Appointments made to Council of Presidential Advisers

(Clockwise from top left) Mr Eddie Teo, Mr Lim Chee Onn, Ms Chua Sock Koong and Mr Gan Seow Kee. PHOTOS: ST FILE, PRESIDENT'S OFFICE, PSC WEBSITE

President Halimah Yacob has reappointed Mr Eddie Teo as chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA) for a six-year term.

She also appointed Ms Chua Sock Koong, group chief executive of Singtel - and the first woman to join the CPA when she was made an alternate member last year - as a full member of the council.

Ms Chua replaces former Singapore Airlines chairman Stephen Lee Ching Yen, whose term on the council expired on Monday after 12 years of service, the President's Office said yesterday, in conjunction with the first virtual swearing-in and appointment ceremony of CPA members.

Chairman and managing director of ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Gan Seow Kee, who is also vice-chairman of the Singapore Business Federation, was appointed an alternate member on Tuesday.

Former Keppel Corp executive chairman Lim Chee Onn, who has been an alternate member since 2008 and a CPA member since 2017, was also reappointed as a member.

The CPA advises the President on the use of her discretionary and custodial powers. It is obligatory for the President to consult the CPA when exercising her discretionary powers related to all fiscal and appointment-related matters.

This includes the Government tapping on the reserves.

In a Facebook post yesterday, President Halimah thanked Mr Lee for his contributions and advising her as well as former presidents S R Nathan and Tony Tan over the years.

"The CPA plays an important role in advising me before I exercise my custodial and discretionary powers on all fiscal and key appointment matters," she said.

"Over the past few months in particular, the CPA has provided invaluable advice to me on the Government's proposals to draw on past reserves, to fund the Covid-19 support measures.

"I look forward to continue working closely with the CPA to safeguard our nation's past reserves, and the integrity of our public service."

The Government plans to draw $52 billion from the past reserves to fund measures to save businesses and jobs amid the pandemic.

Madam Halimah, in consultation with the CPA, has approved a $21 billion draw and given in-principle support for a further $31 billion draw outlined in Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat's fourth Budget announced last week.

The council consists of eight members and two alternate members, who are appointed by the President or nominated by the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice and the chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC).

Each member's appointment expires every sixth year, while alternate members are appointed on a four-year term.

The council is chaired by Mr Teo, who was PSC chairman until he retired in 2018, and is currently pro-chancellor of Singapore Management University.

He joined the CPA as a member in August 2018 and took over as chairman in January last year, following the retirement of Mr J.Y. Pillay.

Mr Teo was appointed by the President as a member on the advice of Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon.

Ms Chua was appointed by the President as a member on the advice of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Mr Lim, who chairs the Singapore-Suzhou Township Development, was reappointed as a member by the President, acting at her discretion.

Mr Gan was appointed as an alternate member by the President, acting at her discretion.

The President, acting at her discretion, reappointed Mr Teo as CPA chairman.

The council's other members are former Cabinet minister S. Dhanabalan; former managing partner of accounting firm Deloitte & Touche Po'ad Shaik Abu Bakar Mattar; former Supreme Court judge Goh Joon Seng; founder, chairman and chief executive of Ho Bee Group Chua Thian Poh; and Bank of Singapore chief executive Bahren Shaari, who was made a member on Jan 2.

The second alternate member is Mrs Mildred Tan, who retired as managing director of Ernst & Young Advisory in 2018 and was appointed an alternate member on Jan 2.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 04, 2020, with the headline Appointments made to Council of Presidential Advisers. Subscribe