Constitutional Commission on elected presidency: SMU students' submission

SMU students (from left) Mr Mohamed Arshad, Mr Ko Yuen Hyung, Mr Mok Zi Cong and Mr Alexander Lee. ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

SINGAPORE - The Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA) should be restructured for more specialisation and transparency in its workings, a group of Singapore Management Univeristy law students proposed on Friday (April 22).

They suggested that financial, appointment, and legal wings be formed in the CPA, but each member can serve on more than one wing.

Mr Alexander Lee, 23, one of the students, said the president can consult the specific wings when he requires advice on those particular matters.

But Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon noted that there is value in the way the present CPA considers all issues together, bringing their diverse expertise and perspectives.

The SMU students also wanted the breakdown of CPA members' votes on matters to be made public for the sake of accountability.

When Justice Tay Yong Kwang raised concerns that pressure may be brought to bear on CPA members if their votes were disclosed, Mr Lee clarified that each individual's vote will not be made public, merely how many had voted either way.

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