President of Singapore, Tony Tan. Photo: Associated Press/Bob Edme
Nine individuals from the public and private sectors have been appointed to a Constitutional Commission that will review aspects of the Elected Presidency.
They will look at the qualifying process for Presidential candidates and whether the eligibility criteria should be updated, whether the powers of the Council of Presidential Advisers should be beefed up and recommendations to ensure minority candidates can be periodically elected as President, said the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday (10 Feb), according to media reports.
The Commission will be chaired by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon. Other members of the Commission include former Speaker Abdullah Tarmugi, Public Service Commission chairman Eddie Teo, DBS Bank chairman Peter Seah and chairman of the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities, Professor Chan Heng Chee.
In due course, members of the public will also be invited to submit their feedback to the Commission, said the PMO.
Last month, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told Parliament that it was timely to review specific aspects of the elected presidency (EP). He noted that the EP had been instituted in 1990 as a stabiliser in the political system and a “major innovation”.
Seven men have served as Singapore’s President, three of them elected. Ong Teng Cheong, who served from 1993-99, was the first elected president.
S R Nathan served two terms unopposed, from 1999 to 2011.
President Tony Tan Keng Yam was elected in 2011 and will reach the end of his six-year term in 2017.