Maintaining Public Order
Maintaining public order and stability, in accordance with the rule of law, is important to our economic survival and international standing.
We maintain a strong legal framework comprising laws such as the Public Order Act to
prevent and deter any attempts to disrupt social harmony, stability or public peace. Our legislation and law enforcement measures fully comply with our domestic and international legal obligations.
Our laws and policies balance the competing
interests of ensuring adequate space for the individual’s rights of speech, assembly and political expression, with the need to maintain public order and stability in our multi-racial, multi-religious and densely populated city state.
This is a balance that must be determined by Singaporeans alone, taking into account our broader historical and societal context.
Public Assemblies and Processions
Under the Public Order Act, a Police permit is required for a public assembly/procession if the purpose of the event is to:
- Demonstrate support for or opposition to the views or actions of any persons, group of persons or any government
- Publicise a cause or campaign
- Mark or commemorate any event
Read about the policies for different types of assemblies and processions:
An indoor public assembly is exempted from the Police permit requirement if it meets certain criteria, including that:
- It is held wholly inside a building or enclosed premises
- The organisers and speakers are all Singapore citizens
- It does not deal with any matter that relates directly or indirectly to religion, or may cause feelings of enmity, hatred, ill-will or hostility between different racial and religious groups in Singapore
Religious foot processions pose a higher risk to public order. A general ban on religious foot processions was imposed following the racial riots in 1964, but an exception was made for three Hindu religious foot processions – Thaipusam, Panguni Uthiram and Thimithi.
MHA continues to manage religious foot processions sensitively and carefully.
The Police will not grant any permit for assemblies/processions organised by or involving non-Singaporeans that are directed towards a political end. This is especially if the purpose of the event is to further their own political causes, or to interfere in our domestic politics, policies and governance.
Singapore’s political, social or moral choices are for Singaporeans to decide for ourselves.
The Speakers’ Corner at Hong Lim Park was established in 2000 as a space for Singaporeans to express their views on issues that concern them.
Singapore citizens and entities can organise assemblies/processions at the Speakers’ Corner without a need for a permit, if it comply with the exemption conditions listed in the Public Order (Unrestricted Area) Order 2016.
The conditions include, among others, that:
- Only Singapore citizens can engage in public speaking
- Only Singapore citizens or permanent residents can participate in the assembly/procession
- The event must not deal with a matter that relates to religion, or cause feelings of enmity, hatred, ill-will or hostility between different racial or religious groups in Singapore
Apply for a Permit
To apply for a Police permit for an assembly/procession, visit the GoBusiness Licensing portal.