Mutual Benefit Organisations (MBOs) are membership-based entities which provide relief to their members. There are currently 65 MBOs in Singapore.
The MBOs are regulated by the Registry of the Mutual Benefit Organisations, under the Mutual Benefit Organisation Act (Cap 191) and the Mutual Benefit Organisation Rules. As a regulator, the Registry seeks to protect the collective interests of MBO members by promoting prudence and accountability for the use of the MBO funds by the office bearers in the MBOs.
The Registry also promotes sound management and governance of MBOs. This way, people in Singapore will have greater confidence in the MBOs to meet their needs, and lead to some volunteering their time in the governance or administration of the MBOs, thus building a gracious and caring society we call home.
The COVID-19 situation in Singapore has stabilised and the Multi-Ministry Taskforce has announced further easing of community Safe Management Measures (‘SMMs’) effective from 26 April 2022. This includes amongst other things, the lifting of Vaccination-Differentiated SMMs (‘VDS’) in most settings.
Notwithstanding the above, MBOs may continue to hold virtual or hybrid general meetings by electronic means by relying on the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Alternative Arrangements for Meetings for Charities, Co-operative Societies and Mutual Benefit Organisations) Order 2020 (“the Order”). The Order will continue to be in force until revoked or amended by the Ministry of Law. To provide certainty to entities organising meetings, MinLaw will give at least 6 months’ advance notice before the alternative arrangements cease to be available and the Registry will notify MBOs accordingly. Please refer to the Guidelines for MBOs on the holding of virtual general meetings under “Alternative arrangements for general meetings”.
MBOs holding physical or hybrid general meetings (i.e. meetings with a physical element) should comply with the prevailing SMMs if applicable (for example, that VDS are still required in events/settings with more than 500 participants at a time). MBOs should additionally refer to the Ministry of Manpower’s website for SMMs at the workplace (www.mom.gov.sg/covid-19/