Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore

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Speaker of the Parliament of Republic of Singapore
Incumbent
Tan Chuan-Jin

since 11 September 2017
Style Mr Speaker (Male)
Mdm Speaker (Female)
Nominator Prime Minister of Singapore
Appointer Parliament of Singapore
With the recommendation of the Prime Minister
Term length For the duration of each parliament; renewable
Inaugural holder Sir George Oehlers
Formation 5 June 1955
Deputy Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore
Salary S$600,000 annually
Website www.parliament.gov.sg
Coat of arms of Singapore.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Singapore
Constitution
Foreign relations
The wig and ceremonial gown of the Speaker of Parliament on display in Parliament House, Singapore. The Speaker dons the gown during the Opening of Parliament ceremony, but the wearing of the wig was discontinued in 1993.

The Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore is the head officer of the Parliament of the Republic of Singapore.

Election[edit]

Parliament must elect a Speaker at the beginning of each new parliamentary term after a general election.[1] Parliament has the freedom to choose how to elect the Speaker. By recent tradition, the Prime Minister nominates a person for the role. The person's name is then proposed and seconded by the Members of Parliament (MPs), before being elected as Speaker.[2] The Constitution states that Parliament has the freedom to decide how to elect its Speaker.[3]

The Speaker may or may not be an elected MP, but must possess the qualifications to stand for election as an MP as provided for in the Constitution.[4] The Speaker cannot be a Cabinet Minister or Parliamentary Secretary[5], and must resign from those positions prior to being elected as Speaker.

Once elected, a Speaker continues in office until the dissolution of Parliament, unless he or she resigns, is appointed as a Cabinet minister of Parliamentary Secretary, or is disqualified from holding their seat as an MP.[6]

Role[edit]

The role of the Speaker in Singapore is similar to that in most Commonwealth legislatures. The Speaker presides over the sittings of Parliament, and enforces the rules prescribed in its Standing Orders for the orderly conduct of parliamentary business. In carrying out their duties, the Speaker must remain impartial and fair to all MPs.[4]

The Speaker regulates and enforces the rules of debate. They decide who has the right to speak, and put the question for Parliament to debate on and vote. The Speaker does not take part in the debates, but can abstain or vote for or against a motion if they have a vote as an elected MP. [4]

As the guardian of parliamentary privileges, MPs look to the Speaker for guidance on procedures, and for rulings on any points of order.[4]

The Speaker is second in the order of succession for the office of the President of Singapore. Should the President's office be vacant, and the chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers is unable to take up the role, the Speaker will assume the duties of the President until a new President is elected.[7] In terms of state protocol, the Speaker sits at the same level as the Chief Justice of Singapore.[2]

The Speaker acts as Parliament's representative in its relations with other legislatures and outside bodies. The Speaker also welcomes visiting dignitaries, and represents Parliament at national events and during official visits abroad. The Speaker is overall in charge of the administration of Parliament and its Secretariat.[4]

The Speaker is one of the few public sector roles which allow its office-holder to automatically qualify as a candidate in the Singapore presidential elections.[8]

List of Speakers[edit]

A list of people who have served as Speakers of Parliament is set out below:[9]

# Speaker Party Constituency Took office Left office Parliament
1 Sir George Oehlers [10] Non-MP 22 April 1955 31 March 1959 1st Legislative Assembly
1 July 1959 3 September 1963 2nd Legislative Assembly
2 Edmund W Barker PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Tanglin 22 October 1963 1964 3rd Legislative Assembly
3 A P Rajah [11] Independent Farrer Park 1964 8 August 1965
9 August 1965 1966 1st Parliament
4 Punch Coomaraswamy [12] Non-MP 1966 8 February 1968
6 May 1968 1970 2nd Parliament
5 Dr Yeoh Ghim Seng PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Joo Chiat 1970 16 August 1972
12 October 1972 6 December 1976 3rd Parliament
7 February 1977 5 December 1980 4th Parliament
3 February 1981 4 December 1984 5th Parliament
25 February 1985 17 August 1988 6th Parliament
6 Tan Soo Khoon PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Brickworks GRC 9 January 1989 14 August 1991 7th Parliament
Bedok GRC 6 January 1992 16 December 1996 8th Parliament
East Coast GRC 26 May 1997 18 October 2001 9th Parliament
7 Abdullah Tarmugi PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party East Coast GRC 25 March 2002 20 April 2006 10th Parliament
2 November 2006 19 April 2011 11th Parliament
8 Michael Palmer[13] PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Punggol East SMC 10 October 2011 12 December 2012 12th Parliament
9 Halimah Yacob[14] PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Jurong GRC 14 January 2013 25 August 2015
Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC 15 January 2016 7 August 2017 13th Parliament
10 Tan Chuan-Jin[15] PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party Marine Parade GRC 11 September 2017 Incumbent

List of Deputy Speakers[edit]

The following table contains a list of Deputy Speakers of Parliament:[9]

Deputy Speaker Party Term of office
R C H Lim Non-MP 1955–1959
G Kandasamy Non-MP 1959–1961
John Mammen Non-MP 1961–1963
Dr Fong Kim Heng Non-MP 1963–1965
Punch Coomaraswamy Non-MP 1966
Dr Yeoh Ghim Seng PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party 1968–1970
Tang See Chim Non-MP 1972–1981
Hwang Soo Jin Non-MP 1981–1985
Tan Soo Khoon PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party 1985–1989
Lim Boon Heng PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party 1989–1991
Abdullah Tarmugi PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party 1989–1993
Eugene Yap Giau Cheng PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party 1993–2002
Lim Hwee Hua PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party 2002–2004
Chew Heng Ching PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party 2002–2006
S. Iswaran PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party 2004–2006
Indranee Rajah PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party 2006–2011
Matthias Yao Chih PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party 2006–2011
Seah Kian Peng PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party 2011–2016
Charles Chong[16] PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party 2011–present
Lim Biow Chuan PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party 2016–present

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Constitution, Art. 40(1).
  2. ^ a b Lee, Min Kok (8 January 2016). "Halimah Yacob to be renominated as Speaker of Parliament: 7 things you may not know about the post". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 7 August 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  3. ^ Constitution, Art. 40(2).
  4. ^ a b c d e "Speaker of Parliament". Parliament of Singapore. Archived from the original on 7 August 2017. Retrieved 7 August 2017. 
  5. ^ Constitution, Art. 40(2).
  6. ^ Constitution, Art. 40(4).
  7. ^ Constitution, Art. 22N.
  8. ^ Constitution of the Republic of Singapore, Art. 19(3)(a).
  9. ^ a b Speaker of Parliament, Parliament of Singapore, 18 October 2011 
  10. ^ Joshua Yeong Jia Chia (26 June 2006), Sir George Edward Noel Oehlers, Singapore Infopedia, National Library Board, archived from the original on 7 March 2012 .
  11. ^ Joshua Yeong Jia Chia (28 June 2006), Arumugam Ponnu Rajah, Singapore Infopedia, National Library Board, archived from the original on 7 March 2012 .
  12. ^ Bonny Tan (17 April 1999), Punch Coomaraswamy, Singapore Infopedia, National Library Board, archived from the original on 7 March 2012 .
  13. ^ Elgin Toh (11 October 2011), "Debate in right spirit: Different views should not stop MPs from closing ranks, says newly elected Michael Palmer", The Straits Times, p. A6 ; "Michael Palmer sworn in as House Speaker", Today, p. 2, 11 October 2011, archived from the original on 11 October 2011 .
  14. ^ Rachel Chang (15 January 2013), "Madam Halimah, Madam Speaker: MPs laud her social advocacy as they elect her the new head of Parliament", The Straits Times, p. A3 ; Ng Jing Yng (15 January 2013), "MPs welcome first woman Speaker of Parliament: Election of former Minister of State Halimah Yacob hailed as an 'inspired choice'", Today, p. 4, archived from the original on 16 January 2013 .
  15. ^ "PM nominates Tan Chuan-Jin as next Speaker of Parliament", Today, 6 September 2017, archived from the original on 7 September 2017 .
  16. ^ Rachel Chang (18 October 2011), "MPs push for change in Govt–citizen ties: It must boost emotional connection in new landscape, they urge", The Straits Times, pp. A1 & A4 at A4, Before the debate began, two deputy speakers to assist Speaker Michael Palmer were approved by the House. They are Joo Chiat SMC MP Charles Chong and Marine Parade GRC MP Seah Kian Peng. ; Esther Ng (18 October 2011), "President's speech sees robust debate: Opposition asks if Government will 'conspicuously focus' on happiness", Today, p. 1, archived from the original on 18 October 2011