The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has reaffirmed its position that TOC is a political association.
In an email sent to TOC’s Acting Chief Editor Joshua Chiang and founders Choo Zheng Xi and Andrew Loh, the PMO asserted that TOC is “not a passive website”, as it ”has organized online and offline
campaigns to change legislation and Government policies, a forum for local politicians, and polls on public support for local politicians and on other political issues concerning Singapore”.
The letter argued that the definition of “political association” under the Political Donations Act (PDA) clearly applies to TOC – whether or not it considers itself non-partisan.
The PMO also reminded TOC that the PDA prohibits political associations from accepting donations from foreign sources in order “to protect our political process from being manipulated by foreign interests”. But it assured TOC that the new status will not “impede its freedom of expression”.
The PMO once again demanded that TOC submit identities of its owners, editorial team and administrators within 14 days of the date of the original notice, which was sent on 10 Jan 2011.
TOC must also designate a President, Treasurer and Secretary. These people will be held accountable for the accuracy of all donation reports.