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Prominent Commonwealth Alumni

Prominent Singaporeans who are Commonwealth Alumni


Professor Walter Woon

Professor Walter Woon Cheong Ming (born 12 September 1956) is a Singaporean lawyer, academic, diplomat and politician.


He is currently professor of law at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law and the Dean of the Singapore Institute of Legal Education. His expertise is in company law and securities regulation. Educated at NUS and St.John's College, Cambridge, he joined the teaching staff of the NUS Faculty of Law in 1981 and later served as Sub-Dean and Vice-Dean. He was Legal Adviser to the President of Singapore and Council of Presidential Advisors from 1995 to 1997, and was appointed as professor of law in 1999.

He was also a Nominated Member of Parliment between 1992 and 1996. He became the first Member of Parliment since 1965 to have a Private Members' Bill become a public law in Singapore – the Maintenance of Parents Act, which was passed in 1995.


Between 1997 and 2006, Professor Woon served in a number of diplomatic capacities, including Ambassador to Germany (1998–2003) with an accreditation to Greece (2000–2003), and Ambassador to Belgium with concurrent accreditation to the European Union, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the Holy See. He was appointed Second Solicitor-General in 2006 and Solicitor-General the following year. He served as Attorney-General between 2008 and 2010, and then returned to academia.

Mr Abdullah Tarmugi

Mr Abdullah bin Tarmugi (born 25 August 1944) is a former Singaporean politician.

He studied at Raffles Institution and obtained a Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Singapore, followed by a post-graduate diploma in urban studies from the University of London in 1972 under a Commonwealth Scholarship.

He was an MP from 1984 to 2011, serving as the Deputy Speaker of Parliament from 1989 to 1993, and then as the Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports and the Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs from 1994 to 2000 and 2000 to 2002 respectively; before becoming the Speaker of Parliament on 25 March 2002.


In January 2012, Mr Tarmugi was appointed to the Presidential Council for Minority Rights by Singapore President Tony Tan.

Professor Tan Chorh Chuan

Professor Tan Chorh Chuan was appointed President of the National University of Singapore in December 2008. He concurrently serves as the Chairman of the Board of the National University Health System. Prof Tan's additional appointments include Deputy Chairman of Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR); Senior Advisor to the Governing Board of Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School; Member, Board of Directors of the Monetary Authority of Singapore; and Member, Board of Directors of Mandai Safari Park Holdings.

A renal physician, he obtained his medical training at NUS, and research training at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford.


He was Dean of the NUS Faculty of Medicine from 1997 to 2000. He served as the Director of Medical Services, Ministry of Health, from 2000 to 2004, in which capacity he was responsible for leading the public health response to the 2003 SARS epidemic. He held the positions of NUS Provost, then Senior Deputy President from 2004 to 2008. He also played a key role in setting up the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, in his capacity as Deputy Chairman of the Governing Board from 2004 to 2007. As the inaugural Chief Executive of the National University Health System in 2008, he brought the NUS Medical and Dental Schools and the National University Hospital under single governance.

Prof Tan is a key leader in Singapore's Biomedical Sciences Initiative since its inception in 2000, for which he was awarded the National Science and Technology Medal in 2008. He also received the Public Service Star in 2003 for outstanding contributions to overcoming SARS in Singapore; the Public Administration Gold Medal in 2004 for his work as Director of Medical Services in the Ministry of Health; and the Meritorious Service Medal in 2015. Other awards include the 2015 Asia-Pacific Leadership Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education; the Dr John Yu Medal from the George Institute for Global Health, Australia; the Albert Schweitzer Gold Medal from the Polish Academy of Medicine; Honorary Doctor of Medicine from King's College; Honorary Doctor of Science from Duke University; Honorary Doctor of Science from Loughborough University; Achievement Medal from the Singapore Society of Nephrology and the 1996 Singapore Youth Award.

Prof Tan, who has been a member of the World Economic Forum's Global University Leaders Forum (GULF) since 2008, was appointed Chair of GULF in 2014 for a two-year term. He was the Chairperson of the International Alliance of Research Universities, a consortium of 10 leading research-intensive universities from 2008 – 2012, and is currently on the Steering Committee of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities.

Prof Tan was previously a Commonwealth Medical Fellow, Wellcome Fellow, University of Oxford, and a Visiting Scholar to Wolfson College, Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Royal College of Physicians of London, the American College of Physicians, elected Fellow of the Polish Academy of Medicine and Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, UK. Prof Tan is also the first Singaporean to be elected as an international member of the US National Academy of Medicine.

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