Co-operative Societies Act

(Original Enactment: Act 17 of 1979)

(30th March 1987)
An Act to make better provision for the registration and control of co-operative societies; to encourage co-operative development by the provision of services to co-operative societies and for matters connected therewith.
[1st January 1980]
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Co-operative Societies Act.
2.  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“allowance” means the remuneration paid to the chairman, secretary or treasurer or other officer of a society in consideration of their voluntary services rendered to the society on a regular basis;
“apex organisation” means an organisation established to facilitate the operations of all primary and secondary co-operative societies in Singapore;
“by-laws” means the registered by-laws made by a society in the exercise of any power conferred by this Act and includes a registered amendment of the by-laws;
“Central Co-operative Fund” means the fund established under section 71;
“committee of management” means the governing body of a society which is responsible for the management of the affairs of the society;
“delegate” means —
(a)a representative of a certain number of individual members of a primary society in which the general meeting of members is replaced by a meeting of delegates;
(b)a representative of an institutional member who has been appointed to attend and who is entitled to vote; or
(c)a representative of a society which is itself a member of another society, the meetings of which the representative has been elected or appointed to attend, and at which he is entitled to vote under the by-laws of that other society;
“dividend” means a portion of the net surplus of a society distributed among the members in proportion to the paid-up share capital or subscription capital held by them in the society;
“honorarium” means a portion of the net surplus of a society distributed among some or all of the members of the committee of management in consideration of their services which would not otherwise be remunerated;
“institutional member” means a society or a trade union;
“member” includes an individual person or institution qualifying for membership in a co-operative society, who or which join in the application for the registration of a society, and an individual person or institution admitted to membership after registration in accordance with this Act, the Rules and the by-laws;
“net surplus” means the remaining portion of the surplus after provisions have been made for the reserve fund, the Singapore Labour Foundation and the Central Co-operative Fund in accordance with sections 70 and 71;
[Act 13/90 wef 16/04/1990 vide S 156/90]
“officer” includes a chairman, vice-chairman, director, secretary, assistant secretary, treasurer, assistant treasurer, member of committee of management, employee, internal auditor or other person empowered under this Act, the Rules or the by-laws, to give directives in regard to the business of a society or to supervise the business;
“past officer”, in relation to any obligation imposed under this Act, means a person who at any time before the occurrence of the obligation was, or performed the duties of, an officer;
“patronage refund” means a portion of the net surplus of a society distributed among its members in proportion to the volume of business done by them with the society from which the surplus of the society was derived;
“primary society” means a registered society all of whose members are individual persons who, or institutions which, have the qualifications for membership set out in section 39;
“registered” means registered under this Act;
“Registrar” means the Registrar of Co-operative Societies and the Assistant Registrars of Co-operative Societies appointed under section 3, and includes a person exercising such powers of the Registrar as may have been conferred upon him under that section;
“Rules” means rules made under this Act;
“secondary society” means a registered society all of whose registered members are co-operative societies and trade unions and which has as its object the facilitation of the operations of primary societies;
“share” includes subscriptions payable by a member under the by-laws of a society;
“Singapore Labour Foundation” means the Singapore Labour Foundation established under the Singapore Labour Foundation Act;
[Act 13/90 wef 16/04/1990 vide S 156/90]
“society” means a co-operative society registered under this Act and includes a primary society, secondary society and apex organisation;
“subscription capital” means a regular obligatory savings deposit (made by members in accordance with the by-laws) which is intended to serve as guarantee capital for loans taken or guaranteed by a member and which may not be withdrawn except for such specific purposes and under such conditions as are laid down in the by-laws or except on a termination of membership;
“surplus” means the economic results of a society as shown in the audited financial statements of that society after provisions have been made for depreciation and bad debts but does not include, in the case of an insurance co-operative, that portion of the surplus used for declaration of bonus to policy-holders or retained in the insurance fund;
“trade union” means a trade union registered under the Trade Unions Act [Cap. 333].
Appointment of Registrar and Assistant Registrars
3.—(1)  The Minister may appoint a Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Assistant Registrars of Co-operative Societies and such other officers as he thinks necessary for the administration of this Act.
(2)  The Registrar may, subject to the provisions of this Act and to any general or special directions of the Minister, delegate any of his functions under this Act to an Assistant Registrar or to a co-operative officer.
(3)  The Registrar shall have a seal of such device as may be approved by the Minister.