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SINGAPORE

Legislation

Constitution

(Adopted on Sep 16, 1963)

Article 44 (Qualifications for Membership of Parliament)

A person shall be qualified to be elected or appointed as a Member of Parliament if

(e) he is able, with a degree of proficiency sufficient to enable him to take an active part in the proceedings of Parliament, to speak and, unless incapacitated by blindness or other physical cause, to read and write at least one of the following languages, that is to say, English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil;

Article 53 (Use of Languages in Parliament)

Until the Legislature otherwise provides, all debates and discussions in Parliament shall be conducted in Malay, English, Mandarin, or Tamil.

Article 127 (Citizenship by Naturalization)

(1) Subject to clause (4), the Government may, upon application made by any person of or over the age of 21 years who is not a citizen of Singapore, grant a certificate of naturalization to that person if the Government is satisfied

(c) that he has an adequate knowledge of the national language.

Article 152 (Minorities and Special Position of Malays)

(1).It shall be the responsibility of the Government constantly to care for the interests of the racial and religious minorities in Singapore.

(2) The Government shall exercise its functions in such manner as to recognize the special position of the Malays, who are the indigenous people of Singapore, and accordingly it shall be the responsibility of the Government to protect, safeguard, support, foster and promote their political, educational, religious, economic, social and cultural interests and the Malay language.

153 A.

(1) Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English shall be the 4 official languages in Singapore.

(2) The national language shall be the Malay language and shall be in the Roman script:

Provided that –

(a) no person shall be prohibited or prevented from using or from teaching or learning any other language; and

(b) nothing in this Article shall prejudice the right of the Government to preserve and sustain the use and study of the language of any other community in Singapore.

Article 154 (Impartial Treatment of Government Employees)

Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, all persons of whatever race in the same grade of the service of the Government shall, subject to the terms and conditions of their employment, be treated impartially.

Note: The complete text of the Singaporean Constitution and further information on the constitutional background of Singapore are provided by the International Constitutional Law Project at the University of Wuerzburg.

We acknowledge also with thanks data from the Singapore Ministry of Information and the Arts and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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