Prime Minister of Singapore

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Prime Minister of
the Republic of Singapore
Crest of the Prime Minister of Singapore.png
Prime Minister's Crest
Lee Hsien-Loong - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012 cropped.jpg
Lee Hsien Loong, MP

since 12 August 2004
Style The Honourable
Residence Sri Temasek
Appointer President of the Republic of Singapore
Term length 5 years or earlier, renewable.
The Parliament of Singapore must be dissolved every 5 years or earlier by the Prime Minister. The leader of the majority party in the parliament will become the Prime Minister.
Inaugural holder Lee Kuan Yew
Formation3 June 1959
Salary S$2.2 million per annum
Coat of arms of Singapore.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Flag of Singapore.svg Singaporeportal

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore (Malay : Perdana Menteri Republik Singapura; Chinese :新加坡共和国总理; pinyin :Xīnjiāpō gònghéguó zǒnglǐ; Tamil : சிங்கப்பூர் குடியரசின் பிரதமர், Ciṅkappūr kuṭiyaraciṉ piratamar) is the head of the government of the Republic of Singapore, and the country's most powerful political figure. The President of Singapore appoints as Prime Minister a Member of Parliament (MP) who, in his or her opinion, is most likely to command the confidence of a majority of MPs. In practice, the Prime Minister is usually the leader of the majority party in the legislature.

Malay language Austronesian language

Malay is an Austronesian language spoken in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, as well as parts of Thailand. A language of the Malays, it is spoken by 290 million people across the Strait of Malacca, including the coasts of the Malay Peninsula of Malaysia and the eastern coast of Sumatra in Indonesia and has been established as a native language of part of western coastal Sarawak and West Kalimantan in Borneo. It is also used as a trading language in the southern Philippines, including the southern parts of the Zamboanga Peninsula, the Sulu Archipelago and the southern predominantly Muslim-inhabited municipalities of Bataraza and Balabac in Palawan.

Chinese language family of languages

Chinese is a group of related, but in many cases not mutually intelligible, language varieties, forming the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Chinese is spoken by the ethnic Chinese majority and many minority ethnic groups in China. About 1.2 billion people speak some form of Chinese as their first language.

Pinyin Chinese romanization scheme for Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.


Under the Constitution of Singapore, executive power is vested in the President. However, the Constitution also vests "general direction and control of the government" in the Cabinet. The President is almost always bound to act on the advice of the Cabinet or any minister acting under Cabinet authority. Thus, in practice, most of the actual work of governing is done by the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Constitution of Singapore Supreme law of Singapore

The Constitution of the Republic of Singapore is the supreme law of Singapore. A written constitution, the text which took effect on 9 August 1965 is derived from the Constitution of the State of Singapore 1963, provisions of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia made applicable to Singapore by the Republic of Singapore Independence Act 1965, and the Republic of Singapore Independence Act itself. The text of the Constitution is one of the legally binding sources of constitutional law in Singapore, the others being judicial interpretations of the Constitution, and certain other statutes. Non-binding sources are influences on constitutional law such as soft law, constitutional conventions, and public international law.

The office of Prime Minister dates back to 1959 and was appointed at first by the Governor of Singapore then the Yang di-Pertuan Negara (vice-regal head of state), when Singapore achieved self-governance as the State of Singapore within the British Empire. The title of Prime Minister remained unchanged after the merger with the Federation of Malaya, Sarawak and North Borneo, while Singapore was a state in the Federation of Malaysia from 1963 to 1965, and after independence in 1965.

Yang di-Pertuan Negara, translated from Malay as "(he) who is Lord", is a title for the Head of State, and has been used as an official title at various times in Singapore and Brunei, not to be confused with the four non-monarchical heads of Malaysian states known as Yang di-Pertua Negeri, nor the head monarch of Malaysia who is known as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Self-governance of Singapore

The self-governance of Singapore was carried out in several stages. Since Singapore's founding in 1819, Singapore had been under the colonial rule of the United Kingdom. The first local elections on a limited scale for several positions in the government of Singapore started in 1948 following an amendment to the Constitution of Singapore.

British Empire States and dominions ruled by the United Kingdom

The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, and by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2 (13,700,000 sq mi), 24% of the Earth's total land area. As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.

The late Lee Kuan Yew was the first prime minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990. Lee was succeeded by Goh Chok Tong and was conferred the title of Senior Minister in the Prime Minister's Office. Goh retired on 12 August 2004 and was succeeded by Lee Kuan Yew's son Lee Hsien Loong. Goh was appointed Senior Minister, and the elder Lee Minister Mentor. Lee and Goh resigned from the Cabinet in 2011 but remained as members of Parliament.

Lee Kuan Yew First Prime Minister of Singapore

Lee Kuan Yew, commonly referred to by his initials LKY and sometimes referred to in his earlier years as Harry Lee, was the first Prime Minister of Singapore, governing for three decades. Lee is recognised as the nation's founding father, with the country described as transitioning from the "third world to first world in a single generation" under his leadership.

Goh Chok Tong Singaporean politician

Goh Chok Tong is a Singaporean politician. A member of the People's Action Party (PAP), he became Singapore's second Prime Minister on 28 November 1990, succeeding Lee Kuan Yew, and served in the role until 12 August 2004, when he stepped down and was succeeded by Lee Hsien Loong. He subsequently served as Senior Minister until May 2011, and as Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). He continues to serve as a Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency and holds the honorary title of "Emeritus Senior Minister". Recently, in November 2018, he released his autobiography, Tall Order: The Goh Chok Tong Story which would be the first volume of a two-part biography.

Senior Minister is a political office in the Cabinet of Singapore. The holder of this office is typically a former Prime Minister or former Deputy Prime Minister.

List of Prime Ministers of Singapore [1]

(birth and death)
Term of officePartyTime in office
1 Lee Kuan Yew cropped.jpg Lee Kuan Yew
லீ குவான் இயூ
MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC, 1955-2015
5 June 195928 November 1990 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party 31 years, 178 days
1959, 1963, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988
The first Prime Minister of Singapore and the youngest to be elected in the office, at the age of 35. He is the longest-serving Prime Minister of Singapore. His tenure led to the expansion of Singapore's economy from a British Crown Colony into a first world country. He introduced the National Service (NS) scheme, with the help of his Defence Minister Goh Keng Swee. He introduced the Stop-At-Two child policy in 1960s, for fearing of over expansion of Singapore population. In the 1980s, he introduced the Graduate Mother Scheme to counter the effects of the previous policy, which received a huge backlash. The policy was withdrawn shortly thereafter. He led the PAP into 8 consecutive election victories. During his tenure, Singapore grew to become the most prosperous nation in South-east Asia. [2]
2 GohChokTong-WashingtonDC-20010614.jpg Goh Chok Tong
கோ சொக் தொங்
(b. 1941)
MP for Marine Parade GRC, 1988-
28 November 199012 August 2004 PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party 13 years, 258 days
1991, 1997, 2001
The second Prime Minister of Singapore. He introduced several major policies and policy institutions, such as Medisave, Non-constituency Members of Parliament, Government Parliamentary Committees, Group Representation Constituencies, Nominated Members of Parliament, the Vehicle Quota Scheme, the direct election of the President and Singapore 21. During his tenure Singapore experienced several crises, such as the 1997 Asian financial crisis, threats of terrorism including the 2001 Singapore embassies attack plot by Jemaah Islamiyah, the 2001–2003 economic recession, and the 2003 SARS outbreak. He also introduced the Baby Bonus scheme in a bid to increase birth rates. Prior his appointment as PM, he served as Senior Minister of State for Finance, Minister for Trade and Industry, Minister for Health, Minister for Defence and first Deputy Prime Minister. [3]
3 Lee Hsien Loong - 20101112.jpg Lee Hsien Loong
லீ சியன் லூங்
(b. 1952)
MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC, 1991-
12 August 2004Incumbent PAP logo variation.png People's Action Party 14 years, 347 days
2006, 2011, 2015
The third Prime Minister of Singapore. He introduced the five-day working week for civil servants, with the hope of increasing the birth rate. One of his major accomplishments was to propose the building of 2 Integrated Resorts (IR) in Singapore. It created a huge avenue for Singapore's economy. Singapore hosted the inaugural summer Youth Olympic Games in 2010. He promoted the abolition of school ranking. In 2013, he presided over the worst haze crisis and worst Dengue epidemic in Singapore. Prior to his appointment as PM, he served as Deputy Prime Minister (1991–2004), Minister of Finance, Minister of Trade and Industry.

See also

Prime Ministers Office (Singapore) office of the Prime Minister of Singapore

The Prime Minister's Office is a ministerial level executive agency within the Government of Singapore that handles the ministries and other political matters that are of great importance to the nation, such as corruption and elections. It is headed by the Prime Minister and their top political staff. The PMO is located in the Istana, which is also the official residence and office for the President of Singapore.

Cabinet of Singapore Executive branch of the Singapore government

The Cabinet of Singapore forms the Government of Singapore together with the President of Singapore. It is led by the Prime Minister of Singapore who is the head of government. The Prime Minister is a Member of Parliament (MP) appointed by the President who selects a person that in his or her view is likely to command the confidence of a majority of the Parliament of Singapore. The other members of the Cabinet are Ministers who are Members of Parliament appointed by the President on the Prime Minister's advice. Cabinet members are prohibited from holding any office of profit and from actively engaging in any commercial enterprise.

Politics of Singapore

The politics of Singapore takes the form of a parliamentary representative democratic republic whereby the President of Singapore is the head of state, the Prime Minister of Singapore is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the cabinet from the parliament, and to a lesser extent, the President. Cabinet has the general direction and control of the Government and is accountable to Parliament. There are three separate branches of government: the legislature, executive and judiciary abiding by the Westminster system.

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  1. Singapore, National Library Board,. "Past and present leaders of Singapore | Infopedia". Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  2. "Lee Kuan Yew | prime minister of Singapore". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  3. "Impressions of the Goh Chok Tong Years in Singapore". NUS Press. Retrieved 22 September 2018.