Legislation

POFMA was rushed through Parliament in May but subsidiary legislation has yet to be detailed before August Parliamentary sitting

Since June 25, the controversial Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) has been in effect in Singapore, having been passed in Parliament with 72 votes in support. There were also 9 votes against and 3 abstentions. The Act was introduced in April 2019 to the displeasure of experts and critics who assert that the provisions provide powers that …

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“Tear down this law”: Pink Dot and Singapore’s LGBTQ community spell out need for Govt to repeal 377A in the wake of PM Lee’s comments — literally

“Please, Prime Minister Lee … Lead us. Tear down this law.” Such was the message conveyed by lawyer and Pink Dot SG spokesperson Paerin Choa at Hong Lim Park last Sat (29 Jun) — a message that reverberated like a clarion call among some thousands of Pink Dot 11’s attendees, prompting them to repeat after him, just minutes before the …

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Drug addiction a chronic medical condition; decriminalisation is not legalisation: Malaysia’s Health Minister on removing criminal penalties against personal drug use

While the move to decriminalise drug addiction stems from the understanding that addiction is a chronic medical condition requiring appropriate intervention instead of incarceration, the Malaysian government has stressed that decriminalisation is not the equivalent of legalisation. Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad, in an official statement yesterday (27 Jun), quoted former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s stance on governments’ approach in …

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POFMA has been gazetted – it is now the law of the land

The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) is officially in effect as it’s been published in the Government Gazette online on 25 June at 5pm. The bill which was introduced in Parliament on 1 April was passed after a second reading on 8 May. It was then sent to President Halimah Yacob who assented to the law on …

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Bhutan succeeds India in decriminalising homosexuality as National Assembly passes Penal Code amendment

Less than a year after its neighbour India repealed a colonial-era law which criminalised homosexuality for centuries, the kingdom of Bhutan’s National Assembly had almost unanimously passed an amendment to the nation’s Penal Code on Fri (7 Jun). Local dailies Kuensel and The Bhutanese reported that only one parliamentarian in Bhutan’s lower house of Parliament voted against the amendment to repeal …

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Taiwan becomes the first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage through groundbreaking Bill

This year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia witnessed a significant moment in the history of LGBTQ rights as Taiwan’s parliamentarians pass Asia’s first same-sex marriage legislation today (17 May), despite strong opposition from the public as seen in the results of a referendum last Nov. Results of the referendum revealed that more than 70 per cent of people …

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