Indian-origin veteran civil servant J.Y. Pillay on Friday took over as Singapore’s acting President until a new head of the state is elected later this month.
The temporary appointment of Pillay, Chairman of the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA), follows the completion of President Tony Tan Keng Yam’s six-year term on Thursday, the Strait Times reported.
The nomination day for the Presidential election is September 13, followed by polling day on September 23.
According to the report, when the office of President is vacant, the first in line to exercise its powers is the CPA Chairman, followed by the Speaker of Parliament. This is the first time the office has fallen vacant since the elected presidency was introduced in 1991.
Pillay is no stranger to exercising the powers of the President. As CPA Chairman since 2005, he has been acting President each time the President goes on an overseas trip. He acted as President in May, when Tan made state visits to Europe.
He has served more than 60 such “stints” — the longest of which was 16 days in April and May of 2007 when then President S.R. Nathan visited Africa.