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Singapore proposes new laws for presidential and ministerial global roles amid Tharman’s international appointments

Singapore plans constitutional amendments to enable the President and ministers to take up roles in international organizations, reflecting national interests and ensuring diplomatic transparency.

President Tharman Shanmugaratnam, in office since September 14 after a decisive election win, continues to serve in prestigious global positions.

His pre-presidency roles included chairing the G30’s board of trustees and co-chairing the Global Commission on the Economics of Water.

These roles, held despite constitutional restrictions, have prompted public debate over the legality of constitutional amendments considering his existing international appointments.



Singapore’s government has proposed legislative reforms to the nation’s Constitution, which, if passed, will allow the President and ministers to accept appointments within foreign and international organizations in their personal capacities.

This move, initiated by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and presented to parliament on Monday, is said to amplify Singapore’s diplomatic influence and serve the national interest more effectively on the global stage.

The proposed amendments, encapsulated in the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore (Amendment No. 3) Bill, address the current constitutional constraints that prohibit the President from participating in public roles in a private capacity.

The changes seek to empower the President to take up such roles based on the Cabinet’s advice, aligning with the national interest. Furthermore, these roles must not conflict with existing constitutional prohibitions, such as engaging in commercial enterprises, which is currently barred under Article 19A(1) of the Constitution.

The Cabinet’s role is also highlighted in these amendments, as it will provide guidance to the President on actions and statements in these roles and possess the authority to advise the President to relinquish any such position if deemed necessary. This aspect, according to PMO, underscores the government’s intent to maintain a balance between the President’s autonomy in these roles and the overarching national priorities.

Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s President since 14 September, following a sweeping victory in the elections, has been an exemplar of Singaporean leadership in global organizations.

Even before his presidency, he held esteemed positions, such as the chairmanship of the G30’s board of trustees, co-chairing the Global Commission on the Economics of Water, membership on the advisory board for the UN Human Development Report, and involvement with the World Economic Forum’s board of trustees.

He currently holds these positions despite the constraints in the constitution.

Mr Tharman’s tenure as the chair of the International Monetary and Financial Committee from 2011 to 2014, marked as the first Asian to hold this position.

Parallel to the President, the Bill also proposes a similar framework for ministers, who are not currently restricted from serving in foreign and international organizations privately.

However, they are still bound by Article 33 of the Constitution, which prevents them from holding any office of profit or engaging in commercial activities.

The Prime Minister will have the responsibility to assess whether it is in the national interest for a minister to accept and hold a position in such capacities and is authorized to permit or instruct ministers regarding their roles.

The PMO clarifies that these constitutional amendments aim for comprehensive coverage across high-level government roles, ensuring that Singapore’s engagement on the international front is both effective and transparent.

To this end, any such appointments or resignations by the President or ministers will be documented in the government gazette, providing an official record of Singapore’s expanding diplomatic endeavours.

While Singapore is honored to have a President who is internationally recognized, netizens have questioned the legality of amending the constitution to accommodate such roles, given that Mr Tharman was already holding these appointments prior to his swearing-in as President.


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I don’t think ANY Singapore civil servant should be moonlighting for ANY FOREIGN govt (or even corporate entity) WITHOUT govt-to-govt formal request/agreement. The individual involved also cannot be paid in cash or kind by the foreign govt.

Anyway, isn’t it ironical that they DON’T allow Tharman (as SG president) to interfere or effect any policies in SG (a tiny red dot, less than 6m population), but now they want him to interfere and/or effect possible policies on the international scale (affecting possibly billions of ppl)? The White Monkeys’ mentality indeed. Like anything can Kelong, must Kelong, hor.

Previously, the kelong queen must also had complained why she not allowed to operate her milo stall once she was “appointed” as the Kelong Pres. So don’t be surprised if a pineapple stall is allowed to operate soon near the Istana.

He is just a scum, the so called people’s president that 74% voted in. He still wants to retain his global positions after getting elected. He has displayed the greed of the PAP and the DNA of the PAP is potent in him. The 74% are real dummies.

1000% ITS Tharman that called for this. Tharman name is still listed on the WEF Annual Report 2022-2023. The report came out in Sept2023. Also It clearly states it came into Effect the day he Danced his way into our hearts. Also I think people should go and read the entire Bill No. 36/2023 They literally signing into law whatever needed to have immunity and minister can choose who decide what. 3 person panel for Property TAX appeals 1 person can choose to decide on behalf of the other 2 LOL. And every single part that had a time limit… Read more »

Does $1000 salary still valid today to own a HDB flat?

70% Pineapple Lovers:
1) Increase GST
2) Increase PUB utilities
3) Increase COE, ERP
4) Increase Food Prices
5) Increase Housing prices
6) Increase Cost of Living
7) Increase Transport fares
8) Increase Hospital and Medical costs
9) Increase Foreigners intake, increase job losses
10) Increase Prices on Chicken, Eat Fish
11) Increase in Ageing population, collect carton boxes, a good form of
We need solutions not price increase!!!! What do you think?

It’s the norm – when anytg suits, they say what they want and do what they want, as its their hegemonic pattern as long as there’s no effective accountability and third party checks and balances.

THIS IS WRONG!! Now i know how it feels to kenna fuck backside!

Our MP/ministers have been allowed to be part-timers (supposedly) serving Singaporeans. So it is natural for the monkeys to extend this privilege to the President. Highest pays yet part-timing – no wonder the 5C formula is obsoleted.


Ong Lai papsident can still have a role international level.

Singapore PAP government just want to be world super power,order US government China government to follow what Singapore PAP government wants them to do, involved in international conflicts and World War 3 ,rebuke Russian government, Iranian government, Palestinians government, Syrian government Jordan government and Lebanon government for attacking Israel

It’s becoming more and more obvious that LHL wants to clamour for the world’s recognition and attention like his father had. Unfortunately the difference between them is that the world brought the world stage to LKY, whereas LHL wants to invite himself to the world stage unabashedly. President Tharman, whether you are pro or against him, is genuinely witty. LHL on the other hand, failed miserably. Look at all the past jokes he tried to crack in his National Rallies. He thought his jokes were very funny, but the attendees tried so hard to laugh less the camera zoomed in… Read more »

When it comes to their cronies…SMLJ also can.
Turn here turn there and come up with all sort just for them.

He chose to be President. He should resign all his other positions. The PAP is back to its bag of tricks. Opposition should oppose so that it is registered even though the bill will be passed. The PAP are showing their greed.

The rule book is written by the PAP who were elected by the voters of Singapore.
Even if 50.1% voted for the PAP, it is still considered as having the mandate of the people of Singapore.

That is what has been written in the rule book. ( the constitution)

The PAP also can change what is written in the rule book.
You, the voter, will always be the loser.