Council of Presidential Advisers

 

The Council of Presidential Advisers (from left): Mr Stephen Lee, Mr Lee Tzu Yang, Mr Goh Joon Seng, Mr S Dhanabalan, Mr J Y Pillay, Mr Po'ad Mattar, Mr Bobby Chin and Mr Lim Chee Onn. Mr Chua Thian Poh and Mr Bahren Shaari are not present in the photo.

The Constitution of Singapore was amended in 1991 to give the Elected President custodial and discretionary powers to safeguard the reserves of the Government which were not accumulated by the Government during its current term of office, and in the appointments of government nominees to key posts. The Constitution provided for a Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA) to advise the President in the exercise of his custodial and discretionary powers.  It is obligatory for the President to consult the CPA when exercising his discretionary powers related to all fiscal and appointment-related matters.

The CPA comprises eight members and two alternate members. Three members are appointed by the President at his discretion; three are the Prime Minister's nominees; one is the Chief Justice's nominee; and one is the nominee of the Chairman of the Public Service Commission.  One alternate member is appointed by the President at his discretion while the other is appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister, in consultation with the Chief Justice and Chairman of Public Service Commission.

CPA membership is drawn into 3 divisions. Each division has one member appointed by the President in his discretion and one member appointed on the Prime Minister’s advice. In addition, the first division has a member appointed on the Chief Justice’s advice, and the second division has a member appointed on the PSC Chairman’s advice. Each member’s appointment expires every sixth year.  The 3 divisions are staggered so that every 2 years, all seats in a division will expire together.  If a seat is prematurely vacated, the Constitution provides that the term of the replacement member is subject to the expiry date of the member he replaces, so as to preserve the staggering. Alternate members are appointed on a four-year term.

The present Chairman of the CPA is Mr J Y Pillay. The other members are Mr S Dhanabalan, Mr Po'ad Bin Shaik Abu Bakar Mattar, Mr Goh Joon Seng, Mr Bobby Chin Yoke Choong, Mr Lee Tzu Yang, Mr Lim Chee Onn and Mr Stephen Lee Ching Yen. The two alternate members are Mr Chua Thian Poh and Mr Bahren Shaari.

As Chairman of the CPA, Mr Pillay exercises the functions of the office of the President in the absence of the President. If he is unavailable, this duty then falls on the Speaker of Parliament.

Role of the CPA

The CPA advises the President in the exercise of his discretionary veto powers.  The President must consult the CPA in the exercise of any of his discretionary powers in connection with appointments and the reserves. It is optional for the President to consult the CPA in other areas where he has discretionary powers.

CPA proceedings are private.  The CPA may ask public officers to furnish information.  Should any public officer appear before the CPA, the officer is prohibited by the Constitution from disclosing his discussions before the CPA with anyone else.

Biographies of members of Council of Presidential Advisers

PAST MEMBERS

S/n

Name / Appointment

Tenure

1

Mr Lim Kim San / Chairman

Jan 1992 to Jan 2004

2

Dr Michael Fam Yue Onn / Member

Jan 1992 to Jan 2004

3

Dr Cheong Siew Keong / Member

Jan 1992 to Jan 2008

4

Mr Ridzwan bin Haji Dzafir / Member

Jan 1992 to Jan 2007

5

Mr Lee Seng Wee / Member

Jan 1992 to Jan 2001

6

Dr Ee Peng Liang / Member

July 1992 to Aug 1994

7

Mr Teo Cheng Guan / Member

Nov 1994 to May 2002

8

Mr Sim Kee Boon

Jan 1997 to Jan 2004  (Member)

Jan 2004 to Sep 2005 (Chairman)

Sep 2005 to Jan 2007 (Member)

9

Prof Cham Tao Soon / Member

Jan 2004 to Jan 2010

10

Mr Yong Pung How / Member

Jan 2007 to Jan 2013

 

 

 

CURRENT MEMBERS

S/n

NAME

TENURE

1

Mr J Y Pillay

Member Jan 2001 to Sep 2005

Chairman since Sep 2005

2

Mr S Dhanabalan

Member since Jan 2004

 

3

Mr Po’ad Bin Shaik Abu Bakar Mattar

Member since Jan 2007

 

4

Mr Goh Joon Seng

Member since Jan 2008

 

5

Mr Bobby Chin Yoke Choong

Member since Jan 2010

 

6

Mr Lee Tzu Yang

Member since Jan 2013

7

Mr Lim Chee Onn

Alternate Member from  

Jan 2008 to Mar 2017

Member since Apr 2017 

8

Mr Stephen Lee Ching Yen

Alternate Member from

Jan 2008 to Mar 2017

Member since Apr 2017

 

9

Mr Chua Thian Poh

Alternate Member since Apr 2017

10

Mr Bahren Shaari

Alternate Member since Apr 2017

Note: Alternate Members were introduced in 2008