The Parliament House of Singapore is a public building and cultural landmark that houses the Parliament of Singapore. Tourist usually do not visit but rather just take passing pictures but still that is not so common. However, proceedings of Parliament are open to the public. The Public Entrance is located along Parliament Place. Parliament does not accept booking or reservation of seats. The dates of Parliament sittings are announced through the media and our website. The sittings commence at 1.30pm and continue until Parliament adjourns. Admission Orders are issued on a first-come-first-served basis at the Public Entrance Lobby. Visitors should bring along their identity card or passport to exchange for an Admission Order. Visitors are kindly requested to dress modestly and not to come in round-neck T-shirts, shorts, jeans or slippers.
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superb educational value
as with many others, i was pretty ignorant with regards to the educational value the parliament house had to offer. but all this started to fade when i entered polytechnic and we had a collaboration with the education department. there, we were brought on tour of the house, which route we took was filled with legislative, judicial and just general history of Singapore itself. after the tour, we headed to the moot room for a mock debate, to understand better how parliamentary sittings work. this was done with volunteers acting as the various power roles of parliament - the cabinet ministers, the speaker, and even the prime minister.
it made learning so much easier and enjoyable. we were also brought into the gallery where the actual parliamentary sitting would always take place, on certain Mondays of the month. before that experience, i was oblivious to the fact that sittings are actually open to public which i think would be a great loss if Singaporeans are not even aware of.
about 2 years after the first visit, i got the opportunity to complete my internship programme there and was placed in the education and publicity department. hence a part of my training was to educate students who visited. the range is amazing, with different materials for different level of students - primary school students would normally get a a booklet with all the information needed in less detail but more pictures, etc
at the end of every tour, the students would be able to have a look around the souvenir shop which have a range of products. and this can be entered by the public, without going through the tour beforehand. even though this educational side is rather well known among schools, perhaps more could be done so that even the masses would be able to experience the same and know a little more.
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Modest but stately
In the crowded Central Business District (CBD), every inch of land is precious, sacred. Hence, you might wonder if you're seeing a mirage if you happen to stumble across a colonial, double story house-like structure with its 2 big squares of immaculate lawns, its white granite walls and a sentry post somewhere down North bridge Road.
This was the first impression I received when I stumbled across parliament house last year whilst out for a lunch break without realising what it actually was. Renowned as an Asian Tiger, it is quite a surprise then that the main government building where the direction of Singapore is being plotted is confined within a relatively modest abode.
However, the architecture is commendable. Designed by local architects from the former Public Works Department, it gives off an extremely stately vibe as one stands at the gate to admire it. Moreover, the feel of the building changes from different perspectives. Whilst on the ground it looks relatively modest, an aerial shot of it facing its front at an angle gives it an imposing, powerful feel, literally the feel of a control centre that is a major player in a 300 plus billion dollar economy.
Proceedings of Parliament are usually open to public. Sittings usually start at 1.30pm and visitors are to stay in till the session adjourns. Moreover, tours around Parliament House are also organised at times!
Worth a visit to see the action!
Law and Politics
For someone like me who is an aspiring lawyer, the parliament house is a place of interest to me. Although I might have been a little bit ignorant to it at first, the first time I was engaged as an intern in a legal department, someone opened my eyes about the place. It seems that learning about the law somehow mingles with politics in this aspect.
This is also the place where the discussions of certain national matters happen. While there is a lot of excitement on television, I'm sure the atmosphere within the Parliament house is also one of a kind. Maybe some day I will take time off to visit this place and soak in the majestic beauty of the place and atmosphere.
Grand and Open
I'm pretty sure most people don't know that they can actually visit the Parliament House on their own accord. Or at least I didn't know. What more know that the debates and discussions the ministers of the state hold are open to the public!
I was extremely lucky and privileged to have my eyes opened up when I participated in a Law Programme which included a tour to the Parliament House. We were brought around and what left the deepest impression still is the Parliament Chambers, Public Gallery and Education Gallery. We are separated from the minsters by a mere glass pane, which FYI, is NOT sound-proof.
I'm definitely planning a trip down to a proceeding to witness the action for myself!
I remember coming here on a school trip to attend a debate session or to view the Parliament speaking. Excitement at having a glance at the interior of the Parliament House was squashed as there was nothing spectacular, and we were constantly being reminded to keep silent. Basically, we were not even permitted the slightest of movements, and the debate/speaking was also long and dreary.
However, the bright side was that we managed to have a glimpse into the government system and how they functioned, which was a good insight for teenagers. Other than that, it's just one big yawn.
I came here once with my school as part of a field trip. As I was quite young then, I found the place to be very grand and amusing. I think this place is more suited for younger children, as they are more inquisitive about these places rather than adults or teenagers. It is also good for the younger generation of Singapore to be educated about the processes that go on in the Parliament house, instead of them being completely oblivious to it.
I think it is also a good place for foreigners to visit, as it gives them an insight into how Singapore's parliament house looks like and they can compare them to their own back home. It would certainly be an interesting place to visit for certain people.
I still prefer the Old Parliament Building
Anyone can accuse me of being a colonial sentimentalist but I won't budge on this. I feel that any of the old buildings built during the colonial era used as civil administration offices were much nicer than the vulgar modern buildings built today.
The Parliament Building is no different. I loved how the old building looked like, I know it's pretty subjective but perhaps what made me like it so much was the sense of history that it had. I spent much time photographing the building at various times of the day, night-time being the best.
I can't say that I feel the same way for the new building.
Suitable only for kids on field trips.
I visited the Parliament house once when I was in Primary school. I remember that we were hushed thoughout most of the trip, and that it was quite boring. Being kids, we had a short attention span.
As I grew older, the nearby Boat Quay was a pivotal meeting point for my group of friends. And by night, the place stands like a pillar out of it's time, beautifully illuminated by it's various spotlights.
Overall there's nothing much to this place that you can't find online. Still, it's an interesting experience for schoolkids though, as it'll be good for them to learn about Singapore's law-making processes.
Yawns*, oh so boring.
I have been to the Parliament House once so far back in my secondary school days and honestly, I find that the experience is rather average. There is nothing out of the ordinary here unless if you are interested to know more about Singapore’s politics. Nevertheless, I do think that it is a good place where the young can have a visit to familiarize themselves or have a better understanding about Singapore’s parliamentary practices.
I think this place is more suitable for schools to organize visits for their students as an excursion or be part of their learning journeys. Please be sure to be properly attired as from what I know, people who are not in a proper dress code are not allowed to enter the Parliament House.
I have been to the parliament house once during my secondary school days, as a trip to know about one of the social studies topics. We actually get to observe what a real discussion about a certain issue is like and how it gets started. We have to like bow to the main person who decides if the issue could be carried out or not whenever we enter or were to leave the place.
It is a very serious place and we could not really speak very loudly when entering the place where we observe the discussion. It is a new experience for me but I don't think I would want to visit there again, as there are too many rules to follow.
Don't judge a book by it's cover
It's been a few years down the road since i last visited the Parliament House along with my schoolmates on an outdoor excursion, i was boo-ing the teachers at first when the decision was made as the Parliament House has a reputation of being one of the most boring places ever. But well frankly speaking i was quite amazed when i had a closer look at it because of how systematic things work in there which shows you the high level of government efficiency we have and it's definitely out of touch anywhere else except the Parliament House.