Press Releases

Provisions in the Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Act for Countering Foreign Interference via Local Proxies

Published: 12 December 2023

1. The Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Act (“FICA”) was passed in Parliament in October 2021 to strengthen the Government’s ability to prevent, detect, and disrupt foreign interference in our domestic politics conducted through (a) hostile information campaigns (“HICs”) and (b) the use of local proxies. The provisions to counteract foreign interference via HICs came into force on 7 July 2022. The provisions to counteract foreign interference via local proxies will come into force on 29 December 2023. The Political Donations Act (“PDA”) will also be repealed on 29 December 2023, and existing obligations under the PDA will be ported over to FICA.

Defined and Designated Politically Significant Persons 

2. FICA defines the following organisations and individuals, who are directly involved in Singapore’s political processes, as Politically Significant Persons (“PSPs”): (a) political parties; (b) political office holders; (c) Members of Parliament (“MPs”), including Non-Constituency MPs and Nominated MPs; (d) Central Executive Committee members of political parties; and (e) election candidates and their election agents.

3. FICA also empowers a Competent Authority, appointed by the Minister for Home Affairs, to designate individuals and organisations as PSPs, if the following conditions are met: (a) their activities are directed towards a political end; and (b) the Competent Authority assesses that it is in the public interest that countermeasures against foreign interference be applied. 

Countermeasures on Defined and Designated PSPs

4. The countermeasures on defined and designated PSPs cover the following vectors of foreign interference – donations, volunteers, leadership, membership, and affiliations. 

5. Defined PSPs are subject to the most stringent countermeasures as they are directly involved in Singapore’s political processes. The requirements on defined PSPs are as follows:

(a) Required to report single donations of S$10,000 or more from permissible donors, and multiple donations from the same permissible donor that amount to S$10,000 or more, in any calendar year;

(b) Prohibited from receiving donations from impermissible donors, such as foreign donors, and Singaporean donors below the age of 21 years old;
(c) Prohibited from receiving anonymous donations of S$5,000 or more in a calendar year;

(d) Required to maintain a separate bank account to receive political donations, so that there are proper records of monies relating to their political activities;

(e) Prohibited from accepting any voluntary labour or voluntary professional services provided by any individual who is not a citizen of Singapore; 

(f) Required to disclose affiliations with a foreign principal, and if there is an increased risk of foreign interference, the Competent Authority may require the PSP to terminate specified foreign affiliations; and 

(g) [For defined PSPs that are individuals] Required to disclose whether they have been granted migration benefits (e.g. honorary citizenship, permanent residency) by foreign governments.

6. Designated PSPs, in the first instance, only need to disclose political donations and foreign affiliations. If there is a higher risk of foreign interference, the Competent Authority can issue stepped-up countermeasures, such that their obligations are as stringent as those for defined PSPs.

7. Think Centre and MARUAH are currently gazetted as political associations under the PDA. From 29 December 2023, as set out in section 127(1) of FICA, they will be designated as PSPs, and subjected to stepped-up countermeasures on political donations. This ports over their existing obligations under the PDA (i.e. the requirements in paragraphs 5a – c), and subjects them to new requirements to maintain a separate bank account for political donations (paragraph 5d) and disclose foreign affiliations (paragraph 5f). 

Other Countermeasures

8. Donors who make political donations of S$10,000 or more (whether a single donation, or in aggregate across multiple donations) within a calendar year to a political party, or a designated PSP given a prohibited donor directive or major donor directive, are required to submit donation reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs (“MHA”).

9. To safeguard against the risk of foreign states attempting to cultivate Singapore Citizens (“SCs”) to influence our domestic politics through their involvement in foreign political and legislative bodies, SCs who are members of foreign political or legislative bodies will have to declare their involvement in such bodies.1

10. The Competent Authority can also issue a Transparency Directive to any newspaper authorised under section 21 of the Newspaper and Printing Presses Act, any media outlet licensed under the Broadcasting Act, or any defined or designated PSP that publishes matters on political issues relating to Singapore, to disclose the particulars of any foreign author and foreign principal for whom or at whose direction the article or programme is published. The Transparency Directive addresses, for instance, situations where foreign writers masquerade as local writers penning articles relating to Singaporean political matters, and seek to influence public opinion.

Appeal Mechanism

11. Individuals or organisations who wish to challenge their designations (under Part 4 of FICA) or directives issued to them (under Parts 5 – 6 of FICA) can appeal to the Minister for Home Affairs. The Minister for Home Affairs may consult an advisory committee when he hears appeals regarding designations and directives. 


12. FICA targets foreign interference in Singapore’s domestic politics, to enable Singaporeans to continue to make our own decisions on how we govern our country and live our lives. For more information on FICA, please refer to the Annex or MHA’s website on FICA (

[1] SCs who are members of a foreign legislature or a foreign political organisation prior to 1 Feb 2024 will have to declare their involvement by 1 Mar 2024. Thereafter, SCs who join such organisations after 1 Feb 2024 will have to declare their involvement within 1 month of joining the organisation.


1. First Reading of Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Bill

2. Second Reading of Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Bill – Speech by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

3. Second Reading of Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Bill – Speech by Mr Desmond Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment 

4. Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Bill – Wrap-Up Speech by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law