Appointment to Presidential Council of Minority Rights

The President has appointed Mr Abdullah Tarmugi as a Permanent Member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights with effect from 10 January 2018.

Mr Abdullah Tarmugi was first appointed to the Presidential Council for Minority Rights on 10 January 2012 on a 3-year term and re-appointed for another 3-year term on 10 January 2015.

The Presidential Council scrutinizes laws passed by Parliament to ensure that no provision in those laws discriminates against any racial or religious community.

Permanent Members of the Council are appointed for life, while non-permanent Members are appointed for a period of three years. Previous Permanent Members include Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Dr Goh Keng Swee, Mr S Rajaratnam, Mr Francis Thomas and Mr Othman Wok. Apart from Mr Tarmugi, the current Permanent Members are

  • Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister

  • Mr Goh Chok Tong, Emeritus Senior Minister

  • Mr S Dhanabalan

  • Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Mr Abdullah Tarmugi was formerly a Cabinet Minister holding the Community Development portfolio from 1996 to 2002. He was elected by the 10th and 11th Parliaments to be its Speaker from 2002 to 2011

Mr Abdullah Tarmugi is presented with his Letter of Appointment and sworn in at the Istana today at a ceremony officiated by President Halimah Yacob. His oath is taken before Justice Steven Chong Horng Siong.

          

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Presidential Council for Minority Rights

c/o Parliament House

22 January 2018

 

BACKGROUND NOTE TO PRESS EDITORS

 

FUNCTIONS AND COMPOSITION OF

PRESIDENTIAL COUNCIL FOR MINORITY RIGHTS

 

The functions of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights are:

  • To draw attention to any Bill or subsidiary legislation that contains differentiating measures; and

  • To consider and report on matters affecting any racial or religious community that are referred to the Council by Parliament or the Government

A “differentiating measure” is a measure that is disadvantageous to a racial or religious community and not equally disadvantageous to other such communities.

The Council makes a report on the Bills and matters considered to the Speaker of Parliament. 

From time to time, the Council also advises the President on the nominations of persons to the Presidential Council for Religious Harmony, and the Malay Community Committee and the Indian and Other Minority Communities for purposes of parliamentary elections.

The Council also nominates the respective Chairmen and members of the Chinese Community Sub-Committee, Malay Community Sub-Committee, and the Indian and Other Minority Communities Sub-Committee, of the Community Committee for purposes of presidential elections.

The Chairman and Members of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights are appointed by the President on the advice of the Cabinet. Under the Constitution, the Council shall consist of a Chairman, not more than 10 permanent Members and not more than 10 other Members. Apart from permanent Members who are appointed for life, the Chairman and other Members are appointed for a period of 3 years.

With the new appointment of Mr Abdullah Tarmugi to the Council taking effect from 10 January 2018, the Council will consist of 17 Members, comprising the Chairman, 5 permanent Members and 11 other Members as follows:

Chairman

The Hon Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon  

Permanent Members

Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister

Mr Goh Chok Tong, Emeritus Senior Minister

Mr S Dhanabalan

Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Mr Abdullah Tarmugi

Other Members

Mr Lucien Wong, Attorney General

Mr JY Pillay

Mr Othman Haron Eusofe

Mr Timothy James de Souza

Prof Chan Heng Chee

Mr Barry Desker

Mr Philip Jeyaretnam

His Grace Archbishop William Goh

Shaikh Syed Isa bin Mohamed Semait

Mr Surjit Singh s/o Wazir Singh

Venerable Sik Kwang Sheng