Bilahari Kim Hee Papanasam Setlur Kausikan is a Singaporean academic, and retired diplomat and civil servant. He is Chairman of the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore and Senior Fellow at the SMU School of Social Sciences. He was Ambassador-at-Large and Policy Advisor at Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Kausikan was formerly Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has served as Singapore's Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Ambassador to Russia. He is often referred to as "Singapore's undiplomatic diplomat" and has been known in recent years for commenting extensively on Singapore's foreign affairs on Facebook.
|Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Singapore)|
|Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Singapore)|
01 Sep 2010 – 01 Jun 2013
|Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Republic of Singapore|
|Ambassador to the Russian Federation, Republic of Singapore|
1954 (age 65)
|Alma mater||Columbia University|
University of Singapore
|Awards||Order of Bernardo O'Higgins (Gran Cruz)|
Oman Civil Merit Order (Second Class)
Kausikan's father, P.S. Raman, was a Tamil Brahmin from Tamil Nadu, India. He settled in Singapore after the Partition of India and married Lim Eng Neo, a Peranakan Chinese. They had a son, Kausikan, and two daughters, Kalyani and Kamala. In June 1968, Raman was appointed Singapore's Ambassador to Indonesia in the wake of the Konfrontasi. After 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. In 1971, he became Singapore's first Ambassador to the Soviet Union and served until he died of a heart attack in Moscow on 15 December 1976.
P.S. Raman gave his son an unconventional name: Bilahari Kim Hee Papanasam Setlur Kausikan. "Bilahari" is the name of a raga; "Kausikan" is a clan name; "Setlur" is a Brahmin sub-caste; and "Papanasam" is the village in Tamil Nadu where Raman came from. "Kim Hee" (金喜; Jīn Xǐ) is the Chinese name given to Kausikan by his mother.
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. During this time, he would secretly submit articles to The Straits Times under the pseudonym "Bee Kim Hee". 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. He ultimately graduated with a M.A. degree from Columbia University.
Kausikan first joined the civil service in 1981 as a Foreign Service Officer, and was absorbed into the Administrative Service in 1983. 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. 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.
In July 2017, Kausikan publicly criticised an opinion-editorial by Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore, for advocating "subordination as a norm of Singapore foreign policy". His criticism was echoed by Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam and fellow Ambassador-at-Large Ong Keng Yong.
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.
- "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.
- "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.
- 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.
- Singapore, Prime Minister‘s Office (2018-04-26). "National Day Awards". Retrieved 2018-04-25.
- "Board of Directors". Middle East Institute. Retrieved 30 Aug 2018.
- "Bilahari Kausikan". Singapore Management University - School of Social Sciences. 2 July 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
- Ramesh, Jairam. "The Hindu : Opinion / Letters to the Editor : A wonderful example". www.thehindu.com. Retrieved 2018-04-22.
- Wong, Kim Hoh (2017-07-09). "Bilahari Kausikan, the diplomat who 'writes and speaks without hedging'". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2018-04-22.
- Chua, Mui Hoong (2017-05-21). "3 myths about Singapore-China ties". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
- Goh, Chin Lian (2013-05-13). "Veteran diplomat to retire after 31 years". www.asiaone.com. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
- "Singapore's first Ambassador to Soviet Union P S Raman …". www.nas.gov.sg. Retrieved 2018-04-22.
- "The body of Ambassador P S Raman, ..." National Archives of Singapore. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
- "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.
- ""I Say What I Think" | Challenge Online". www.challenge.gov.sg. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
- "Bilahari Kausikan never finished his PhD, reads mystery novels and explains why he shares lots of FB posts". Mothership.sg. Retrieved 2018-04-22.
- "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.
- Azimi, Nassrine (1997-12-22). Humanitarian Action and Peace Keeping Operations: Debriefing and Lessons. Kluwer Law International. pp. xvi. ISBN 904110724X.
- "Bilahari Kausikan". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2018-04-22.
- "Kishore reiterates: S'pore's statements must be more prudent". TODAYonline. 2017-07-03. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
- Nur Asyiqin, Mohamad Salleh (2017-07-02). "Minister Shanmugam, diplomats Bilahari and Ong Keng Yong say Prof Mahbubani's view on Singapore's foreign policy 'flawed'". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2018-04-22.
- "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.
- "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.