Singtel CEO Chua Sock Koong becomes first woman to be appointed to Council of Presidential Advisers

Ms Chua Sock Koong joined Singtel in 1989, and has been group chief executive of the company since April 2007.
Ms Chua Sock Koong joined Singtel in 1989, and has been group chief executive of the company since April 2007.PHOTO: SINGTEL

SINGAPORE - Singtel group chief executive Chua Sock Koong has become the first woman to be appointed to the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA).

She was among the three people appointed to the council on Wednesday (Jan 2), including its new chairman, Mr Eddie Teo.

The other appointment was that of Mr Chua Thian Poh as a council member.

Ms Chua, an alternate member, was nominated and appointed by President Halimah Yacob.

Madam Halimah formally appointed all three to the CPA at a ceremony at the Istana on Wednesday.

The council comprises eight members and two alternate members. It advises the President on the use of her discretionary and custodial powers in safeguarding past reserves of the Government and Fifth Schedule Statutory Boards and Government Companies.

It also advises her on the appointments of various key personnel in public service.

Mr Teo, whose move was announced in December, succeeds Mr J. Y. Pillay. Mr Teo, a former President's Scholar, has spent nearly 50 years in public service, 10 of them as a Public Service Commission chairman.

Ms Chua joined Singtel in 1989 and has been group chief executive of the company since April 2007. She sits on the boards of several firms, including the Defence Science and Technology Agency and telecommunications company Bharti Airtel.

She has a bachelor's degree in accountancy from the University of Singapore. She is a Fellow Member of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants and a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter holder.

Ms Chua said that she was "extremely honoured" to be appointed to the council, adding: "I hope to contribute to the Council’s diversity of views and look forward to advising President Halimah as she exercises her custodial powers.”

Mr Chua Thian Poh is chairman and chief executive of Ho Bee Group, and was appointed an alternate member in April 2017. He serves on the boards of several other companies and community organisations.

He is currently chairman of the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre.  He is also honorary president of the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations and immediate past president of the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan. Mr Chua is also honorary president of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and honorary chairman of the Bishan East-Thomson Citizens Consultative Committee.

He has received several awards, including the Public Service Star in 2004 and Distinguished Service Order in 2014, as well as the President's Award for Philanthropy (Individual) in 2012.

In 2015, Mr Chua was appointed as Non-Resident Ambassador of Singapore to the Maldives. He was also appointed by the Prime Minister's Office as a member of the Elected Presidency Constitutional Commission in 2016.