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SMU students develop guide on Singapore Constitution

A group of student authors from the Singapore Management University hope their new book will help to raise awareness among Singaporeans on their fundamental rights and dispel myths about the Singapore Constitution.

SINGAPORE: A group of student authors hope their new book will help to raise awareness among Singaporeans on their fundamental rights and dispel myths about the Singapore Constitution.

The book, titled "The Singapore Constitution: A Brief Introduction", was launched on January 15 by Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob.

The authors, who are business and law students at the Singapore Management University (SMU), hope the simple design and style of writing will facilitate a more informed political discourse among citizens.

During the lead up to the 2011 Presidential Election, the powers of the elected President were hotly debated and Madam Halimah said much of the debate went on social media.

"There was a lot of speculation about what is the elected president supposed to do and not to do. All that is found in the Constitution," said Madam Halimah.

"Someone who wants to know what does the elected president stand for or what are his powers can find that in the Constitution," she added.

The new book aims to explain concepts such as the separation of powers, the executive, judiciary and legislative roles of the Government, and how laws are passed through the use of simple diagrams and pictures.

It took the authors two years to write the book and they had to figure out a way of condensing the information in the least complicated way before putting pen to paper.

"First we had to think of what to include and what to omit. We only included what we thought people would be interested in, and what is essential in the Constitution. Then we structured it in a logical manner and tried to make the design more appealing to people," explained fourth-year SMU law student Dierdre Grace Morgan.

Copies of the book will be sent to all secondary schools and tertiary institutions.

"We hope this primer will spark an interest among some students and be a useful resource to them in whatever projects they may be doing," said Ms Morgan.

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