Parliament: Registered societies allowed to postpone annual general meetings

Parliament: Registered societies allowed to postpone annual general meetings

The Straits Times - Politics·450 views·2020-04-07 11:47

SINGAPORE - Registered societies in Singapore will be allowed to adopt alternative arrangements in holding their annual general meetings (AGM) in light of the coronavirus situation, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin on Tuesday (April 7).

He was responding to a question in Parliament from Nominated MP Walter Theseira, who asked if the Registry of Societies will assist societies to continue governing their affairs in accordance with applicable regulations during the pandemic.

Mr Amrin said the Government has announced legislation allowing entities, including societies, to adopt alternative arrangements, so that meetings can be conducted in a manner compliant with safe distancing measures.

"These prescribed alternative measures can be adopted, notwithstanding the requirements in the entity's constitution.

"They include allowing meeting to be held by video conferencing or other electronic means, or to be postponed or for the quorum of a meeting to be reduced," he said.

"In view of the Covid-19 situation, the Registry of Societies (ROS) will allow societies to adopt such alternative arrangements. ROS will advise societies on the details soon."

In response, Professor Theseira emphasised that the guidelines for the societies will be easy to understand, since most societies are very small and do not have the legal staff to interpret the Bill that is passed

"So they really do need very clear guidelines on what you can and cannot do, to avoid any misunderstandings," he said.

Apart from societies, companies will also get a reprieve during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (Acra) said that all listed and non-listed companies which are supposed to hold their AGMs between April 16 and July 31 this year will be given a 60-day extension to do so in light of the Covid-19 situation.

Companies that had previously already been granted extensions will also be given a further 60-day extension from the last date of extension.

There is also a 60-day extension for Annual Returns (AR), which are due to be filed between May 1 and Aug 31 this year.

There is no need for these companies to apply for the extension of time with Acra.

"Acra will also not impose any penalties on listed and non-listed companies whose AGMs are due during the period 1 April to 15 April 2020 if they hold the AGM within 60 days of the due date.

"Their AR filing due dates will also be extended for 60 days. There is no need for these companies to apply for the extension of time," it said.

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