Home Tags Posts tagged with "Tharman Shanmugaratnam"

Tharman Shanmugaratnam

Singapore has elected Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a renowned economist, as its ninth president, making him the third person of Indian origin to hold this position. Tharman, born to Tamil ancestors from Singapore’s Indian community, which comprises about nine percent of the country’s 2.7 million voters, is one of the most highly qualified individuals in this resource-scarce nation, which has witnessed remarkable development over the past five decades.

“I have had the immense privilege of serving you in various capacities over the years – working on the ground, shaping national policies for a fairer and more inclusive society, and representing Singapore internationally,” said the 66-year-old economist, sports enthusiast, and poet shortly before the Presidential Elections on September 1.

Tharman secured a decisive victory in the first contested presidential election since 2011, receiving over 70 percent of the votes. He defeated Ng Kok Song, a former chief investment officer with the Government of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC), and Tan Kin Lian, the former chief of NTUC Income, a state-owned union-based insurance group.

Incumbent President Halimah Yacob’s six-year term will conclude on September 13, as the elected president serves a six-year term.

Tharman, born on February 25, 1957, in Singapore, is a multi-generational Singaporean of Tamil ancestry dating back to the 19th century. He is the son of Emeritus Professor K. Shanmugaratnam, a distinguished medical scientist often referred to as the “father of pathology in Singapore.” His father founded the Singapore Cancer Registry and led several international organizations related to cancer research and pathology.

Tharman is married to Jane Yumiko Ittogi, a Singaporean lawyer of mixed Chinese-Japanese heritage, actively involved in social enterprise and the non-profit arts sector in Singapore. The couple has one daughter and three sons.

Tharman’s educational journey includes graduating from the London School of Economics (LSE) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. He later received an Honorary Fellowship from LSE in 2011. He pursued a Master of Philosophy degree in Economics at Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, before earning a Master in Public Administration (MPA) degree at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, where he received the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, recognizing academic excellence and leadership among MPA students.

As an economist by profession, Tharman dedicated his career to various public service roles, particularly in the areas of economic and social policies. He also chaired several prestigious international councils and panels.

Between 2011 and 2019, Tharman served as Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, followed by his appointment as Senior Minister in the Cabinet from 2019 to 2023. In June 2023, he declared his candidacy for the 2023 presidential election and subsequently resigned from all government positions and the governing People’s Action Party (PAP) as the presidency is a non-partisan role.

While studying in the United Kingdom in the 1970s, Tharman was a student activist with socialist beliefs, but his economic views evolved over his career. In 1992, while serving as the director of the Economics Department of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Tharman was charged under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) for publishing Singapore’s 1992 second-quarter flash GDP growth projections in a local newspaper. He contested the case and was fined SGD1, 500. However, he continued to serve in the public sector and assumed various ministerial positions.

Tharman’s political journey began when he joined the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) and entered politics in 2001. He was appointed Minister for Education in 2003 and served in this role until 2008. Tharman also held the positions of Minister for Finance from 2007 to 2015, Minister for Manpower from 2011 to 2012, and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies from 2015 to 2023. Additionally, he chaired the Monetary Authority of Singapore and served as Deputy Chairman of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) from 2019 to 2023.

Tharman represented the Taman Jurong division of Jurong GRC as a Member of Parliament (MP) from 2001 to 2023 as a member of the PAP, winning re-election four times in subsequent general elections.

He also chaired international councils such as the Group of Thirty, a global council of economic and financial leaders, the Board of Trustees of the World Economic Forum (WEF), and the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism.

Tharman chaired the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the policy advisory committee of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), from 2011 to 2014, becoming the first Asian chair. From 2019 to 2022, he co-chaired the Advisory Board of the Human Development Report (HDR) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Apart from his political and economic pursuits, Tharman has emphasized the value of sports as a form of education, highlighting the lessons it imparts. He has been engaged in Chinese calligraphy since 2002.

Tharman has also been involved in Non-Governmental Organizations and chaired the Board of Trustees of the Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA), focused on improving educational performance and aspirations in the Indian community in Singapore. He also chaired the Ong Teng Cheong Labour Leadership Institute and the National Jobs Council, aimed at rebuilding skills and jobs for Singaporeans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tharman has received numerous awards and accolades, including international recognitions.

In the past, Singapore had S R Nathan, a politician of Tamil origin, as the president since 2009, and Chengara Veetil Devan Nair, known as Devan Nair, as the third president from 1981 to 1985.

0 comment
0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

Our News Portal

We provide accurate, balanced, and impartial coverage of national and international affairs, focusing on the activities and developments within the parliament and its surrounding political landscape. We aim to foster informed public discourse and promote transparency in governance through our news articles, features, and opinion pieces.


Subscribe my Newsletter for new blog posts, tips & new photos. Let's stay updated!

Laest News

@2023 – All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by The Parliament News

Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?
Update Required Flash plugin