No plans to fine those who display national flags after 30 September: Edwin Tong

Singapore's national flags are displayed from an apartment block during National Day in central Singapore August 9, 2011. Singapore celebrates its 46th National Day on Tuesday, with its economy likely to expand by five to six percent this year, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on August 8, 2011, indicating the government now expects growth to come in at the lower end of its five to seven percent forecast.   REUTERS/Kevin Lam (SINGAPORE - Tags: SOCIETY ANNIVERSARY)
Singapore's national flags are displayed from an apartment block. (FILE PHOTO: Reuters/Kevin Lam)

SINGAPORE — Singapore has no plans to fine those who display the national flags beyond Wednesday (30 September), said Edwin Tong, the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth.

In a post put up on his Facebook page on Wednesday, Tong addressed recent media reports that those who continue to fly the national flags after 30 September will risk being fined up to $1,000 under the rules of the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Act.

“Let me assure you: as far as I know, no one has ever been fined for this, nor do we plan to do so,” he wrote in his post.

“There’s no reason to ‘punish’ those who treat it with respect and dignity, and are proud to showcase the Singapore spirit.”

Tong, however, noted that his ministry will take action against deliberate disrespect against the flag in any way, saying that the rules under the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Act – which are in place since 1959 – are meant “to safeguard the dignity of our flag”.

Since 2007, Singapore residents are allowed to display the national flag from their homes from 1 July to 30 September. This year, a one-time extension was granted to start displaying the flags from 25 April, as a unifying symbol during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his Facebook post, Tong also encouraged Singapore residents to take part in a review of the Act, with issues such as allowing more occasions on which the flags can be displayed, while protecting its dignity from extended display or neglect.

Those who wish to share their suggestions can do it at this website.

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