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Latest revision as of 01:48, July 31, 2020

"Official Secrets Act" is a term used in Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore and the United Kingdom, and formerly in Canada and New Zealand for legislation that provides for the protection of state secrets and official information, mainly related to national security.

The Official Secrets Act (Cap. 213, 2012 Rev. Ed.) prohibits the disclosure of official documents and information. The Act was first introduced to Singapore in 1935 as the Official Secrets Ordinance. Section 5 of the Act prohibits the wrongful communication of information that is considered sensitive by the government.


  • 1992: The government had launched legal action among 5 individuals - including Tharman Shanmugaratnam after the growth rate for Singapore's economy in the second quarter of the year was published in the newspaper before it was released officially.
  • 30 August 2017: The policeman who showed a member of the public confidential police photographs was jailed to 7 months and 6 weeks for showing it to dispatch driver, Lim Sua Huat, 61. On Oct 4, 2015, Lam and his teammates from Rochor NPC arrested 13 people for rioting in Clive Street in Little India. The police officers then used the mobile phones to snap the rioters' photographs for work purposes. Deputy Public Prosecutor Eugene Sng said Lim later contacted Lam to ask for the pictures. He added: "Lim said that the headman of one of the gangs involved in the fight wanted to see the photos of the arrested individuals so that he could kick the troublemakers out of his gang. "The accused told Lim that he would not send the photographs to him but would instead show them to him on his mobile phone." The photographs are confidential and not allowed to show that to the public or police officers who were not concerned in the said investigation.
  • 14 November 2017: HDB officer who allegedly communicated confidential information to ST journalist - on November 10, Ng Han Yuan, 25, an estate manager with HDB’s resale operations section, was charged with allegedly sharing confidential information with Ms Janice Tai, a reporter from The Straits Times on a resale portal which the board is developing.
  • 3 November 2018: Photographs of a fatal accident of Liu Kai were unlawfully disseminated has admitted to the offence. Muhammad Arif Azman, 22, Mohammad Zaki Haji Mokhtar, 24; Brendon Tan Jien Jet, 21, Mohamad Haikal Mohd Zainal Abiddin, 21, Thng Yu Xuan, 21, were pleaded guilty. They were all attached to Jurong Fire Station.
  • 27 August 2019: The Singapore Airlines pilot, Fazli Hisham Mohd Fairuz Shah, 29 who shared a photograph of a dead maid on WhatsApp group, was arrested.
  • 3 April 2020: The police received a report about the draft media statement on the closure of schools which is the most likelihood. The 37-year old woman took a photo and showed to the husband on 3 April 2020 9am. The image became available before the press release was released on 3 April 2020 4pm.
  • 24 April 2020: The 35-year-old Singaporean woman was arrested for wrongful communication of information under the Official Secrets Act and unauthorised access to computer materials under the Computer Misuse Act. She is also accused of accessing a Government COVID-19 database without authorisation to retrieve confidential records of a person who had tested positive for COVID-19, and giving the information to a friend, said the police. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases for that day had been published on an Instagram story post, even though the Ministry of Health (MOH) had not officially released the figures yet.
  • 14 June 2020: Before the Phase 2 was officially released, the police received a report that information regarding the second phase of activities was circulating on WhatsApp from a 50-year old Singapore civil servant.
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