Halimah Yacob welcomes book by SMU students on Constitution

Students from the Singapore Management University (SMU) have written a book to explain the Singapore Constitution and its underlying concepts to people who are not legally trained.

Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob, who was guest of honour at the book launch on Wednesday, said it is especially important to increase the population's understanding of the Constitution as it secures people's basic liberties.

Given the increased interest in political discourse, it could also help clear confusion over issues such as the separation of powers between Parliament and the Government, she said, adding she had seen some misinformation on social media about this.

The Constitution, Singapore's supreme law, sets out the structure of the government and the role of the judiciary.

"Parliament is the prime symbol of democracy in Singapore, but how many people know what we do?" Madam Halimah said.

The idea for the book came about in 2011, after its authors realised that many people did not understand public law.

The presidential election had been going on at that time, said the book's editor, SMU School of Law fourth year student Dierdre Grace Morgan, and people discussing it online did not seem to understand the role of the elected president.

The 41-page The Singapore Constitution: A Brief Introduction is available online at www.smuapolitical.com for free. SMU has also printed 1,000 copies which will be distributed to schools and public libraries.

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