The Legal Representation of the Singaporean Home and the Influence of the Common Law
Hong Kong Law Journal, Vol. 37, p. 81, 2007
Posted: 9 Jul 2009
Date Written: July 8, 2009
The purpose of this article is to examine the principal laws that have a significant impact in shaping the meaning of the home in Singapore. This article makes two contributions to the pre-existing literature. First, the significant case law and statutes in Singapore affecting the concept of the home are collated and discussed. Second, in discussing these laws as a coherent whole, this article attempts to draw together the meaning of the home in the Singaporean context. The relevant laws are examined to determine whether the Western conception of “the home as a person's castle” is present in Singaporean law. It will be demonstrated that due to the unique laws in Singapore, the Singaporean home has a different legal conception from its English and American counterparts. Ultimately, the theme that emerges from the multitude of laws, regulations and government policies affecting the home is that the legal image of the Singaporean home is rooted in communitarianism, pragmatism and a series of state-imposed ideologies. With regard to the latter theme, these ideologies can be grouped into the following four broad clusters: (a) the ideology of stake holding in the country; (b) the ideology of the family; (c) the ideology of multi-culturalism; and (d) the ideology of politics.
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