In colonial times, the legislature was a branch of government. However, it originally took the form of the Legislative Council, which came into being in 1867 with the creation of the Straits Settlements. In 1955, as Singapore took the first tentative steps towards self-government, a mainly elected Legislative Assembly came into being. In 1965, when Singapore became independent, the assembly was renamed Parliament; it sat as such for the first time on 8 December 1965.
The Singapore Parliament is modelled after the Westminister system of parliamentary democracy where Members of Parliament are voted in at regular General Elections. The leader of the poilitical party that secures the majority of seats in Parliament will be asked by the President to become the Prime Minister (PM). The PM will then select his Ministers from elected MPs to form the Cabinet. When the new Parliament meets for the first time, the Speaker will be elected followed by the oath taking of Members. The 'life" of each parliament is 5 years from date of its sitting after a General Election. General Election must be held within 3 months of the dissolution of Parliament.
The functions of Parliament include making laws, controlling the finance and taking up a critical/inquisitorial role to check on the governing party and the Ministries.
The Commission of Inquiry is appointed by President under the Inquiry Commission Act (Chapter 48).