Josephine Teo

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Josephine Teo
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
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
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)
Personal details
Born
Josephine Yong Li Min

(1968-07-08) 8 July 1968 (age 54)
Singapore
Political partyPeople's Action Party
SpouseTeo Eng Cheong
Children3
Alma materNational University of Singapore (BA, BSS)
London School of Economics (MS)

Josephine Teo Li Min (née Yong; Chinese: 杨莉明; pinyin: Yáng Lìmíng; born 1968)[1] is a Singaporean politician who has been serving as Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of the Cyber Security Agency and Smart Nation Initiative since 2021, and Second Minister for Home Affairs since 2017. A member of the governing People's Action Party (PAP), she has been the Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Kreta Ayer–Kim Seng division of Jalan Besar GRC since 2020. She has also been serving as Chairwoman of the PAP Community Foundation and a committee member of the People's Action Party since 2022.[2]

Prior to entering politics, Teo had worked at the Economic Development Board (EDB), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).

She made her political debut in the 2006 general election as part of a five-member PAP team contesting in Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC and won by an uncontested walkover.

Education[edit]

Teo attended Dunman High School and Raffles Junior College[3] before graduating from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1990 and a Bachelor of Social Sciences with honours degree in 1991.

During her studies in NUS, she was awarded several prizes, including the Rachel Meyer Book Prize, which is awarded to the best-performing female candidate in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences' final-year examinations.[4]

She subsequently went on to complete a Master of Science degree in economics at the London School of Economics in 1992 under the Economic Development BoardGlaxo Scholarship Programme.[4]

Early career[edit]

Teo worked at the Economic Development Board (EDB) from 1992 to 2002. She began her career in enterprise development before she was posted to Suzhou as part of the EDB team working on the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park, where she was responsible for marketing resources. Upon her return to Singapore, she became the EDB's Head of Human Resources.[4]

From 2002 to 2006, Teo was the Head of Human Resources at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).[4]

In November 2005, Teo also took on the role of Director of Human Resources at the Administration and Research Unit of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC). After she was elected 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 (2006–2011). At the Administration and Research Unit, she served as the Alignment Director (Youth Development) and Alignment Director (Organisation Development) (2007–11), and as the Centric Director (Staff) (2008–2011).[3] She also served as the NTUC's Assistant Secretary-General from 2007 to 2011.[5]

From 2009 to 2011, Teo also served as the Chief Executive Officer of Business China, an organisation aimed at improving cultural and economic ties between Singapore and China.[6]

Political career[edit]

Teo meeting with Mauricio Macri, then the Chief of Government of Buenos Aires, in 2012

Early political career[edit]

Teo made her political debut in the 2006 general election when she contested in Bishan–Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency (GRC) as part of a five-member People's Action Party team. The PAP team won by an uncontested walkover and Teo became a Member of Parliament representing the Toa Payoh East ward of Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC.

During her first term in Parliament, Teo served as the Chair of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education, and as a member of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Foreign Affairs.[7]

Following the 2011 general election, Teo was part of a five-member People's Action Party team for Bishan–Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency (GRC) and won about 56% against the Singapore People's Party. On 18 May 2011, Teo was appointed Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport. She was promoted to Senior Minister of State at the Ministries of Finance and Transport on 1 September 2013, and switched to representing the Bishan North ward of Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC. She relinquished her position as Senior Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance on 30 September 2015. [8][9]

Following the 2015 general election, Teo was part of a five-member People's Action Party team for Bishan–Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency (GRC) and won about 73% higher than the previous election against the Singapore People's Party.

Career promotion[edit]

On 1 May 2017, Teo was promoted to full Minister and appointed Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Manpower, and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs.[10] She also oversaw the National Population and Talent Division, a department in the Prime Minister's Office. On 11 September 2017, she relinquished her portfolio as Second Minister for Foreign Affairs and became Second Minister for Home Affairs. On 1 May 2018, Teo succeeded Lim Swee Say as Minister for Manpower, being the second female Cabinet minister to helm a ministry after Grace Fu. She also continued to hold the portfolio of Second Minister for Home Affairs.[11]

2020 - 2022[edit]

In the 2020 general election, Teo moved from the five-member PAP team contesting in Bishan–Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency to the four-member PAP team contesting in Jalan Besar Group Representation Constituency when Yaacob Ibrahim and Lily Neo stepped down from their respective wards and politics as Teo is not contesting Marymount SMC with her former ward carved in. The PAP team won against the Peoples Voice team with about 65% of the vote. Teo then became the Member of Parliament representing the Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng ward of Jalan Besar GRC.

Teo was the PAP Community Foundation executive committee for 12 years as a member and the chairwoman from 2016 to 2020 and in October 2020 she was appointed as deputy chairwoman of the PCF management council.

Following a Cabinet reshuffle in May 2021, Teo succeeded S. Iswaran as Minister for Communication and Information while continuing to serve as Second Minister for Home Affairs. In addition, she was appointed Minister-in-charge of the Cyber Security Agency and Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative. In 2021, Teo was involved in a Singtel advertisement called "Powering Up Singapore with SingTel 5G".

In June 2022, Teo was announced the new PAP Community Foundation (PCF) management council chairman, taking over from Minister of Finance Lawrence Wong, who become Deputy Prime Minister.[12]

Political positions[edit]

Family planning[edit]

In a media interview in October 2016, Teo responded to questions of whether Singaporeans were 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 U.K., in Nordic countries, man meets woman [and] they can make a baby already. They love each other."[13] Teo's words drew flak from on social media, with netizens criticising her for lacking empathy towards couples and being insensitive towards couples' practical considerations such as being able to secure a HDB flat before starting a family, as well as accusing her of promoting premarital sex in conservative Singapore.[14]

Cost of living[edit]

In May 2017, Teo commented on her Facebook page about the high cost of milk powder in Singapore, saying that "milk is milk, however fancy the marketing". She further claimed that she would buy whichever brand of milk powder approved for sale by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority that was cheapest for her own children.[15]

On 26 October 2018, during a conference held by the Institute of Policy Studies, Teo commented that implementing a 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".[16]

Personal life[edit]

Teo is married Teo Eng Cheong, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City and Investment Development Co (SSTEC) and former Chief Executive Officer of Surbana Jurong. They have two daughters and a son. [17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "PARL | MP". www.parliament.gov.sg.
  2. ^ "Josephine Teo to take over from Lawrence Wong in helming PAP Community Foundation | the Straits Times". 9 June 2022.
  3. ^ a b "AbtUs/OrgStr/Members of Parliament/CV-JosephineTeo". Archived from the original on 2009-02-10. Retrieved 2009-03-30.
  4. ^ a b c d "Channelnewsasia.com - Singapore General Election". May 27, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-05-27.
  5. ^ "Swee Say wins poll by landslide". www.asiaone.com. Archived from the original on 2017-10-30. Retrieved 2020-07-17.
  6. ^ "MP Josephine Teo steps down as Business China CEO". Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  7. ^ "People's Action Party". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Singapore, CNA. "PM Lee and Singapore's new Cabinet sworn in". CNA. Archived from the original on 2015-10-05. Retrieved 2015-10-05.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ "Josephine Teo to take over from Lawrence Wong in helming PAP Community Foundation | The Straits Times". 9 June 2022.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "What should come first, a baby or a flat?". BBC News. 13 October 2016.
  15. ^ Singapore, CNA. "'Milk is milk, however fancy the marketing': Josephine Teo". CNA. Archived from the original on 2017-09-09. Retrieved 2017-09-09.
  16. ^ Singapore, CNA. "'Implmenting minimum wage may lead to lower employment': Josephine Teo". Archived from the original on 2018-10-26. Retrieved 2018-10-26.
  17. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-25. Retrieved 2009-03-30.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Minister in the Prime Minister's Office
2017 – 2018
Served alongside: Chan Chun Sing, Desmond Lee
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister for Manpower
2018 – 2021
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister for Communications and Information
2021 – present
Incumbent
Parliament of Singapore
Preceded by Member of Parliament for
Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC (Toa Payoh East)

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

2011 – 2020
Succeeded byas MP (Marymount SMC)
Preceded by Member of Parliament for
Jalan Besar GRC (Kreta Ayer - Kim Seng)

2020 – present
Incumbent