How Parliament Works
Singapore’s Parliament functions by making laws, controlling the state's finances and taking up a critical and inquisitorial role to check on the actions of the governing party and the ministries.
Members of Parliament (MPs) act as a bridge between the community and the government by ensuring that the concerns of their constituents are heard in Parliament.
The first Parliament of Singapore convened in 1965.
In the current 12th Parliament, there are 90 MPs chosen in the May 2011 General Election, representing either a Single Member Constituency (SMC) or Group Representation Constituency (GRC).
There are 30 new MPs including three Non-Constituency MPs (NCMPs).
The Constitution provides for the appointment of up to three NCMPs who stood but did not win by popular vote in a general election.
Also sitting in Parliament are Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs), who serve for a term of two and a half years and are appointed by the President of Singapore on the recommendation of a Special Select Committee of Parliament chaired by the Speaker.
They are not connected to any political parties and are appointed to ensure a wide representation of community views in Parliament.
The only time that Parliament is presided by the President of Singapore is at the Opening and on this occasion, the Head of State will outline the challenges ahead for the new government.
The other sessions of Parliament are presided by the Speaker who enforces the rules for the orderly conduct of parliamentary business as prescribed in the Standing Orders of Parliament.
The Singapore Parliament can meet at any time of the year.
The date of the sitting can be specifically named by Parliament upon its adjournment or, if no date is fixed, the next session will be announced later by the Speaker.