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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Who is Singapore’s new Indian-origin president Tharman Shanmugaratnam

Tharman Shanmugaratnam is Singapore’s new Indian-origin president who secured a significant victory in the country’s presidential race in 2023. Here is an overview of his background and career:

  1. Early Life and Education: Tharman Shanmugaratnam was born in Singapore on February 25, 1957. He comes from a diverse cultural background, with a Tamil father and a Chinese mother. He is proficient in four languages: English, Tamil, Malay, and Mandarin. He began his education at the Anglo-Chinese School in Singapore and later pursued higher education abroad.
  2. Education Abroad: Shanmugaratnam studied economics at the London School of Economics (LSE) and earned a Bachelor of Science degree. LSE recognized his achievements with an Honorary Fellowship in 2011. He furthered his education with a Master of Philosophy in economics at Wolfson College, University of Cambridge. Later, he studied at the Harvard Kennedy School at Harvard University, where he earned a Master in Public Administration (MPA) and received the prestigious Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award for academic excellence and leadership.
  3. Professional Career: Shanmugaratnam began his professional career at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), where he eventually became the chairman. He also held the position of deputy chairman at GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund. He gained recognition for his economic expertise and leadership during the global financial crisis of 2008.
  4. Political Career: In 2001, Shanmugaratnam entered politics by participating in the general election in Jurong GRC as a member of the People’s Action Party (PAP), winning with a significant vote share. He held various ministerial roles over the years, including Minister for Education and Minister for Finance.
  5. Deputy Prime Minister: After the general election in 2011, Shanmugaratnam was appointed Deputy Prime Minister while still overseeing the finance portfolio. He briefly served as Minister for Manpower and stepped down as Minister for Finance in 2015.
  6. Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister: In 2019, he became a Senior Minister, advising on economic and social policies. He also held the role of Coordinating Minister for Social Policies.
  7. Presidential Election: In July 2023, Shanmugaratnam resigned from all government positions and the PAP to run for the 2023 Singaporean presidential election, which he won with a significant majority of the votes.

Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s career has been marked by his deep expertise in economics and his contributions to both the financial sector and politics in Singapore. As the new president, he brings a wealth of experience to the role.

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