SINGAPORE: In an effort to thwart foreign meddling, the government has served businessman Chan Man Ping Philip in Singapore with a warning that he will be classified as a “politically significant person” by law.
The Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Act, or FICA, Section 48(1), permits the Registrar of Foreign and Political Disclosures to impose the designation on Mr. Chan, a 59-year-old naturalized Singaporean citizen, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday, February 2.
The goal of the law is to stop, identify, and neutralize foreign groups that try to meddle in domestic politics by using hostile information operations and local proxies.
Mr. Chan is thought to be the first to get notification under the FICA regulations, which went into effect in December of last year.
Those considered “politically significant persons” (PSPs) include members of Parliament, political office holders, political parties, and election candidates and their election agents. The government may designate someone as a PSP in Mr. Chan’s instance if their actions are political and it serves the public interest for them to take countermeasures under FICA.