High Court judge Tan Siong Thye appointed Singapore's first Deputy Attorney-General

High Court judge Tan Siong Thye has been appointed Singapore's first Deputy Attorney-General. -- PHOTO: PMO
High Court judge Tan Siong Thye has been appointed Singapore's first Deputy Attorney-General. -- PHOTO: PMO

SINGAPORE - High Court judge Tan Siong Thye has been appointed as Singapore's first Deputy Attorney-General.

Justice Tan, 60, who has been a Judge of the High Court since last July, will leave the Supreme Court to assume office at the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) on Feb 2 for a term of three years.

In a statement on Monday, Attorney-General V.K. Rajah said the new appointment has "considerable significance".

He added that Justice Tan will work closely with him and Solicitor-General Lionel Yee to raise professional standards in the AGC and better serve Singapore.

Said the Attorney-General: "He (Justice Tan) brings with him unique insights on the administration of justice and a tremendous wealth of experience in many areas, especially in criminal law and in management.

"His decades of experience will be particularly valuable in guiding and mentoring AGC officers as they handle increasingly complex and challenging cases. The AGC will be enormously strengthened by his appointment. I can think of no better person to serve as Singapore's first DAG."

The post of Deputy Attorney-General was established after the Constitution was amended on Nov 4 last year. It is a constitutional appointment where the Deputy Attorney-General is accorded the status of a High Court judge.

Prior to his appointment as a High Court judge last July, Justice Tan was appointed Judicial Commissioner on Oct 1, 2013.

He started his career as a Deputy Public Prosecutor in the AGC in 1979, was a District Judge from 1986 to 1998, and director of the Commercial Affairs Department from 1999 to 2008.

He then rejoined the Subordinate Courts (renamed State Courts last year) in 2008 as a Senior District Judge, and became Chief District Judge in 2010. During that time, he was appointed to head a Committee of Inquiry into two major breakdowns on the North-South Line that happened in December 2011.

In a statement, Justice Tan said he is humbled by the appointment. He added: "It is an honour to have had the opportunity to serve as a member of the Supreme Court Bench and to be able to work with my fellow judges and judicial officers to administer justice in Singapore. I have had a fulfilling and enriching experience which will benefit me professionally."

joycel@sph.com.sg