Desmond Lee (Singaporean politician)

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Desmond Lee
李智陞
Desmond Lee at Bukit Brown Cemetery, Singapore - 20171118.jpg
Lee in 2017
Minister for National Development
Assumed office
27 July 2020
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
Second MinisterIndranee Rajah
Preceded byLawrence Wong
Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration
Assumed office
27 July 2020
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
Preceded byOffice established
Minister for Social and Family Development
In office
11 September 2017 – 26 July 2020
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
Preceded byTan Chuan-Jin
Succeeded byMasagos Zulkifli
Minister in the Prime Minister's Office
In office
1 May 2017 – 10 September 2017
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
Second Minister for National Development
In office
1 May 2017 – 26 July 2020
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
MinisterLawrence Wong
Preceded byLim Swee Say
Succeeded byIndranee Rajah
Second Minister for Home Affairs
In office
1 May 2017 – 10 September 2017
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
MinisterK. Shanmugam
Preceded byS. Iswaran
Masagos Zulkifli
Succeeded byJosephine Teo
Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs
In office
1 October 2015 – 30 April 2017
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
MinisterK. Shanmugam
Senior Minister of State for National Development
In office
1 October 2015 – 30 April 2017
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
MinisterLawrence Wong
Minister of State for National Development
In office
1 September 2013 – 30 September 2015
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
MinisterKhaw Boon Wan
Member of Parliament
for West Coast GRC
(Boon Lay)
Assumed office
10 July 2020
Preceded byPatrick Tay (PAP)
Majority4,662 (3.36%)
Deputy Leader of the House
In office
1 October 2015 – 23 June 2020
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
LeaderGrace Fu
Preceded byHeng Chee How
Succeeded byZaqy Mohamad
Member of Parliament
for Jurong GRC
(Jurong Spring)
In office
7 May 2011 – 23 June 2020
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byShawn Huang Wei Zhong (PAP)
Personal details
Born1976 (age 45–46)[1]
Singapore
Political partyPeople's Action Party
Children3
ParentLee Yock Suan (father)
Alma materNational University of Singapore (LLB)
University of Oxford (BCL)
OccupationPolitician

Desmond Lee Ti-Seng (Chinese: 李智陞; pinyin: Lǐ Zhìshēng; born 1976)[1] is a Singaporean politician and lawyer who has been serving as Minister for National Development since 2020. A member of the governing People's Action Party (PAP), he has been the Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Boon Lay division of West Coast GRC since 2020.

A lawyer by profession, Lee had worked at various public-sector institutions, including the Supreme Court, Attorney-General's Chambers and Temasek Holdings before entering politics. He made his political debut in the 2011 general election as part of a five-member PAP team contesting in Jurong GRC and won with 66.96% of the vote. He had held various political positions in the Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Home Affairs before he was made full member of the Cabinet on 1 May 2017.

Early life and education[edit]

Lee's father is Lee Yock Suan,[2] a former Member of Parliament and Cabinet minister. Lee also has Peranakan ancestry from his mother's side.[3]

Lee was educated at Anglo-Chinese School (Junior), Raffles Institution and Raffles Junior College before graduating from the National University of Singapore in 2001 with a Bachelor of Laws with first class honours degree. He subsequently went on to complete a Bachelor of Civil Law degree at the University of Oxford.[4]

Legal career[edit]

After graduating from NUS in 2001, Lee served as a Justices' Law Clerk at the Supreme Court before he became a Deputy Public Prosecutor in the Criminal Justice Division of the Attorney-General's Chambers.

From 2005 to 2009, Lee served as Deputy Director of the Legal Branch of the Ministry of Health. Later, he transferred to the Ministry of Law, where he served as Deputy Director of the Legal Policy Division until 2011.

In March 2011, Lee joined Temasek Holdings as an Associate Director in the Legal and Regulations Department.[5]

Political career[edit]

Lee left Temasek Holdings to stand for election in the 2011 general election as part of a five-member People's Action Party (PAP) team in Jurong Group Representation Constituency (GRC). The PAP team won the opposing National Solidarity Party team by 76,595 votes (66.96%) to 37,786 votes (33.07%). Lee then became a Member of Parliament representing the Jurong Spring ward of Jurong GRC.

Following the 2011 general election, Lee served as a member of the Government Parliamentary Committees for Culture, Community and Youth, Home Affairs, Law, and Social and Family Development.

On 1 September 2013, Lee was appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of National Development.[6]

At the 2015 general election, Lee was re-elected as a Member of Parliament for Jurong GRC. The PAP team contesting in Jurong GRC won 79.3% of the votes cast. In October 2015, Lee was promoted to Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Home Affairs. On 1 May 2017, he became a full Minister and took up the positions of Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Second Minister for National Development. He was also Deputy Leader of the House in Parliament from October 2015 to June 2020.

On 11 September 2017, Lee relinquished his portfolios in the Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of Home Affairs, and became Minister for Social and Family Development while retaining his portfolio as Second Minister for National Development.

At the 2020 general election, Lee stood for election as part of a five-member PAP team in West Coast GRC and won with 51.69% of the vote against the Progress Singapore Party. He then became a Member of Parliament representing the Boon Lay ward of West Coast GRC.

Following a Cabinet reshuffle, on 27 July 2020, Lee succeeded Lawrence Wong as Minister for National Development and took on an additional newly-created position as Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration at the Ministry of Social and Family Development.[7][8][9]

On 8 November 2020, Lee, along with Lawrence Wong, were both elected into the PAP's Central Executive Committee for the first time. [10]

Personal life[edit]

Lee is married with three children.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "MP | Parliament of Singapore". Archived from the original on 2019-11-17. Retrieved 2020-07-18.
  2. ^ Yes to evolution, no to revolution Archived 2015-08-06 at the Wayback Machine, My Paper, 24 March 2011.
  3. ^ "Digging up the past, in search of a deeper sense of self: Desmond Lee on the Bicentennial and its lessons". CNA.
  4. ^ "Parliament of Singapore, Desmond Lee". Archived from the original on 13 October 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  5. ^ MP Profile – Desmond Lee Ti-Seng Archived 2013-01-14 at the Wayback Machine, pap.org.sg, retrieved 4 August 2013.
  6. ^ PM Lee reinforces team as governance becomes "more complicated" Archived 2013-10-04 at the Wayback Machine, channelnewsasia.com, 28 August 2013.
  7. ^ "Desmond Lee: Youngest minister in current Cabinet to helm his first ministry". Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  8. ^ "GE2020: PAP wins West Coast GRC with 51.69% of votes against Tan Cheng Bock's team". CNA.
  9. ^ "PM Lee announces new Cabinet; 6 office holders promoted, 3 retirements". CNA. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  10. ^ Yuen, Sin; Lim, Min Zhang (8 November 2020). "PAP conference: Lawrence Wong, Desmond Lee elected to party's top committee for first time". The Straits Times. Retrieved 14 February 2021.
  11. ^ "Mr Desmond Lee" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 September 2020. Retrieved 20 November 2019.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Minister for Social and Family Development
2017 – 2020
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister for National Development
2020 – present
Incumbent
Parliament of Singapore
New constituency Member of Parliament for
Jurong GRC (Jurong Spring)

2011 – 2020
Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of Parliament for
West Coast GRC (Boon Lay)

2020 – present
Incumbent