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23 Aug 2020  (591 Views) 
Ministry of Law

Authentication of documents
There were two recent incidents that showed that our law need to be updated to the digital age.

1. I submitted an application for a government service. The website required me to upload an authorization letter with the company letterhead and a stamp. (Note - why are we still using this method of authentication in a smart nation?)

2. I wanted to attend the virtual AGM for my MCST of my commercial property. I was asked to lodge the physical copy of the authorization letter from the company with the MCST office. I sent a scanned copy but the managing agent said that it was not accepted.

To move to a smart nation, I suggest the following two measures to be implemented:

1. Pass a law to allow digital signature on a scanned document to be accepted, if the receiving party is satisfied that the PDF is genuine.

2.  Provide a service in the Sing Pass eco-system to allow a person to lodge a document with the Sing Pass (or Corp Pass) and receive a link that can be forwarded to the receiving party. This link allows the document to be retrieved with a certification that it was lodged by the person on a specific time. It is similar to the process of getting a document signed before a notary public. The government can levy a fee for this service.

These changes will produce a significant productivity gain for the nation as it reduces the need for several thousand of physical documents to be delivered "by hand" every working day.

I hope that the relevant ministries can take action on this matter to change our practices to the age of the smart nation.

Tan Kin Lian

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