ESTABLISHMENT OF PRESIDENTIAL COUNCIL FOR RELIGIOUS HARMONY
—(1) There shall be a Presidential Council for Religious Harmony comprising a chairman and not less than 6 and not more than 15 other members.
(2) Not less than two-thirds of the members of the Council shall be representatives of the major religions in Singapore and the other members shall be persons who, in the opinion of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights, have distinguished themselves in public service or community relations in Singapore.
(3) The chairman and every member of the Council shall be appointed by the President, on the advice of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights, for a period of 3 years all of whom shall be eligible for reappointment.
(4) Notwithstanding subsection (3), a member, other than the chairman, may be appointed for any shorter period of not less than one year.
(5) The President may, after consultation with the Presidential Council for Minority Rights, at any time revoke the appointment of the chairman or any member of the Council and may, on the advice of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights, appoint any person to fill any vacancy which may arise in the Council for any reason whatsoever.
(6) The President may, acting in his discretion, refuse to appoint any person as chairman or member of the Council or to revoke any such appointment if he does not concur with the advice or recommendation of the Council.
(7) No person shall be qualified to be appointed as a member of the Council unless he is —
a citizen of Singapore;
not less than 35 years of age;
resident in Singapore; and
not liable to any of the disqualifications provided in subsection (8).
(8) A person shall be disqualified for appointment as a member of the Council who —
is mentally disordered and incapable of managing himself or his affairs;
is insolvent or an undischarged bankrupt;
has been convicted of an offence by a court in Singapore or Malaysia and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year or to a fine of not less than $2,000 and has not received a free pardon, except that where the conviction is by a court in Malaysia, the person shall not be so disqualified unless the offence is also one which, had it been committed in Singapore, would have been punishable by a court in Singapore; or
has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of, or exercised the rights of citizenship in, a foreign country or has made a declaration of allegiance to a foreign country.
(9) A member shall vacate his seat in the Council if —
he ceases to be a citizen of Singapore;
by writing under his hand addressed to the chairman he resigns his seat; or
he becomes subject to any of the disqualifications provided in subsection (8).
—(1) The functions of the Council shall be —
to consider and report to the Minister on matters affecting the maintenance of religious harmony in Singapore which are referred to the Council by the Minister or by Parliament; and
to consider and make recommendations on orders referred to the Council by the Minister under section 11.
(2) The Council shall have the power to appoint a Secretary to the Council and such other officers as may be required to enable the Council to carry out its functions under this Act.
(3) The Council may, subject to the provisions of this Act, regulate its own procedure.
(4) The Council shall not transact any business unless a quorum of not less than half of its members, including the chairman or member presiding, is present.
(5) The chairman, if present, shall preside at all meetings of the Council.
(6) Whenever the office of chairman is vacant or the chairman for any reason is unable to attend a meeting, such other member as the members present shall elect shall preside at the meeting.
—(1) The Council may, subject to section 4(4), transact its business notwithstanding any vacancy among its members.
(2) The proceedings or any decision of the Council shall be valid notwithstanding any defect in the appointment of its members or that some person who was not entitled to do so took part in its proceedings.
—(1) Every member or officer of the Council shall be deemed to be a public servant within the meaning of the Penal Code (Cap. 224).
(2) Nothing done by any member or officer of the Council in good faith and in the discharge of the powers and functions of the Council shall render him liable to any suit or action.
—(1) Except as provided under section 15, the proceedings of the Council shall be secret.
(2) No member or officer of the Council shall disclose or divulge to any person, other than the President, the Minister, the Secretary or any member of the Council, any matter which has arisen at any meeting of the Council unless he is expressly authorised to do so by the Minister.