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Singapore (Legislative Council, Constitution)

Volume 437: debated on Wednesday 14 May 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he will make a statement on the establishment of a legislative council for the Colony of Singapore.

Yes, Sir. His Majesty's Government have given careful consideration to the report of the Committee appointed by the Governor in April, 1946, to consider this question, and to the Governor's own recommendations, and the following principal decisions have now been reached. The Council will have an unofficial majority. There will be four ex officio members and five nominated, official members. On the unofficial side, there will be nine elected members; six of these will be elected by popular ballot of registered voters (British subjects over the age of 21 without property or literacy stipulations). For this purpose the island of Singapore will be divided into four electoral districts, two urban districts each returning two members and two rural districts each returning one member. The remaining three elected members will be elected by the Chambers of Commerce. In addition, the Governor will have discretion to select not more than four nominated unofficial members. The Singapore Order in Council, 1946, provides for a maximum of two such members, but since a communal basis for elections to the Council has been rejected, it is necessary to increase this maximum in the interest of any section of the community who might otherwise have been represented inadequately or not at all. These decisions have been published locally and the Council will be set up as soon as possible.