Bilahari Kausikan

Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Singapore)
In office
2013–2018
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Singapore)
In office
01 Sep 2010[1] – 01 Jun 2013[2]
Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Republic of Singapore
In office
1995–1998
Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Republic of Singapore
In office
1994–1995
Personal details
Born
Bilahari Kim Hee Papanasam Setlur Kausikan[3]

1954 (1954) (age 67)[citation needed]
Alma materColumbia University
University of Singapore
AwardsOrder of Bernardo O'Higgins (Gran Cruz)
Oman Civil Merit Order (Second Class)

Bilahari Kim Hee Papanasam Setlur Kausikan[3] PJG, PPA(E), PBS[4] is a Singaporean academic, and retired diplomat and civil servant. He is known for having been Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and for serving as ambassador to the United Nations and Russia. Following his retirement, he was Ambassador-at-Large and Policy Advisor at Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[5][6] He is a frequent commentator on Singapore politics and foreign affairs, and is often referred to as "Singapore's undiplomatic diplomat".[6][7]

Early life and background

Kausikan was born to P.S. Raman, a Tamil Brahmin and Indian nationalist. Raman settled in Singapore after Partition and married Lim Eng Neo, a Peranakan Chinese, with whom he had a son, Bilahari, and two daughters, Kalyani and Kamala.[8] Raman become a senior figure in Singapore broadcasting. He gained Lee Kuan Yew's attention after he advised against editing out the video of Lee tearing while announcing Singapore's expulsion from the Malaysian Federation in 1965. Thereafter, he was appointed to various diplomatic positions, including to Indonesia during Konfrontasi, and subsequently to Australia and the Soviet Union. recovering from a heart attack during his tenure in Jakarta, he was reassigned to be Singapore's High Commissioner to Australia and served in that capacity for a year and a half.[3][9]

Raman named his son Bilahari Kim Hee Papanasam Setlur Kausikan. "Bilahari" is the name of a raga, "Kausikan" a form of the Vedic surname Kaushik, "Setlur" a Brahmin sub-caste, and "Papanasam" was his father's village in Tamil Nadu. "Kim Hee" (金喜; Jīn Xǐ; 'golden joy')[10] was the Chinese name that Kausikan's mother gave him.[3]

Kausikan studied political science at the University of Singapore and received a scholarship from the Public Service Commission to pursue a Ph.D in international relations at Columbia University, with the aim of becoming an academic.[11] During this time, he would secretly submit articles to The Straits Times under the pseudonym "Bee Kim Hee".[12][13] Part way into his dissertation, he decided to drop out from the course and return to Singapore, where he was posted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[11] He ultimately graduated with a M.A. degree from Columbia University.[14]

Career

Kausikan first joined the civil service in 1981 as a Foreign Service Officer, and was absorbed into the Administrative Service in 1983.[14] Kausikan was appointed Singapore's Ambassador to the newly formed Russian Federation in 1994, with concurrent accreditation as Ambassador to Finland. Kausikan was Singapore's Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1995 to 1998, with concurrent accreditation as High Commissioner to Canada and Ambassador to Mexico.[15] In 1998, Kausikan was appointed Deputy Secretary (Foreign Affairs) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was appointed Second Permanent Secretary in 2001, and was elevated to Permanent Secretary on 1 September 2010.[14] He is now Chairman of the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore and Senior Fellow at the SMU School of Social Sciences.[16][17]

Awards and honours

Kausikan has been awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold). He also received the Order of Bernardo O'Higgins (Gran Cruz) by the President of Chile in December 2002, and the Oman Civil Merit Order (Second Class) from the Sultan of Oman in February 2013.[18][19]

References

  1. ^ "Appointment of Head of Civil Service and Permanent Secretaries" (PDF). Public Service Division, Government of the Republic of Singapore. 12 Aug 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Press Release - Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Bilahari Kausikan retires". Public Service Division, Government of the Republic of Singapore. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d Rajendran, Jawharilal; Kumar, V.K. Santosh (December 3, 2018). "Like father, like son: Bilahari Kausikan is known to speak his mind, like father P. S. Raman". The Straits Times. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  4. ^ Singapore, Prime Minister‘s Office (2018-04-26). "National Day Awards". Retrieved 2018-04-25.
  5. ^ Ramesh, Jairam. "The Hindu : Opinion / Letters to the Editor : A wonderful example". www.thehindu.com. Retrieved 2018-04-22.
  6. ^ a b Wong, Kim Hoh (2017-07-09). "Bilahari Kausikan, the diplomat who 'writes and speaks without hedging'". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2018-04-22.
  7. ^ Chua, Mui Hoong (2017-05-21). "3 myths about Singapore-China ties". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
  8. ^ Goh, Chin Lian (2013-05-13). "Veteran diplomat to retire after 31 years". www.asiaone.com. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  9. ^ "The body of Ambassador P S Raman, ..." National Archives of Singapore. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  10. ^ "China's Ambassador to ASEAN Yang Xiuping meets Bilahari Kausikan, Singapore's Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary and ASEAN high official". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China (in Chinese). March 19, 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  11. ^ a b ""I Say What I Think" | Challenge Online". www.challenge.gov.sg. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
  12. ^ Rajendran, Jawharilal; Santosh Kumar, V.K. (2018-12-03). "Like father, like son: Bilahari Kausikan is known to speak his mind, like father P. S. Raman". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2020-11-25. He used to write for The Straits Times under a variant of his name - Bee Kim Hee. "I was on a scholarship and not supposed to work. But ST paid me well. I wrote about the United Nations. I made enough in three months to live the rest of the year comfortably.
  13. ^ "Bilahari Kausikan never finished his PhD, reads mystery novels and explains why he shares lots of FB posts". Mothership.sg. Retrieved 2018-04-22.
  14. ^ a b c "Appointment of Head of Civil Service and Permanent Secretaries" (PDF). Public Service Division, Government of the Republic of Singapore. 12 Aug 2010. Retrieved 30 Apr 2018.
  15. ^ Azimi, Nassrine (1997-12-22). Humanitarian Action and Peace Keeping Operations: Debriefing and Lessons. Kluwer Law International. pp. xvi. ISBN 904110724X.
  16. ^ "Board of Directors". Middle East Institute. Retrieved 30 Aug 2018.
  17. ^ "Bilahari Kausikan". Singapore Management University - School of Social Sciences. 2 July 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  18. ^ "2015/16 IPS-Nathan Lectures: Lecture IV (The Myth of Universality: The Geopolitics of Human Rights) | Institute of Policy Studies". lkyspp2.nus.edu.sg. Retrieved 2018-04-28.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "Press Release - Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Bilahari Kausikan retires". Public Service Division, Government of the Republic of Singapore. 2 May 2013. Retrieved 30 Apr 2018.