COVID-19 Relief Measures - Refinements to Alternative Arrangements for Meetings
29 Sep 2020 Posted in Press releases
- Amendments to the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Alternative Arrangements for Meetings) Orders (the “Meetings Orders”) have come into force on 29 September 2020. These amendments extend the Meetings Orders to 30 June 2021 and refine the Meetings Orders to facilitate greater convenience and engagement for virtual meetings.
Extension of the Meetings Orders and Deferral Provisions
- The amendments extend the Meetings Orders to 30 June 2021.
- They also extend the deferral provisions for meetings of some entities, to provide these entities with a further grace period to overcome practical difficulties in organising meetings (whether virtual or physical). The deadlines are set out in Annex A, but none are later than 31 December 2020. (Please refer to Annex A.)
Other Refinements to the Meetings Orders
In consultation with the relevant agencies, the Ministry of Law also made other refinements to the Meetings Orders to enhance the carrying out of remote meetings. These include the following (please refer to Annex B for lists of the affected Meetings Orders):
a. Real-time electronic voting: Today, real-time electronic voting is not provided for as an alternative arrangement for most types of meetings. Amendments have been made to the relevant Meetings Orders to provide for the option of real-time electronic voting for some types of meetings, as long as certain prescribed safeguards are adopted, and the entity still allows attendees to vote by appointing the Chairman or convenor (as the case may be) as their proxy to vote. This option applies to meetings held or conducted on or after 1 October 2020 up to the expiry of the relevant Meetings Order. Existing alternative arrangements that provide for voting by electronic means remain unchanged.1
b. Real-time Q&A: Under the Meetings Orders, attendees may be required to submit matters which they wish to raise prior to the meeting by post or electronic mail. Where this is the case, amendments have been made to expressly clarify that entities also have the option of carrying out real-time Q&A via electronic means, as long as the entity also allows attendees to submit matters which they wish to raise at the meeting prior to the meeting by post or electronic mail.
c. Use of virtual AGM platforms and other electronic means to accept submissions: Some alternative arrangements provide for matters which attendees wish to raise at the meeting, as well as for signed proxy instruments, to be submitted by post or electronic mail in advance of the meeting. Where this is the case, amendments have been made to the relevant Meetings Orders to expressly clarify that entities have the option of using other electronic means, including virtual AGM platforms, to accept such submissions in advance of the meeting, as long as the entity also allows such submissions by post or electronic mail.
- 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.
- For further information and enquiries, entities may check the websites of or approach their respective regulators. A list of guidance notes and regulators’ contact information can be found at https://go.gov.sg/alternativemeetings.
MINISTRY OF LAW
29 SEPTEMBER 2020
1. Voting by electronic means is currently already prescribed for governing board meetings of charities and registered societies, meetings of management corporations (including for purposes of collective sale) and subsidiary management corporations, collective sale committees, trade unions and their executives and branches, school management committees and school governing boards, Town Councils and committees of Town Councils. ↩
Annex A - Extension of Deferral Provisions in Meetings Orders (177KB)
Annex B - Refinements to Meetings Orders (238KB)
Last updated on 29 Sep 2020