Abdullah Tarmugi joins Presidential Council for Minority Rights as permanent member

Abdullah Tarmugi
Abdullah Tarmugi Screengrab from YouTube/Prime Minister's Office, Singapore

Former Parliament Speaker Abdullah Tarmugi has been sworn in as a permanent member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights on Monday, January 22. The ceremony, which was officiated by President Halimah Yacob, market the beginning of Tarmugi's appointment for life.

His term has taken effect from January 10, said the Council in a statement. The swearing-in ceremony took place in Istana, where the 73-year-old former Speaker was handed over his letter of appointment and made to take an oath before Justice Steven Chong.

Abdullah had been appointed as a non-permanent member of the council on January 10, 2012, the term of which was renewed in 2015. The other permanent council members include Prime Minister Lee, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, former Cabinet Minister S. Dhanabalan and Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam.

The council's role is to inspect laws passed by the Parliament to make sure that no community faces discrimination on the basis of race or religion.

Abdullah is the 17th member of the council, whose Chairman is Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon. Apart from him, it has five permanent members and 11 other members.

Abdullah Tarmugi, born to a Javanese father and Chinese mother, was the Speaker of Parliament from 2002 to 2011. Previously, he was an MP for Siglap constituency, Minister for Community Development from 1994 to 2002 and Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs from 1993 to 2002.

Tarmugi is married to Shirley and they have two children, elder daughter Shireen is an education and outreach programme director at a theatre company and son Hirman is with the Singapore Police Force as an assistant superintendent.