Government in Singapore


The powers and responsibilities of the Singapore Government have been enshrined in the Constitution. The Constitution in its Preamble declares that the nation is a sovereign republic signifying that the Government in Singapore draws its authority from the electorate. The Constitution provides for the separation of powers under the three wings of the government-the Executive, Legislature, and the Judiciary. The Executive is composed of the Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister and the President.

The Parliament wields legislative authority and is responsible for enacting laws, statutes, and ordinances that defines the executive policies of the government. The Judiciary oversees the dispensation of justice and also keeps an eye on whether the administration is functioning in accordance with the tenets laid down in the Constitution. The President is the ‘de jure’ or the constitutional head and the Prime Minister is the ‘de facto’ head who is democratically elected to govern the country along with his Council of Singapore Ministers.

History

Sir Stamford Raffles is credited with laying the foundations for the island-state of Singapore in the year 1819. The history of modern-day Singapore can be traced back to the time when the country was a trading post of the British East India Company. After World War II Singapore became a colony of the British Empire, with self-governing powers. And on 1st August in 1958, complete independence was granted to Singapore by the UK Parliament and Singapore became a full-fledged sovereign republic.

The new Constitution was adopted on 3rd June, 1959. The roles of the three distinct divisions of the government were clearly outlined. In the first general elections held in 1959, the People’s Action Party’s nominees won in majority of the Parliamentary constituencies and Lee Kuan Yew became the city state’s first democratically elected Prime Minister. The People’s Action Party since the first general elections of 1959 has won all successive general elections and the incumbent Prime Minister Mr. Lee Hsien Loong is the leader of the PAP party since 2004. The next general elections will be held in January 2017 and will be the 12th since Singapore became independent.

Political Parties

The major political parties in Singapore are:-
  • The PAP (which is the prevailing party in power)
  • The Singapore Workers’ Party
  • The Singapore People’s Party
  • The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP)
  • The Reform Party
  • The Singapore Democratic Alliance which is made up of two parties
  • The National Solidarity Party

Socialist Front is the youngest of all parties that was constituted just before the 11th General Elections.

Information and Policies

The directory of the Singapore Government is a repository of Singapore government information. It is in fact an online information bank that indexes the addresses of ministries, statutory bodies, public facilities, and all the state organs. It strives to foster the progress of communication and interaction between the citizens and their elected representatives. All the emails sent by different public organizations and setups are routinely addressed and also archived for future reference. The website id is- www.sgdi.gov.sg

If anybody wants to pick up information about the current policy initiatives of the government, he’ll just need to log in at the above website. He can also contact or send a mail to any of the following ministries for the purpose of grievance redressal. The ministries are:-
  • Defence and Security
  • Education and Learning
  • Finance and Economy
  • Arts and Creative Industries
  • Environment
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Transportation
  • Public Service
  • Health
  • Law
  • Infocomm and Media
  • Housing and Infrastructure
  • Manpower and Employment
  • Population, Family and Community
  • Nation Building and Heritage

The government is formed by the political party that wins most of the seats during the general election and stays in power for five years till the date of the next elections is announced. The cabinet ministers, ministers of states (MoS), parliamentary secretaries are appointed by the Prime Minister in consultation with the President. The government also constitutes Statutory Boards of which the PA (People’s Association) is a strategic one that appoints members for the five Community Development Councils for better local administration.   

Currently Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his cabinet head the government. Elections are held every five years and the party, which gains a 50% majority, is elected to form the government. Singapore's government has always been rated as one of the most politically transparent and least corrupt government in the world.

Singapore Ministers

President: Tony Tan Keng Yam.

Prime Minister: Lee Hsien Loong

Minister of Finance:Josephine Teo

Minister of Manpower:Amy Khor Lean Suan

Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts:Lawrence Wong

Minister for National Development:Tan Chuan-Jin

Minister for Defence:Chan Chun Sing

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs:Masagos Zulkifli

Minister for Law:Indranee Rajah

Minister for Health:Amy Khor Lean Suan

Minister for Transport,financeJosephine Teo

Minister in Prime Minister's Office: Heng Chee How

Minister for Trade and Industry: Teo Ser Luck

Minister for Education: Hawazi Daipi

Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports: Sam Tan Chin Siong

Last Updated On:19/02/2013
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