Nominated Member of Parliament

Singapore

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A Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) is a Member of the Parliament of Singapore who is appointed instead of being elected into office by the people, and who does not belong to any political party or represent any constituency. There are currently nine NMPs in Parliament. The introduction of NMPs in September 1990, effected to bring more independent voices into Parliament, was an important modification of the traditional Westminster parliamentary system that Singapore had.

NMPs are appointed by the President for a term of two and a half years on the recommendation of a Special Select Committee chaired by the Speaker of Parliament. The Committee may nominate persons who have rendered distinguished public service or who have brought honour to Singapore, and also invites proposals of candidates from community groups in the fields of arts and letters, culture, the sciences, business, industry, the professions, social or community service, and the labour movement. In 2009, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong proposed in Parliament that the Committee should also invite nominations from the people sector such as candidates from the environmental movement, young activists, new citizens, and community and grassroots leaders. In addition, the Committee must have regard to the need for NMPs to reflect as wide a range of independent and non-partisan views as possible.

In Parliament, NMPs may participate in debates and may vote on all issues except amendments to the Constitution, motions relating to public funds, votes of no confidence in the Government, and removing the President from office.

The NMP scheme has been criticized on the grounds that it is undemocratic, and that unelected NMPs have no incentive to express the electorate's views in Parliament. It has also been claimed that the scheme reinforces the ruling People's Action Party's technocratic and elitist view of politics. On the other hand, it is said that NMPs have placed pressure on PAP MPs to be more competent in Parliament.

NMPs have made contributions to Singapore's political landscape. In 1996, the Maintenance of Parents Act (Cap. 167B, 1996 Rev. Ed.) became the first public Act originating from a private member's bill initiated by an NMP, Professor Walter Woon. During parliamentary debates, NMPs have also offered critical views on Government policies. The scheme was declared a success by the Prime Minister in 2009, and NMPs were made a permanent feature of Parliament – before this change, Parliament had to resolve within six months of every election whether NMPs should be appointed.

Contents

Nominated Member of Parliament scheme

Implementation

A Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) is a member of the Parliament of Singapore (MP) who is not elected, but chosen by a committee of MPs. Introducing the NMP scheme was a progression of the plan by the Government, the first step of which was the introduction of the Non-constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) scheme, to increase the number of non-government MPs to enable "alternative views to be expressed and dissenting voices to be heard".[1]

During a debate in Parliament on 29 and 30 November 1989,[2] the First Deputy Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong set out the Government's reasons for implementing the scheme. The NMP scheme was a move to provide more opportunities for Singaporeans to participate in politics. It was a "privilege" extended to Singaporeans who could make valuable contributions to public policy but for good reasons did not desire to enter politics and look after constituencies. Women were mentioned as an example of people who might be more willing to become NMPs, as many have to handle their families and careers and therefore do not have much spare time.[3]

First Deputy Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong (shown above in June 2001) set out the Government's case for introducing the NMP scheme in Parliament on 29 and 30 November 1989

The aim of the scheme was to create a more "consensual style of government where alternative views are heard and constructive dissent accommodated".[4] NMPs could play a constructive role in contributing to good governance that the Opposition and MPs of the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) could not provide. While PAP MPs had been encouraged to air opposing views, they were after all Government MPs and were not allowed to vote against the Government unless the Whip was lifted. Moreover, there were very few Opposition MPs. According to Goh, the Opposition had not been constructive as their objective was to discredit the Government so that they could win office. In contrast, NMPs would not belong to any political party, and could therefore represent the views of people who did not identify themselves with the PAP or the Opposition. Thus, NMPs would be able to concentrate on the "substance of the debate rather than form and rhetoric", and provide dissenting and constructive views that would contribute to good government.[5]

Furthermore, with NMPs Parliament would be able to better represent the views of the people. While the ruling party attempted to represent the mainstream political opinion in Singapore and fielded as representative a range of candidates as possible during general elections, it would inevitably not be able to succeed in completely representing every viewpoint. On the other hand, the Opposition MPs and NCMPs represented anti-establishment voters. Goh expressed the view that people who stood as Opposition candidates usually believed that having the PAP government was bad for Singapore and wished to oust the PAP. Therefore, the range of people likely to be elected to Parliament as Opposition MPs was limited. NMPs could represent the people who disagreed with the PAP but did not wish to oust them from government.[6]

Goh also pointed out that at least 20 other countries had nominated Members in their Houses of Representatives,[7] while noting that each variant of the NMP system had to be tailored to the country in which it was implemented.[8]

The bill for amending the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore[9] to implement the NMP scheme was introduced in Parliament and underwent its First Reading on 6 October 1989.[10] On 30 November 1989, the bill was read a second time, and referred to a select committee.[11] The report of the select committee[12] was presented to Parliament on 15 March 1990, and the bill read a third time and enacted as the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Act 1990[13] on 29 March 1990.[14] It came into force on 10 September 1990.

Modifications

According to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (pictured in November 2010), NMPs have raised the quality of debate in Parliament

From 1 September 1997, the maximum number of NMPs in Parliament was increased from six to nine.[15] Introducing a motion in Parliament for the second reading of the constitutional amendment bill that was eventually passed to effect the change, the Minister for Home Affairs Wong Kan Seng said that the NMP scheme was now well accepted by practically all MPs as it had proven its usefulness and worth. The Government intended to expand the scheme "so that more NMPs can be in Parliament to air views which may not be canvassed by the PAP or by the Opposition. ... We are now proposing to increase the number of NMPs so that a wider cross-section of such views can be canvassed and expressed."[16]

In 2002, an NMP's term of office was extended from two to two and a half years.[17] This was done to avoid the need to select NMPs three times if a particular Parliament lasted its full five-year term.[18] In fact, during the Ninth Parliament, the NMPs had only served 17 days from 1 to 17 October 2001 and attended three sittings before Parliament was dissolved for the 2001 general election.[19]

NMPs were made a permanent feature of Parliament with effect from 1 July 2010.[20] Prior to this change, Parliament had to decide within six months after every election whether to appoint NMPs.[21] The rationale for the changes was given by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Parliament on 27 May 2009. According to him, the main motivation behind having NMPs as a permanent part of the system of government in Singapore was the fact that the scheme had been a great success and had improved the quality of debate in the House: "The scheme has worked well. The NMPs represent non-partisan alternative views in Parliament, and the NMPs have made effective contributions and raised the quality of debate in Parliament. Sometimes, if I may say so, they may have outshone even the Opposition MPs. This NMP scheme should be a permanent part of our political system."[22]

Appointment, term of office, and powers

Parliament House, Singapore, in December 2005

The Fourth Schedule of the Constitution sets out the process for the appointment of NMPs. A Special Select Committee chaired by the Speaker of Parliament and consisting of seven other MPs[23] nominates not more than nine persons to be appointed as NMPs by the President.[24] The Committee invites the general public and also formally invites groups in the community to submit the names of persons who may be considered for nomination by the Committee.[25] These community groups are in the fields of arts and letters, culture, the sciences, business, industry, the professions, social or community service, and the labour movement.[26] In 2009, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong proposed in Parliament that the Committee should also invite nominations from the people sector such as candidates from the environmental movement, young activists, new citizens, and community and grassroots leaders. He felt that "[t]his will give civil society a voice in Parliament and encourage civil society to grow and to mature further".[22] In addition, nominees may be persons who have rendered distinguished public service or who have brought honour to Singapore, and the Committee must have regard to the need for NMPs to reflect as wide a range of independent and non-partisan views as possible.[26]

The usual term of office for an NMP is two and a half years from the date of appointment.[27] NMPs must vacate their seats if they stand as candidates for any political parties in elections, or if they are elected as MPs for any constituencies.[28] In addition, like other MPs, an NMP ceases to be a Member of Parliament when Parliament is dissolved, or in a number of situations specified in the Constitution such as ceasing to be a Singapore citizen, resignation or bankruptcy.[29]

NMPs can vote in Parliament on any bill or motion, except a bill to amend the Constitution; a supply bill, supplementary supply bill or final supply bill; a money bill;[30] a vote of no confidence in the Government; and removing the President from office.[31] However, NMPs can still voice their opinions and join debates on the bills and motions they cannot vote on.

Assessment

Right from the Parliamentary debates that led to the introduction of the NMP scheme, it has been argued that the scheme is undemocratic in nature given the fact that NMPs are nominated rather than elected by the people for the people.[32] Insofar as the choice of NMP is concerned, the electorate is deprived of its right to personally evaluate each candidate's credentials and exercise control over who gets into Parliament. Secondly, it has also been argued that since Singapore practices representative democracy, NMPs are useless to the people as, being unelected, they have no incentive to present their views to Parliament.[33] In other words, one should not enjoy the privilege of representing views without bearing the responsibility of serving those whom one represents.[34] At the time the NMP scheme was introduced these points were made by Chiam See Tong, Leader of the Opposition. The Opposition perceived the scheme as a plan to make it look unnecessary.[35] A similar point has been made by an academic, who has argued that the NMP scheme co-opts more moderate dissenting voices and is thus an attempt to de-legitimize the need for more aggressive opposition.[36] The scheme was also opposed by a number of PAP MPs, including Dr. Tan Cheng Bock,[37] Dr. Dixie Tan,[38] Aline Wong,[39] and Arthur Beng,[40] though in accordance with party discipline they were eventually required to vote in favour of the constitutional amendment. As Beng said: "This is the constraint upon us, and I guess I will have to continue to live a schizophrenic political life – speaking against, yet voting for a Bill."[40]

From the beginning, the process of appointing NMPs has been weighted towards functional representation of discrete interests.[41] In effect, the NMP scheme reinforces the PAP's technocratic and elitist view of politics.[42] It is also argued that the Special Select Committee lacks transparency in the manner it chooses its candidates. The Committee is made up of eight PAP MPs and one Opposition Member, and it has been suggested that it is not too far-fetched to think that this could be an underhand method to bring into Parliament persons sharing the PAP's views on policies.[43]

The view has been taken that the presence of NMPs and their participation in Parliamentary debates have placed pressure on PAP MPs to be less complacent and to be more competent in Parliament.[35]

Suggestions for improvement

Singapore opposition parties generally feel that the NMP scheme cannot be improved as it goes against the most fundamental democratic ideals of fair representation and elections.[44] Despite such calls to do away entirely with the NMP system,[45] there are also those who believe in the scheme and have raised points for its improvement. NMP Viswa Sadasivan has expressed the view that the scheme serves a function and purpose in the current socio-political climate, though it should not be viewed as a permanent solution for Singapore. The scheme could evolve into a selection–election hybrid, or the selection process itself could become more transparent with clearer criteria on which candidates and selected NMPs alike could be assessed.[46]

It has also been recommended that fringe or minority groups should go through formal, mandatory elections to choose the representatives that will provide them with a voice in Parliament. Thereafter, they may be called "elected representatives". The Government may assist by providing guidelines for the conduct of proper elections. Furthermore, the maximum number of NMPs – nine – is said to be far too small to ensure proper representation of minority groups. Hence, it has been recommended that there should not be any limitation on the number of NMPs.[47]

Notable NMPs

The first two NMPs appointed with effect from 22 November 1990 were cardiologist Professor Maurice Choo and company executive Leong Chee Whye.[48]

As of December 2010, one NMP – Professor Walter Woon Cheong Ming, a law lecturer at the National University of Singapore – had succeeded in having a public law enacted based on a private member's bill he or she had initiated. The law in question is the Maintenance of Parents Act,[49] which entitles parents at least 60 years old and unable to maintain themselves adequately to apply to a tribunal for their children to be ordered to pay maintenance to them. The bill was introduced in Parliament by Woon on 23 May 1994, and eventually passed on 2 November 1995.[50] In that year, the first woman NMP, Dr. Kanwaljit Soin, also introduced a Family Violence Bill but it did not pass.[51]

Following his term as an NMP, Gerard Ee, a Roman Catholic, was invited in November 2002 to join a team of seven parliamentarians of different faiths tasked to refine the Declaration of Religious Harmony, which was presented as the product of interfaith dialogue and understanding.[52] This is an example of how NMPs have influenced soft law and the legal culture in Singapore.

On 25 May 2009 during a debate in Parliament, Siew Kum Hong called for a hybrid Parliament in which a limited number of seats would be allocated by way of proportional representation, while the majority would still be filled the way they are now. He felt this would allow for more diverse views in Parliament, adding that it would be "more consistent with democratic principles than a scheme like the Nominated MP scheme". Siew also noted that while the act of voting was key to democracy and political participation, a large number of Singaporeans do not get to vote at each election because walkovers are prevalent.[53]

NMPs are supposed to be non-partisan but after it had been announced on 7 July 2009 that Calvin Cheng would be one of the nine people nominated to be NMPs it was disclosed by Today newspaper that he was a member of Young PAP, the youth wing of the People's Action Party.[54] The following day, Cheng wrote to the newspaper stating that he had formally resigned from Young PAP on 8 July, and that in any case he had been an inactive member, having never collected his membership card or attended any PAP branch activities.[55] This led to criticism that his attitude had been "cavalier" and "whimsical",[56] and that his remarks had raised doubts about the Young PAP's credibility.[57] The Constitution does not explicitly bar NMPs from being members of political parties,[58] and Gerard Ee was also a PAP member when he was an NMP. He did not feel he had to resign, as since he was not subject to the party whip he would not be prevented from expressing independent views in Parliament.[59] Despite these initial criticisms, The Straits Times reported that Cheng "left the strongest impression on many elected Members of Parliament", following speeches he made during his maiden budget debate in Parliament in 2010.[60] In his final speech during Budget 2011 before Parliament was dissolved for the general election that year, Cheng argued for the Government to educate the Internet generation instead of regulating the Internet to deal with threats such as "misinformation and disinformation", calling it "pointless". He went on to say that the Internet might be a "wild card" during the general election.[61] Subsequently, the Internet was indeed regarded as having played a crucial role in the election.[62]

An animated display at the National Museum of Singapore featuring a portion of the Singapore National Pledge. When reciting it, Singapore citizens pledge themselves "as one united people, regardless of race, language or religion".[63]

On 18 August 2009, Viswa Sadasivan moved a motion for Parliament to reaffirm "its commitment to the nation building tenets as enshrined in the National Pledge when debating national policies, especially economic policies". He identified one of the tenets of the Pledge as the need to strive to become a "united people, regardless of race, language or religion", and expressed the view that Singaporean society needed to address "apparent contradictions and mixed signals" by unnecessarily emphasizing racial differences. He gave examples where this had occurred: the existence of ethnic based self-help groups, Special Assistance Plan schools and cultural elitism; policies concerning Malay-Muslims in the Singapore Armed Forces and maintaining the current racial distribution in the population; and discussions about whether Singapore was ready for an ethnic minority Prime Minister.[64] The next day, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew refuted what he termed Viswa's "false and flawed" arguments, saying he wanted to "bring the House back to earth" on the issue of racial equality in Singapore. He noted that Articles 152 and 153 of the Constitution, which make it the Government's responsibility to care for racial and religious minorities and to recognize the special position of Malays as the indigenous people of Singapore, explicitly impose a duty on the Government not to treat everyone equally. He felt that the tenet in the Pledge that Viswa had referred to was only an aspiration: "It is not reality, it is not practical, it will lead to grave and irreparable damage if we work on that principle. ... [W]e are trying to reach a position where there is a level playing field for everybody which is going to take decades, if not centuries, and we may never get there." Thus, it was not feasible to dismantle institutions that provided assistance to Singaporeans on an ethnic basis.[65] It was the first time since 2007 that Lee had chosen to speak during a debate in Parliament.[66]

Notes

  1. ^ Wee Kim Wee (President), "President's Address", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (9 January 1989), vol. 52, col. 15.
  2. ^ Goh Chok Tong (First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence), speech during the Second Reading of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment No. 2) Bill, Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (29 November 1989), vol. 54, cols. 695–705.
  3. ^ Goh Chok Tong, Second Reading of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment No. 2) Bill, cols. 696–697.
  4. ^ Goh Chok Tong, Second Reading of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment No. 2) Bill, col. 695.
  5. ^ Goh Chok Tong, Second Reading of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment No. 2) Bill, col. 700.
  6. ^ Goh Chok Tong, Second Reading of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment No. 2) Bill, col. 701.
  7. ^ Goh Chok Tong, Second Reading of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment No. 2) Bill, col. 702. The list of countries was published at cols. 773–780.
  8. ^ Goh Chok Tong, speech during the Second Reading of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment No. 2) Bill, Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (30 November 1989), vol. 54, col. 845.
  9. ^ Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment No. 2) Bill 1989 (No. B41 of 1989).
  10. ^ Goh Chok Tong, speech during the First Reading of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment No. 2) Bill, Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (6 October 1989), vol. 54, cols. 637–638.
  11. ^ Goh Chok Tong, Second Reading of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment No. 2) Bill, cols. 852–854.
  12. ^ Report of the Select Committee on the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment No. 2) Bill (Bill No. 41/89) [Parl. 4 of 1990], Singapore: Government of Singapore, 1990, OCLC 35566184 .
  13. ^ Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Act 1990 (No. 11 of 1990).
  14. ^ Speech during the Third Reading of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Bill, Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (29 March 1990), vol. 55, col. 1050.
  15. ^ Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Act 1997 (No. 1 of 1997), in force on 1 September 1997.
  16. ^ Wong Kan Seng (Minister for Home Affairs), speech during the Second Reading of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Bill, Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (31 July 1997), vol. 67, cols. 1497–1499.
  17. ^ Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Act 2002 (No. 24 of 2002).
  18. ^ Constitution, Art. 65(4): "Parliament, unless sooner dissolved, shall continue for 5 years from the date of its first sitting and shall then stand dissolved."
  19. ^ Lee Hsien Loong (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance), speech during the Second Reading of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Bill, Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (27 August 2002), vol. 75, col. 796.
  20. ^ "NMPs now permanent feature", Today, 27 April 2010 .
  21. ^ Constitution, 4th Sch., para. 1(1), repealed by Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Act 2010 (No. 9 of 2010), in force on 1 July 2010.
  22. ^ a b Lee Hsien Loong, "President's address: Debate on the address", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (27 May 2009), vol. 86, col. 493ff.
  23. ^ Constitution, 4th Sch., para. 1(3).
  24. ^ Constitution, 4th Sch., para. 3(1).
  25. ^ Constitution, 4th Sch., para. 2(1).
  26. ^ a b Constitution, 4th Sch., para. 3(2).
  27. ^ Constitution, 4th Sch., para. 1(4).
  28. ^ Constitution, Art. 46(2B).
  29. ^ Constitution, Arts. 46(1) and (2).
  30. ^ The term money bill is defined in the Constitution, Art. 68.
  31. ^ Constitution, Art. 39(2).
  32. ^ Tey Tsun Hang (December 2008), "Singapore's Electoral System: Government by the People?", Legal Studies 28 (4): 610–628 at 621–623, doi:10.1111/j.1748-121X.2008.00106.x .
  33. ^ Chiam See Tong (Potong Pasir), speech during the Second Reading of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment No. 2) Bill, Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (29 November 1989), vol. 54, col. 735.
  34. ^ Thio Li-ann (1993), "The Post-colonial Constitutional Evolution of the Singapore Legislature: A Case Study", Singapore Journal of Legal Studies: 80–122 at 101, SSRN 965257 .
  35. ^ a b Ho Khai Leong (2003), Shared Responsibilities, Unshared Power: The Politics of Policy-Making in Singapore, Singapore: Eastern Universities Press, ISBN 978-981-210-218-8 (pbk.) .
  36. ^ Chua Beng Huat (1995), Communitarian Ideology and Democracy in Singapore, London; New York, N.Y.: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-12054-8 .
  37. ^ "Parliament is no place for Govt to take advice from non-elected representatives", The Straits Times: 16, 30 November 1989 .
  38. ^ "What group will NMPs represent?", The Straits Times: 16, 30 November 1989 .
  39. ^ "Notion deviates from basic principle of democracy", The Straits Times: 16, 30 November 1989 .
  40. ^ a b "Allow PAP MPs to vote according to their conscience on this radical move", The Straits Times: 16, 30 November 1989 .
  41. ^ See, for example, Wong Kan Seng (Leader of the House), "Nominated Members of Parliament", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (5 April 2002), vol. 74, cols. 571–572: "Over the years, we have ... improved the selection process by having proposal panels to nominate representatives of functional groups as NMPs. So, in 1997, apart from inviting the general public to submit the names of suitable persons, the Special Select Committee on NMPs wrote to organisations representing three major functional groups: (a) business and industry; (b) labour; and (c) the professions – to propose candidates for this Special Select Committee's consideration. At a sitting on 5th June 1997 ... I also said that the Government would consider further improving the NMP selection process, by expanding the number of functional groups invited to submit nominations."
  42. ^ Tey, "Singapore's Electoral System", p. 622, citing Garry Rodan (1996), "State–Society Relations and Political Opposition in Singapore", in Garry Rodan, ed., Political Oppositions in Industrialising Asia, London: Routledge, pp. 95–127 at 104, ISBN 978-0-415-14864-1 (hbk.), ISBN 978-0-415-14865-8 (pbk.) .
  43. ^ Speaking in Parliament on 29 November 1989, MP for Thomson Leong Horn Kee noted that the NMP scheme appeared on the surface to be an easier way to enter Parliament and that "[s]ome might even say that it is the 'back-door' way to enter Parliament". However, he continued: "I would not wish to denigrate these Nominated MPs just because they enter Parliament by a different process. I would say that they are as legitimate an MP as anyone else as they are MPs selected by a lawful constitutional process.": Leong Horn Kee (Thomson), speech during the Second Reading of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment No. 2) Bill, Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (29 November 1989), vol. 54, col. 712.
  44. ^ Sylvia Lim (NCMP), "President's address: Debate on the address", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (28 May 2009), vol. 86, cols. 683–684.
  45. ^ See also Wong Wee Nam (4 December 2008), The Need for a Multi-party System, Sgpolitics.net, archived from the original on 2 December 2010, http://www.webcitation.org/5ugF86iNR, retrieved 2 December 2010 ; Wong Wee Nam (29 May 2009), The Real Political Change that Singapore Needs, Sgpolitics.net, archived from the original on 2 December 2010, http://www.webcitation.org/5ugEwD6Gu, retrieved 2 December 2010 .
  46. ^ Gangasudhan; Ravi Philemon (9 November 2009), Talking Point(s) with NMP Viswa Sadasivan, The Online Citizen, archived from the original on 2 December 2010, http://www.webcitation.org/5ugGqFvOr, retrieved 2 December 2010 .
  47. ^ Kelvin Teo (11 December 2009), Reforming the NMP Scheme, The Online Citizen, archived from the original on 4 December 2010, http://www.webcitation.org/5uj8Xt5XE, retrieved 4 December 2010 .
  48. ^ a b "Nominated MPs to be sworn-in today at Parliament sitting", The Straits Times: 3, 20 December 1990 .
  49. ^ Maintenance of Parents Act (Cap. 167B, 1996 Rev. Ed.).
  50. ^ "Govt gives backing to Parents Bill", The Straits Times: 1, 27 July 1994 ; "Parents maintenance bill passed", The Straits Times: 1, 3 November 1995, "Legislative history was made yesterday when the House approved the Maintenance of Parents Bill, the first piece of law to be made at the initiative of a backbencher since independence. The Bill initiated by Nominated MP Walter Woon was passed without debate at its third reading ..." 
  51. ^ Kumaralingam Amirthalingam (July 2003) (PDF), A Feminist Critique of Domestic Violence Laws in Singapore and Malaysia [Asia Research Institute Working Paper Series No. 6], Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, p. 17, archived from the original on 22 May 2008, http://web.archive.org/web/20080522130950/http://www.ari.nus.edu.sg/docs/wps/wps03_006.pdf .
  52. ^ "Multi-religious team to draft harmony code", The Straits Times: 6, 2 November 2002 . For commentary on the Declaration of Religious Harmony, see Thio Li-ann (December 2004), "Constitutional 'Soft' Law and the Management of Religious Liberty and Order: The 2003 Declaration on Religious Harmony", Singapore Journal of Legal Studies: 414–443, SSRN 953599 .
  53. ^ Siew Kum Hong (NMP), "President's address: debate on the address", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (25 May 2009), vol. 86, col. 97ff.; Zakir Hussain (26 May 2009), "NMP Siew Kum Hong calls for a 'hybrid system' for Parliament", The Straits Times: 8 .
  54. ^ Esther Ng (8 July 2009), "A question of party: One of the nine new names is a Young PAP member", Today: 6 .
  55. ^ Calvin Cheng (9 July 2009), "I've quit Young PAP [letter]", Today: 22 . See also Esther Ng (9 July 2009), "NMP-designate quits Young PAP", Today: 8 .
  56. ^ P.N. Balji (11 July 2009), "My, my ... Mr Cheng: What does joining Young PAP out of curiosity say about the NMP aspirant?", Today: 14 . See also Loh Chee Kong (18 July 2009), "I'm staying in the kitchen: Under-fire NMP Calvin Cheng says he can take the heat", Today: 16 .
  57. ^ Elaina Olivia Chong (21 July 2009), "Don't write us off: NMP's comments were 'unfair' to Young PAP [letter]", Today: 20  and Elaina Olivia Chong (21 July 2009), "Nominated MP wrong to knock Young PAP [letter]", The Straits Times: 20 ; Calvin Cheng (24 July 2009), "NMP sorry for remarks on Young PAP [letter]", The Straits Times: 20 . See also Debbie Yong (2 August 2009), "New NMP comments on flak he has drawn", The Straits Times: 13 .
  58. ^ Though the Special Select Committee nominating NMPs for appointment is required to "have regard to the need for nominated Members to reflect as wide a range of independent and non-partisan views as possible": Constitution, 4th Sch., para. 3(2).
  59. ^ Clarissa Oon (28 July 2009), "Lift veil over NMP selection", The Straits Times .
  60. ^ Nur Dianah Suhaimi (16 March 2010), "'Lonesome, single' NMP makes biggest impression" (PDF), The Straits Times (from the Parliamentary Library), http://160.96.186.100/lib/pdf/2010/Mar/ST1608.pdf .
  61. ^ "Educate the Internet generation: Nominated MP Calvin Cheng says regulating the Net is pointless" (PDF), The Straits Times (from the Parliamentary Library), 11 March 2011, http://160.96.186.100/lib/pdf/2011/Mar/ST1122.pdf .
  62. ^ Kate Hodal (6 May 2011), "Singapore elections marked by online buzz of discontent", The Guardian (London), http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/06/singapore-elections-internet ; Seth Mydans (7 May 2011), "Opposition makes inroads in Singapore", The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/08/world/asia/08singapore.html, "[O]nline campaigns gave new voice to public discontent over the P.A.P.'s monopoly on power." .
  63. ^ The remainder of the Singapore National Pledge, which does not appear in the photograph, is "[... so as to achieve ha]ppiness, prosperity and progress for our nation".
  64. ^ Viswa Sadasivan (NMP), "Nation building tenets", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (18 August 2009), vol. 86, col. 1007ff.
  65. ^ Lee Kuan Yew (Minister Mentor), "Nation building tenets", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (19 August 2009), vol. 86, col. 1145ff.
  66. ^ Clarissa Oon (20 August 2009), "MM rebuts NMP's notion of race equality: Constitution requires Government to give Malays special position, he says in House debate", The Straits Times (reproduced on the website of the Prime Minister's Office), archived from the original on 7 December 2010, http://www.webcitation.org/5untXMTkw .
  67. ^ Tan Soo Khoon (Speaker), "Nominated Members of Parliament (Announcement by Mr Speaker)", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (20 December 1990), vol. 56, col. 669; Members of Parliament (7th Parliament), Parliament of Singapore, 22 March 2006, archived from the original on 13 July 2007, http://web.archive.org/web/20070713051416/http://www.parliament.gov.sg/AboutUs/Org-MP-PastMP7.htm .
  68. ^ Tan Soo Khoon (Speaker), "Nominated Members of Parliament (Announcement by Mr Speaker)", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (14 September 1992), vol. 60, col. 175; "NMPs take oath of allegiance and then jump straight into the fray of things", The Straits Times: 24, 15 September 1992 .
  69. ^ Tan Soo Khoon (Speaker), "Nominated Members of Parliament (Announcement by Mr Speaker)", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (31 October 1994), vol. 63, col. 598; Wang Hui Ling (2 September 1994), "Four new faces among six NMPs in new term", The Straits Times: 1 ; Tan Soo Khoon (Speaker), "Nominated Members of Parliament (Announcement by Mr Speaker)", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (1 October 1996), vol. 66, col. 562; "Current NMPs to start new terms on Sept 7", The Straits Times: 3, 30 August 1996 .
  70. ^ Tan Soo Khoon (Speaker), "Nominated Members of Parliament (Announcement by Mr Speaker)", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (10 October 1997), vol. 67, col. 1674.
  71. ^ Tan Soo Khoon (Speaker), "Nominated Members of Parliament (Announcement by Mr Speaker)", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (11 October 1999), vol. 71, col. 62.
  72. ^ Tan Soo Khoon (Speaker), "Nominated Members of Parliament (Announcement by Mr Speaker)", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (5 October 2001), vol. 73, cols. 2122–2123.
  73. ^ Abdullah Tarmugi (Speaker), "Nominated Members of Parliament (Announcement by Mr Speaker)", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (8 July 2002), vol. 75, cols. 8–9; Abdullah Tarmugi (Speaker), "Nominated Members of Parliament (Announcement by Mr Speaker)", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (15 June 2004), vol. 78, col. 8.
  74. ^ Abdullah Tarmugi (Speaker), "Nominated Members of Parliament (Announcement by Mr Speaker)", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (17 January 2005), vol. 79, col. 85.
  75. ^ Abdullah Tarmugi (Speaker), "Nominated Members of Parliament (Announcement by Mr Speaker)", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (22 January 2007), vol. 82, col. 922.
  76. ^ Abdullah Tarmugi (Speaker), "Nominated Members of Parliament (Announcement by Mr Speaker)", Singapore Parliamentary Debates, Official Report (20 July 2009), vol. 86, col. 798; Clarissa Oon; Jeremy Au Yong (7 July 2009), "Panel submits names of nine new NMPs", The Straits Times: A1, A4 ; Loh Chee Kong; Ong Dai Lin (7 July 2009), "A brand new slate: A unionist, a vocal sociologist, a former swim queen among the names unveiled", Today: 1, 4, archived from the original on 15 July 2009, http://www.webcitation.org/5iHQhnk7F .

References

Further reading

Articles and websites

  • Lua, Ee Laine; Sim, Disa Jek Sok; Koh, Christopher Theng Jer (1996), "Principles and Practices of Voting: The Singapore Electoral System", Singapore Law Review 17: 244–321 at 267–270 .
  • Rodan, Garry (2009), "New Modes of Political Participation and Singapore's Nominated Members of Parliament", Government and Opposition 44 (4): 438 .
  • Tan, Eugene; Chan, Gary (13 April 2009), "The Legislature", The Singapore Legal System, SingaporeLaw.sg, Singapore Academy of Law, archived from the original on 1 December 2010, http://www.webcitation.org/5ufb2SSw0, retrieved 1 December 2010 .
  • Winslow, Valentine S. (1984), "Creating a Utopian Parliament: The Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Act 1984; the Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Act 1984", Malaya Law Review 28: 268–274 .

Books

  • Chan, Helena H[ui-]M[eng] (1995), "Parliament and Law Making", The Legal System of Singapore, Singapore: Butterworths Asia, pp. 41–68, ISBN 978-0-409-99789-7 (pbk.) .
  • Report of the Select Committee on the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment No. 2) Bill (Bill No. 41/89) [Parl. 4 of 1990], Singapore: Government of Singapore, 1990, OCLC 35566184 .
  • Tan, Kevin Y[ew] L[ee] (2011), "Making Law: Parliament", An Introduction to Singapore's Constitution (rev. ed.), Singapore: Talisman Publishing, pp. 33–60 at 55–56, ISBN 978-981-08-6456-9 (pbk.) .
  • Tan, Kevin Y[ew] L[ee]; Thio, Li-ann (2010), "The Legislature", Constitutional Law in Malaysia and Singapore (3rd ed.), Singapore: LexisNexis, pp. 299–360 at 323–324, ISBN 978-981-236-795-2 (hbk.) .

External links


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