Roles and duties

Roles and duties

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Speaker of Parliament

Mr Tan Chuan-Jin

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.

Leader of the House

Ms Indranee Rajah

Appointed by the Prime Minister, the Leader of the House is responsible for the arrangement of Government business and the legislative programme of Parliament. The Leader also proposes appropriate actions to be taken on any procedural matters arising in Parliament.

The Leader of the House moves procedural motions relating to the business of the House during sittings, such as to extend the times of sittings beyond the usual time as set out in the Standing Orders.

The current Leader of the House, Ms Indranee Rajah, assumed office on 20 August 2020. She is assisted by Deputy Leader of the House, Mr Zaqy Mohamad.

Leader of the Opposition

Mr Pritam Singh

On 11 July 2020, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that Mr Pritam Singh, Secretary-General of the Workers’ Party, was designated Leader of the Opposition of the 14th Parliament of Singapore.

The duties of the Leader of the Opposition includes leading the opposition in presenting alternative views in parliamentary debates on policies, Bills and motions; leading and organising scrutiny of the Government’s positions and actions in Parliament; and being consulted on the appointment of opposition Members to Select Committees, including Standing Select Committees such as the Public Accounts Committee.

Government Whip

Mr Janil Puthucheary

The Party Whip ensures good communication within the party and contributes to the smooth running of the party's parliamentary machinery. The Whip lists the speaking MPs for each item of business and estimates the time required so that a sitting can be completed within schedule.

Often regarded as the disciplinarian in his respective party, the Whip ensures that there are 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.

The present Government Whip is Dr Janil Puthucheary. He is assisted by Deputy Government Whip, Ms Sim Ann.