Country Listing

Singapore Table of Contents



Government: Parliamentary system with written constitution. Unicameral parliament of eighty-one members (in 1989) elected by universal suffrage. President largely ceremonial head of state; government run by prime minister and cabinet representing majority of parliament. British-influenced judiciary; Supreme Court divided into High Court, Court of Appeal, and Court of Criminal Appeal. Subordinate courts include district courts and magistrate's courts.

Politics: Nineteen registered political parties in mid1980s , but People's Action Party (PAP) won every general election from 1959 to 1988, usually holding every seat in parliament. Opposition parties divided and weak. Lee Kuan Yew prime minister from 1959 through 1989, providing unusual continuity in leadership and policy. PAP policies stressed economic development, government management of economy and society, firm government with little tolerance for dissent.

Administrative Divisions: Unitary state with no secondorder administrative divisions. Some advisory bodies based on fifty-five parliamentary electoral districts.

Foreign Relations: Primary goals of maintaining sovereignty, stability in Southeast Asia, and free international trade. Member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, Nonaligned Movement, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United Nations.

Media: Seven newspapers, five radio stations, and three television channels publishing and broadcasting in four official languages. Government operates radio and television and supervises newspapers.

Data as of December 1989