The Speaker presides over the sittings of the House and enforces the rules prescribed in the Standing Orders of Parliament for the orderly conduct of parliamentary business. Elected at the commencement of a new Parliament by MPs, the Speaker may or may not be an MP, but must possess the qualifications to stand for election as an MP as provided for in the Constitution.
In carrying out the duties in the House, the Speaker must remain impartial and fair to all MPs. The Speaker regulates and enforces the rules of debate. He decides who has the right to speak and puts the question for the House to debate on and vote. The Speaker does not take part in the debates of the House but can abstain or vote for or against a motion if he has an original vote as an elected Member. The Speaker has no casting vote. As the guardian of parliamentary privileges, MPs look to the Speaker for guidance on procedures and he gives his rulings on any point of order, if necessary.
The Speaker acts as the representative of the House in its relations with other Parliaments and outside bodies. The Speaker also welcomes visiting dignitaries and represents Parliament at national events and during official visits abroad. The Speaker is overall in charge of the administration of Parliament and its Secretariat.
Mr Tan Chuan-Jin is the current Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore, He is assisted by two Deputy Speakers, Mr Christopher de Souza and Ms Jessica Tan.