In the past few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has led many companies to cut wages and freeze hires.
Airlines, hotels, retail and F&B companies, and even entertainment venues have seen a massive slump as their revenue declined.
To curb the spread of COVID-19, the government has also launched a "breaker" measure that requires all non-essential jobs to be closed for one month.
To help businesses and households in Singapore during this period, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced on Monday (April 6) the third series of Covid-19 support measures that will cost $ 5.1 billion.
This solidarity budget will also require an additional $ 4 billion in national reserves, he said.
The Labor Party leader (WP) and Aljunied GRC MP Pritam Singh became aware when he asked DPM Heng about the use of reserves.
In response, Mr. Heng, who is also finance minister, said that he had spoken thoroughly about it to President Halimah and the Council before submitting the budget, and that they both asked "very, very good questions".
For this reason, President Halimah has generally agreed to the additional draw.
The President relies on the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA) to assist the President in her role as a “second key” to unlocking Singapore's former reserve.
According to The Istana, the CPA's mission is to "advise the President on the exercise of custody … to protect Singapore's past reserves and the integrity of the civil service."
"The President is required to consult the CPA when exercising discretionary powers over all tax and appointment matters."
In other words, the President of Singapore has to consult the Council if national reserves need to be activated.
There are currently 10 members on the Council. Here are the people who make up the Council of Presidential Advisers:
Eddie Teo (Chairman)
Mr. Eddie Teo swears as Chairman / Photo Credit: The Istana
Eddie Teo, Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers / Photo Credit: SMU
Eddie Teo became a member in August 2018 and Chairman of the Council on January 2, 2019.
He is currently Senior Advisor to Temasek International Advisors Pte Ltd, Pro-Chancellor of the Singapore Management University (SMU), Distinguished Fellow of the School of Social Sciences, SMU and Director of the Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellowship.
The Chairman of the CPA performs the functions of the President's office even when the President is absent. If it is not available, this is the responsibility of the President of Parliament.
S Dhanabalan / Photo credit: The online citizen
S Dhanabalan was a well-known political leader in Singapore in the 1980s and held several cabinet positions under Prime Ministers Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong in the 1980s and early 1990s.
During his tenure in the Ministry of Finance from 1960 to 1968, he was involved in the formation of the Economic Development Board and DBS Bank.
He then left public service and joined DBS from 1968 to 1970 as Vice President. He was promoted to executive vice president and continued to serve from 1970 to 1978
He has been a member of the CPA since January 2004.
Po & # 39; ad Bin Shaik Abu Bakar Mattar
Po & # 39; ad Bin Shaik Abu Bakar Mattar / Photo Credit: Hong Leong Finance
Po & # 39; ad Bin Shaik Abu Bakar Mattar became a member of the CPA in January 2007.
He is also a director of NIE International Private Limited, Hong Leong Finance Limited and Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd. He is also chairman and member of the board of trustees of Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation Ltd.
Mr. Po’ad Mattar has been appointed Pro-Chancellor of the National University of Singapore since May 2012.
Goh Joon Seng
Goh Joon Seng / Photo credit: Supreme Court
Goh Joon Seng, a former Supreme Court judge, is currently chair of the legal profession (amendment) law, director of the Woh Hup Trust, chair of the competition appeal committee, chair of the independent review panel and other key positions in legal entities.
He has been a member of the CPA since January 2008.
Lim Chee Onn
Lim Chee Onn / Photo Credit: Singapore Management University
Lim Chee Onn is Chairman of the Singapore-Suzhou Township Development Pte Ltd and Honorary Chairman of the National Heritage Board. He holds key positions at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (Asia) Ltd. active.
He holds key university positions as Pro-Chancellor of the Singapore Management University, Chairman of the Lien Ying Chow Legacy Fellowship Council, Nanyang Technological University and Senior Adviser of the University of Glasgow in Singapore.
He has been a member of the CPA since April 2017.
Stephen Lee Ching Yen
Stephen Lee Ching Yen / Photo Credit: SWEET
Stephen Lee Ching Yen is Chairman of Shanghai Commercial Bank (Hong Kong), Tripartite Alliance Limited and Vice Chairman of M + S Pte Ltd (Singapore).
He also holds key positions at Shanghai Commercial & Savings Bank Ltd. (Taipei), GMT Investments Pte Ltd., Temasek Holdings (Private) Ltd.
He has been a member of the CPA since April 2017.
Chua Thian Poh
Chua Thian Poh / Photo credit: Ho Bee Group
Chua Thian Poh is currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ho Bee Group, a real estate development and investment company in Singapore.
He is actively involved in the community and in social services and is a member of the boards of several other companies and community organizations, such as the Singapore Chinese Cultural Center, the Board of Trustees of the Chinese Development Assistance Council and the Ren Ci Hospital.
He has been a member of the CPA since January 2019.
Stretchers Shaari / Photo credits: Stretchers Shaari's Twitter
Bahren Shaari is Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Singapore, the private banking subsidiary of OCBC Bank. He has over 30 years of banking experience.
He has been non-executive and independent director of Singapore Press Holdings since April 2012.
He has been a permanent member of the Council of Presidential Advisers since January 2020 and was an alternate member from April 2017 to January 2020.
Chua sock Koong
Chua Sock Koong / Photo Credit: Singapore Women & # 39; s Hall of Fame
Chua Sock Koong is Group CEO of Singapore Telecommunications Limited (Singtel), Asia's leading communications technology company.
She is also the Vice-Chair of the Civil Service Commission and a member of the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council.
She has been an alternate member of the CPA since January 2019.
Mildred Tan-Sim Beng Mei
Mildred Tan-Sim Beng Mei / Photo credit: The Istana
Mildred Tan-Sim Beng Mei is currently chair of the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Center (NVPC) and co-chair of the Council for Board Diversity (CBD) and a board member of Gardens by the Bay, Community Foundation of the Singapore Charity Council and other government related bodies and councils.
She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Wing Tai Holdings and AIA Singapore and has been an alternate member of the CPA since January 2020.
How did you qualify?
Browsing this list shows that the CPA is made up of leaders who have had key roles in the public and private sectors.
But how did you qualify as a CPA member?
According to the qualification criteria set out in the constitution, potential candidates for the CPA must be Singapore citizens aged 35 and over who live in Singapore.
They must also not be mentally ill, insolvent or discharged, or sentenced by the court and sentenced to more than a year in prison or a fine of more than S $ 2,000.
The President and Prime Minister each appoint two appointed individuals, with the Chief Justice and the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission each appointing one.
In the meantime, the two alternate members are individually appointed by the President and appointed by the Prime Minister.
Selected image source: Mdm Halimah Yacobs Facebook page