From today (October 26) till November 23, members of the public can submit names for the Nominated Members of Parliament (NMPs).
The NMP scheme was introduced in 1990 in order to provide a greater diversity of voices in the house, as well as contribute independent and non-partisan views in Parliament.
It aims provide a greater diversity of views that would otherwise not get much prominence during discussions.
Unlike elected MPs who gain their seats their elections, NMPs do not represent any constituency. They also only serve for a term of two and a half years each time, unless they are appointed for a second term.
In Parliament, they share the same rights as elected MPs and can raise questions and suggest legislation, as well as vote on most matters.
However, some matters that NMPs cannot vote on include matters concerning constitutional amendments, motions to remove the President and motions of no confidence in the government, and supply and money bills.
How To Qualify As An NMP?
A press release by the Parliament of Singapore states that the persons who are nominated by the Committee are those who have “rendered distinguished public service, or brought honour to the Republic.”
They can also be individuals “who have distinguished themselves in the field of arts and letters, sports, culture, the sciences, business, industry, the professions, social or community service or the labour movement.”
Under Article 44(2) of the Constitution, a person is qualified for appointment as a NMP if he or she:
- Is a citizen of Singapore
- Is of the age of 21 years or above on the day of nomination
- Name appears in the current register of electors
- Is resident in Singapore at the date of his/her nomination and has been so resident for periods amounting in the aggregate to not less than 10 years prior to that date
- Is able, with a degree of proficiency sufficient to enable him/her to take an active part in the proceedings of Parliament, to speak and, unless incapacitated by blindness or other physical cause, to read and write at least one of the following languages, that is to say, English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil
- Is not disqualified from being a Member of Parliament under Article 45 of the Constitution
How To Nominate A Name
The names of candidates are to be submitted to an eight-member Special Select Committee chaired by Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin.
Submission of names have to be made via forms that are available on the Parliament website.
Besides the proposal form, other required documents include the Curriculum Vitae of the person proposed, essay by the person proposed, and two letters of reference.
The completed forms and supporting documents must be submitted online via FormSG, or received by the Office of the Clerk of Parliament, by November 23, at 4:30 pm.
Nominees will be invited down to an interview with the committee.
The committee will then discuss and decide who to nominate, before submitting a list of candidates to the President for appointment as NMPs.
Featured Image Credit: Parliament of Singapore