Non-Constituency Members of Parliament
) are members of the opposition parties who were appointed as members of the Parliament of Singapore
even though they had lost in the parliamentary election.
The NCMP scheme was introduced in 1984 to provide a voice for the opposition in parliament. At that time, the Singapore legislative was dominated by the People's Action Party
(PAP) and without members of the opposition parties during the period from 1968 to 1981. In 1981, an opposition candidate Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam
won a seat in the Anson
by-election and broke the PAP dominance in the legislature. However, Jeyaratnam could not initiate a meaningful debate, as he could not find another MP to second his motion. The PAP recognised the need for an "intelligent" opposition to provide more alternative voices in the parliament. Proportional Representation was at one time considered but was rejected because of worries that it could induce radicals to enter parliament.
In May 1984, Deputy Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong
proposed an amendment in the Constitution to introduce the NCMP scheme. Goh believed that the presence of opposition MPs in parliament would check the PAP and voice discontent about government polices. His perception was that this would provide greater legitimacy to the legislature and greater public confidence in the Singaporean political system
Since then, the standard arrangement has been that NCMP seats go to the top opposition losers who obtained more... Read More