Council of Presidential Advisers

Role of the CPA

 

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 CPA to advise the President in the exercise of custodial and discretionary powers. It is obligatory for the President to consult the CPA when exercising the discretionary powers related to all fiscal and appointment-related matters.

 

 

The Council of Presidential Advisers (from left): Mr Bahren Shaari, Mr Lee Tzu Yang, Mr Stephen Lee Ching Yen, Mr Goh Joon Seng, Mr S Dhanabalan, Mr J Y Pillay, Mr Po'ad Shaik Abu Bakar Mattar, Mr Lim Chee Onn, Mr Bobby Chin Yoke Choong and Mr Chua Thian Poh.

 

President Halimah Yacob and the CPA during a visit to GIC in October 2017.

President Halimah Yacob and the CPA members during a visit to CPF Board in December 2017.

 

The CPA comprises eight members and two alternate members.

Members:

  • Three members are appointed at the discretion of the President;
  • 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 (PSC). 

Alternate Members:

  • One is appointed at the discretion of the President;
  • One is appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister, in consultation with the Chief Justice and Chairman of PSC.

Appointing a CPA member

CPA membership is drawn into three divisions. Each member’s appointment expires every sixth year.

 

The first division consist of –

  • A member appointed at the discretion of the President;
  • A member appointed on the Prime Minister’s advice;
  • A member appointed on the Chief Justice’s advice.

 The second division consist of –

  • A member appointed at the discretion of the President;
  • A member appointed on the Prime Minister’s advice;
  • A member appointed on the PSC Chairman’s advice.

The third division consist of –

  • A member appointed at the discretion of the President;
  • A member appointed on the Prime Minister’s advice.

The three divisions are staggered so that every two 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.

 

Current CPA members

https://admin.istana.gov.sg/sites/istana/files/A_BETH9045.jpg

 

The current Chairman of the CPA is Mr J Y Pillay. As the Chairman of the CPA, Mr J Y 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.

 

Members of the CPA 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.

 

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.

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

 

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