President holds veto power over Temasek CEO appointment
The Online Citizen links to a Times Online letter written by Singapore’s High Comissioner in response to a Times article. Curiously it says that the Singapore President, a position widely derided by many as largely ceremonial holds veto power over whom Temasek Holdings may appoint as its CEO:
Sir, Your article (“Singapore’s Temasek scraps plan to bring in Goodyear ”, July 22) claimed that Ms Ho Ching’s “status as both head of one of Singapore’s two sovereign wealth funds and wife of the Prime Minister symbolises for many the overly cosy nature of Singapore’s political and financial elite”.
This insinuation is totally unfounded. Ho Ching’s appointment as CEO of Temasek Holdings is not decided by the Prime Minister. It is the prerogative of the Temasek board of directors, which includes eminent local and foreign individuals, and makes its decisions purely based on merit. Furthermore, the appointment is subject to veto by the President of Singapore, acting in his discretion and not on the advice of the Government.
Michael Eng Cheng Teo
High Commissioner for the Republic of Singapore
Earlier this year questions were raised over what considerations President SR Nathan took before deciding to draw upon the reserves to fund the Budget. Now Singaporeans have a better idea of the constitutional powers of the President. Singaporeans should keep that in mind when electing their next President.