Other Presidential Councils

Presidential Council for Minority Rights

Mr Abdullah Tarmugi reading the Affirmation of Allegiance, witnessed by Judge of Appeal, Justice Steven Chong.

 

Origins

 

The Presidential Council for Minority Rights has its origins in 1970 when it was established as the Presidential Council under the Constitution. In 1973, the Council was renamed to its present name.

 

Role of the Council

 

The Council examines all legislation to ensure that they are not disadvantageous to any racial or religious community as compared to other such communities. Its report on such legislation is presented to Parliament. In addition, the Council also considers matters affecting any racial or religious community that are referred to it by Parliament or the Government.

 

In its advisory capacity, the Council advises the President on nominations of appointees to the Presidential Council for Religious Harmony (under the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act), the Malay Community Committee, and the Indian and Other Minorities Communities Committee (under the Parliamentary Elections Act).

 

Appointing a Member of the Council

 

Members of the Council are appointed by the President on the advice of the Cabinet. Currently, the Council has 16 Members comprising the Chairman, six permanent Members and nine other Members. They are as follows –

Chairman:

The Hon the Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon

Permanent Members:

  • Mr Goh Chok Tong, Emeritus Senior Minister
  • Mr S Dhanabalan
  • Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister
  • Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Other Members:

  • Mr Lucien Wong, Attorney-General
  • Mr J Y Pillay
  • His Grace Archbishop William Goh Seng Chye
  • Mr Othman Haron Eusofe
  • Mr Timothy James de Souza
  • Mr Abdullah Tarmugi
  • Prof Chan Heng Chee
  • Mr Barry Desker
  • Mr Philip Jeyaretnam
  • Mr Surjit Singh s/o Wazir Singh
  • Shaikh Syed Isa bin Mohamed Semait
  • Venerable Sik Kwang Sheng 


Presidential Council for Religious Harmony

Members of the Presidential Council for Religious Harmony.

 

Origins

 

The Presidential Council for Religious Harmony was set up under the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act (MRHA).

 

Role of the Council

 

The Council gives its advice on matters affecting the maintenance of religious harmony in Singapore. These matters are referred by the Minister for Home Affairs or by Parliament. The Council considers and makes recommendations to the President on restraining orders issued under the Act.

 

 

Appointing a Member of the Council

 

The Chairman and members are appointed by the President. The Council serves a three-year term. The Council can number from six to 15 members, excluding the Chairman.

 

The current Chairman and members of the Council are:

 

Chairman:

Mr Eddie Teo

Members:

  • Venerable Seck Kwang Phing (Buddhist Representative)
  • Archbishop William Goh (Roman Catholic Representative)
  • Mr M Rajaram (Hindu Representative)
  • Mufti Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram (Muslim Representative)
  • Bishop Emeritus Wee Boon Hup (Protestant Representative)
  • Mr Surjit Singh s/o Wazir Singh (Sikh Representative)
  • A/Prof Lee Cheuk Yin (Taoist Representative)
  • Prof Lily Kong (Layperson)
  • Ms Juthika Ramanathan (Layperson)