Singapore is a Parliamentary Republic and it has established Representative democracy as the nation’s political system. It has a Westminster system which represents different constituencies. The sovereign power lies with the cabinet and is headed by the Prime minister. The selection of the President is rather ceremonial in its approach, but the call on legal matters lies solely with the Singapore Parliament.
The Westminster system is modelled after the Parliament of Great Britain. The system sets guidelines for legislative operations. The sovereign head of the state holds the executive power. The head of the state plays a critical role in the functioning of the state matters as the Prime minister is appointed by the head of the state. A lower house in the parliament has the authority to abrogate a government by passing a motion of no confidence or any other similar rulings to stabilize the political scenario.
A multi party system and an elected legislature aids in the smooth functioning of the political system in Singapore. Unicameralism is the political system of having a single legislative or a single parliamentary chamber.
Ministry of Defense
The Ministry of Defense is under the command of Teo Chee Hean; he guides the Singapore Army, the Navy and the Air Force. These three units are collectively known as the Armed Forces of Singapore. The Chief of Defence Forces is Lieutenant-General Kuek Bak Chye. The Armed Forces are an effective deterrent against aggressors. The Armed Forces have also offered humanitarian assistance to countries. The strategy of total defence has been adopted in the Singapore’s security apparatus and has in turn strengthened Singapore with regard to its military power.
Education in Singapore
English is the medium of instruction in Singapore schools. It is compulsory for children to attend primary education. Children usually attend kindergarten privately till the age of six after which they are provided primary education. Special assistance is offered to the Chinese community in order to teach Mandarin simultaneously with English. The education system provides non-compulsory Kindergarten education for 3 years. The island has autonomous and private universities which ensure high quality education. The method of teaching is integrated which set the students on a higher pedestal, as they are able to give direct o grade examinations. The Economic Development Board has been inviting foreign schools to set base in Singapore under the Global Schoolhouse programme which intends to attract 150,000 students within the next 6 years.
Singapore has had disputes regarding water deliveries, mutual maritime boundaries and certain air routes with Malaysia and Indonesia. Singapore has also has issues over the ownership on Pedra Branca. It is known as Pulau Batu Puteh in Malaysia, which means white rock. It is located 44km off the eastern coastal region of Singapore. The issue is that the island also envelopes Middle Rocks owned by Malaysia and located 1.1 Km away from the main land of Malaysia. Both Malaysia and Singapore were unable to resolve this dispute and claim their share on that piece of land. The International Court of Justice in The Hague declared that Singapore owned Pedra Branca and Malaysia owned the Middle Rocks.