Roles and Responsibilities

The President of Singapore is the Head of State.

Prior to 30 November 1991, the President was a titular Head of State with a largely ceremonial role. On 30 November 1991, the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore was amended to make the President’s office an elected office with discretionary powers relating to the safeguarding of national reserves and the appointment of key personnel in the public sector and certain Government companies.

Broadly, the roles and responsibilities of the President can be categorised as follows:

  • Constitutional

The President of Singapore acts as a guardian in relation to certain matters such as the use of national reserves. He does not govern the country - that falls to the Prime Minister and the other members of the Cabinet who exercise the executive powers of the Government and are accountable to Parliament.

  • Ceremonial

The Presidency is vested with several ceremonial functions. The President also represents Singapore at the highest level and helps promote good bilateral and people-to-people ties between Singapore and other countries.

  • Community

The President may use the influence of his position to support charitable and social causes. The President can also play a unifying role by encouraging, articulating and representing those values that unite Singaporeans as a nation.