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Human rights activists, foreign scholars and opposition party members have pointed out that members of the opposition parties often suffer "misfortunes" of various kinds, including arrest, sued into bankruptcy especially in defamatory lawsuits, and imprisonment, with the convictions and bankruptcy in turn barring the opposition candidates from standing in elections.
The 2001 elections were purposefully held just after the September 11 terrorist attacks. The PAP garnered a whopping 75% of the vote.
Neither the prime minister nor members of the cabinet are elected by parliament. The prime minister is appointed by the president, then Cabinet members, also known as ministers, are appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister.
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Recent statements from the PAP leadership, the mainstream media and establishment academics suggest further political and electoral engineering may be underway. This is in line with the prime minister’s repeated assertions during the campaign that the PAP needed to “get the politics right”.
The Elections Department, an arm of the Prime Minister’s Office, arbitrarily redrew the electoral boundaries. The department abolished “problematic” seats that the PAP nearly lost in 2011, created new ones, merged others and redrew seats.
"With incumbency comes electoral advantages that have further secured the PAP's position. From this powerful location, it has effectively propagated the idea that it is more important for a small country with limited resources and talent to have a meritocratic, pragmatic and economically-orientated government than one that is limited by principles of accountability, transparency and checks and balances."
and that he shall be designated as Senior Minister and Co-ordinating Minister for National Security.
I, [name], being chosen and appointed as Prime Minister [or Minister] of Singapore, do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will at all times faithfully discharge my duties as Prime Minister [or Minister] according to law, and to the best of my knowledge and ability, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will.
Part IV of the fourteen-part Constitution contains the guarantee of the fundamental liberties of Singapore citizens: liberty of the person; prohibition of slavery and forced labour; protection against retrospective criminal laws and repeated trials; equal protection under the law; prohibition of banishment and freedom of movement; freedom of speech, assembly and association; freedom of religion; and rights in respect of education.
Ours is not the same system as in the West. It’s modified for our needs.
Hawksford’s services allowed us to manage the company hassle-free, taking care of every aspect that was not business-related and assisting us from the incorporation onwards.
The Constitution of Singapore is the supreme law of Singapore and it is a codified constitution.
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Under the Constitution, the Cabinet is collectively responsible to Parliament. In theory, Parliament acts as a check on the power of the Cabinet as Ministers are required to justify their actions and policies upon being questioned by MPs. However, in Singapore this is a weak check because the ruling People's Action Party holds a large Parliamentary majority, and party members who are MPs are required by party discipline to vote according to the party Whip's instructions.
In Singapore, the state has taken on the role of promoter and practitioner of Corporate Social Responsibility, a logical development in view of the dominant role of the government in the local economy. The Economic Development Board Act exists to stimulate the growth, expansion and development of Singapore’s economy.
Former prime minister Goh Chok Tong brazenly opined that less debate and discussion on sensitive issues had contributed to the success of Singapore’s political system.
The Civil Service employs a total of 60,000 people. The jobs in the Civil service are grouped into the social, economic and security sectors, teaching, uniformed services, corporate services, and operational and administrative support.
Formerly, there were no GRCs, and all constituencies of Singapore were represented by one member, but amendments to the Parliamentary Elections Act in 1991 led to the creation of GRCs, thus creating a plurality voting system in the process.
A member of the council serves a six-year term and are eligible for re-appointment for further terms of four years each.
The vote was held shortly after extravagant National Day celebrations marking 50 years of independence, when nationalist fervour was high. Only months earlier, the nation’s “founder” and former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew died, garnering sympathy votes for the PAP.
The unicameral Singaporean parliament is the legislature in Singapore with the president as its head. Before independence in 1965, it was known as the Legislative Assembly. It currently consists of 87 members of parliament. The maximum term of any one parliament is five years, after which a general election must be held within three months of the dissolution of parliament.
Singapore has a total of 43 active, dormant and historical parties.
The Prime Minister and other Ministers who make up the Cabinet do not vacate their offices upon a dissolution of Parliament, but continue in their posts until the first sitting of the next Parliament following a general election.
Voting has been compulsory in Singapore since 1959 and there is universal suffrage. The legal voting age is 21. The Elections Department of Singapore is responsible for the planning, preparation and conduct of presidential and parliamentary elections and of any national referendum in Singapore. It is a department under the Prime Minister's Office.
Both non-constituency and nominated members of parliament cannot vote on the following issues:
Other Cabinet ministers must vacate their office if they resign, or if their appointments are revoked by the President acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister. A person who has vacated his or her office as Minister may, if qualified, be subsequently appointed again as a Minister.
The 2015 election was held after a nine-day campaign, the legal minimum. The electoral process was far from democratic, with the PAP systematically stacking the institutional odds in its favour. The government’s machinations suggest that, typical of elected authoritarian regimes, it remains hyper-vigilant and insecure.
The sections on liberty of the person and freedoms of speech, assembly, movement, association and religion are all qualified by allowing Parliament to restrict those freedoms for reasons including national security, public health, and "public order or morality". In practice, the courts have given complete discretion to the government in imposing such restrictions.
Authoritarian regimes and one-party states, heartened by the PAP’s landslide victory, will no doubt be closely observing how it’s done.
A constitutional provision for the appointment of up to nine Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs) was made in 1990. NMPs are appointed by the president for a term of two and a half years on the recommendation of a Select Committee chaired by the Speaker of Parliament and are not connected to any political parties. In 2005, nine NMPs were sworn in, out of which five were female.
Politicians Of Singapore
The legislation governing the conduct of the Presidential Election are:
With the help of compliant media, a “smear and fear” campaign was unleashed against the Workers Party (WP) for supposed financial mismanagement of the Aljunied town council and the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) for its left-leaning policies.
Each bill goes through several stages before it becomes a law. The first stage is a mere formality known as the first reading, where it is introduced without a debate. This is followed by the second reading, where members of parliament debate on the general principles of the bill. If parliament opposes the bill, it may vote to reject the bill.
The Cabinet may not be summoned except by the authority of the Prime Minister. As far as is practicable, the Prime Minister is required to attend and preside at Cabinet meetings, but in his absence he may appoint another Minister to preside.
Similar to the Speech from the Throne given by the heads of state in other parliamentary systems, the president delivers an address written by the government at the opening of parliament about what kind of policies to expect in the coming year. The current president is Tony Tan Keng Yam.
There is a dominance of government-controlled companies in the local economy. But in spite of its powerful position, the Singapore government has maintained a clean, corruption-free image. In addition, rifts within the leadership in Singapore are rare. The mode of decision making is by consensus, and the leadership style is collective.
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The WP and SDP election manifestos offered comprehensive and coherent social and economic policies. These presented a sharp contrast to the PAP agenda, which retained unpopular policies in areas such as immigration, education and superannuation.