SINGAPORE: A seller operating on the online e-commerce platform Taobao has recently come under scrutiny for illegally selling passport covers adorned with the emblems of various countries, including Singapore. The unauthorized merchandise, priced at approximately $26 each, has raised concerns among citizens.

The vendor, who claims that these passport covers are made of genuine leather, sells passport covers with the national emblems of Singapore, Malaysia, China, Australia, and Japan. These passport covers come in different colours for customers to choose from; in the case of Singapore passport covers, there are black, red and purple options.

It is illegal to use Singapore’s national emblems in this manner, and concerned Singaporeans have flagged the issue to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

According to the National Heritage Board website, Singapore’s national emblem is “a symbol of Singapore’s status as an autonomous and independent country.” The emblem holds significant cultural and historical value, reflecting the nation’s identity.

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The unauthorized use of national emblems is a violation of the National Symbols Act. The act explicitly prohibits the use of national emblems without proper authorization, emphasizing that approval must be obtained before such symbols can be utilized for commercial purposes.