Written Replies to Parliamentary Questions

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Criteria for Granting Foreign Entities Permits to Engage in Activities Relating to Speakers’ Corner Events by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Published: 08 November 2016



Mr. Seah Kian Peng: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs what criteria will be used to determine whether a foreign entity gets a permit to engage in activities relating to a Speakers' Corner event.




1. On 21 October 2016, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced changes to the Public Order (Unrestricted Area) Order 2016 to reinforce the principle that the Speakers' Corner was set up primarily for Singaporeans. These changes came into effect on 1 November 2016.


2. The changes include allowing Singapore entities to organise or assist to organise events at the Speakers' Corner without the need for a permit, subject to the conditions in the Order. This is an extension of the existing exemption for Singapore citizens to organise events without the need for a permit.


3. Non-Singapore entities were not previously exempted, and continue not to be exempted. As such, a permit will be required if a non-Singapore entity organises or assists to organise an event at the Speakers' Corner. This includes sponsoring, publicly promoting the event, or organising its members or employees to participate in the event.


4. Police will assess such applications on a case-by-case basis. Some factors that the Police will consider include:


    • Whether the event poses law and order concerns; and


    • Whether the event addresses issues pertaining to race and religion.


5. In addition to the above considerations, a permit will not be granted to foreigners, including non-Singapore entities, if the event relates to political or controversial social issues. 


Law and order