Constitution of the Republic of Singapore
(Original Enactment: S.I. 1963 No. 1493 (G.N. Sp. No. S 1/63))
[1st July 1999]
—(1) In this Constitution, unless it is otherwise provided or the context otherwise requires —
“Cabinet” means the Cabinet constituted under this Constitution;
“Civil List” means the provision made under Article 22J for the maintenance of the President;
“citizen of Singapore” means any person who, under the provisions of this Constitution, has the status of a citizen of Singapore;
“commencement”, used with reference to this Constitution, means 9th August 1965;
“Consolidated Fund” means the Consolidated Fund established by this Constitution;
“Council of Presidential Advisers” means the Council of Presidential Advisers constituted under Part VA;
“existing law” means any law having effect as part of the law of Singapore immediately before the commencement of this Constitution;
“Government” means the Government of Singapore;
“Judge of the Supreme Court” includes the Chief Justice, a Judge of Appeal and a Judge of the High Court;
“law” includes written law and any legislation of the United Kingdom or other enactment or instrument whatsoever which is in operation in Singapore and the common law in so far as it is in operation in Singapore and any custom or usage having the force of law in Singapore;
“Legal Service Commission” means the Legal Service Commission constituted under this Constitution;
“Legislature” means the Legislature of Singapore;
“Minister” means a Minister appointed under this Constitution;
“office of profit” means, subject to clause (5), any whole time office in the public service;
“Parliament” means the Parliament of Singapore;
“President” means the President of Singapore elected under this Constitution and includes any person for the time being exercising the functions of the office of President;
“Presidential Elections Committee” means the Presidential Elections Committee constituted under Article 18;
“Prime Minister” means the Prime Minister of Singapore appointed under this Constitution;
“public office” means, subject to clause (5), an office of emolument in the public service;
“public officer” means the holder of any public office;
“public seal” means the public seal of Singapore;
“public service” means service under the Government;
“Public Service Commission” means the Public Service Commission constituted under this Constitution;
“register of electors” means any register of electors prepared under the provisions of any written law for the time being in force relating to Parliamentary elections;
“remuneration”, in respect of any public officer, means only the emoluments of that officer, the whole or any part of which count for pension in accordance with the provisions of any law relating to the grant of pensions in respect of the public service;
“reserves”, in relation to the Government, a statutory board or Government company, means the excess of assets over liabilities of the Government, statutory board or Government company, as the case may be;
“session” means the sittings of Parliament commencing when it first meets after being constituted, or after its prorogation or dissolution at any time, and terminating when Parliament is prorogued or is dissolved without having been prorogued;
“Singapore” means the Republic of Singapore;
“sitting” means a period during which Parliament is sitting continuously without adjournment, including any period during which Parliament is in committee;
“Speaker” and “Deputy Speaker” mean, respectively, the Speaker and a Deputy Speaker of Parliament;
“term of office”, in relation to the Government, means the period —
commencing on the date the Prime Minister and Ministers first take and subscribe the Oath of Allegiance in accordance with Article 27 after a general election; and
ending after the next general election on the date immediately before the Prime Minister and Ministers first take and subscribe the Oath of Allegiance in accordance with Article 27;
“terms of service”, in respect of any officer, includes the remuneration to which that officer is entitled by virtue of his office, and any pension, gratuity or other like allowance payable to or in respect of that officer;
“written law” means this Constitution and all Acts and Ordinances and subsidiary legislation for the time being in force in Singapore.
(2) Except where this Constitution otherwise provides or where the context otherwise requires —
the person or authority having power to make substantive appointments to any public office may appoint a person to perform the functions of that office during any period when it is vacant or when the holder thereof is unable (whether by reason of absence or infirmity of body or mind or any other cause) to perform those functions;
every appointment to perform the functions of an office made under paragraph (a) shall be made in the same manner as and subject to the same conditions as apply to a substantive appointment to that office;
any reference in this Constitution to the holder of any office by the term designating his office shall be construed as including a reference to any person for the time being lawfully performing the functions of that office; and
any reference in this Constitution to an appointment to any office shall be construed as including a reference to an appointment to perform the functions of that office.
(3) Where in this Constitution power is conferred on any person or authority to appoint a person to perform the functions of any office if the holder thereof is unable himself to perform its functions, any such appointment shall not be called in question on the ground that the holder of that office was not unable to perform those functions.
(4) For the purposes of this Constitution, the resignation of a member of any body or the holder of any office constituted by this Constitution that is required to be addressed to any person shall be deemed to have effect from the time that it is received by that person:
Provided that, in the case of a resignation that is required to be addressed to the Speaker, the resignation shall, if the office of Speaker is vacant or the Speaker is absent from Singapore, be deemed to have effect from the time that it is received by a Deputy Speaker on behalf of the Speaker.
(5) For the purposes of this Constitution, a person shall not be considered as holding a public office or an office of profit by reason of the fact that he is in receipt of any remuneration or allowances (including a pension or other like allowance) in respect of his tenure of the office of President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Minister, Parliamentary Secretary, Political Secretary, Member of Parliament, Ambassador, High Commissioner or such other office as the President may, from time to time, by order, prescribe1.
1 Offices of Consul-General and Consul have been prescribed by the President — See G.N. No. S 212/72
(6) (a) Without prejudice to clause (2) when the holder of any public office is on leave of absence pending relinquishment of that office, the person or authority having power to make appointments to that office may appoint another person thereto.
Where 2 or more persons are holding the same office by reason of an appointment made pursuant to paragraph (a), the person last appointed shall, in respect of any function conferred on the holder of that office, be deemed to be the sole holder of that office.
(7) Where a person is required by this Constitution to take an oath, he shall be permitted, if he so desires, to comply with that requirement by making an affirmation.
(8) References in this Constitution to any period shall, so far as the context admits, be construed as including references to a period beginning before the commencement of this Constitution.
(9) Subject to this Article, the Interpretation Act (Cap. 1) shall apply for the purpose of interpreting this Constitution and otherwise in relation thereto as it applies for the purpose of interpreting and otherwise in relation to any written law within the meaning of that Act.
(10) Unless the context otherwise requires, any reference in this Constitution to a specified Part, Article or Schedule is a reference to that Part or Article of, or that Schedule to, this Constitution; any reference to a specified chapter, clause, section or paragraph is a reference to that chapter of the Part, that clause of the Article, that section of the Schedule, or that paragraph of the clause or section, in which the reference occurs; and any reference to a group of Articles, sections or divisions of Articles or sections shall be construed as including both the first and the last member of the group referred to.