Constitution (Amendment) Bill

Bill No. 44/1965

Read the first time on 13th December 1965.
An Act to amend the Constitution of Singapore and to effect certain changes of titles.
Be it enacted by the Yang di-Pertuan Negara with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Singapore, as follows: —
Short title and commencement
1.  This Act may be cited as the Constitution (Amendment) Act, 1965, and shall be deemed to have come into operation on the 9th day of August, 1965.
New titles
2.—(1)  On and after the coming into operation of this Act —
(a)the Yang di-Pertuan Negara of Singapore shall be known as the President of Singapore;
(b)the Legislative Assembly of Singapore shall be known as the Parliament of Singapore;
(c)the State Advocate-General of Singapore shall be known as the Attorney-General of Singapore; and
(d)the State of Singapore shall be known as the Republic of Singapore.
(2)  Nothing in this Act shall affect the validity of any acts done in the name of, or by, the Yang di-Pertuan Negara or the State Advocate-General before the enactment of this Act.
Repeal and re-enactment of Article 1
3.  Article 1 of the Constitution of the State of Singapore (S.I. 1493 of 1963) (hereinafter in this Act referred to as “the Constitution”) is hereby repealed and the following substituted therefor: —
The President
1.—(1)  There shall be a President of Singapore, who shall be elected by Parliament.
(2)  The President shall not be liable to any proceedings whatsoever in any court.
(3)  The President shall hold office for a term of four years from the date on which he enters upon his office but may at any time resign his office by writing under his hand addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, and may be removed from office in pursuance of a resolution of Parliament supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of the total number of the Members thereof.
(4)  The Cabinet may appoint a person to exercise the functions of the President for any period during which the President is unable to do so himself owing to illness, absence from Singapore or any other cause; but no person shall be so appointed unless he would be qualified to be appointed as President.”.
Amendment of Article 23
4.  Clause (2) of Article 23 of the Constitution is hereby amended by inserting immediately after the word “Speaker” wherever it appears therein the words “or Deputy Speaker”.
Repeal and re-enactment of Article 26
5.  Article 26 of the Constitution is hereby repealed and the following substituted therefor: —
Deputy Speaker
26.—(1)  When Parliament first meets after any general election, it shall, as soon as practicable, elect a person to be Deputy Speaker; and whenever the office of Deputy Speaker becomes vacant otherwise than by reason of a dissolution of Parliament, Parliament shall, as soon as convenient, elect another person to that office.
(2)  (a)  The Deputy Speaker may be elected, in such manner as Parliament may from time to time decide, either from among the Members of Parliament who are neither Ministers nor Parliamentary Secretaries or from among persons who are not Members of Parliament:
Provided that a person who is not a Member of Parliament shall not be elected as Deputy Speaker if, under any of the provisions of this Constitution, he is not qualified for election as a Member of Parliament.

(b)Upon the Deputy Speaker being elected and before he enters upon the duties of his office, he shall (unless he has already done so in accordance with the provisions of Article 45 of this Constitution) take and subscribe before Parliament the Oath of Allegiance in the form set out in the First Schedule to this Constitution.

(c)The Deputy Speaker may at any time resign his office, by writing under his hand addressed to the Clerk of Parliament, and shall vacate his office —

(i)when Parliament first meets after a general election; or
(ii)in the case of a Deputy Speaker elected from among the Members of Parliament, if he ceases to be a Member of Parliament otherwise than by reason of a dissolution thereof or if he is appointed to be a Minister or a Parliamentary Secretary; or
(iii)in the case of a Deputy Speaker elected from among persons who are not Members of Parliament, if any circumstance arises that, if he had been elected to a seat in Parliament, would cause him to vacate his seat by virtue of paragraph (a) or paragraph (e) of clause (2) of Article 30 of this Constitution.

(3)  The Deputy Speaker shall be paid such salary or allowance as Parliament may from time to time determine, and that salary or allowance, which is hereby charged on the Consolidated Fund, shall not be diminished during his continuance in office.”.
Amendment of Article 32
6.  Article 32 of the Constitution is hereby amended by inserting immediately after the word “Speaker” appearing in the first line of paragraph (b) thereof the words “or Deputy Speaker”.
Amendment of Article 33
7.  Article 33 of the Constitution is hereby amended by deleting the words “within three months from the date on which it is established that there is a vacancy” appearing in the second and third lines thereof.
Repeal and re-enactment of Article 90
8.  Article 90 of the Constitution is hereby repealed and the following substituted therefor: —
Amendment of Constitution
90.—(1)  The provisions of this Constitution may be amended by a law enacted by the Legislature.
(2)  In this Article “amendment” includes addition and repeal.”.
Transitional provision
9.  The person holding the office of Yang di-Pertuan Negara on the 9th day of August, 1965, shall be deemed to be the President of Singapore, as if he were duly elected by Parliament and entered upon his office on the 4th day of December, 1963.