Changes proposed to Singapore’s religious harmony law to address impact of social media, foreign influence

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SINGAPORE: The Singapore Government is looking to update the nearly 30-year-old Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act (MRHA), with proposed changes ...

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Government is looking to update the nearly 30-year-old Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act , with proposed changes to address the impact of social media and foreign influence tabled in Parliament on Monday .

The Ministry of Home Affairs is also looking to curb the influence of foreign actors, and it is proposing that key leaders in a religious organisation should be Singaporeans or permanent residents. Religious organisations will also have to disclose one-off “foreign” donations of S$10,000 or more, it added.

The MRHA, which was first enacted in 1990, provides for powers to maintain religious harmony in Singapore based on two principles: Followers of different religions should exercise moderation and tolerance towards each other and their beliefs and not instigate religious enmity or hatred and religion should be kept separate from politics.

“There are clear restrictions to what religious groups can or cannot do including not getting involved in politics or harming religious peace,” Dr Mathews told CNA in an email.


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