary election or President in the case of a Presidential election;
  2. He withdrew his nomination;
  3. He was not nominated;
  4. He dies before Polling Day; or
  5. He loses at the polls but gets more than one-eighth of the votes polled
    1. in the electoral division he contested in (for a Parliamentary election); or
    2. in the election (for a Presidential election)

What happens to forfeited election deposit?

If a candidate is not elected and does not secure more than 12.5% of the votes polled, his election deposit will be forfeited and this will be paid into the Consolidated Fund.

What is the role of an election agent?

An election agent manages and administers a candidate’s election expenses. He also assists the candidate to run for the election.

The Candidate Handbook contains more information on the duties of the election agent.

Nomination Day

Who may be present during nomination proceedings on Nomination Day?

On Nomination Day, only the following persons are allowed to be present during nomination proceedings:
  1. The Returning Officer, his staff and any other person authorised by the Returning Officer;
  2. The prospective candidates and their respective proposers, seconders and assentors; and
  3. One other person appointed in writing.

Can a candidate be nominated in more than one electoral division?

A person cannot be nominated in more than one electoral division, or more than once in the same electoral division. He must withdraw all but one nomination in person and before 12 noon.

Where can I find a list of nominated candidates?

The names of successfully nominated candidates will be gazetted after the close of nomination proceedings on Nomination Day. The gazettes on ELD website are here.

Campaigning

When is the campaigning period?

The campaigning period starts from the close of nomination, and up to the start of Cooling-off Day (which is the eve of Polling Day).

What are candidates allowed to do during the campaigning period?

Candidates may do the following, with appropriate license or permits:
  1. House-to-house visits;
  2. Distribute pamphlets, handouts, newsletters etc.;
  3. Display posters and banners;
  4. Use of private vehicles (motorised or otherwise) for election advertising purposes e.g. fitted with loudspeakers and/or adorned with elections-related posters and banners; and
  5. Advertising on the Internet.
Political parties and candidates may conduct walkabouts and door-to-door campaigning. Based on the safe distancing guidelines for Phase 2, any group doing a walkabout or door-to-door campaigning should be made up of not more than five persons, there should be no mixing between groups, and each group should remain at least one metre apart from other groups. During such activities, they are to take the necessary precautions, e.g. adhering to limits on group size, wearing masks, maintaining safe distancing, keeping all interactions and engagements transient (i.e. of short duration) and minimising physical contact, such as refraining from shaking hands. Candidates and political parties should also ensure that the members of the public they interact with adhere to prevailing safe distancing measures.

Why is there a limit on the amount that can be spent by a candidate on his election campaign?

This is to ensure a level-playing field and prevent "money politics".

How much may a candidate spend on his election campaign?

For Parliamentary elections
The spending limit is $4 for each registered voter in the electoral division.

For Presidential elections
The spending limit is either
  1. $600,000; or
  2. 30 cents per registered voter, whichever is higher.

Does the term "election expenses" refer only to expenses incurred during an election?

Under the law, election expenses refer to expenses incurred for the election. These may be incurred before, during or after the election.

What constitutes "Internet Election Advertising" (IEA)?

Election advertising is defined under the Parliamentary Elections Act as any material that can reasonably be regarded as intended to promote or procure the electoral success at any election for one or more identifiable political parties, candidates or groups of candidates; or to otherwise enhance the standing of any such political parties, candidates or groups of candidates with the electorate in connection with any election. This includes prejudicing the electoral prospects at the election of other political parties, candidates or groups of candidates or (as the case may be) by prejudicing the standing with the electorate of other political parties, candidates or groups of candidates.

IEA refers to election advertising published on Internet platforms or using relevant communication services. This includes election advertising published on websites, social media platforms, chat rooms or discussion forums, content sharing services, or published using email, instant messaging services, SMS services or MMS services.

Can candidates use paid Internet Election Advertising (IEA) during the campaign period?

Yes, as long as candidates declare beforehand to the Returning Officer their use of paid IEA and adhere to the transparency requirements for paid IEA when publishing.

What do candidates need to declare to the Returning Officer (RO) if they are using paid Internet Election Advertising (IEA)?

Candidates are required to submit an online declaration to the RO within 12 hours after the start of the campaign period, stating all the platforms they are using for IEA (whether paid or unpaid), and to subsequently declare any additional new platforms before using them. If candidates are using paid IEA, they need to additionally declare accordingly to the RO, and provide further information on:
  1. the type of services used (e.g. advertisement on a social media platform, blog advertorial within a website);
  2. the publisher of the paid IEA;
  3. the period that the paid IEA will appear;
  4. whether money was received for the placement of the paid IEA from the candidate, his election agent, his political party or any other person.
Click here for screenshots for declaration of IEA platform/account & paid election advertising.

Why do candidates need to declare to the Returning Officer their source of funding for paid IEA?

This is to ensure greater transparency and accountability on the candidates’ part. The expenses for authorised paid IEA would also count towards the candidates’ expense limits.

Can any individual (non-candidate, non-election agent) publish Internet Election Advertising (IEA) on his own accord?

During an election period, any individual, who is a Singapore Citizen, may publish unpaid IEA on his own accord, except on Cooling-Off Day and Polling Day.

Can any individual (non-candidate, non-election agent) publish paid Internet Election Advertising (IEA) on his own accord?

From the start of the campaign period, these third parties should seek authorisation from the candidates or the elections agents before publishing or sponsoring publishing of IEA.

What are the transparency requirements for paid Internet Election Advertising (IEA)? What is the acceptable format of details to be shown on the face of every paid IEA? What happens if all the words cannot fit onto a small ad?

The Parliamentary Elections (Election Advertising) Regulations do not specify the dimensions of the relevant particulars (name of the publisher and the name of every person for whom or at whose direction the election advertising is published) to be displayed on the IEA, but the relevant particulars should be clearly displayed in the advertising. However, if the paid IEA is too small to include the relevant particulars in a legible manner, the IEA if clickable must allow the viewer to be taken to a landing or homepage that prominently displays the relevant particulars. If the IEA is not clickable, the relevant particulars must be prominently displayed on a clearly identifiable website that the election advertising was drawn from.

Candidates who use paid IEA have to ensure that the placement of the election advertising include a message or statement to indicate that the IEA has been sponsored, using words like "Sponsored by" or "Paid for by" and the name of the person who paid for the ad.

Do candidates need to remove paid IEA that was put up before the campaign period?

Candidates do not need to remove any IEA, paid or unpaid, put up before the campaign period as long as the required declaration is made from Nomination Day and the advertisement complies with the Parliamentary Elections (Election Advertising) Regulations. If candidates intend to use earlier published IEA during the campaign period, they would need to ensure that they declare the platforms or accounts used to the Returning Officer accordingly. For paid IEA, they would need to declare the period that the IEA would appear, the publisher and source of funding.

Are candidates allowed to send personalised election mailers to potential voters?

Under the law, candidates and political parties are allowed to buy a copy of the Registers of Electors and use the information to communicate with voters. However, they cannot use the information for commercial purposes.

Candidates who collect, use or disclose the personal data of individuals must comply with the provisions under the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). Candidates may also refer to the Advisory Guidelines on Application of PDPA to Election Activities published by the Personal Data Protection Commission.

What are the rules on displaying election posters and banners for campaigning?

Posters and banners must only be written, printed, drawn or otherwise similarly depicted on paper, plastic, cardboard, cloth or other similar medium. All other types of posters and banners are not authorised to be displayed under the permit.

Before display, candidates must lodge a copy of each election poster and banner with the Returning Officer.

The display of election posters and banners must comply with the rules stated in the Returning Officer’s permit. Each poster and banner on display must
  1. not contain illegal content such as seditious materials or materials that may cause alarm and distress for such display of posters and banners;
  2. be affixed with a stamp issued by the Returning Officer and must display the name of the printer, publisher and the person at whose direction or for whom the election advertising is published;
  3. display clearly the symbol allotted to or selected by a candidate or group of candidates to avoid ambiguity or confusion to the voter; and
  4. comply with the size, the total number and the type and manner of election posters and banners that may be displayed.

What is the limit on size of election posters and banners?

Posters and banners may take the form of small or large printed election advertising. Small printed election advertising refers to posters and banners that can fit within a rectangular area of 1.75m by 1.2m. Large printed election advertising refers to banners that cannot fit within a rectangular area of 1.75m by 1.2m, but can fit within a rectangular area of 9m by 1.2m.

How are flags that are triangular in shape considered since the dimensions used are rectangular?

A flag that is triangular in shape (or of any other shape) is considered a small printed election advertising if it can fit within a rectangular area of 1.75m by 1.2m.

It is considered a large printed election advertising if it cannot fit within a rectangular area of 1.75m by 1.2m, but can fit within a rectangular area of 9m by 1.2m.

Can multiple poster/banner be displayed next or close to each other to form a larger poster/banner?

Multiple small printed election advertising can be displayed next or close to each other to form a large printed election advertising.

Such large printed election advertising formed from multiple small printed election advertising must also fit within a rectangular area of 9m by 1.2m. In addition, each small printed election advertising that forms the large printed election advertising must be affixed with a stamp bearing the official mark of the Returning Officer.

What is the limit on number of election posters and banners that may be displayed?

The limit on number of election posters and banners that may be displayed in an electoral division will be stated in Returning Officer’s permit issued to candidates after the close of nomination proceedings.

The formulae to compute the maximum number of small and large printed election advertising is as follows:
Number of small printed election advertising allowed 1 small printed election advertising to every 50 electors in the register (rounded to nearest 100)
Subject to minimum of:
  1. 500 per SMC
  2. 2,000 per 4-MP GRC
  3. 2,500 per 5-MP GRC
Number of large printed election advertising allowed 1 large printed election advertising to every 4000 electors in the register (rounded to nearest whole number)
Subject to minimum of:
  1. 6 per SMC
  2. 25 per 4-MP GRC
  3. 31 per 5-MP GRC

Can campaign posters be put up before the campaign period?

No.

Only candidates and election agents who are authorised by the Returning Officer can put up campaign posters. The Returning Officer will only issue to the candidate or his election agent a permit authorising the display of posters and banners in public places within the electoral division where the candidate is contesting in after the end of nomination proceeding and campaigning starts. Hence, any display of campaign posters before the campaign period is not authorised.

During the campaign period, election candidates and their agents must comply with the regulations under the Parliamentary Elections Act for the display of election posters and banners. The Candidate Handbook provides information on where and how such posters and banners may be displayed.

During and outside of the campaign period, the display of posters is also regulated by the Building Control (Outdoor Advertising) Regulations, Street Works (Advertisements on Road Structures, Road Related Facilities and Public Streets) Regulations, Parks and Trees Act and the Town Councils Act.

Can anyone put up party flags outside the election period?

The rules and regulations for posters and banners under the Parliamentary Elections Act are effective only during elections. Outside of the election period, the display of party posters, banners, flags etc. are subject to other regulations and the approval of the premises owner.

Can anyone put up election posters and banners during elections?

Under the law, only candidates and their election agents can put up election posters and banners. Other persons are not allowed to do so.

Can minors/ children/ students appear in political advertisement? Does it include communication via SMS/MMS, i.e. advertising on SMS/MMS?

The Parliamentary Elections Act prohibits primary and secondary school students from taking part in election activities during the period beginning with Nomination Day and ending with the start of Polling Day.

Thus, primary and secondary school students are not allowed to appear in a video or take part in other activities to promote a political party during this period.

While this prohibition does not apply outside of this period, political parties should refrain from inappropriate use of young children who will not fully understand what they may be promoting or subjecting themselves to.

Where should election posters and banners be displayed?

Campaign posters and banners are generally hung on street lamp posts and trees along public roads. They are not allowed at public buildings and infrastructure (e.g. MRT stations) and within a 50m radius from a polling station. If the location to display election posters and banners belong to private owners, their consent must first be sought.

Are car wraps allowed as a form of election advertising?

Car wraps are considered a form of election poster/banner. As for all posters/banners, they must comply with the requirements in the Returning Officer’s permit, e.g. affixed with the Returning Officer’s stamp, not exceed the stipulated size, not travel outside of the contested constituency, etc.

Is display of election posters on buses/MRT allowed?

Display of election posters and banners on public infrastructure (e.g. MRT station) and public transport (e.g. SMRT buses/MRT) is not allowed. You can refer to the Candidate Handbook for more details on where election posters and banners can be displayed.

When must candidates remove election posters and banner?

Election posters and banners must be removed within the period stipulated in the permit issued to candidates. Based on past elections, it is usually 6 days after Polling Day.

What can I do if I see an election poster or banner that is displayed not in accordance with the rules?

If you come across a poster or banner that is not displayed according to the rules, you can notify the Elections Department with the following details:
  1. Location of the poster;
  2. Description of the non-compliance (e.g. displayed at public building); and
  3. Your contact details so that we can contact you to seek further clarifications where necessary.

What can I do if I come across vandalised election posters and banners?

If you come across election posters and banners that are vandalised, you may file a Police report.

Can I display election posters at shop fronts or inside the shops?

Candidates and election agents must obtain the shop owner’s consent first before displaying election posters at shop fronts or inside shops (if the inside of the shop is accessible to members of the public). The display must also comply with the conditions listed in the Returning Officer’s permit.

I saw candidates giving out umbrellas at a rally. Is that lawful?

The distribution of items for election advertising purposes during campaigning is allowed as long as they comply with the law.

For instance, candidates may distribute items during campaigning. These are typically small items, e.g. buttons, badges, pens, umbrellas, etc. However, these items must not contain or display any false statement in relation to the personal character or conduct of any candidate for the purpose of affecting the return of the candidate.

Why are portable objects or articles of value less than $10 and of volume less than 10cm x 10cm x 10cm exempted from the “published-by” requirements?

This is to give the political parties and candidates greater flexibility in the form of items (e.g. buttons, pens, diaries, key chains) that they can distribute to voters during the campaign period.

Prohibited Activities on Cooling-off Day and Polling Day

Why is there a Cooling-off Day?

Cooling-off Day is the day before Polling Day. During Cooling-off Day, campaigning is banned, and election advertising must not be published. This is to allow voters to reflect rationally on various issues raised at an election before going to the poll.

What activities are banned on Cooling-off Day and Polling Day? Are there any exceptions?

Activities banned on Cooling-off Day and Polling Day
  1. Publication and display of election advertising (those already published may remain);
  2. Canvassing, door-to-door visits, visiting homes and workplaces of voters in connection with the election;
  3. Wearing badges/symbols, using, carrying or displaying campaign propaganda (only the candidate is allowed to wear a replica of the symbol allotted to him); and
  4. Holding e-rally livestreams.

Activities allowed on Cooling-off Day and Polling Day
  1. Reports in the newspapers, on radio and television relating to election matters;
  2. Approved posters and banners that were already up, and lawful Internet advertising that was already in place before the start of Cooling-off Day;
  3. Books previously scheduled for publication;
  4. The transmission of personal political views by an individual to another individual, on a non-commercial basis, using the Internet, telephone or electronic means; and
  5. Candidates may continue to wear a replica of the symbol allotted to him.

Polling and Counting

Can I share a mini election survey conducted amongst my personal friends on my Facebook page?
Can I do a poll of who my friends had voted for after they have voted, on my Facebook page?

Under the law, the publication of the results of election surveys and exit polls before the close of polls is prohibited.

There is a post asking people not to vote on Polling Day. Is that allowed?

Voting at Singapore's elections is compulsory. It is as much a fundamental right of citizenship as it is a civic responsibility to be exercised by citizens to choose and elect their leaders in a democracy. All qualified electors must vote on Polling Day.

It is an offence for any person who by word, message, writing or in any other manner dissuade or attempt to dissuade another person from giving his vote at the election between Nomination Day and Polling Day (both days inclusive).

Are candidates and their election agents allowed to enter polling stations on Polling Day?

Candidates contesting at the election and their polling agents are allowed entry into polling stations on Polling Day. Election agents who are appointed as polling agents may also enter the polling station.

Who are polling agents?

Polling agents are appointed by candidates to observe polling proceedings. Each candidate/group of candidates may have one polling agent for every 1,000 voters (or part thereof) allotted to vote at that polling station.

What are candidates and polling agents allowed to do or prohibited from doing at the polling station on Polling Day?

At the polling station on Polling Day, candidates and polling agents are allowed to:
  1. Witness the sealing of ballot boxes before opening of the poll and at the close of the poll;
  2. Keep track on who has voted;
  3. Leave his place at the polling station. However, if he had been keeping track of voting, he must leave his documents at that polling station to ensure voting secrecy;
  4. Ask an election official before the close of polls for the total number of voters who have voted at the polling station;
  5. Observe the packing of election materials at the close of polls. They may also affix their seals or sign on the envelopes and the ballot boxes; and
  6. Observe the transport of sealed ballot boxes from the polling stations to the counting centres.
At the polling station on Polling Day, candidates and polling agents are not allowed to:
  1. Talk someone out of voting;
  2. Compare notes on who has voted with the election officials;
  3. Attempt to find out or reveal any information on voters;
  4. Use handphones, video- and photo-taking devices; and
  5. Smoke within a polling station.

Who are allowed to enter counting centres/ principal counting centre?

The following persons are allowed to enter a counting centre:
  1. Candidates contesting at the election and their counting agents (one per counting place);
  2. Election officials; and
  3. Police officers.
Only candidates and election agents are allowed to enter the principal counting centre.

Who are the counting agents?

Counting agents are appointed by candidates to observe that counting is carried out according to the law. Each candidate may have only one counting agent to observe the counting at each counting place in a counting centre.

What are candidates and counting agents allowed to do or prohibited from doing at a counting centre?

Activities candidates and counting agents are permitted to do at the counting centre:
  1. Observe the counting process from behind the yellow demarcation line;
  2. Give their views on a rejected ballot paper, but the decision of the Assistant Returning Officer is final; and
  3. Affix their seals or sign on sealed ballot boxes after the announcement of results.
Activities candidates and counting agents are not allowed to do at the counting centre:
  1. Interfere with the counting process;
  2. Try to read the number printed on the back of a ballot paper;
  3. Use handphones, video- and photo-taking devices in the hall where counting takes place. These are prohibited to safeguard the secrecy of the vote; and
  4. Smoke within the counting centre.

When is a recount of the votes conducted?

The Returning Officer must conduct a recount of the votes if the difference between the number of votes cast is equal to or less than 2% of the total number of votes cast at the election. Under the law, only one recount is allowed.

Is there a minimum legal age for polling agents and counting agents?

There is no minimum legal age for polling and counting agents. However, a person appointed by a candidate or his election agent as a polling or counting agent must not be –
  1. a student attending a primary or secondary school;
  2. a person who has an order of supervision made against him/her under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act (Cap. 67);
  3. an undischarged bankrupt; or
  4. a non-citizen of Singapore.

Does the Elections Department conduct training for polling agents and counting agents?

Polling and counting agents can refer to the polling and counting agent guides available on the ELD website to understand their roles and responsibilities. ELD does not conduct training sessions for polling and counting agents.

Post-election activities

Why do candidates need to submit a return on election expenses? When should it be submitted?

Candidates are not allowed to spend above the stipulated limits. They are required to submit their returns on election expenses to the Returning Officer within 31 days after the publication of the results of the election

How long are the returns on election expenses available for inspection?

The returns on election expenses are available for inspection for six months.

Are members of the public allowed to witness the destruction of ballot papers? Why?

Candidates and members of the media are invited to witness the destruction of ballot papers after they have been kept for safe custody in the Supreme Court for 6 months after the election.

Due to space constraints, we are unable to accommodate requests from members of the public to witness the process.

Political Donations

What is the purpose of the Political Donations Act?

The Political Donations Act seeks to prevent foreigners from interfering in our domestic politics through donations. It prohibits political associations and election candidates from accepting donations except from permissible donors.

What is a permissible donor?

A permissible donor is:
  1. an individual who is a Singaporean Citizen and at least 21 years of age;
  2. a Singapore-controlled company; or
  3. in relation to an election candidate, any political party he is standing for at an election.

(A Singapore-controlled company refers to a company registered with the Registrar of Companies, the majority of its directors and members are Singapore citizens and carries on business wholly and mainly in Singapore.)

What are considered as donations?

Under the Political Donations Act, donations include goods and services, money, property, subscription fees, affiliation fees or property and loan facilities provided on less than commercial terms.

Can Multinational Companies (MNCs) in Singapore be considered permissible donors?

A Multinational Company (MNC) in Singapore may be considered a permissible donor if the MNC is incorporated in Singapore, has its activities mainly in Singapore and the majority of its directors and members are Singapore citizens.

If a foreigner donates through a permissible source, can his donation be accepted?

Donations from a foreigner cannot be accepted, even if they are channelled through a permissible source.

Any person who knowingly facilitates such channelling of impermissible donations may be charged.

Can a person donate anonymously?

The Political Donations Act allows donations from anonymous sources up to $5,000.

Can foreign sources donate by keeping themselves anonymous?

The Political Donations Act prohibits donations from foreign sources. Thus, if the recipient knows that a donation is actually from a foreign source but disguised as an anonymous donation, he should not accept the donation.

How many times can I donate to a political association?

You can make as many donations to a political association as you wish if you are a permissible donor. If you make multiple donations with an aggregate value of S$10,000 or more to a political association in a calendar year, you are required to submit a Donation Report and a Declaration Form to the Registrar of Political Donations.

Can candidates and political parties use crowdsourcing to solicit for funds?

Political parties and candidates should keep proper records of the political donations received and take the necessary steps to verify the source of their donations, for both physical and online donations. There is no specific prohibition under the Political Donations Act on the use of crowdfunding. Political parties and candidates should however provide an advisory on their crowdfunding platforms stating that donations may only be received from permissible sources.