Presidential Council for Minority Rights
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.
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).
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, as follows:
The Hon the Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon
Tuan Haji Othman bin Wok
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
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
The Presidential Council for Religious Harmony is set up under the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act (MRHA). The Chairman and members are appointed by the President of the Republic of Singapore.
The Council gives its advice to the Minister for Home Affairs on matters affecting the maintenance of religious harmony in Singapore which are referred to it by the Minister or by Parliament, and considers and makes recommendations to the President on restraining orders issued under the Act.
The Council can number from six to 15 members, excluding the Chairman. The Council serves a three-year term.
The Chairman and members of the Council are:
Mr Goh Joon Seng
Venerable Seck Kwang Phing (Buddhist Representative)
His Grace Archbishop William Goh (Roman Catholic Representative)
Mr Rajendran s/o Sinnathamby (Hindu Representative)
Mufti Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram (Muslim Representative)
Mr Lim Khay Tham (Protestant Christian Representative)
Mr Surjit Singh s/o Wazir Singh (Sikh Representative)
Associate Professor Lee Cheuk Yin (Taoist Representative)
Mr Wee Heng Tin (Layperson)
Ms Lai Siu Chiu (Layperson)