Chan Chun Sing

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Chan Chun Sing
陈振声
Chan Chun Sing in Singapore.jpg
Chan in 2018
Minister for Education
Assumed office
15 May 2021
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
Second MinisterMaliki Osman
Preceded byLawrence Wong
Minister-in-charge of Public Service
Assumed office
1 May 2018
Preceded byTeo Chee Hean
Minister for Trade and Industry
In office
1 May 2018 – 14 May 2021
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
Second MinisterTan See Leng
Preceded byLim Hng Kiang (Trade)
S. Iswaran (Industry)
Succeeded byGan Kim Yong
Party Whip of the People's Action Party
In office
28 September 2015 – 5 June 2019
Preceded byGan Kim Yong
Succeeded byJanil Puthucheary
Minister in the Prime Minister's Office
In office
9 April 2015 – 30 April 2018
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
Succeeded byNg Chee Meng
Indranee Rajah
Secretary-General of the
National Trades Union Congress
In office
4 May 2015 – 30 April 2018
DeputyHeng Chee How
Preceded byLim Swee Say
Succeeded byNg Chee Meng
Minister for Social and Family Development
In office
1 November 2012 – 9 April 2015
Acting: 1 November 2012 – 31 August 2013
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
Preceded byHimself
(as Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports)
Succeeded byTan Chuan-Jin
Second Minister for Defence
In office
1 September 2013 – 8 April 2015
MinisterNg Eng Hen
Preceded byNg Eng Hen
Succeeded byLui Tuck Yew
Senior Minister of State for Defence
In office
1 August 2012 – 31 August 2013
MinisterNg Eng Hen
Succeeded byMaliki Osman
Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts
In office
21 May 2011 – 31 July 2012
MinisterYaacob Ibrahim
Member of Parliament
for Tanjong Pagar GRC
(Buona Vista)
Assumed office
7 May 2011
Preceded byLim Swee Say
Majority32,470 (26.26%)
Personal details
Born (1969-10-09) 9 October 1969 (age 53)[1]
Singapore
Political partyPeople's Action Party
Alma materChrist's College, Cambridge (MA)
MIT Sloan School of Management (MBA)
US Army Command and General Staff College
Signature
Military service
Branch/serviceSingapore Army
Years of service1987–2011
RankMajor-General
CommandsChief of Army
Chief of Staff – Joint Staff
Chief Infantry Officer
Commander, 9th Division
Head, Joint Plans and Transformation Department
Commander, 10th Singapore Infantry Brigade
Army Attaché in Jakarta
Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment

Chan Chun Sing (Chinese: 陈振声; pinyin: Chén Zhènshēng; born 9 October 1969)[1] is a Singaporean politician and former major-general who has been serving as Minister for Education since 2021 and Minister-in-charge of Public Service since 2018.[2] A member of the governing People's Action Party (PAP), he has been the Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Buona Vista division of Tanjong Pagar GRC since 2011.

A recipient of the President's Scholarship and Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Scholarship, Chan started his career in the Singapore Army in 1987 and held various staff and command positions, and attained the rank Major-General. He served as Chief of Army between 2010 and 2011 before entering politics.

During the 2011 general election, he contested as part of a five-member PAP team in Tanjong Pagar GRC and won, he was elected as a Member of Parliament.

He served as Minister in the Prime Minister's Office between 2015 and 2018, Senior Minister of State for Defence between 2012 and 2013, Minister for Social and Family Development between 2012 and 2015, and Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts between 2011 and 2012. He also served as the party whip between 2015 and 2019.

Personal life[edit]

Chan grew up in a single-parent household.[3] His mother, Kwong Kait Fong, was a machine operator and he has a sister, Chan Siew Yin.[4] He lived in a three-room HDB flat in MacPherson with his mother, grandparents, aunt and sister until he was 30 years old.[5] Chan is married with a daughter and two sons.[6] He is fluent in three of the four official languages of Singapore: English, Mandarin and Malay. He is also a fan of Everton F.C.[7]

Education[edit]

Chan attended Raffles Institution and Raffles Junior College. Being one of the four top scorers from Raffles Junior College in the GCE A Level examination in 1987,[4][3] Chan was awarded the President's Scholarship and Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Scholarship in 1988.[8] He graduated from Christ's College, Cambridge with a first class degree in economics.

He was subsequently awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship to pursue a Master of Business Administration degree under the Sloan Fellows programme at the MIT Sloan School of Management, which he completed in 2005.[9]

Military career[edit]

Major-General Chan Chun Sing exchanges gifts with General Martin Dempsey during a visit to TRADOC headquarters on 21 January 2011.

Chan enlisted into the Singapore Army in 1987, and attained the rank Major-General before entering politics in 2011. He has held several appointments and this include: Commanding Officer, 2nd Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment between 1998 and 2000; Army Attaché in Jakarta between 2001 and 2003; Commander, 10th Singapore Infantry Brigade between 2003 and 2004; Head, Joint Plans and Transformation Department between 2005 and 2007; Commander, 9th Division and Chief Infantry Officer between 2007 and 2009;[10] and Chief of Staff – Joint Staff between 2009 and 2010.

Chan excelled as a student at the United States Army Command and General Staff College in 1998, and was the first foreign student to be conferred the Distinguished Master Strategist Award in the same year.[11]

On 26 March 2010, Chan was appointed Chief of Army. He stepped down from his post and left the Singapore Armed Forces on 25 March 2011 in order to contest in the 2011 general election.[12]

Political career[edit]

Chan made his political debut in the 2011 general election as part of the five-member People's Action Party (PAP) team led by Lee Kuan Yew contesting in Tanjong Pagar GRC. He represented the Buona Vista ward, which was previously held by Lim Swee Say.[13][14] The PAP team won by an uncontested walkover as none of the opposition parties contested Tanjong Pagar GRC.[15] During the election campaign, Chan used the Hokkien phrase "kee chiu" ("hands up") at a rally to engage the crowd, and the term became a nickname for him.[16]

Following the 2011 general election, Chan was appointed Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, and Minister of State for Communications and the Arts. Chan, then 42, was one of the youngest ministers to be appointed to the Cabinet.

On 31 July 2012, Chan relinquished his portfolio in the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts and was appointed Senior Minister of State for Defence. Following a restructuring of government ministries in November 2012, he began heading the newly created Ministry of Social and Family Development as Acting Minister.[17] He was promoted to full Minister in September 2013,[18] and concurrently served as Second Minister for Defence.

On 23 January 2015, Chan joined the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) on a part-time basis; He was appointed as NTUC's deputy secretary-general on 27 January 2015 and joined NTUC full-time from April 2015.[19]

On 1 October 2015, following the 2015 general election, Chan was appointed Deputy Chairman of the People's Association,[20] a role which he held till 2021 before relinquishing it to Edwin Tong. In the same year, Chan was put in charge of leading the PAP team in Tanjong Pagar GRC after Lee Kuan Yew died in March 2015.

On 23 November 2018, Chan succeeded Tharman Shanmugaratnam as the PAP's Second Assistant Secretary-General (alongside Heng Swee Keat).[21] In the lead-up to the 2020 general election, Chan was widely seen as one of the three leading candidates (alongside Heng and Ong Ye Kung) to succeed Lee Hsien Loong as Prime Minister of Singapore.[22][23][24]

Minister for Social and Family Development[edit]

Chan has announced three key priorities for his Ministry in the Committee of Supply debate 2014.[25][26] These priorities are: (i) to maintain the currency and adequacy of Singapore's social support policies, (ii) to deliver integrated social services and (iii) to develop manpower for the social service sector.

Chan launched the first of 23 Social Service Offices to bring social assistance touch points closer to the populace.[27]

The tender evaluation process was revised for commercial childcare centres. The joint effort by Early Childhood Development Agency and Housing Development Board aimed to keep rental costs in HDB estates manageable, and in turn keep childcare programmes affordable.[28]

More infrastructure support to benefit non-Anchor Operators (AOP) setting up preschools in high demand areas and workplaces. Non-AOPs who provide quality and affordable programmes can tap on a Teaching & Learning Resources Grant of up to S$4,000 per year for materials and equipment.[29]

During a Parliament session in 2017, responding to a raised question, he replied that there will be no change to an existing policy, that single mothers will continue to get only eight of the 16 weeks paid maternity leave that married mothers are entitled to, and will still not be entitled to claim a child relief tax incentive.[30]

Minister in the Prime Minister's Office[edit]

Chan held the position of Minister in the Prime Minister's Office (minister without portfolio) from 9 April 2015 to 30 April 2018.[31] He was also Secretary General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) from 4 May 2015 to 30 April 2018.

Minister for Trade and Industry[edit]

On 24 April 2018, it was announced that Chan would succeed Lim Hng Kiang and S. Iswaran as the Minister for Trade and Industry, and would relinquish his NTUC chief portfolio to Ng Chee Meng, effective from 1 May 2018.[32] He also took over responsibility for the Public Service Division on the same day as well.[33]

An audio leak from a closed-door meeting between Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) members and minister Chan Chun Sing on 18 February 2020 revealed that Chan had used the derogatory hokkien term "sia suay" (English definition embarrassment) to describe Singaporeans who were panic buying.[34]

The second audio leak happened two days before the 2020 general election, The Online Citizen published an article along with an audio clip of a speech made by Chan. In the audio clip, Chan mentioned the PAP's results during elections and the restricting space access north of Seletar Airport. Chan later wrote on Facebook that the speech took place in 2019 at a closed-door conversation held after Malaysia imposing a restricted flying zone north of Seletar Airport. He claimed that the audio clip was leaked and circulated for "ill-intent".[35][36][37]

Minister for Education[edit]

Following a Cabinet reshuffle, on 15 May 2021, Chan succeeded Lawrence Wong as Minister for Education.[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "MP | Parliament Of Singapore". www.parliament.gov.sg.
  2. ^ hermes (24 November 2018). "Heng Swee Keat picked as 4G leader, with Chan Chun Sing as deputy". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 19 January 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Thanks, Mum". The Straits Times. 8 March 1988. Archived from the original on 3 January 2019. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Chun Sing: 'Ridiculous dream' comes true". The Straits Times. 20 August 1988. Archived from the original on 22 October 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  5. ^ "《有话要说2》陈振声部长 – 加长版(上) – 8频道新闻及时事节目". Channel 8 News. Archived from the original on 5 January 2018. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Chan Chun Sing: 'I do my best at the task I'm given'". The New Paper. 31 August 2015. Archived from the original on 29 August 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  7. ^ Chan, Cheow Pong. "Chan Chun Sing doesn't think his military background is a limitation, leadership style is to 'value add'". mothership.sg. Retrieved 4 November 2021.
  8. ^ "'Hardworking' scholars' night of glory". The Straits Times. 27 August 1988. Archived from the original on 29 August 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Change in Chief of Defence Force and Chief of Army". Ministry of Defence. 15 January 2010. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  10. ^ "5 President's Scholars this year". The Straits Times. 20 August 1988. Archived from the original on 9 November 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  11. ^ "Chan Chun Sing enters US Army college's hall of fame". AsiaOne. Archived from the original on 9 January 2018. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  12. ^ "New chief for Singapore Army". AsiaOne. 4 March 2011. Archived from the original on 9 December 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
  13. ^ Yen, Feng (15 April 2011). "Coming GE is critical for renewal: Ng Eng Hen". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 17 April 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  14. ^ "Ex-Army Chief to contest in Buona Vista". AsiaOne. 3 April 2011. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  15. ^ "MM Lee disappointed with no contest in Tg Pagar". The Straits Times. 27 April 2011. Archived from the original on 28 April 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  16. ^ Seow, Joanna (24 January 2015). "Chan Chun Sing: I'm a very simple person". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 12 August 2017. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  17. ^ "MCYS, MICA to be restructured". AsiaOne. 31 July 2012. Archived from the original on 9 March 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  18. ^ "Chan Chun Sing becomes full minister in Cabinet promotion". AsiaOne. 28 August 2013. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  19. ^ "Minister Chan Chun Sing joins NTUC, likely to take over as labour chief". The Straits Times. 23 January 2015. Archived from the original on 26 January 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  20. ^ "Channel NewsAsia - PM Lee and Singapore's new Cabinet sworn in". www.gov.sg. Archived from the original on 3 October 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  21. ^ "Heng Swee Keat to be PAP 1st assistant secretary-general, and next PM: Party sources". TODAYOnline. 22 November 2018. Archived from the original on 19 September 2020. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  22. ^ hermesauto (26 January 2018). "Singapore's 4G leaders need more time to gain exposure and experience: Analysts". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 19 September 2020. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  23. ^ "Who can step up as Singapore's next leader?". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 26 August 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  24. ^ hermes (4 September 2016). "The next Prime Minister: 6 men to watch". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 29 August 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  25. ^ "Opening Speech at Committee of Supply debate 2014". Ministry of Social and Family Development. 13 March 2014. Archived from the original on 10 November 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  26. ^ "Closing Speech at Committee of Supply debate 2014". Ministry of Social and Family Development. 13 March 2014. Archived from the original on 10 November 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  27. ^ "Launch of Social Service Office". Ministry of Social and Family Development. 15 August 2014. Archived from the original on 10 November 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  28. ^ "Revised Tender Evaluation Process for Commercial Child Care Centres in HDB Premises". Ministry of Social and Family Development. 13 June 2013. Archived from the original on 10 November 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  29. ^ "More support for Non-Anchor Operators". Ministry of Social and Family Development. 24 September 2013. Archived from the original on 10 November 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  30. ^ "Parliament: No change to paid maternity leave for single mums". AsiaOne. Archived from the original on 12 September 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  31. ^ Singapore, Prime Minister's Office (3 January 2019). "PMO | Press Statement from the Prime Minister on Changes to Cabinet and Other Appointments". Prime Minister's Office Singapore. Archived from the original on 13 February 2019. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  32. ^ "Incoming NTUC leader Ng Chee Meng says he will listen to workers to chart future direction". The Straits Times. 1 May 2018. Archived from the original on 1 May 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  33. ^ "Changes to Cabinet and Other Appointments (Apr 2018)" (Press release). Singapore. Prime Minister's Office. 24 April 2018. Archived from the original on 17 November 2018. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  34. ^ Tee, Zhuo (19 February 2020). "Leak of closed-door Chan Chun Sing meeting 'deeply disappointing' and a 'betrayal', says Singapore Chinese Chamber president". The Straits Times. ISSN 0585-3923. Retrieved 16 November 2021.
  35. ^ hermesauto (8 July 2020). "Singapore GE2020: Chan Chun Sing says leaked audio clips taken out of context; being circulated online 'with ill-intent'". The Straits Times. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  36. ^ "GE2020: PAP's Chan Chun Sing says leaked audio clips 'taken out of context', circulated with 'ill-intent'". CNA. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  37. ^ "GE2020: Audio clips of conversation with PAP's Chan Chun Sing leaked; he says these are 'circulated with ill-intent'". TODAYonline. Retrieved 20 September 2021.
  38. ^ "Gan Kim Yong to become Minister for Trade and Industry; Chan Chun Sing goes to MOE". www.businesstimes.com.sg. Archived from the original on 23 April 2021. Retrieved 20 September 2021.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports
Acting

21 May 2011 – 31 October 2012
Succeeded by
Redesignated
as Acting Minister for Social and Family Development
Preceded by
Himself
as Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports
Minister for Social and Family Development
1 September 2013 – 3 May 2015
Acting: 1 November 2012 – 31 August 2013
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister in the Prime Minister's Office
4 May 2015 – 30 April 2018
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister for Trade and Industry
1 May 2018 – 14 May 2021
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister for Education
15 May 2021 – present
Incumbent
Parliament of Singapore
Preceded byas MP for Holland–Bukit Timah GRC (Buona Vista) Member of Parliament
for Tanjong Pagar GRC (Buona Vista)

2011 – present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by Chairman of Young PAP
2008–2017
Succeeded by
Trade union offices
Preceded by Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress
2015–2018
Succeeded by