Singapore’s 14th Parliament commences on Monday (24 August), with the opening to be held at two different location for the first time—Parliament House and the Arts House—where members will be taking their oaths of office and making their affirmations.
Also present will be President Halimah Yacob who will deliver her address from Chamber in Parliament House, presenting the Government’s agenda for the new term. She will officiate the swearing-in ceremony as well.
The proceedings will be broadcasted simultaneously at both locations and safe distancing measures will be applied for all those who are present.
The Office of the Clerk of Parliament said in a press release on Friday (21 August), “In light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation in Singapore and the safe distancing measures that have to be implemented, Speaker Tan Chuan-Jin has decided that the proceedings on Aug 24 will take place across the two locations as an added precaution.”
Among the 31 first-time parliamentarians to take the oath on Monday include Worker’s Party (WP) MPs for Sengkang GRC He Tin Ru, Raeesah Khan, Jamus Lim, and Louis Chua Kheng Wee; as well as Progress Singapore Party’s (PSP) Non-Constituency Members Hazel Poa and Leong Mun Wai.
Other alternative party MPs include Hougang SMC MP Dennis Tan Lip Fong, and Aljunied GRC MPs Pritam Singh, Sylvia Lim, Muhammad Faisal Manap, Gerald Giam, and Leong Perara—all from WP. This brings the total number of alternative party politicians in Parliament up to 12.
This 14th Parliament also sees a record number of women parliamentarians in the House with 28 women, including Ms Khan who is also Singapore’s youngest MP to date.
While Parliament commences on Monday for the swearing in and the President’s address, it will reconvene later on 31 August for a debate over the address.