The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) was established as an autonomous organization in 1968 by an Act of Parliament. Its aims are:
- To be a leading research centre and think tank dedicated to the study of socio-political, security, and economic trends and developments in Southeast Asia and its wider geostrategic and economic environment.
- To stimulate research and debate within scholarly circles, enhance public awareness of the region, and facilitate the search for viable solutions to the varied problems confronting the region.
- To serve as a centre for international, regional and local scholars and other researchers to do research on the region and publish and publicize their findings.
To achieve these aims, the Institute conducts a range of research programmes; holds conferences, workshops, lectures and seminars; publishes briefs, research journals and books; and generally provides a range of research support facilities, including a large library collection.
Deputy Director is Head of the 3 Regional Research Programmes and oversees the academic programmes of ASC and NSC.
The Singapore APEC Study Centre has as its head the Director of ISEAS. Its functions are executed through the Regional Economic Studies Programme.
The Co-ordinators of the 3 Regional Research Programmes are rotated every few years.
The Head of Admin is also the ex-officio Secretary of ISEAS Board of Trustees.
ISEAS Act (Revised on 30 November 2013)
1. This Act may be cited as the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies Act.
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires -
- “Board” means the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies constituted under section 4;
- “Chairman” means the Chairman of the Board appointed under section 4;
- “Director” means the Director of the Institute appointed under section 12;
- “regulations” means regulations made by the Executive Committee under section 14.
Establishment of Institute
3. For the promotion of research on Southeast Asia and on all matters appertaining to Southeast Asia, there shall be established an Institute to be styled “the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies” (referred to in this Act as the Institute).
Constitution of Board of Trustees
4. —(1) There is hereby constituted a body corporate to be known as the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, which —
(a) shall have perpetual succession;
(b) shall have a common seal; and
(c) may sue and be sued in its corporate name.
(2) The Board shall consist of a Chairman and a Deputy Chairman to be appointed by the President and the following other members:
(a) 4 persons to be appointed by the President;
(b) 4 persons, one each to be appointed by the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce, the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce;
(c) 2 persons, one each to be appointed by the Lee Foundation and the Shaw Foundation;
(d) 6 persons to be appointed by the President of the National University of Singapore; and
(e) 3 persons to be appointed by the President from among persons nominated by such professional bodies and organisations as the President may consult.
(3) The Director shall be an ex-officio member of the Board.
(4) The Chairman, the Deputy Chairman and other members appointed by the President under subsection (2) shall hold office for a period of up to 3 years, unless the President otherwise directs, and shall be eligible for reappointment:
Provided that the President may at any time revoke such an appointment.
(5) The members appointed, otherwise than by the President, under subsection (2) shall hold office for a period of 3 years, unless the President otherwise directs, and shall be eligible for reappointment:
Provided that the person or body appointing such a member may at any time revoke his appointment.
(6) Any member of the Board may resign from the Board by giving notice in writing to that effect addressed to the Chairman and as from the date the Chairman receives the notice the member shall cease to be a member.
(7) If the Chairman is absent from any meeting of the Board, the Deputy Chairman shall act as chairman of the meeting.
(8) The Board may grant leave of absence to any member of the Board.
(9) Any member absenting himself from 4 consecutive meetings of the Board without having obtained leave of absence from the Board shall be considered as having resigned from the Board.
(10) If a vacancy occurs in the membership of the Board by the death, resignation, revocation of appointment of a member or otherwise, the vacancy shall be filled by the authority appointing that member, and any person so appointed shall hold office for so long as the member in whose place he is appointed would have held office.
(11) The Board shall meet at least once a year.
Powers of Board
5. The Board shall have power —
(a) to receive and approve the annual report and accounts of the Institute;
(b) to approve the budget and research programme of the Institute;
(c) to set up endowment funds and other funds for a specific purpose or specific purposes; and
(d) generally to do all such matters and things as may be incidental to or consequential upon the exercise of its powers or the discharge of its functions under this Act.
6. —(1) Every question before the Board at any meeting shall be decided by a majority of the votes of the members present.
(2) Eight members of the Board shall constitute a quorum at any meeting.
(3) The chairman at any meeting shall have an original vote and, in the case of an equality of votes, a casting vote.
Secretary of Board
7. —(1) The Executive Secretary of the Institute shall be the Secretary of the Board, and shall attend all meetings of the Board unless excused for good cause by the Chairman.
(2) In the absence of the Secretary, the Chairman may appoint a suitable person to act as clerk for a particular meeting.
Power of Board to enter into contracts and to hold property
8. —(1) The Board may enter into such contracts as may be necessary or expedient for carrying into effect the provisions of this Act.
(2) The Board may acquire and hold such movable or immovable property as may be necessary or expedient for carrying into effect the provisions of this Act and, for the same purposes, may sell, lease, mortgage, or otherwise alienate or dispose of any property so acquired.
Power of Board to borrow and invest
9. —(1) The Board may borrow at interest on the security of any movable or immovable property of the Board such moneys as it may from time to time think necessary or expedient.
(2) The Board may invest its funds in accordance with the standard investment power of statutory bodies as defined in section 33A of the Interpretation Act (Cap. 1).
(3) The Board may do all or any things incidental or appertaining to a body corporate.
Issue of shares, etc.
9A. As a consequence of the vesting of any property, rights or liabilities of the Government in the Board under this Act, or of any capital injection or other investment by the Government in the Board in accordance with any written law, the Board shall issue such shares or other securities to the Minister for Finance as that Minister may from time to time direct.
Use of common seal
10. The common seal of the Board shall be in the custody of the Director. It shall not be affixed to any instrument except in the presence of the Chairman or a member of the Board designated by the Chairman and the Director or a member of the Executive Committee designated by the Director, and not until the Chairman or the member of the Board and the Director or the member of the Executive Committee have signed their names to the instrument in token of their presence.
Grants-in-aid and accounts of Institute
11. —(1) The Minister may from time to time authorise the payment of grants-in-aid to the Institute.
(2) All moneys provided for under subsection (1) may be applied or expended by the Institute for all or any of the purposes of the Institute.
(3) A copy of the accounts of the Institute for each financial year when prepared and audited in accordance with the rules made under section 15 shall as soon as practicable after the completion of the audit be submitted to the Board for approval before being sent to the Minister.
Appointment, powers and duties of Director
12. —(1) There shall be a Director of the Institute who shall be appointed by the Board on such terms and conditions as the Board may determine.
(2) The Director shall be the chief administrative and academic officer of the Institute and shall be responsible for —
(a) the proper administration of the Institute in accordance with the policy of the Board;
(b) the academic and research management of the Institute in accordance with the policy of the Board;
(c) the proper enforcement of the regulations; and
(d) the discipline of the fellows of the Institute,
and for those purposes the Director shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, have all such powers as are necessary or advantageous and proper.
Constitution of Executive Committee
13. —(1) The Board shall appoint an Executive Committee for carrying out the objects of this Act or any part thereof as it may consider necessary.
(2) The Executive Committee shall consist of —
(a) the Director, who shall be its chairman;
(b) 3 members to be appointed by the Board from among the members of the Board;
(c) 3 members to be appointed by the Minister; and
(d) 3 members to be appointed by the Director from among the staff of the Institute.
(3) The Chairman may, in consultation with the Director, appoint a member of the Executive Committee to preside at meetings of the Executive Committee in the absence of the Director.
(4) Five members of the Committee shall form a quorum at any meeting.
Powers of Executive Committee
14. —(1) It shall be the duty of the Executive Committee, in the exercise of its powers and in the performance of its functions, to act in such a manner as appears to it best calculated to promote the aims and interests of the Institute.
(2) The functions of the Executive Committee shall include the carrying on of all such activities and the doing of all such things as are necessary or advantageous and proper for the government, control and general administration of the Institute and of the assets of the Institute and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, shall include —
(a) the authorisation of the appropriate and necessary expenditure within the funds available to the Institute;
(b) the preparation of an annual report on the workings of the Institute, and the preparation of the annual estimates and of such annual statements of account as are required by this Act or by any rules made thereunder;
(c) the appointment of the senior research staff and the senior administrative staff of the Institute and the appointment of such advisers as the Director may consider necessary or desirable;
(d) the making, subject to the approval of the Board, of regulations relating generally to the academic management of the Institute and in particular to —
(i) the qualifications necessary for entrance to the Institute, the duration and number of the Institute terms, the award of certificates and diplomas to the fellows of the Institute and the revocation of any certificates or diplomas so awarded;
(ii) the institution of other posts and offices and appointments to such posts and offices;
(iii) the establishment of an Institute printing press and the publishing of books and other publications;
(iv) the erection, equipment and maintenance of libraries, laboratories, museums, lecture halls and all other buildings required for the purposes of the Institute whether in Singapore or elsewhere;
(v) the institution and award of fellowships, scholarships, exhibitions, bursaries, medals, prizes and other titles, distinctions, awards and forms of assistance towards the advancement and dissemination of knowledge on Southeast Asia;
(vi) the relationship between the Institute on the one hand and schools, colleges, universities and other academic institutions, both in Singapore and abroad, on the other; and
(vii) the fees to be payable at the Institute;
(e) the making of regulations relating to —
(i) the procedure in regard to meetings of the Executive Committee and of any committee duly appointed by it under the provisions of this Act;
(ii) the setting up, membership and functions of advisory committees and the procedure in regard to the meetings of such advisory committees; and
(iii) the powers and functions of the officers of the Institute and of any committee duly appointed by it under the provisions of this Act;
(f) the provision of pensions, superannuation or provident fund schemes for the benefit of the Institute’s employees or any section of its employees, and the making of arrangements for the establishment of such schemes;
(g) the provision and regulation of residence for officers, staff and fellows of the Institute and the welfare and discipline of staff and fellows; and
(h) the demand and receipt of such fees as may from time to time be prescribed by regulations.
(3) The Executive Committee may appoint from among their own number such and so many committees either of a general or special nature and consisting of such number of persons as the Executive Committee may think fit for any purposes which in the opinion of the Executive Committee would be better regulated by such committees. The proceedings of every such committee shall be recorded in writing and shall be open to inspection to any member of the Executive Committee or any member of the committee at any time.
(4) Any committee shall have full power to act on any resolution passed by it within the scope of the power delegated to it by the Executive Committee under subsection (3) and all decisions of the committee shall be reported to the Executive Committee.
Power to make rules
15. —(1) The Minister may make such rules as may be necessary.
(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters:
(a) the powers and functions of the Board;
(b) the preparation, audit and submission to the Minister of estimates, budgets, accounts and other information pertaining to the Institute;
(c) the terms and conditions of transfer to the Institute of holders of pensionable appointments in the public service.
(3) All such rules shall be published in the Gazette and shall be presented to Parliament as soon as possible after publication.
Power of Board to accept gifts
16. —(1) The Board may on behalf of the Institute accept by way of grant, gift, testamentary disposition or otherwise, property and moneys in aid of the finances of the Institute on such conditions as it may determine.
(2) Registers shall be kept of all donations to the Institute, including the names of donors and any special conditions on which any donation may have been given.
(3) All property, moneys or funds donated for any specific purposes shall be applied and administered in accordance with the purposes for which they have been donated and shall be separately accounted for.