Josephine Teo

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In the maiden name, the surname is Yong.

Josephine Teo Li Min
杨莉明
Josephine Teo September 2016 (29908295102).jpg
Teo in 2016
Minister for Communications and Information
Assumed office
15 May 2021
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
Preceded byS. Iswaran
Second Minister for Home Affairs
Assumed office
11 September 2017
MinisterK. Shanmugam
Preceded byDesmond Lee
Member of Parliament
for Jalan Besar GRC
(Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng)
Assumed office
10 July 2020
Preceded byLily Neo (PAP)
Past offices held
Minister
Minister for Manpower
In office
1 May 2018 – 14 May 2021
Preceded byLim Swee Say
Succeeded byTan See Leng
Minister in Prime Minister's Office
In office
1 May 2017 – 30 April 2018
Serving with Chan Chun Sing
Second Minister
Second Minister for Manpower
In office
1 May 2017 – 30 April 2018
MinisterLim Swee Say
Succeeded byTan See Leng
Second Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
1 May 2017 – 10 September 2017
MinisterVivian Balakrishnan
Succeeded byMaliki Osman
Minister of State
Senior Minister of State,
Prime Minister's Office
In office
1 October 2015 – 30 April 2017
Serving with Heng Chee How
Senior Minister of State,
Ministry of Transport
In office
1 September 2013 – 30 April 2017
Senior Minister of State,
Ministry Of Finance
In office
1 September 2013 – 30 September 2015
Minister of State,
Ministry for Finance
In office
18 May 2011 – 1 September 2013
Minister of State,
Ministry for Transport
In office
18 May 2011 – 1 September 2013
Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC
(Bishan North)
In office
8 May 2011 – 23 June 2020
Member of Parliament
for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC
(Toa Payoh East)
In office
27 April 2006 – 8 May 2011
Personal details
Born
Josephine Yong Li Min

(1968-07-08) 8 July 1968 (age 53)
Singapore
Political partyPeople's Action Party
Spouse(s)Teo Eng Cheong
Children3
Alma materNational University of Singapore
London School of Economics
OccupationPolitician
CommitteesGPCs
  • Education
  • Defence & Foreign Affairs

Josephine Teo Li Min (née Yong; born 8 July 1968) is a Singaporean politician. A member of the country's governing People's Action Party (PAP), Teo is Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of the Cyber Security Agency and Smart Nation Initiative. She was previously Minister of Manpower from 2018 to 2021.

Teo has been Member of Parliament (MP) of Jalan Besar GRC for Kreta Ayer since 2020.

Early life[edit]

She was educated at Dunman High School and Raffles Junior College,[1] before going on to the National University of Singapore where she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in 1990 and a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) in 1991. She was awarded several prizes, including the Rachel Meyer Book Prize, which is awarded to the best woman student in the Final Examinations of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.[2] She was then awarded a postgraduate scholarship under the EDB-Glaxo Scholarship Programme and completed a Master of Science (Economics) degree at the London School of Economics in 1992.[2]

Career[edit]

She worked at Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB) from 1992 to 2002. She began her career there in enterprise development, and was later posted to Suzhou, China, as part of EDB's pioneering team there. While on secondment to the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park Pte Ltd, she was responsible for Marketing Resources. Upon her return to Singapore, she became the EDB's Head of Human Resources.[2]

From 2002 to 2006, she served as the Head of Human Resources at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).[2]

In November 2005, she also took on the role of Director of Human Resources at the Administration and Research Unit (ARU) of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).

After her election to Parliament in 2006, Teo took on additional roles within the NTUC and the labour movement. She served as the Executive Secretary of the Singapore Industrial Services Employees' Union (2006–11). At the ARU, she served as the Alignment Director (Youth Development) and Alignment Director (Organisation Development) (2007–11), and as the Centric Director (Staff) (2008–11).[1] She also served as the NTUC's Assistant Secretary-General from 2007 to 2011.[3]

From 2009 to 2011, Teo also served as the Chief Executive Officer of Business China,[4] an organisation established to nurture an inclusive bilingual and bi-cultural group of Singaporeans through the use of Chinese language and to develop a cultural and economic bridge between China and the world.

Political career[edit]

Teo meeting with The head of government of the City of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri in 2012

She entered Parliament at the 2006 general election as an MP for the Bishan–Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency (GRC) succeeding Davinder Singh in Toa Payoh East.

During her first term in Parliament, she served as the Chair of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Education, and as a member of the GPC for Defence & Foreign Affairs.[5]

Following the 2011 general election, she was appointed Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transport on 18 May 2011, succeeding Ms Lim Hwee Hua in her finance and transport portfolios. She was promoted to Senior Minister Of State at the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transport on 1 September 2013 and also succeeding Zainudin Nordin in Bishan North.

In 2012, Teo appeared in a Channel 8 drama called Pillow Talk where she shared about love and romance between couples.

She served as the Senior Minister Of State at the Ministry of Finance until 30 September 2015.[6][7]

She was promoted to full minister and be appointed as Minister in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), and Second Minister in the Ministry of Manpower and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1 May 2017.[8] She also oversees the National Population and Talent Division.

She later succeeded Mr Lim Swee Say as Manpower Minister on 1 May 2018, being the second female minister to helm a ministry after Grace Fu. She has been a Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Bishan–Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency and was an advisor of the Bishan-Toa Payoh grassroots organisations from 27 April 2006 to 22 June 2020 before moving over to Jalan Besar Group Representation Constituency and is now an adviser to Kreta Ayer- Kim Seng Grassroots Organisations where she succeeded Lily Neo and leads the Jalan Besar GRC Team.[9]

During a cabinet reshuffle, she succeeded S Iswaran as Minister of Communication and Information and Minister-in-charge of the Cyber Security Agency, and Vivian Balakrishnan as Minister-In-Charge of Smart Nation Initiative respectively. In 2021, Teo was involved with Singtel new advertisement called Powering Up Singapore with SingTel 5G.

Controversies[edit]

In a media interview in October 2016, Teo responded to questions of whether Singaporeans are getting their HDB flats early enough in order to start a family, stating that one "does not need much space to have sex". Teo further added that "In France, in the UK, in the Nordic countries, man meets woman, tonight they can make a baby already."[10] This drew much flak from the public, with many Singaporeans criticizing her for being insensitive and not being able to understand practical considerations such as the high costs of living.[citation needed] Others also accused Teo of trying to promote Western values, ways of life and promiscuity in Singapore.[citation needed]

In May 2017, Teo commenting on the issue of high cost of milk powder in Singapore on her Facebook page, wrote that "milk is milk, however fancy the marketing". She further claimed that she would buy whichever brand of milk powder approved for sale by AVA that was cheapest for her own kids.[11] She was criticised for not knowing that even the cheapest milk powder in Singapore is still much more expensive than other countries in the region.[12][unreliable source] In addition, different babies may require additional supplements, or have certain allergies and preferences to milk powder.[citation needed]

On 26 October 2018, Teo commented that implementing minimum wage in Singapore may instead lead to higher unemployment and that Singapore's income inequality gap is "a problem of success" that is "difficult to overcome". She made these comments at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS)'s 30th anniversary conference, where IPS's special adviser Professor Tommy Koh pointed out that Singapore's income profile today "looks more like a pear than an olive", with a large number of people "at the bottom", as opposed to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's vision of "a Singapore which resembles an olive - very few very rich, very few poor people, and a very large middle income".[13]

Personal life[edit]

A Singaporean of Hakka descent, Teo's maiden surname is Yong. She is married to former CEO of Surbana Jurong, Teo Eng Cheong.[14] The couple have three children - two daughters and one son.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-10. Retrieved 2009-03-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b c d "Channelnewsasia.com - Singapore General Election". May 27, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-05-27.
  3. ^ "Swee Say wins poll by landslide". www.asiaone.com. Archived from the original on 2017-10-30. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  4. ^ "MP Josephine Teo steps down as Business China CEO". Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2010-11-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Ong, Justin. "Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announces Singapore's new Cabinet". CNA. Archived from the original on 2015-10-06. Retrieved 2015-10-05.
  7. ^ Singapore, CNA. "PM Lee and Singapore's new Cabinet sworn in". CNA. Archived from the original on 2015-10-05. Retrieved 2015-10-05.
  8. ^ "Cabinet changes: Josephine Teo, Desmond Lee promoted to full ministers". The Straits Times. April 27, 2017. Archived from the original on September 9, 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2020.
  9. ^ "Cabinet reshuffle: Chan Chun Sing to lead MTI; Heng Swee Keat stays at MOF, Ong Ye Kung to head MOE". CNA. Archived from the original on 2018-05-02. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  10. ^ Singapore, ST. "You don't need much space to have sex: Josephine Teo on 'no flat, no child' belief". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 2017-09-10. Retrieved 2017-09-09.
  11. ^ Singapore, CNA. "'Milk is milk, however fancy the marketing': Josephine Teo". CNA. Archived from the original on 2017-09-09. Retrieved 2017-09-09.
  12. ^ Singapore, TOC. "Josephine Teo's comment, "milk is milk, however fancy the marketing" irks parents". TOC. Archived from the original on 2017-09-09. Retrieved 2017-09-09.
  13. ^ Singapore, CNA. "'Implmenting minimum wage may lead to lower employment': Josephine Teo". Archived from the original on 2018-10-26. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  14. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-25. Retrieved 2009-03-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Chan Chun Sing
Minister in the Prime Minister's Office
2017 – 2018
Served alongside: Chan Chun Sing, Desmond Lee
Succeeded by
Ng Chee Meng
Indranee Rajah
Preceded by
Lim Swee Say
Minister for Manpower
2018 – 2021
Succeeded by
Tan See Leng
Preceded by
S. Iswaran
Minister for Communications and Information
2021 – present
Incumbent
Parliament of Singapore
Preceded by
Davinder Singh
Member of Parliament for
Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC (Toa Payoh East)

2006 – 2011
Succeeded by
Zainudin Nordin
Preceded by
Zainudin Nordin
as MP (Bishan–Toa Payoh North)
Member of Parliament for
Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC (Bishan North)

2011 – 2020
Succeeded by
Gan Siow Huang
as MP (Marymount SMC)
Preceded by
Lily Neo
Member of Parliament for
Jalan Besar GRC (Kreta Ayer - Kim Seng)

2020 – present
Incumbent