Rajah & Tann Regional Round-Up

your snapshot of key legal developments in Asia

Issue 1 - May/Jun/Jul 2013


Serious Tax Crimes Designated Money Laundering Predicate Offences

With effect from 1 July 2013, the offences of tax evasion and serious fraudulent tax evasion under the Income Tax Act, and the offences of tax evasion and improperly obtaining refunds under the Goods and Services Tax Act have been designated as money-laundering predicate offences.

This action is part of a slew of measures Singapore is taking to strengthen its framework for international tax cooperation to combat cross-border tax offences.  The Monetary Authority of Singapore ("MAS") had earlier announced this change in a consultation paper titled "Designation of Tax Crimes as Money Laundering Predicate Offences in Singapore" issued in October 2012. MAS had also proposed to implement a regulatory framework for financial institutions to apply existing anti-money laundering ("AML") measures such as know-your client checks, transactional monitoring and other control measures to identify money laundering of proceeds from serious tax crimes.

Please click here to refer to our Firm's update on this subject.

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Personal Data Protection Act 2012 – Do Not Call Registry and Personal Data Protection Commission

At the inaugural Personal Data Protection Seminar held on 15 May 2013, Communications and Information Minister Dr Yaacob Ibrahim announced that the Do Not Call ("DNC") Registry will come into effect on 2 January 2014. The event also saw the launch of the Personal Data Protection Commission ("PDPC"). In line with the pending enforcement of the mechanism, the PDPC issued a public consultation paper on the proposed business operation of the DNC registry ("Consultation Paper"). Consultation closed on 5 June 2013.

The Consultation Paper seeks to solicit views and comments from the public and organisations as to the specifics of how the DNC registry should operate. In particular, the PDPC is seeking views on the methods that organisations may use to access and submit their list of telephone numbers that need to be checked against the registry. Besides the method of verifying if a telephone number is registered, the PDPC has also come up with proposed charges for organisations to check numbers in the registry.

Our Firm had published a client update on this subject. Please click here to read the full update.

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Public Consultation on Draft Companies (Amendment) Bill 2013

On 2 May 2013, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority ("ACRA") and the Ministry of Finance ("MOF") unveiled for the first time, a proposed draft Companies (Amendment) Bill 2013 ("Bill"). The Bill contains the proposed amendments to the Companies Act ("CA") derived from earlier recommendations of the Companies Act Steering Committee which were accepted by the MOF in October 2012 after a first round of public consultation.

A second public consultation was held from 2 May 2013 to 14 June 2013 to seek public feedback on the manner in which the Steering Committee's recommendations are reflected in the draft Bill, and any operational or practical considerations in implementing the Bill's provisions.  The scope of the amendments contained in the draft Bill is wide-ranging, covering issues relevant to shares, directors, meetings, accounts and audit, company registration and more.

Please click here to refer to our client update on the subject.

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Please note that whilst the information in this Update is correct to the best of our knowledge and belief at the time of writing, it is only intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and should not be treated as a substitute for specific professional advice.


Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP 
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Chia Kim Huat
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Andrew CL Ong
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