Wong Kan Seng

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Wong Kan Seng
WongKanSeng-20060314.jpg
Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore
In office
1 September 2005 – 21 May 2011
Serving with Teo Chee Hean
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Preceded by Tony Tan
Succeeded by Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Co-ordinating Minister for National Security
In office
1 November 2010 – 21 May 2011
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Preceded by S. Jayakumar
Succeeded by Teo Chee Hean
Minister for Home Affairs
In office
2 January 1994 – 31 October 2010
Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong
Lee Hsien Loong
Preceded by S. Jayakumar
Succeeded by K. Shanmugam
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
13 September 1988 – 1 January 1994
Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew
Goh Chok Tong
Preceded by S. Dhanabalan
Succeeded by S. Jayakumar
Minister for Community Development
In office
1987–1991
Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew
Goh Chok Tong
Deputy Chairman of People's Association
In office
1992–2006
Member of Parliament
for Bishan-Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency
Kuo Chuan SMC (1984 - 1988)
Toa Payoh GRC (1988 - 1991)
Thomson GRC (1991 - 1996)
Incumbent
Assumed office
22 December 1984
Majority 15,180 (12.2%)
Personal details
Born 8 September 1946 (1946-09-08) September 8, 1946 (age 68)
Singapore
Nationality Singaporean
Political party People's Action Party
Spouse(s) Ruth Lee Hong Geok
Alma mater University of Singapore
London Business School
Profession Teacher[1]
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Wong.

Wong Kan Seng (Chinese: 黄根成; pinyin: Huáng Gēnchéng; Cantonese Yale: Wòng Gānsìng; born 1946) is a Singaporean politician. A member of the governing People's Action Party (PAP), he served as the country's Deputy Prime Minister from 2005 to 2011. He also held the Cabinet portfolios of Minister for Community Development (1987–91), Minister for Foreign Affairs (1988–94), Minister for Home Affairs (1994–2010) and Co-ordinating Minister for National Security (2010–11). He is a Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Bishan-Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency.

Career[edit]

Wong entered politics in 1984 after working as a teacher in the Singapore Civil Service and the private sector.[2]

Wong was elected a Member of Parliament representing the Kuo Chuan constituency in Toa Payoh at the 1984 general election. He has since been re-elected as an MP representing the Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) of Toa Payoh (1988), Thomson (1991) and Bishan-Toa Payoh (1997, 2001, 2006 and 2011).

Wong was appointed the Acting Minister for Community Development in 1986. He was made a full member of the Cabinet as Minister for Community Development by Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in 1987. He was concurrently appointed the Minister for Foreign Affairs in 1988. In 1994, he became the Minister for Home Affairs. Wong also served as the Leader of the House in Singapore's Parliament from 1991-2007.

On 1 September 2005, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong appointed Wong as one of two Deputy Prime Ministers following the retirement of Tony Tan.[3] On 1 November 2010, Wong was appointed the Co-ordinating Minister for National Security and relinquished his post as Minister for Home Affairs.

Wong retired from the Cabinet following the 2011 general election. He remains a Member of Parliament.

Role in homeland security in Singapore[edit]

As the Minister for Home Affairs, Wong was in charge of overseeing emergency planning, dealing with internal threats such as cults and terrorists, involved in law and order, and rooting out of criminals and illegal immigrants.[4]

Mas Selamat escape[edit]

On 27 February 2008, alleged Jemaah Islamiyah leader Mas Selamat bin Kastari escaped from Whitley Road Detention Centre, leading to the largest manhunt in Singapore. Wong expressed his regret in Parliament the day after the occurrence.

"This should never have happened. I am sorry that it has."

He revealed that Mas Selamat escaped when he was taken to the toilet before a meeting at the detention centre's family visit room.[5]

Wong was criticised because news of Mas Selamat's escape was not disseminated to the public until four hours after its occurrence. There were calls for Wong to step down, given the severity of the security lapse.[6] Mas Selamat was eventually recaptured in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, on 1 April 2009, by Malaysian authorities, over a year after his escape.[7]

SARS[edit]

Wong was then responsible for co-ordinating the inter-ministerial nationwide effort to counter the SARS epidemic.[4] Certain measures were taken to contain the virus, including mandatory home quarantine measures, health screening at immigration checkpoints, schools and hospitals and public education programs. On 31 May 2003, Singapore was taken off the World Health Organisation's list of SARS-affected countries.

Education[edit]

Wong received his secondary education at Outram Secondary School. He went on to received a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Singapore in 1970, and a Master of Business Administration from the London Business School on a Singapore government scholarship in 1979.

Personal life[edit]

Wong is married to Ruth Lee Hong Geok. The couple have two children.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cabinet Appointments: Wong Kan Seng
  2. ^ Emergencies and threats? He's tackled them all", The Straits Times (Singapore), 15 August 2004
  3. ^ The Cabinet - Mr Wong Kan Seng
  4. ^ a b Emergencies and threats? He's tackled them all, The Straits Times (Singapore), 15 August 2004
  5. ^ "Official Report for Singapore Parliamentary Debates". 28 February 2008. 
  6. ^ Li, Xueying (24 April 2008). "To resign or not, that's the question S'poreans are asking". Straits Times. 
  7. ^ http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_373899.html

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Tony Tan
Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore
2005 - 2011
Succeeded by
Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Preceded by
S. Jayakumar
Co-ordinating Minister for National Security
2010-2011
Succeeded by
Teo Chee Hean
Preceded by
S. Jayakumar
Minister for Home Affairs
1988-1994
Succeeded by
S. Jayakumar
Preceded by
S. Dhanabalan
Minister for Foreign Affairs
1988-1994
Succeeded by
S. Jayakumar
Preceded by
S. Dhanabalan
Minister for Community Development
18 February 1986 – 31 December 1986
Succeeded by
Seet Ai Mei