Health data hacked: How “independent” are Committees of Inquiry?


In order to placate the public’s displeasure with serious lapses – the “Committees of Inquiry” set up by the Government over the years, should be seen to be as “independent” as possible, in the eyes of Singaporeans.

I refer to the article “4-member Committee of Inquiry convened to investigate SingHealth cyber attack” (Straits Times, Jul 24).

It states that “The authorities convened a four-member Committee of Inquiry (COI) on Tuesday (July 24) to examine SingHealth’s cyber attack that led to the biggest data breach in Singapore.

The committee, headed by former chief district judge and current member of the Public Service Commission Richard Magnus, will also recommend ways to better safeguard public sector IT systems.

The other members of the COI are executive chairman of cyber security solutions firm Quann World, Mr Lee Fook Sun; group chief operating officer of healthcare technology firm Sheares Healthcare Management, Mr T.K. Udairam; and assistant secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress, Ms Cham Hui Fong.”

I was in a coffee shop and overhead a group of people talking along the lines of “how “independent” are the COIs set up over the years? Particularly in respect of their current or past connections with Government”.

So, I googled:-

“Mr Richard Magnus was appointed a Member of the Public Service Commission in January 2009. He is a retired Senior (now termed Chief) District Judge.  Mr Magnus is also Chairman of the Public Transport Council, Public Guardian Board, Political Films Consultative Committee, Bioethics Advisory Committee, and the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Remote Gambling Act Appeals Advisory Panel, and is a Member of the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Independent Review Panel. He was the Founding Chairman of the Casino Regulatory Authority. In the private sector, Mr Magnus serves on the boards of Temasek Cares CLG Limited, Changi Airport Group, and Singapore Consortium Investment Management Limited, and is Chairman of CapitaLand Mall Trust Management Limited and Human Capital (Singapore) Pte Ltd.  He is also Singapore’s First Representative to the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights; and Vice-Chairman of UNESCO’s International Bioethics Committee, as well as an alumnus of the National Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum.  For his exceptional public service, Mr Magnus was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in 2009, the Outstanding Volunteer award by the Ministry of Social and Family Development in 2014; and the Public Service Star by the State in 2015.  Mr Magnus graduated from National University of Singapore with a Masters of Law. He is also an alumnus of the Harvard Business School and the John F Kennedy School of Government.”

“Mr Lee Fook Sun is a Director of SMRT Corporation Ltd.

In addition, Mr Lee is the Chairman of the Singapore Building and Construction Authority (BCA). He also sits on the Board of DSO National Laboratories and serves as a member of the Audit Committee.

Mr Lee holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and a Master of Arts (Engineering Science) from the University of Oxford (UK).  He was conferred the Honorary Fellowship from the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organisations (AFEO), in recognition of his contributions to the engineering profession and industry.

Mr Lee joined Singapore Technologies Electronics Limited (ST Electronics) in December 2000 and was the President of ST Electronics from 15 August 2009 to 31 December 2016. Mr Lee was the Deputy CEO and President of Defence Business of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering). He has been with ST Engineering Group for 17 years until he retired on 30 June 2017. Prior to this, he held several senior management appointments including President of Defence and International Business, Deputy President, Operations and President, Defence Business. Before joining ST Electronics, he served in the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) as Director of Joint Intelligence Directorate from 1996 to 2000.

During his career in the Singapore Armed Forces, Mr Lee was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Military), for the Gold and Silver categories.  He held the rank of Brigadier-General when he retired from active military service.”

“Mr. T. K. Udairam served as the Chief Executive Officer of Changi General Hospital at Singapore Health Services Pte Ltd. from February 2000 to May 2012. He serves as a Director of Integrated Health Information Systems Pte Ltd.”

“Ms Cham Hui Fong

Executive Secretary, Singapore Airport Terminal Services Workers’ Union
Executive Secretary, SIA Engineering Company Engineers and Executives Union”

As I found the above information by googling – I am unable to verify that the information is current, complete or correct.

Leong Sze Hian


About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.