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Role, qualifying criteria of Council of Presidential Advisers

The six-member Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA) advises the President in the exercise of his custodial and discretionary powers. The President is obliged to consult the council in the exercise of his discretionary veto powers in matters such as the Government’s budgets and key appointments.

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The six-member Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA) advises the President in the exercise of his custodial and discretionary powers. The President is obliged to consult the council in the exercise of his discretionary veto powers in matters such as the Government’s budgets and key appointments.

If the council agrees with the President’s veto and the council agrees, then the veto is final and Parliament must comply. If the council disagrees, the President can still use his veto, but Parliament can override the veto with a two-thirds majority.

In other matters, such consultation is optional.

According to qualifying criteria set out in the Constitution, prospective nominees to the six-member Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA) must be Singapore citizens aged 35 and above who reside in Singapore. They must also not be of unsound mind, insolvent or undischarged bankrupts, or been convicted by court and sentenced to a jail term exceeding one year or a fine above S$2,000.

The President and Prime Minister each nominate two appointees, with the Chief Justice and Chairman of the Public Service Commission each nominating one appointee.

There are two alternate members who stand in for the others when needed. One is appointed by the President, and the other is nominated by the Prime Minister.

The present CPA is chaired by Mr J Y Pillay, chairman of Singapore Exchange Limited and formerly a top-ranking civil servant. The other members are Temasek Holdings chairman and former cabinet minister S Dhanabalan, former managing partner of Deloitte & Touche Po’ad Shaik Abu Bakar Mattar, ex-High Court judge Goh Joon Seng, former Tote Board chairman Bobby Chin Yoke Choong and Shell chairman Lee Tzu Yang.

The two alternate members are Mr Lim Chee Onn and Mr Stephen Lee Ching Yen.

KELLY NG

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