Roles and Duties
Speaker of Parliament
The Speaker of Parliament takes charge of the administration of Parliament and its secretariat, and presides over parliamentary sittings.
During debates in the House, the Speaker’s role includes regulating and enforcing the rules of debate in the House, and putting the question for the House to debate on and vote.
The Speaker must remain impartial and fair to all MPs as decides who has the right to speak.
Although the Speaker does not take part in the debates, being an elected Member of Parliament, the Speaker can abstain, or vote for/ against a motion.
Madam Halimah Yacob was elected Speaker of Parliament on 14 January 2013. She is Singapore’s first female Speaker of Parliament. Madam Halimah is also the MP for MARSILING-YEW TEE GRC
Leader of the House
The Leader of the House is responsible for the arrangement of government business and the legislative programme of Parliament. She also proposes appropriate actions to be taken on any procedural matters arising in Parliament.
The Leader of the House is tasked with moving procedural motions relating to the business of the House during sittings, such as extending the time of sittings beyond the usual time as set out in the Standing Orders.
The position is currently held by Ms Grace Fu, who is the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Leader of the House.
Singapore law does not provide for an official Leader of the Opposition, however there is the title - unofficial Leader of the Opposition - given to the MP who is the leader of the largest opposition party which is able and prepared to assume office if the government resigns.
A Party Whip is an official in a political party whose task is to ensure party discipline in a legislature.
In carrying out his duties, the Whip lists down the speakers for each item of business and estimates the time required so that everything can be completed within schedule.
The Whip also ensures that there are always sufficient party members in the Chamber to support the party's position and that MPs vote according to the party's line. Occasionally, he may "lift the whip" and allow MPs to vote according to their conscience.