Charities and registered societies allowed to delay general meetings until Dec 31

The delay would give the entities more time to address issues in holding these sessions, whether virtually or physically. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Charities, management corporations and registered societies are among the entities that would be allowed to delay their annual general meetings until Dec 31.

This would give them more time to address issues in holding these sessions, whether virtually or physically, the Ministry of Law (MinLaw) said on Monday (Sept 7).

Currently, existing provisions under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act allow for such meetings to be deferred to a date no later than Sept 30.

To give some entities more time to overcome practical difficulties in organising virtual or physical meetings, the deferral provisions will be extended to a date no later than Dec 31, said MinLaw. These entities include charities, management corporations, mutual benefit organisations, trade unions, as well as registered and co-operative societies.

But the deferral provision for the meetings of town councils and their committees, school management committees and governing boards, and those involving bankruptcy and insolvency will not be extended.

In addition, there will continue to be no delays allowed for the general meetings of companies, variable capital companies, business trusts, unit trusts, debenture holders, as well as the meetings of collective sale committees.

"For the avoidance of doubt, entities can choose to rely on meeting arrangements permitted by their governing instruments, as long as they can do so in compliance with prevailing safe distancing regulations," the ministry said.

Last Friday, amendments to the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act were passed in Parliament, allowing alternative arrangements for virtual meetings, such as annual general meetings, to continue until June 30 next year. This extension will give entities the option to hold virtual meetings, even when the entities are permitted to hold physical meetings under the prevailing Covid-19 regulations.

Currently, organisations and entities are allowed to do so until Sept 30. Before the amendments, alternative meeting arrangements under the Act were tied to the duration of a Covid-19 control order.

"This will help keep physical interactions and Covid-19 transmission risks to a minimum. The need to keep Covid-19 transmission risks to a minimum will remain in the long term, even as safe distancing regulations are gradually and cautiously relaxed," said MinLaw, adding that the amendments allow entities to conduct virtual meetings, even if this is not allowed under the written law or legal instrument which provides for it.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.