Constitutionalizing Clear Rules for Political Transition: Entrenching the Malaysian Tsunami (I-CONnect Column) by Jaclyn L. Neo, National University of Singapore Faculty of Law

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.

http://www.iconnectblog.com/2018/05/constitutionalizing-clear-rules-for-political-transition-entrenching-the-malaysian-tsunami-i-connect-column/

Return of Judicial Power: Religious Freedom and the Tussle over Jurisdictional Boundaries in Malaysia (I-CONnect Column) by Jaclyn L. Neo

Palace of Justice, Putrajaya by Trebz [CC0], via the Wikimedia Commons.

The following post, written by Dr. Jaclyn L. Neo, was published on I-CONnect Blog on 15 March 2018. While it examines judicial power and amendments in Malaysia, the judgment makes extensive reference to developments in Singapore concerning judicial power and the basic structure doctrine. The Malaysian Federal Court held that judicial power, particularly the power of judicial review, is part of the basic structure of the Malaysian constitution. While it did not strike down the amendments that sought to remove judicial power, it nonetheless used the idea of a basic structure to limit the scope of the amendments. The Malaysian judgment thus offers important insights into the doctrinal possibilities of a basic structure.

http://www.iconnectblog.com/2018/03/return-of-judicial-power-religious-freedom-and-the-tussle-over-jurisdictional-boundaries-in-malaysia-i-connect-column/

Roachgate – No Constitutional Crisis

Chinese Punishment, Whipping a Lawbreaker (c 1900)

A c 1900 photograph of a Chinese criminal being beaten on the buttocks with a stick as a punishment. ([CC BY 2.0], via the Wikimedia Commons.)

Olivine Lin
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”.[1]

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

Towards a “Thin” Basic Structure Doctrine in Singapore (I-CONnect Column) by Jaclyn L. Neo

CfP: 2018 Annual Conference of the International Society of Public Law (“ICON-S”)

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

Constitutional Change in Singapore’s Elected Presidency: Navigating Questions of Ethnic Identity and Representation

Blog of the IACL, AIDC

By Dr Jaclyn L. Neo

Jaclyn Neo - Headshot

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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Amendments to the Films Act: Problems and Concerns

Media recording prohibition sign

A sign indicating that media recording is prohibited. (By Juhele [CC0], via the Wikimedia Commons.)

Dr Kevin Y L Tan
Professor, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies
Nanyang Technological University
Professor (Adjunct), Faculty of Law
National University of Singapore

Dr Ang Peng Hwa
Professor
Wee Kim Wee School of Information & Communications
Nanyang Technological University

Introduction

The Films Act (Cap 107) was enacted to regulate the “possession, importation, making, distribution and exhibition of films”. The Government now proposes to pass the Films (Amendment) Act, which is the subject of this representation. We have major concerns on the following fronts: Continue reading