Three new appointments to the Presidential Council for Minority Rights

(From left) Archbishop William Goh, former mufti Shaikh Syed Isa Mohamed Semait and Sikh Advisory Board chairman Surjit Singh have been appointed as new members of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights. -- PHOTOS: ST FILE, BERITA HARIAN 
(From left) Archbishop William Goh, former mufti Shaikh Syed Isa Mohamed Semait and Sikh Advisory Board chairman Surjit Singh have been appointed as new members of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights. -- PHOTOS: ST FILE, BERITA HARIAN 

SINGAPORE - President Tony Tan Keng Yam has appointed three people as new members of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights.

They are the Catholic Church's Archbishop William Goh, former mufti Shaikh Syed Isa Mohamed Semait and former Sikh Advisory Board chairman Surjit Singh.

Their appointments are for a three-year term, beginning April 1 this year.

The council, created in 1973, ensures that laws passed in Parliament do not discriminate against any racial or religious community.

It also advises the President on nominees to the Presidential Council for Religious Harmony, Malay Community Committee and the Indian and Other Minority Communities Committee. The two committees certify minority candidates for parliamentary elections.

Archbishop Goh was sworn in by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, who chairs the council, on Wednesday. Mr Shaikh and Mr Singh were sworn in at the Istana on Thursday afternoon, in a ceremony officiated by President Tan.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who attended Thursday's swearing-in ceremony, said in a Facebook post that the three new members "are all respected religious and community leaders" and will strengthen the PCMR.

 

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_GB/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

Back at work. Witnessed two new members of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights (PCMR) swearing in – Shaikh Syed...

Posted by Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday, 2 April 2015

He added that the PCMR is another legacy of his father, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. It had been born out of a review of Singapore's constitution that the elder Mr Lee ordered after separation from Malaysia in 1965.

With the new appointments, the council now consists of 19 members, comprising the chairman, five permanent members and 13 other members.

The five permanent members are Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam and former Cabinet ministers Othman Wok and S. Dhanabalan.

Other members are Attorney-General VK Rajah, Justice Steven Chong, Mr J Y Pillay, Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia, Mr Othman Haron Eusofe, Mr Timothy James de Souza, Mr Abdullah Tarmugi, Professor Chan Heng Chee, Mr Barry Desker and Mr Philip Jeyaretnam.

The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew had been one of the permanent members. He died on March 23.