It is commonly believed that sovereign wealth funds often invest on behalf of governments for strategic reasons and as an instrument of foreign policy, but Temasek Holdings does not share the characteristics of most sovereign wealth funds, said its chairman Lim Boon Heng.
In his first public speech as Temasek's chairman, the former politician said the founding of Temasek was premised on a separation between the Government's role as a policymaker and as a shareholder.
The Singapore government is the sole shareholder in Temasek Holdings.
The Government is not consulted on Temasek's day-to-day business and does not direct its investment decisions, said Mr Lim, who was named Temasek chairman in August this year.
This clear separation of roles is for the "greater good of Singapore".
Temasek makes investment decisions based on commercial principles, and promotes sound corporate governance in its portfolio companies, he added.
Mr Lim was speaking at a sovereign wealth fund conference held on Thursday at the Singapore Management University.