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Singapore - Constitution

Adopted on: 16 Sep 1963 (Document Status: 24 March 1995)

Article 12 Equality

(1) All persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law.
(2) Except as expressly authorized by this Constitution, there shall be no discrimination against citizens of Singapore on the ground only of religion, race, descent or place of birth in any law or in the appointment to any office or employment under a public authority or in the administration of any law relating to the acquisition, holding, or disposition of property or the establishing or carrying on of any trade, business, profession, vocation or employment.
(3) This article does not invalidate or prohibit
(a) any provision regulating personal law; or
(b) any provision or practice restricting office or employment connected with the affairs of any religion, or of an institution managed by a group professing any religion, to persons professing that religion.
Article 15 Freedom of Religion
(1) Every person has the right to profess and practice his religion and to propagate it.
(2) No person shall be compelled to pay any tax the proceeds of which are specially allocated in whole or in part for the purposes of a religion other than his own.
(3) Every religious group has the right
(a) to manage its own religious affairs;
(b) to establish and maintain institutions for religious or charitable purposes; and
(c) to acquire and own property and hold and administer it in accordance with law.
(4) This article does not authorize any act contrary to any general law relating to public order, public health or morality.
Article 16 Rights in Respect of Education
(1) Without prejudice to the generality of Article 12, there shall be no discrimination against any citizens of Singapore on the grounds only of religion, race, descent or place of birth
(a) in the administration of any educational institution maintained by a public authority, and, in particular, the admission of pupils or students or the payment of fees; or
(b) in providing out of the funds of a public authority financial aid for the maintenance or education of pupils or students in any educational institution (whether or not maintained by a public authority and whether within or outside Singapore).
(2) Every religious group has the right to establish and maintain institutions for the education of children and provide therein instruction in its own religion, and there shall be no discrimination on the ground only of religion in any law relating to such institutions or in the administration of any such law.
(3) No person shall be required to receive instruction in or to take part in any ceremony or act of worship of a religion other than his own.
(4) For the purposes of clause (3), the religion of a person under the age of 18 years shall be decided by his parent or guardian.
Article 76 General Function of Council
(1) If shall be the general function of the Council to consider and report on such matters affecting persons of any racial or religious community in Singapore as may be referred to the Council by Parliament or the Government.
(2) A reference to the Council by Parliament may be made by the Speaker, and a reference to the Council by the Government may be made by a Minister.
Article 150 Proclamation of Emergency
(5)(a) Subject to Paragraph (b), no provision of any ordinance promulgated under this article, and no provision of any Act which is passed while a Proclamation of Emergency is in force and which declares that the law appears to Parliament to be required by reason of the emergency, shall be invalid on the ground of inconsistency with any provision of this Constitution.
(b) Paragraph (a) shall not validate any provision inconsistent with
(i) Article 5 (2a);
(ii) the provisions of this Constitution specified in Article 5 (2a) conferring discretionary powers on the President; and
(iii) the provisions of this Constitution relating to religion, citizenship or language.
Article 152 Minorities and Special Position of Malays
(1) It shall be the responsibility of the Government constantly to care for the interests of the racial and religious minorities in Singapore.
(2) The Government shall exercise its functions in such manner as to recognize the special position of the Malays, who are the indigenous people of Singapore, and accordingly it shall be the responsibility of the Government to protect, safeguard, support, foster and promote their political, educational, religious, economic, social and cultural interests and the Malay language.
Article 153 Muslim Religion
The Legislature shall by law make provision for regulating Muslim religious affairs and for constituting a Council to advise the President in matters relating to the Muslim religion.
Note: Further information on the constitutional background of Singapore is provided by the International Constitutional Law Project at the University of Wuerzburg. 
 


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