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  Parliamentary Glossary  

Term   Definition  
  Language of Debates   A Member may speak in English, Mandarin, Malay or Tamil.9 Generally, a Member participating in a debate is required to speak in the same language in which he has commenced his speech, but quotes may be read out in their original language.10 To facilitate understanding by all Members, simultaneous interpretation is provided in the Chamber. (See also Simultaneous Interpretation) Art 53 of the CRS and S.Os. 44, 45 and 47.

9 The history of this goes back to February 1956, when the Legislative Assembly of the then Colony of Singapore resolved that its debates may be conducted in any of the four languages.

10A Minister or Member in charge of a matter may use any or all four of the languages in reply to the matters raised in a debate.
  Leader of the House   The Government Member who plans and manages the Government’s legislative programme and the arrangement of the business of the House. He advises the Speaker on the seating arrangement of Ministers, Ministers of State and Parliamentary Secretaries. The Leader also initiates matters of a procedural nature in the House. His post is not an office and he receives no salary. A Deputy Leader may be appointed to assist him.

  Leader of the Opposition   The leader of the largest minority party which is able and prepared to assume office in the event the Government resigns.11 This party will form a shadow cabinet that is led by the Leader of the Opposition. (See also Shadow Cabinet.)

11The term “unofficial Leader of the Opposition” was used in Parliament on 6 January 1992 to describe the leader of the opposition party with the largest number of seats in the House.

  Leave of the House   Permission of the House to do something which cannot be done at the time or in that way. Where leave is required, all Members present must agree to the proposal, unless specified otherwise in the Standing Orders. (See also General Assent)

  Legislation   Legislation refers to a law or set of laws. Subsidiary or delegated legislation refers to the rules and regulations made under an authority delegated by the principal Act. (See also Passage of a Bill) Art 58 of the CRS.  
  Lobby   A group of people usually representing a particular interest, who seek to influence policies, legislation or gain support for its cause. The term evolved from the practice of frequenting the lobbies of a legislature to approach Members and persuading them to one’s side.  

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