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(Left) Justice Chao Hick Tin (Source: Wikipedia) - (Right) Mr Eddie Teo (Source: Overseas Singaporeans Portal).

Shuffle of appointments in the Council of Presidential Advisers as its chairman retires

Mr Eddie Teo will be appointed to be the new Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA) by the President under Article 37B(3A) of the Constitution as Chairman of the CPA starting from 2 January 2019 to 1 June 2020.

The Prime Minister Office (PMO) announced in a press release that Mr Eddie will be succeeding Mr J Y Pillay when his current term of appointment to the CPA ends on 2 January 2019. 

Mr Pillay has served on the CPA for eighteen years since 2 January 2001. He will complete his current term of appointment on 1 January 2019.  He continues to serve as a Member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights (from July 2003); Rector of College of Alice & Peter Tan, National University of Singapore (from July 2011) and Board Member of the Financial Intelligence Authority of the Vatican City State (from June 2014).

Mr Pillay held various senior positions in the civil service, helming the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of National Development as Permanent Secretary, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore as Managing Directoprior to his CPA appointment.

The 84-year-old man was Chairman of SIA from 1972 to 1996, and Chairman of Singapore Exchange from 1999 to 2010.

Mr Pillay was the longest serving Chairman of the CPA, having served in that capacity for 14 years, said the office. 

During that period, he led the CPA in advising the 6th, 7th and 8th Presidents on matters related to safeguarding of the national reserves and the integrity of the public service. He actively engaged the government officials and fifth schedule entities in discussing major proposals. 

According to the office, Mr Pillay was awarded The Order of Nila Utama First Class in 2012 for his sterling contributions to the Singapore.

Source: Istana website.

Mr Eddie Teo who will be taking up the appointment of Chairman, was earlier appointed as member of the CPA on 15 August 2018.

He served in the Singapore Public Service for 35 years before retiring in 2005 and began his public service career in 1970 in the Security and Intelligence Division (SID) of the Ministry of Defence. He became Director, SID in 1979 and was in that post until 1994. From 1982 to 1986, he held the concurrent position of Director, Internal Security Department, Ministry of Home Affairs.

The 71-year-old man was Permanent Secretary (Defence) from 1994 to 2000 and Permanent Secretary (Prime Minister’s Office) from 1998 to 2005. From 2006 to 2008, he was the Singapore High Commissioner to Australia.

He was also the Chairman of Public Service Commission from August 2008 to July 2018, and Chairman of the Presidential Council for Religious Harmony from September 2017. 

Meanwhile, Justice Chao Hick Tin, Senior Judge of the Supreme Court, 76, will be appointed Chairman of the Presidential Council for Religious Harmony (PCRH), for three years with effect from 2 January 2019, succeeding Mr Eddie, who will step down as Chairman PCRH on the same day to sit as the Chairman of the CPA.

He was called to the Bar as a barrister of the Middle Temple in 1965. In 1967, he joined the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Singapore where he rose to become a Senior State Counsel in 1979.

Justice Chao was appointed the Head of the Civil Division in the Attorney-General’s Chambers in 1982 and held that post until his elevation to the Supreme Court bench on 1 October 1987 as Judicial Commissioner. His elevation to the position of a Judge of the Supreme Court followed on 15 November 1990. On 2 August 1999, he was appointed as a Judge of Appeal of the Supreme Court. On 11 April 2006 he stepped down from the court to become Attorney-General of Singapore.

He then ceased to be Attorney-General and was reappointed a Judge of Appeal every two years since 11 April 2008, and shortly thereafter was appointed Vice-President of the Court of Appeal, until he retired the day before his 75th birthday on 27 September 2017.

In the National Day Awards of 2008, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang) for his special contributions to the Pedra Branca dispute case.

Justice Chao is also one of the founding members of the ASEAN Law Association. He was also the first Commander of the Vounteer Special Constabulary, holding the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police.

The Presidential Council for Religious Harmony was set up under the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act. The Chairman and members are appointed by the President of the Republic of Singapore.

The Council gives its advice to the Minister for Home Affairs on matters affecting the maintenance of religious harmony in Singapore which are referred to it by the Minister or by Parliament, and considers and makes recommendations to the President on restraining orders issued under the Act.

The council consists of nine people, who are:

  1. Venerable Seck Kwang Phing, President, Singapore Buddhist Federation – Buddhism
  2. His Grace Archbishop William Goh, Archbishop of Catholic Church in Singapore – Roman Catholicism
  3. Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram, Mufti of Singapore – Islam
  4. Mr Surjit Singh s/o Wazir Singh, past Chairman of the Sikh Advisory Board – Sikhism
  5. Associate Professor Lee Cheuk Yin, Academic Adviser to the Taoist Federation and Taoist Mission – Taoism
  6. Mr M Rajaram, past President of the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and term trustee of the Singapore Indian Development Association – Hinduism
  7. Bishop Emeritus Wee Boon Hup, past President of the National Council of Churches of Singapore – Protestant Christianity
  8. Ms Juthika Ramanathan, Chief Executive, Office of the Chief Justice, Supreme Court – layperson member
  9. Prof Lily Kong, Provost and Lee Kong Chian Chair Professor of Social Sciences, Singapore Management University – layperson member