Allo' Expat Singapore - Connecting Expats in Singapore
Main Homepage
Allo' Expat Singapore Logo

Subscribe to Allo' Expat Newsletter

Check our Rates

Singapore Government


Singapore is a parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government representing constituencies whereby the President of Singapore is the head of state, the Prime Minister of Singapore is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Its constitution establishes representative democracy as its political system. Singapore is consistently rated one of the least corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International.

The President is elected through popular vote, and has some veto powers for a few key decisions such as the use of the national reserves and the appointment of judges, but otherwise occupies a ceremonial post. Executive power is exercised by the Cabinet. The Cabinet has the general direction and control of the government and is collectively responsible to Parliament. Like many countries in the world today, there are three separate branches of government: the legislature, executive and judiciary, though not necessarily meaning that there is a separation of power.

The Parliament serves as the legislative branch of government. Members of Parliament (MPs) consist of elected, non-constituency and nominated members. Elected MPs are voted into parliament on a "first-past-the-post" (plurality) basis and represent either single-member or group-representation constituencies.

The full judicial power in Singapore is vested in the Supreme Court as well as subordinate courts by the Constitution of Singapore. The Supreme Court consists of the Court of Appeal and the High Court. The Court of Appeal exercises appellate criminal and civil jurisdiction, while the High Court exercises both original and appellate criminal and civil jurisdiction. The Chief Justice, Judges of Appeal, Judicial Commissioners and High Court Judges are appointed by the President from candidates recommended by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister must consult with the Chief Justice before recommending the judges.

The legal system of Singapore is based on English common law, albeit with substantial local differences. Trial by jury was entirely abolished in 1970 leaving judicial assessment performed wholly by judgeship. Singapore has penalties that include judicial corporal punishment in the form of caning for rape, rioting, vandalism, and some immigration offences. There is a mandatory death penalty for murder, and for certain drug-trafficking and firearms offences.


Country name : conventional long form: Republic of Singapore
conventional short form: Singapore
local long form: Republic of Singapore
local short form: Singapore
Government type : parliamentary republic

: name: Singapore
geographic coordinates: 1 17 N, 103 51 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions : none
Independence : 9 August 1965 (from Malaysian Federation)
National holiday : National Day, 9 August (1965)
Constitution : 3 June 1959; amended 1965 (based on pre-independence State of Singapore constitution)
Legal system
: English common law
International law organisation participation : has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Suffrage : 21 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch
: chief of state: President Tony TAN Keng Yam (since 1 September 2011)
head of government: Prime Minister LEE Hsien Loong (since 12 August 2004); Deputy Prime Minister TEO Chee Hean (since 1 April 2009) and Deputy Prime Minister THARMAN Shanmugaratnam (since 21 May 2011); Senior Minister HENG Chee How (since 21 May 2011)
cabinet: appointed by president, responsible to parliament
elections: president elected by popular vote for six-year term; election last held on 27 August 2011 (next election to be held by August 2017); following legislative elections, leader of majority party or leader of majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by president; deputy prime ministers appointed by president
election results: Tony TAN Keng Yam elected president from a field of four candidates with 35.2% of the votes cast
Legislative branch

: unicameral Parliament (87 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); note - in addition, there are up to nine nominated members; up to three losing opposition candidates who came closest to winning seats may be appointed as Nominated Members of Parliament (NMP)
elections: last held on 7 May 2011 (next to be held in May 2016)
election results: percent of vote by party - PAP 60.1%, WP 12.8%, NSP 12.1%, others 15%; seats by party - PAP 81, WP 6
Judicial branch : Supreme Court (chief justice is appointed by the president with the advice of the prime minister, other judges are appointed by the president with the advice of the chief justice); Court of Appeals
Political parties and leaders

: National Solidarity Party or NSP [Hazel POA]; People's Action Party or PAP [LEE Hsien Loong]; Reform Party [Kenneth JEYARETNAM]; Singapore Democratic Alliance or SDA [CHIAM See Tong]; Singapore Democratic Party or SDP [CHEE Soon Juan]; Workers' Party or WP [Sylvia LIM Swee Lian]
note: SDA includes Singapore Justice Party or SJP, Singapore National Malay Organization or PKMS, Singapore People's Party or SPP
Political pressure groups and leaders
: none
International organisation participation
Diplomatic representation in the US
: chief of mission: Ambassador CHAN Heng Chee
chancery: 3501 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 537-3100
fax: [1] (202) 537-0876
consulate(s) general: San Francisco
consulate(s): New York
Diplomatic representation from the US
: chief of mission: Ambassador David I. ADELMAN
embassy: 27 Napier Road, Singapore 258508
mailing address: FPO AP 96507-0001
telephone: [65] 6476-9100
fax: [65] 6476-9340
Flag description : two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and white; near the hoist side of the red band, there is a vertical, white crescent (closed portion is toward the hoist side) partially enclosing five white five-pointed stars arranged in a circle; red denotes brotherhood and equality; white signifies purity and virtue; the waxing crescent moon symbolises a young nation on the ascendancy; the five stars represent the nation's ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality
National symbol(s) : lion
National anthem : name: "Majulah Singapura" (Onward Singapore)
lyrics/music: ZUBIR Said
note: adopted 1965; the anthem, which was first performed in 1958 at the Victoria Theatre, is sung only in Malay




copyrights ©
2014 | Policy