Chee Hong Tat

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Chee Hong Tat
徐芳达
Senior Minister of State for Finance
Assumed office
13 June 2022
MinisterLawrence Wong
Preceded bySim Ann
Indranee Rajah
Senior Minister of State for Transport
Assumed office
27 July 2020
Serving with Amy Khor
MinisterOng Ye Kung
S. Iswaran
Preceded byLam Pin Min
Janil Puthucheary
Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
27 July 2020 – 14 May 2021
MinisterVivian Balakrishnan
Succeeded bySim Ann
Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry
In office
1 May 2018 – 26 July 2020
Serving with Koh Poh Koon
MinisterChan Chun Sing
Senior Minister of State for Education
In office
1 May 2018 – 26 July 2020
MinisterOng Ye Kung
Preceded byJanil Puthucheary
Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information
In office
1 May 2017 – 30 April 2018
Serving with Janil Puthucheary (2017–present)
MinisterYaacob Ibrahim
Senior Minister of State for Health
In office
1 May 2017 – 30 April 2018
Serving with Lam Pin Min (2017–2020)
Amy Khor (2013–2020)
MinisterGan Kim Yong
Succeeded byEdwin Tong
Minister of State for Communications and Information
In office
1 October 2015 – 30 April 2017
Serving with Janil Puthucheary
MinisterYaacob Ibrahim
Preceded bySim Ann
Minister of State for Health
In office
1 October 2015 – 30 April 2017
Serving with Lam Pin Min
MinisterGan Kim Yong
Deputy Secretary-General of the
National Trades Union Congress
In office
15 May 2021 – 12 June 2022
Secretary-GeneralNg Chee Meng
Preceded byKoh Poh Koon
Succeeded byDesmond Tan
Member of Parliament
for Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC
(Toa Payoh West–Thomson)
Assumed office
10 July 2020
Preceded byHimself
Majority32,259 (34.52%)
Member of Parliament
for Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC
(Toa Payoh West–Balestier)
In office
11 September 2015 – 23 June 2020
Preceded byHri Kumar (PAP)
Succeeded byHimself
Majority32,259 (34.52%)
Personal details
Born1973[1]
Singapore
Political partyPeople's Action Party
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley (BS, BA)
University of Adelaide (MBA)

Chee Hong Tat (Chinese: 徐芳达; pinyin: Xú Fāngdá; born 1973)[1] is a Singaporean politician who has been serving as Senior Minister of State for Finance since 2022[2] and Senior Minister of State for Transport since 2020. A member of the governing People's Action Party (PAP), he has been the Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Toa Payoh West–Thomson division of Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC since 2015.

Before entering politics, Chee had worked at various Ministries and was Principal Private Secretary to Lee Kuan Yew from 2008 to 2011. He was also the Chief Executive Officer of the Energy Market Authority between 2011 and 2015 before he resigned to run for election in the 2015 general election as part of a five-member PAP team contesting in Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC. After the PAP team won with 73.59% of the vote, Chee became a Member of Parliament representing the Toa Payoh West–Balestier ward of Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC. Since then, he had retained his parliamentary seat in the 2020 general election and had been Minister of State and later Senior Minister of State at various Ministries.

Education[edit]

Chee was educated at The Chinese High School and Raffles Junior College before graduating from the University of California, Berkeley in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science with highest honours degree in electrical engineering and computer science, as well as a Bachelor of Arts with highest honours degree in economics, under the Overseas Merit Scholarship awarded by the Singapore Government.[3]

He subsequently went on to complete a Master of Business Administration degree at the University of Adelaide in 2006,[4] and was awarded the Newmont Australia Prize for being the Most Outstanding MBA Graduate.[5]

Public service career[edit]

Chee joined the Singapore Administrative Service in 1998 and worked at various Ministries, including Home Affairs, Finance, Transport and Education.[6]

Chee was also Principal Private Secretary to Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew from 2008 to 2011. During this time, he attracted attention after he wrote on behalf of Lee to The Straits Times forum on 7 March 2009 in response to a call by Nanyang Technological University's Division of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies for a return to the use of Chinese dialects. In the letter, he wrote that "it would be stupid for any Singapore agency or NTU to advocate the learning of dialects, which must be at the expense of English and Mandarin".[7] Lee later mentioned Chee's letter in his book My Lifelong Challenge: Singapore's Bilingual Journey and said that the call to return to the use of Chinese dialects was a "daft call".[8] During Lee's state funeral in 2015, Chee was one of the eight pallbearers.[9]

From 9 May 2011 to 1 April 2015, Chee served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Energy Market Authority.[10][11] He also was Second Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry from 1 December 2014 to 11 August 2015.[12]

Political career[edit]

Chee resigned from the Singapore Administrative Service on 11 August 2015 to run for election in the 2015 general election as part of a five-member People's Action Party (PAP) team contesting in Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC after Wong Kan Seng, Hri Kumar and Zainudin Nordin stepped down from their respective wards and politics. [13] Two years before that, he had been attending grassroots events in Bishan–Toa Payoh[14] and Marine Parade GRCs.[15] On 1 September 2015 (Nomination Day), Chee's fist-clenching and chest-thumping action in response to hecklers[16] shocked a few observers and amused others. When he was asked about that, Chee replied, "I'm new to this, so there's much for me to learn. I'll certainly try to improve."[16] On Polling Day, the PAP team won with 73.59% of the vote against the Singapore People's Party.[17] Chee was elected Member of Parliament representing the Toa Payoh WestBalestier ward of Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC.

On 1 October 2015, Chee was appointed Minister of State at the Ministries of Health and Communications and Information.

Chee was promoted to Senior Minister of State on 1 May 2017[4] and served at the Ministries of Communications and Information and Health from May 2017 to April 2018. On 9 November 2017, he alleged in a Facebook post that Leon Perera, a Non-constituency Member of Parliament, had made false accusations about Mediacorp making partisan edits on the video of a parliamentary debate on Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill in February 2017.[18] In response, Perera refuted Chee's allegation and stated that his questions were about the ownership of the copyright to parliamentary video footage and why parliamentary video live feed cannot be made publicly available, as is the case in many other countries. Perera later apologised in Parliament.[19]

On 10 March 2018, Chee was one of the PAP Members of Parliament who responded to Workers' Party Member of Parliament Sylvia Lim over her remark that the government had intended to raise the goods and services tax in the current term but backtracked due to negative public reaction. He chided the Workers' Party for using this issue to discredit the PAP government, saying that it was an attack on its integrity and not responding as strongly as they did would imply that the government is dishonest.[20] Lim acknowledged that she "may have been wrong".[21]

On 24 April 2018, Chee was redesignated as Senior Minister of State at the Ministries of Trade and Industry and Education.[22]

In the 2020 general election, Chee contested in Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC as part of a four-member PAP team and they won with 67.26% of the vote against the Singapore People's Party.[23] He thus retained his parliamentary seat, representing the Toa Payoh West–Thomson ward of Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC. He is also a member of the Bishan–Toa Payoh Town Council and an advisor to the Bishan–Toa Payoh grassroots organisations. On 27 July 2020, he was appointed Senior Minister of State at the Ministries of Transport and Foreign Affairs. Following a Cabinet reshuffle, on 15 May 2021, his portfolio as Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs was dropped, but he remained Senior Minister of State for Transport as he was shifted to the Labour Movement following a request by PM Lee to send him in return for Koh Poh Koon. Chee was however appointed Senior Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance on 13 June 2022, he was replaced by Desmond Tan (politician) at NTUC. [24]

Personal life[edit]

Chee is married with four children.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "MP | Parliament of Singapore".
  2. ^ "Changes to Cabinet and Other Appointments (June 2022)". Prime Minister's Office Singapore. 6 June 2022.
  3. ^ "Mr Chee Hong Tat". www.mti.gov.sg. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  4. ^ a b "SMS Chee Hong Tat" (PDF). Parliament of Singapore.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Tan, Martino (7 June 2015). "6 potential PAP candidates who are so senior they won't be MPs if they entered parliament". mothership.sg. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  6. ^ "Second Perm Sec for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat leaves civil service". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Foolish to advocate the learning of dialects". Archived from the original on 4 October 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2018.
  8. ^ Lee, Kuan Yew (2012). My Lifelong Challenge: Singapore's Bilingual Journey. Straits Times Press.
  9. ^ "Pallbearers". www.remembering.sg.
  10. ^ "Lawrence Wong steps down as Chief Executive of Energy Market Authority, may enter politics". 29 March 2011.
  11. ^ "New Chief Executive For Energy Market Authority". Ministry of Trade and Industry.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Second Permanent Secretary". Ministry of Trade and Industry. Archived from the original on 11 June 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  13. ^ Yong, Charissa (4 August 2015). "Senior civil servant Chee Hong Tat, 41, resigns from the civil service". The Straits Times.
  14. ^ hermes (30 July 2015). "Three potential candidates spotted with PAP MPs". The Straits Times. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  15. ^ "New PAP candidates: This 'small brother' wants to pay it back". The New Paper. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  16. ^ a b Yong, Charissa (3 September 2015). "Stepping out of comfort zone to serve". The Straits Times. Retrieved 4 May 2018.
  17. ^ "GE2015: PAP wins Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC with 73.59% of votes". Business Times. 12 September 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  18. ^ "Leon Perera made 'serious accusation' that Mediacorp 'edited' parliamentary video: Chee Hong Tat". CNA.
  19. ^ Sen, Ng Jun (8 January 2018). "Parliament: WP's Leon Perera apologises, withdraws statements on Mediacorp's editing of parliamentary footage". The Straits Times. ISSN 0585-3923. Retrieved 7 October 2021.
  20. ^ "Important for Govt to remove any doubt about timing of GST hike to protect its integrity: Chee Hong Tat". The Straits Times. 10 March 2018.
  21. ^ "Sylvia Lim says her suspicions 'may have been wrong'". The Straits Times. 9 March 2018.
  22. ^ "Cabinet reshuffle: 4 backbenchers promoted, lawyer Edwin Tong to be Senior Minister of State for Law and Health". The Straits Times. 24 April 2018.
  23. ^ "GE2020 official results: PAP wins Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC in 3rd successive challenge by SPP". The Straits Times. 11 July 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  24. ^ Lim, Min Zhang (6 June 2022). "Tan Kiat How, Eric Chua and Rahayu Mahzam to be promoted in latest Cabinet changes". The Straits Times. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  25. ^ "Chee Hong Tat" (PDF). Pap.org.sg. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2015.

External links[edit]

Parliament of Singapore
Preceded byas MP (Thomson-Toa Payoh) Member of Parliament for
Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC (Toa Payoh West-Balestier)

2015 – present
Incumbent