SINGAPORE - Former Speaker of Parliament Abdullah Tarmugi was sworn in as a permanent member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights on Monday (Jan 22), in a ceremony officiated by President Halimah Yacob.
Mr Abdullah's appointment - which will be for life - took effect from Jan 10, said the council in a statement.
During the ceremony at the Istana, the 73-year-old was presented with his letter of appointment and took his oath before Justice Steven Chong.
Mr Abdullah was first appointed as a non-permanent council member on Jan 10, 2012 for a three-year term and reappointed for another three years on Jan 10, 2015, the statement said,
The role of the council is to scrutinise laws passed by Parliament to ensure that no provision discriminates against any racial or religious community.
Current permanent members include Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, former Cabinet minister S. Dhanabalan and Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam.
Founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, former deputy prime ministers Goh Keng Swee and S. Rajaratnam, and former Cabinet ministers Francis Thomas and Othman Wok were past permanent members.
Mr Abdullah was the Speaker of Parliament from 2002 to 2011.
Prior to that, he was community development, youth and sports minister from 1996 to 2002.
With Mr Abdullah's appointment, the council will consist of 17 members, chaired by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon.
Besides the Chief Justice, there are five permanent members and 11 other members.