15 September 2021
Inter-Religious Organisation, Singapore, embarks on a new term with plans to amplify reach through grassroots activities and youth engagement
New leadership continues IRO's interfaith work towards religious harmony in Singapore
On 29 August 2021, at the Annual General Meeting, the Inter-Religious Organisation Singapore (IRO) inaugurated a new office term. Mr Rajesh R Shah from the Jain community was appointed as the new President.
Mr Rajesh has been a life member of the IRO since 2006 when the Jain faith joined IRO as the 10th constituent religion. He was nominated as an IRO Council Member in 2017 and served in various capacities on the Council, namely Asst Treasurer 2018-19, Asst Secretary 2019-20, and Vice President 2020-21. He has also been involved in the Digital Initiative sub-committee since 2019 and has been part of the organising committee for IRO’s 70th Anniversary Celebrations in 2019.
Mr Rajesh has been involved in Interfaith work since young. His journey started as a Youth Member of the Singapore Jain Religious Society (SJRS) in the 1980s and as a Management Committee Member from 1992 to the present. He held various posts and was President of SJRS for two terms, 2015-16 and 2016-17. In 2015, under his stewardship, SJRS celebrated SG50 with its Chinese and Muslim neighbours.
As the President for IRO for the office term 2021-2022, Mr Rajesh plans to continue the momentum of past initiatives and programs set in motion by previous Presidents while putting into action new initiatives that will carry IRO forward for the next many years.
Mr Tan Thiam Lye from the Taoist faith, who served as the President from August 2020 to August 2021, continues his service as the Vice President I for IRO. Reverend Terry Kee from the Christian faith joins him as Vice President II.
Mr Rajesh Shah
”Beyond gatherings that bring together people of different faiths, we must update, refresh and reposition the way IRO engages with the people of Singapore, especially the youths. We need to work harder to build trust and respect between people of different faiths and extend IRO's outreach to various stakeholders in the community.Mr Rajesh R Shah, President for IRO Office Term 2021-2022on 29 August 2021 at the IRO Annual General Meeting
Rev. Terry Kee
Rev. Terry Kee was ordained as a Lutheran pastor in 1986. He had served in several congregations in Singapore before being sent to Thailand in 1996. After serving in Thailand for nine years, he studied in China Lutheran Seminary (Taiwan) for a year before returning to Singapore in 2006.
Elected to the office of Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Singapore in 2009 and served in that capacity until 2021.
Through the years, he had also served in various capacities in the following:
- President of the National Council of Churches
- Chairman of Board of Trinity Theological College
- Chairman of the Steering Committee of Ethos Institute of Public Christianity
- Chairman of Lutheran Community Care Services
- Member of National Steering Committee of IRCC
- Member of Responsible Gambling Forum
- Council member of IRO
He is a firm believer that people of different Faiths can be good friends and work together for the common good.
IRO’s Unique Rotating Annual Presidency
The IRO traditionally practices a unique rotating annual presidency among the ten religions. This enables an equal opportunity for all constituent religions of IRO to lead the IRO’s interfaith mission. The President is supported by a Council of 31 members comprising religious leaders and laypeople nominated by the respected faiths.
The IRO would like to thank the following senior leaders and members of IRO for serving as Council members over the past terms. The IRO appreciates their efforts which have contributed towards IRO’s interfaith mission. These members have also been a significant part of IRO’s transformation in the recent years. The IRO is grateful for their service.
MR K KESAVAPANY
MR RAMAKANT MISRA
SR MARIA LAU WAI LENG
MR MUZAMMIL BIN MOHAMED
MR HAJA MAIDEEN