Indian-origin civil servant JY Pillay appointed Interim President of Singapore

Joseph Yuvaraj Pillay, an Indian-origin veteran civil servant, was today appointed as Singapore's acting President until a new head of state is sworn in later this month.

Indian-origin veteran civil servant Joseph Yuvaraj Pillay.
Indian-origin veteran civil servant Joseph Yuvaraj Pillay. Photo courtesy: Alchetron

Pillay, 83, took over from Tony Tan Keng Yam who completed a six-year term yesterday.

Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA), Pillay will act as the President of Singapore until after polling day on September 23 or after nomination day on September 13, if a candidate is elected unopposed.

When the office of the President of Singapore is vacant, the first in line to exercise its powers is the CPA chairman, followed by the Speaker of Parliament, The Straits Times was quoted as saying.

Indian-origin veteran civil servant Joseph Yuvaraj Pillay.
Photo courtesy:

This is the first time that the office has fallen vacant since the elected Presidency was introduced in 1991, according to the report.

Pillay is no stranger to exercising the powers of the President. He has been the acting President every time the head of state goes on an overseas visit. He acted as President in May, when Tan made state visits to Europe.

He has served for more than 60 such "stints" - the longest of which was 16 days in April and May of 2007 when then President SR Nathan visited Africa.

Three candidates of Malay origins are expected to stand for election for the President's post reserved this time for a minority group representation.

Garima Kapil
Garima Kapil – Senior Writer

Garima Kapil has around five years of experience in the field of writing and editing. Specialised in writing, performing proof-reading and text editing functions along with content ideation; she has worked with leading e-commerce and as a freelancer. She writes on lifestyle, news, telecom, travel, education, healthcare, immigration, along with other subjects required as a full-time writer and freelancer. 


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