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The following post, written by Dr. Jaclyn L. Neo, was published on I-CONnect Blog on 16 May 2018. It examines the recent seismic elections in Malaysia, and highlights some constitutional defects in ensuring smooth political transitions. In particular, it highlights how the Singapore constitution explicitly prohibits floor crossing or what is more popularly known as anti-hopping, which should be adopted in Malaysia so as to better ensure political stability.
Lecturer, Law Programmes
School of Law
Singapore University of Social Sciences
Many Singaporeans accessing the day’s news feeds on 20 February 2018 as they sipped their afternoon kopi probably found themselves simultaneously baffled and affronted by the news that “Singapore agrees to UK request to not cane suspect if found guilty”.
Baffled – because the American government had tried unsuccessfully many years ago to pressurise Singapore into agreeing not to acquaint the rear end of one of its citizens, a young delinquent known as Michael Fay, with the blunt end of a rotan, but plucky little Singapore stood its ground firmly and went on to cane the vandal. Had Singapore and her vaunted principles and values changed so much in the intervening years? Continue reading
The 2018 Annual Conference of the International Society of Public Law (“ICON-S”) will take place at the University of Hong Kong on June 25-27, 2018, under the auspices of the University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Law and its Centre for Comparative and Public Law. This will be the fifth Annual Conference of ICON-S, following its four Annual Conferences (Florence 2014, New York 2015, Berlin 2016, Copenhagen 2017), and will be the first time the conference is held in Asia. The event will mark the beginning of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong.
The theme of the conference is “Identity, Security, Democracy: Challenges for Public Law”. Continue reading
By Dr Jaclyn L. Neo
For the first time since its independence in 1965, Singapore has a female President. Madam Halimah Yaacob was sworn in as the country’s 8th President on 14 September 2017. She is also Singapore’s first Malay President since the presidency was changed from a nominated office to an elected one in 1991.
Several constitutional changes led up to Madam Halimah’s election. The first took place in 1991, when the Presidency was changed to an elected office. This change was justified on the grounds that the President needed a democratic mandate to wield additional constitutional powers. Under the British Westminster parliamentary system, after which Singapore’s political system is modelled, the head of state is mostly a ceremonial position. Accordingly, Singapore’s President only had limited discretionary powers, i.e. over the appointment of the Prime Minister, declaring the office of the Prime Minister vacant, and refusing a request…
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