Government of Singapore

Government of Singapore
Established9 August 1965 (1965-08-09)
StateRepublic of Singapore
LeaderPrime Minister of Singapore
Appointed byPresident of Singapore
Main organCabinet of Singapore
Responsible toParliament of Singapore
Government of Singapore
Chinese name
Malay name
MalayPemerintah Singapura
Tamil name
Tamilசிங்கப்பூர் அரசு

The Government of Singapore is defined by the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore to consist of the President and the Executive. Executive authority of Singapore is vested in the President but exercised on the advice of the Cabinet led by the Prime Minister. The President, acting as the Head of State, may only act in their discretion in appointing the Prime Minister, acting as the Head of Government; as well as withholding consent for the dissolution of Parliament; along with performing key checks on the Government in addition to the ceremonial duties of the Head of State inherited from the Westminster system. The Cabinet, consisting of the Prime Minister and ministers appointed by the President on the Prime Minister's advice, is responsible for heading the Executive through ministries and other statutory boards. At the end of the term or at any time during the term, once the President has consented to a request made by the Prime Minister to dissolve Parliament, Parliamentary General Elections are held to elect members of Parliament for a new term. The President, in their discretion, then appoints a Prime Minister who is a member of Parliament representing any political party or coalition of political parties who in their judgement is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of Parliament. The Prime Minister then forms the Government and, along with the Cabinet, sets the general direction and control of the Government for the next term.

A statutory board is an autonomous agency of the Government that is established by an Act of Parliament and overseen by a government ministry. Unlike ministries and government departments that are subdivisions of ministries, statutory boards are not staffed by civil servants and have greater independence and flexibility in their operations. There are five Community Development Councils (CDCs) appointed by the board of management of the People's Association (PA) for districts in Singapore. Where there are not less than 150,000 residents in a district, the PA's board of management may designate the chairman of a CDC to be the mayor for the district that the CDC is appointed for. As it is the practice for MPs to be appointed as Chairmen of CDCs, these MPs have also been designated as mayors.

From the founding of modern Singapore in 1819 until 1826, Singapore was headed by two residents in succession. Following Singapore's amalgamation into the Straits Settlements in 1826, it was governed by a governor together with a legislative council. An executive council of the Straits Settlements was introduced in 1877 to advise the governor but wielded no executive power. In 1955, a Council of Ministers was created, appointed by the governor on the recommendation of the leader of the house. Constitutional talks between Legislative Assembly representatives and the Colonial Office were held from 1956 to 1958, and Singapore gained full internal self-government in 1959. The governor was replaced by the Yang di-Pertuan Negara, who had power to appoint to the post of prime minister the person most likely to command the authority of the assembly, and other ministers of the Cabinet on the prime minister's advice. In the 1959 general elections, the People's Action Party (PAP) swept to power with 43 out of the 51 seats in the assembly, and Lee Kuan Yew became the first prime minister of Singapore. The executive branch of the Singapore Government remained unchanged following Singapore's merger with Malaysia in 1963, and subsequent independence in 1965. The PAP has been returned to power in every general election and has thus formed the Cabinet since 1959. The government is generally perceived to be competent in managing the country's economy and largely free from political corruption. On the other hand, it has been criticised for using unbalanced election tactics, violating freedom of speech and its use of the death penalty for drug-related crimes.

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