Legislation

“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Less than a year after its neighbour India repealed a colonial-era law which criminalised homosexuality for centuries, the kingdom of Bhutan’s National Assembly had almost unanimously passed an amendment to the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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Singapore government’s justification for fake news law is similar to that of Malaysia’s Anti-Fake News Act which was eventually repealed

Debate is still swirling around the Singapore government’s proposed fake news law, the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) – even more so this week as parliament sits down for a second reading for the bill. Since it was introduced last month (1 April), the government has consistently defended the bill against strong criticism on several fronts. Human …

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Workers’ Party advocates judiciary’s role as first and final arbiter of truth in “fake news” cases while PAP disagrees

Contrary to arguments perpetuated by advocates of the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill (POFMA), which has now been passed in Parliament, the judiciary remains the most suitable initial and final arbiter in deciding on matters involving alleged online falsehoods compared to Ministers and the Executive under POFMA, said Workers’ Party secretary-general Pritam Singh. Speaking in response to People’s …

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POFMA may be detrimental to innovation: Google

Technology giant Google said Thursday Singapore’s new law against “fake news” could hurt innovation, a crucial element in the high-tech sector which the government is developing as an economic growth driver. Parliament late Wednesday passed legislation that gives government ministers powers to order social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to put warnings next to posts authorities deem to …

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