The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an advisory on the public display of foreign national emblems in relation to the Israel-Hamas conflict on Monday (Nov. 6).
Foreign national emblems include flags and banners of any state.
Public display of national emblems related to Israel-Hamas conflict, without permit, is an offence
MHA said that it is aware of apparel and paraphernalia with foreign national emblems related to the Israel-Hamas conflict being sold online and worn or displayed by members of the public.
They have also received queries on the actions that will be taken if such items are displayed or worn in Singapore, including by travellers seeking to enter Singapore.
In response, the agency highlighted that any public display, without a permit or being expressly exempted, will lead the individual to be convicted under the Foreign National Emblems (Control of Display) Act 1949.
Such offence may lead to a fine of up to S$500, imprisonment for a term of up to six months, or both.
Throughout the past month, the Israel-Hamas conflict has created disparity among citizens in many countries. Major cities around the world—such as New York, London, Berlin and Istanbul—have seen rallies organised either in support of Palestine or Israel.
Due to "heightened sensitivities" and "emotive" nature of the issue, MHA advises all Singaporeans and travellers seeking to enter Singapore to not display or wear foreign national emblems. Travellers who refuse to comply may have their entry denied into Singapore.
The racial and religious harmony in Singapore should not be taken for granted and as such, MHA reminds Singaporeans that events happening externally should not affect the peace and harmony built in the country.
Supporting victims caught in the crossfire
If Singaporeans wish to support those affected by the conflict, MHA suggests to reach out to authorised fundraising activities and donation drives in support of humanitarian relief efforts by charities.
These organisations include the Singapore Red Cross Society and the Rahmatan Lil Alamin (Blessings to All) Foundation, both which have been granted a Fund-Raising for Foreign Charitable Purposes permit by the Commissioner of Charities.
Last week (Oct. 31), the Singapore Red Cross Society announced that it would be sending US$200,000 (S$273,000) worth of relief supplies to the war zone, including hygiene kits, clean water and food. This is in addition to the Singapore government's contribution of S$300,000 towards relief operations through the charity.
The Rahmatan Lil Alamin (Blessings to All) Foundation has received S$4,614,283 in total for similar fundraising efforts, as of Nov. 1.
This fundraiser has been extended to Nov. 17, and you can find out more about their cause at rlafoundation.org.sg/gaza2023.
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