Richard Hu

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Richard Hu Tsu Tau
Minister for Finance
In office
2 January 1985 – 9 November 2001
Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong
Preceded by Tony Tan
Succeeded by Lee Hsien Loong
Personal details
Born Richard Hu Tsu Tau
October 30, 1926 (1926-10-30) (age 91)
Singapore, Straits Settlements
Spouse(s) Irene Tan Dee Leng
Children 2
Parents Hu Tsai Kuen

Richard Hu Tsu Tau (simplified Chinese: 胡赐道; traditional Chinese: 胡賜道; pinyin: Hú Cì Dào, born October 30, 1926) is a former People's Action Party (PAP) politician in Singapore. He served as the Minister of Finance for 16 years from 1985 to 2001, and was also a Director of Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Pte Ltd. He is the son of doctor Hu Tsai Kuen.

Early life[edit]

Dr Richard Hu Tsu Tau was educated at the Anglo-Chinese School. In 1952, Hu obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of California in the United States and subsequently pursued a postgraduate diploma and a doctorate degree in Chemical Engineering, both from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.[1]


Hu joined the Royal Dutch Shell Group of Companies in 1960 and rose to the position of Chairman and Chief Executive of this global company in Singapore between 1977 and 1983.[2]

In 1983, Hu became the Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), holding both posts concurrently until 1984.

Hu contested as a People's Action Party candidate in the Kreta Ayer Single Member Constituency[3] in 1984 General Elections and won the election. Following the elections, he became the Minister for Health for two years from 1985 to 1987 and the Minister of Finance[4] for 16 years from 1985 to 2001.[5] As the Minister of Finance, Hu is perhaps best known by his signature on the 'Ship' series of legal tender notes issued after his appointment.[6] He also introduced the Goods and Services Tax in 1993. As part of deregulation and reform of its financial and banking sectors, Hu oversaw the privatisation of the government-run Post Office Savings Bank (POSB) and the sale of POSB to the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) in 1998.[7]

On April 13, 2004, Hu joined the Board of Singaporean property development company CapitaLand and was elected Chairman the same day, until his retirement in 2012.[8] He was also the Chairman of GIC Real Estate Pte Ltd[9] and Asia Financial Holdings Pte Ltd, as well as a Director of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC)[10] and a Director of Buildfolio.Com.Inc Hu also served as the Chancellor of the Singapore Management University from July 2002 to August 2010.[11]

In 2013, Hu was appointed as senior advisor of the Fraser and Neave board.[12]


Hu is married to Irene Tan Dee Leng, and has one son (Jeremy) and one daughter (Geraldine). He is a Hakka Chinese.


  1. ^ migration (4 March 2016). "Heng Swee Keat to present Budget 2016: Who were the finance ministers before him?". Retrieved 26 September 2017. 
  2. ^ "Management Team | Barghest Building Performance". 
  3. ^ "Official Reports". Parliament of Singapore. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  4. ^ Tesoro, Jose Manuel. "SINGAPORE Keeping Up the Pace". Asiaweek. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  5. ^ "History". Ministry of Finance. Government of Singapore. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  6. ^ "Note Facts". The Singapore Mint. The Singapore Mint. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  7. ^ "National Archives of Singapore". Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  8. ^ "CapitaLand chairman Richard Hu to step down". Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  9. ^ "Richard Hu Tsu Tau Ph.D." Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  10. ^ Lee, Meixian. "Richard Hu to retire from GIC board". Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  11. ^ Singapore Management University : Mr Yong Pung How appointed new Chancellor of SMU
  12. ^ "F&N: Appoints Dr. Richard Hu As Senior Adviser To The Board". Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Business Times. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Tony Tan
Minister for Finance
Succeeded by
Lee Hsien Loong
Preceded by
Howe Yoon Chong
Minister for Health
Succeeded by
Yeo Cheow Tong
Preceded by
S Dhanabalan
Minister for National Development
1 Sep 1992-1993
Succeeded by
Lim Hng Kiang