MOF rejects Dr Thum Ping Tjin’s appeal on failed company registration on the basis of national interest

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The Ministry of Finance revealed yesterday that it is upholding the Government’s earlier rejection of Dr Thum Ping Tjin’s application to register a company, since it agrees that registering the company will be “contrary to national interest.”

The Registrar of companies had earlier refused to approve an application to reserve the name “OSEA Pte Ltd” for a proposed company which named Dr Thum – a historian – as its director.

Noting that OSEA proposed to hold forums and workshops in Singapore, such as “democracy classroom” sessions, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) deemed the company to be “political”.

ACRA also indicated that the company may have ties to foreign influence as it highlighted that OSEA was to be a wholly owned subsidiary of Observatory Southeast Asia Ltd (OSEA UK) and that OSEA UK has received funding from a foreign foundation founded by George Soros.

After calling ACRA’s allegations “unfounded,” Dr Thum lodged an appeal against the Registrar of Companies for refusing to approve the application to reserve the OSEA Pte Ltd name for the proposed company on 9 May.

Revealing that it will uphold the Registrar’s decision, MOF said that Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat holds the same view as the Registrar that “it is contrary to the national interest for the proposed company to be registered”.

Read MOF press statement here:

“On 9 May 2018, the Ministry of Finance received an appeal from Dr Thum Ping Tjin against the Registrar of Companies’ refusal to approve an application to reserve the name “OSEA Pte Ltd” for registration of a proposed company.

“The Minister for Finance has carefully considered the written representations submitted by Dr Thum and the Registrar’s reasons for rejecting Dr Thum’s application. The Minister takes the view that it was proper and correct for the Registrar to refuse Dr Thum’s application, on the ground that it is contrary to the national interest for the proposed company to be registered.

“The Ministry of Finance informed Dr Thum and the Registrar of Companies of the Minister’s decision to dismiss the appeal today.”