Election to the Chair
Mdm Halimah Yacob was first elected Speaker of the Singapore Parliament on 14 January 2013. She is the ninth Speaker since the First Legislative Assembly of 1955.
Mdm Halimah Yacob is Singapore’s first woman Speaker of Parliament. She has been a Member of Parliament since 2001 and is one of the MPs serving the Marsiling-Yew Tee Group Representation Constituency since 2015.
She had previously served as the Minister of State in the Ministry of Social and Family Development from 2012 to 2013. As an MP, she was also a Member of the Public Petitions Committee before assuming the role as Chairman of the Committee of Selection, Committee of Privileges, House Committee, Public Petitions Committee and Standing Orders Committee since 2013.
Mdm Halimah Yacob graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) in 1978 and attained a Master of Laws in 2001 from the National University of Singapore. She was conferred the Honorary Doctor of Laws by the National University of Singapore on 7 July 2016 in recognition of her distinguished career and service, particularly in the government and public sectors.
Duties of the Speaker
The Speaker presides over the sittings of the House and enforces the rules prescribed in the Standing Orders of Parliament for the orderly conduct of parliamentary business. Elected at the commencement of a new Parliament by MPs, the Speaker may or may not be a Member of Parliament, but must possess the qualifications to stand for election as an MP as provided for in the Constitution.
In carrying out the duties in the House, the Speaker must remain impartial and fair to all MPs. The Speaker regulates and enforces the rules of debate. She decides who has the right to speak and puts the question for the House to debate on and vote. The Speaker does not take part in the debates of the House but can abstain or vote for or against a motion if she has an original vote as an elected Member. As the guardian of parliamentary privileges, MPs look to the Speaker for guidance on procedure and she gives her rulings on any point of order, if necessary.
The Speaker acts as the representative of the House in its relations with other Parliaments and outside bodies. The Speaker also welcomes visiting dignitaries and represents Parliament at national events and during official visits abroad. The Speaker is overall in charge of the administration of Parliament and its Secretariat.
The Speaker is assisted by two Deputy Speakers, Mr Charles Chong and Mr Lim Biow Chuan.
Mdm Halimah Yacob's CV details