In a letter released yesterday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has thanked outgoing Attorney-General V K Rajah for his outstanding contributions in 13 years of public service.
Rajah will hand over the reins to Lucien Wong on January 14 when he turns 60.
Rajah had been asked to continue in the post but turned down the option to “pursue a more active role in the arbitration sector,” said PM Lee.
He further said that he respected Rajah’s decision and looks forward to his contributions in his new capacity to promote Singapore as an international arbitration hub.
PM Lee singled out Rajah’s decisions in criminal law, citing his landmark rulings on criminal liability for common intention, as well as aspects of the law on sentencing. Lee noted: “These judgments reflected your commitment to a fair criminal justice system that tempers justice with compassion.”
“Many of your judgments have shaped the development of Singapore law,” said the Prime Minister.
While thanking Rajah for his years of dedicated services to Singapore, Lee said: “In every appointment, you have carried out your duties with dynamism and commitment. You have improved our legal system and made a difference to future generations of lawyers.”
Rajah also contributed to enhancing the administration of justice and keeping the legal sector vibrant through his work on various committees, said Lee.
The most significant of these was the ‘Committee to Develop the Singapore Legal Sector,’ which, among other things, recommended liberalising the Republic’s legal services and build up its exportable legal services in the areas of mediation and arbitration.
Lee noted that Rajah “emphasised fair prosecution and outcomes, even when cases did not go in the Chambers’ favour.”