Please help me to understand what our Constitution means to ordinary Singaporeans?
Article 4 of the Constitution states: “This Constitution is the supreme law of the Republic of Singapore and any law enacted by the Legislature after the commencement of this Constitution which is inconsistent with this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.”
Article 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore, specifically Article 14(1), guarantees to Singapore citizens the rights to freedom of speech and expression, peaceful assembly without arms, and association.
So, what are your thoughts on the following – which may in a sense be arguably, eroding the rights of Singaporeans guaranteed under the Constitution:-
We are ranked 151st in the world for press freedom and we have the following restrictions which arguably, curtails the freedom of expression (writing on certain things which may breach the following):-
… “Seditious tendency 3.—(1) A seditious tendency is a tendency —
Article 49 (1) states that whenever an MP’s seat becomes vacant “for any other reason other than a dissolution of Parliament”, the vacancy “shall” be filled by election.
According to the article “Singapore Court of Appeal says PM must call for a by-election ‘within a reasonable time’” (Yahoo News, Jul 5, 2013) – “The Court of Appeal said on Friday that Singapore’s constitution does not give the prime minister unfettered discretion in calling for an election to fill a vacated seat of an elected Member of Parliament.
The court’s three-judge panel said this in a 57-page document in which, at the same time, it dismissed the appeal of Hougang resident Vellama Marie Muthu against a High Court ruling last year that the prime minister does have the discretion.
In its judgment, the CA, said: “Art. 49 does not give the Prime Minister an unfettered discretion in the calling of an election to fill a casual vacancy of an elected MP. He must do so within a reasonable time and in that regard, the Prime Minister is entitled to take into account all relevant circumstances and only in clear cases can there be judicial intervention.”
Leong Sze Hian