Article 17-20 Singapore Constitution 1963

Article 17-20 Constitution of Singapore 1963

Article 17, 18, 19, 19A, 19B and 20, among others, are under Chapter 1 (The President) of Part V of the Constitution of Singapore 1963. Part V is titled The Government.

Article 17 Singapore Constitution 1963

The President

(1) There shall be a President of Singapore who shall be the Head of State.

(2) In addition to being the Head of State, it is also the function of the President to safeguard the reserves of Singapore and the integrity of the Public Services of Singapore, and the President is to perform this function according to the provisions of this Constitution mentioned in clause (3).

(3) The provisions mentioned by clause (2) are the provisions in Articles 22, 22A, 22B, 22C, 22D, 22E, 37B, 37C and 154A and Part 11 that authorise the President to act in his discretion.

(4) The President may exercise such other powers and perform such other functions as are conferred on the President by this Constitution and any other written law.

Article 17A Singapore Constitution 1963

Election of President

(1) The President is to be elected by the citizens of Singapore in accordance with any law made by the Legislature.

(2) Any poll for the election of President must be held as follows:
(a) in the case where the office of President becomes vacant prior to the expiration of the term of office of the incumbent and a writ for the election has not been issued before such vacation of office or, if so issued, has already been countermanded — within 6 months after the date the office of President becomes vacant; or
(b) in any other case — not more than 3 months before the date of expiration of the term of office of the incumbent.

Article 18 Singapore Constitution 1963

Presidential Elections Committee

(1) The Presidential Elections Committee (called in this Article the Committee) is established and is to perform the functions relating to elections to the office of President conferred on it by this Constitution or any written law relating to such elections.

(2) The Committee consists of —
(a) the Chairman of the Public Service Commission, who is the Chairman of the Committee;
(b) the Chairman of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority established by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority Act 2004;
(c) a member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights, appointed by the Chairman of that Council;
(d) a member or former member of the Council of Presidential Advisers (but not the sitting Chairman of that Council or a former member who vacated his seat under Article 37F(2)(a) or (c)), appointed by the Chairman of that Council;
(e) a person who is qualified to be or has been a Supreme Court Judge, appointed by the Chief Justice; and
(f) a person, who in the opinion of the Prime Minister has expertise and experience acquired in the private sector that is relevant to the functions of the Committee, appointed by the Prime Minister.

(3) A person appointed as a member under clause (2)(c), (d), (e) or (f) holds office for a term of 6 years and may be re‑appointed.

(4) The office of a member appointed under clause (2)(c), (d), (e) or (f) falls vacant —
(a) if the member dies;
(b) if the member resigns from office in writing addressed to the Chairman of the Committee;
(c) subject to clause (6), if the member’s appointment is revoked by the authority who appointed the member;
(d) for a member appointed under clause (2)(c), if the member ceases to be a member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights; or
(e) for a member who is a member of the Council of Presidential Advisers appointed under clause (2)(d), if the member is subsequently appointed as the Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers or vacates his seat on that Council under Article 37F(2)(a) or (c).

(5) If the office of a member appointed under clause (2)(c), (d), (e) or (f) falls vacant, a new member must be appointed as soon as practicable in accordance with the provisions of this Article under which the vacating member was appointed.

(6) A member’s appointment cannot be revoked under clause (4)(c) from the time a writ is issued for an election to the office of President until the time a person is declared to be elected to the office of President.

See also  Article 3-5 Singapore Constitution 1963

(7) If any member of the Committee is absent from Singapore or for any other reason unable to discharge his functions, the following provisions apply:
(a) if the member is the Chairman of the Committee, the Chairman must appoint a Deputy Chairman of the Public Service Commission to act on the Chairman’s behalf;
(b) if the member is the Chairman of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, the member must appoint another member of that Authority to act on the member’s behalf;
(c) if the member is appointed under clause (2)(c), (d), (e) or (f), another person must be appointed, in accordance with the provisions of this Article under which the member was appointed, to act on the member’s behalf.

(8) A decision of the Committee must be made by a majority of its members present and voting and, if on any question before the Committee its members are equally divided, the Chairman of the Committee has a casting vote in addition to his original vote.

(9) The Committee may act despite any vacancy in its membership.

(10) Subject to this Constitution, the Committee may regulate its procedure and fix the quorum for its meetings.

(11) Parliament may by law provide for the remuneration of members of the Committee and the remuneration so provided is charged on the Consolidated Fund

(12) A decision of the Committee as to whether a candidate for election to the office of President has fulfilled the requirements of Article 19(2)(e) or (g) is final and is not subject to appeal or review in any court.

Article 19 Singapore Constitution 1963

Qualifications of President

(1) No person shall be elected as President unless he is qualified for election in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

(2) A person shall be qualified to be elected as President if he —
(a) is a citizen of Singapore;
(b) is not less than 45 years of age;
(c) possesses the qualifications specified in Article 44(2)(c) and (d);
(d) is not subject to any of the disqualifications specified in Article 45;
(e) satisfies the Presidential Elections Committee that he is a person of integrity, good character and reputation;
(f) is not a member of any political party on the date of his nomination for election; and
(g) satisfies the Presidential Elections Committee that —
(i) he has, at the date of the writ of election, met either the public sector service requirement in clause (3) or the private sector service requirement in clause (4); and
(ii) the period of service counted for the purposes of clause (3)(a), (b) or (c)(i) or (4)(a)(i) or (b)(i) or each of the 2 periods of service counted for the purposes of clause (3)(d) or (4)(c), as the case may be, falls partly or wholly within the 20 years immediately before the date of the writ of election.

(3) The public sector service requirement is that the person has —
(a) held office for a period of 3 or more years as Minister, Chief Justice, Speaker, Attorney‑General, Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Auditor‑General, Accountant‑General or Permanent Secretary;
(b) served for a period of 3 or more years as the chief executive of an entity specified in the Fifth Schedule;

(c) satisfied the following criteria:
(i) the person has served for a period of 3 or more years in an office in the public sector;
(ii) the Presidential Elections Committee is satisfied, having regard to the nature of the office and the person’s performance in the office, that the person has experience and ability that is comparable to the experience and ability of a person who satisfies paragraph (a) or (b); and
(iii) the Presidential Elections Committee is satisfied, having regard to any other factors it sees fit to consider, that the person has the experience and ability to effectively carry out the functions and duties of the office of President; or
(d) held office or served, as the case may be, for a first period of one or more years in an office mentioned in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) and a second period of one or more years in an office mentioned in paragraph (a), (b) or (c), and the 2 periods add up to 3 or more years.

(4) The private sector service requirement is that the person has —
(a) served as the chief executive of a company and —
(i) the person’s most recent period of service as chief executive (ignoring any period of service shorter than a year) is 3 or more years in length;
(ii) the company, on average, has at least the minimum amount in shareholders’ equity for the person’s most recent 3‑year period of service as chief executive;
(iii) the company, on average, makes profit after tax for the entire time (continuous or otherwise) that the person served as the chief executive of the company; and
(iv) if the person has ceased to be the chief executive of the company before the date of the writ of election, the company has not been subject to any insolvency event from the last day of his service as chief executive of the company until —
(A) the date falling 3 years after that day; or
(B) the date of the writ of election,
whichever is earlier, as assessed solely on the basis of events occurring on or before the date of the writ of election;

See also  Article 111J-111Q Singapore Constitution 1963

(b) satisfied the following criteria:
(i) the person has served for a period of 3 or more years in an office in a private sector organisation;
(ii) the Presidential Elections Committee is satisfied, having regard to the nature of the office, the size and complexity of the private sector organisation and the person’s performance in the office, that the person has experience and ability that is comparable to the experience and ability of a person who has served as the chief executive of a typical company with at least the minimum amount of shareholders’ equity and who satisfies paragraph (a) in relation to such service; and
(iii) the Presidential Elections Committee is satisfied, having regard to any other factors it sees fit to consider, that the person has the experience and ability to effectively carry out the functions and duties of the office of President; or
(c) subject to clause (5), served for a first period of one or more years in an office mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) and a second period of one or more years in an office mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b), and the 2 periods add up to 3 or more years.

(5) If a person proposes to rely on clause (4)(a) for one or both periods of service under clause (4)(c), the following provisions apply:
(a) if the person proposes to rely on one period of service as the chief executive of a company —
(i) instead of clause (4)(a)(i), the period of service relied on must be the most recent period that the person served as the chief executive of the company (ignoring any period of service less than a year);
(ii) instead of clause (4)(a)(ii), the company must, on average, have at least the minimum amount in shareholders’ equity for that period of service; and
(iii) clause (4)(a)(iii) and (iv) applies without modification in relation to the company;

(b) if the person proposes to rely on one period of service as the chief executive of one company and one period of service as the chief executive of another company —
(i) instead of clause (4)(a)(i), the period of service relied on for each company must be the most recent period that the person served as the chief executive of that company (ignoring any period of service less than a year);
(ii) instead of clause (4)(a)(ii), each company must, on average, have at least the minimum amount in shareholders’ equity for the period of service relied on; and
(iii) clause (4)(a)(iii) and (iv) applies without modification in relation to each company;

(c) if the person proposes to rely on 2 periods of service as the chief executive of one company —
(i) instead of clause (4)(a)(i), the 2 periods of service must be the 2 most recent periods of service that the person served as the chief executive of the company (ignoring any period of service less than a year);
(ii) instead of clause (4)(a)(ii), the company must, on average, have at least the minimum amount in shareholders’ equity for each period of service; and
(iii) clause (4)(a)(iii) and (iv) applies without modification in relation to the company.

(6) The Legislature may, by law —
(a) specify how the Presidential Elections Committee is to calculate and determine shareholders’ equity for the purposes of clauses (4)(a)(ii) and (b)(ii) and (5)(a)(ii), (b)(ii) and (c)(ii);
(b) specify how the Presidential Elections Committee is to calculate and determine profit after tax for the purposes of clause (4)(a)(iii); and
(c) prescribe what constitutes an insolvency event for the purposes of clause (4)(a)(iv).

(7) The minimum amount mentioned in clauses (4)(a)(ii) and (b)(ii) and (5)(a)(ii), (b)(ii) and (c)(ii) is $500 million and this amount can be increased if —
(a) a committee consisting of all the members of the Presidential Elections Committee presents to Parliament a recommendation that the amount be increased; and
(b) Parliament, by resolution, decides to increase the amount by the extent recommended by the committee or by any lesser extent.

(8) A resolution under clause (7)(b) cannot be passed —
(a) when the office of President is vacant; or
(b) during the 6 months before the date on which the term of office of an incumbent President expires.

(9) The committee mentioned in clause (7)(a) —
(a) may regulate its own procedure and make rules for that purpose;
(b) may from time to time, and must at least once every 12 years (starting from the date of commencement of section 7(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment) Act 2016), review the minimum amount of shareholders’ equity required under clauses (4)(a)(ii) and (b)(ii) and (5)(a)(ii), (b)(ii) and (c)(ii); and
(c) must present a report of its conclusions to Parliament (even if it does not recommend an increase).

(10) In clauses (3), (4) and (5), unless the context otherwise requires —
“chief executive”, in relation to an entity or organisation, means the most senior executive (however named) in that entity or organisation, who is principally responsible for the management and conduct of the entity’s or organisation’s business and operations;
“company” means a company limited by shares and incorporated or registered in Singapore under the general law relating to companies;
“period” means continuous period.

Article 19A Singapore Constitution 1963

Disabilities of President

(1) The President must —
(a) not hold any other office created or recognised by this Constitution;
(b) not actively engage in any commercial enterprise;
(c) not be a member of any political party; and
(d) if he is a Member of Parliament, vacate his seat in Parliament.

See also  Article 152-156 Singapore Constitution 1963

(2) Nothing in clause (1) is to be construed as requiring any person exercising the functions of the office of President under Article 22N or 22O to —
(a) if he is a member of any political party, resign as a member of that party; or
(b) vacate his seat in Parliament or any other office created or recognised by this Constitution.

Article 19B Singapore Constitution 1963

Reserved election for community that has not held office of President for 5 or more consecutive terms

(1) An election for the office of President is reserved for a community if no person belonging to that community has held the office of President for any of the 5 most recent terms of office of the President.

(2) A person is qualified to be elected as President —
(a) in an election reserved for one community under clause (1), only if the person belongs to the community for which the election is reserved and satisfies the requirements in Article 19;

(b) in an election reserved for 2 communities under clause (1) —
(i) only if the person satisfies the requirements in Article 19 and belongs to the community from which a person has not held the office of President for the greater number of consecutive terms of office immediately before the election; or
(ii) if no person qualifies under sub-paragraph (i), only if the person satisfies the requirements in Article 19 and belongs to the other community for which the election is reserved; and

(c) in an election reserved for all 3 communities under clause (1) —
(i) only if the person satisfies the requirements in Article 19 and belongs to the community from which a person has not held the office of President for the greatest number of consecutive terms of office immediately before the election;
(ii) if no person qualifies under sub-paragraph (i), only if the person satisfies the requirements in Article 19 and belongs to the community from which a person has not held the office of President for the next greatest number of consecutive terms of office immediately before the election; or
(iii) if no person qualifies under sub‑paragraph (i) or (ii), only if the person satisfies the requirements in Article 19 and belongs to the remaining community.

(3) For the purposes of this Article, a person who exercises the functions of the President under Article 22N or 22O is not considered to have held the office of President.

(4) The Legislature may, by law —
(a) provide for the establishment of one or more committees to decide, for the purposes of this Article, whether a person belongs to the Chinese community, the Malay community or the Indian or other minority communities;
(b) prescribe the procedure by which a committee under paragraph (a) decides whether a person belongs to a community;
(c) provide for the dispensation of the requirement that a person must belong to a community in order to qualify to be elected as President if, in a reserved election, no person who qualifies to be elected as President under clause (2)(a), (b) or (c) (as the case may be) is nominated as a candidate for election as President; and
(d) make such provisions the Legislature considers necessary or expedient to give effect to this Article.

(5) No provision of any law made pursuant to this Article is invalid on the ground of inconsistency with Article 12 or is considered to be a differentiating measure under Article 78.

(6) In this Article —
“community” means —
(a) the Chinese community;
(b) the Malay community; or
(c) the Indian or other minority communities;

“person belonging to the Chinese community” means any person who considers himself to be a member of the Chinese community and who is generally accepted as a member of the Chinese community by that community;
“person belonging to the Malay community” means any person, whether of the Malay race or otherwise, who considers himself to be a member of the Malay community and who is generally accepted as a member of the Malay community by that community;
“person belonging to the Indian or other minority communities” means any person of Indian origin who considers himself to be a member of the Indian community and who is generally accepted as a member of the Indian community by that community, or any person who belongs to any minority community other than the Malay or Indian community;
“term of office” includes an uncompleted term of office.

Article 20 Singapore Constitution 1963

Term of office

(1) The President shall hold office for a term of 6 years from the date on which he assumes office.

(2) The person elected to the office of President shall assume office on the day his predecessor ceases to hold office or, if the office is vacant, on the day following his election.

(3) Upon his assumption of office, the President shall take and subscribe in the presence of the Chief Justice or of another Supreme Court Judge the Oath of Office in the form set out in the First Schedule.


See also:

Article 21-22G Singapore Constitution 1963

Article 22H-22P Singapore Constitution 1963

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