Lim Chuan Poh

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Lim Chuan Poh
Born Singapore
Allegiance  Singapore
Service/branch Singapore Armed Forces
Years of service 1979–2003
Rank Lieutenant-General
Commands held
  • Commanding Officer, 3rd Singapore Infantry Regiment
  • Commander, 10th Singapore Infantry Brigade
  • Head, Joint Plans Department
  • Commander, 9th Division (?–1998)
  • Chief of Staff (General Staff) (?–1998)
  • Chief of Army (1998–2000)
  • Chief of Defence Force (2000–2003)
Awards see #Awards
Other work see #Civil career
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Lim.
Lim Chuan Poh
Traditional Chinese 林泉寶
Simplified Chinese 林泉宝

Lim Chuan Poh is a Singaporean civil servant and former army general. He was the fourth Chief of Defence Force of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) from 2000–2003 and held the rank of Lieutenant-General. After retiring from active military service in 2003, Lim served in the Ministry of Education as a Permanent Secretary until 2007 before assuming the position of Chairman of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), a statutory board under the Ministry of Trade and Industry.


Lim was awarded the Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Scholarship in 1980. He holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in mathematics from the University of Cambridge. He attended Camberley Staff College in 1988 and graduated with the Best Overseas Student Award. He also received a Master of Business Administration from Cornell University in 1993. He attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2003.[1][2]

Military career[edit]

Lim enlisted in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in December 1979. Throughout his military career, he held various appointments, including: Commanding Officer, 3rd Singapore Infantry Regiment; Commander, 10th Singapore Infantry Brigade; Head, Joint Plans Department; Commander, 9th Division; Chief of Staff (General Staff); Chief of Army. On 1 April 2000, Lim succeeded Bey Soo Khiang as the Chief of Defence Force (CDF) of the SAF. He was promoted from Major-General to Lieutenant-General in June 2001.[1][2]

Lim retired from the SAF on 1 April 2003 and was succeeded by Ng Yat Chung as the CDF.[3]

Civil career[edit]

After leaving the military, Lim served as a Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education (MOE) from July 2003 to March 2007. During his time in the MOE, Lim oversaw the transformation of the publicly funded universities into autonomous universities and reviewed the university research framework to help those universities develop into research-intensive ones. He also guided the establishment of the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School.[2]

Lim was appointed as the Chairman of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), a statutory board under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, on 1 April 2007.[2] He is also the Chairman of the National Infocomm Security Committee and the Governing Board of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine of Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Besides, he is a member of various other organisations, including: NTU, A*STAR's Biomedical Research Council, National Research Foundation, Science and Technology in Society (STS) (ja), and Japan’s World Premier International Initiative Programme Assessment and Review Committee.[2]




  1. ^ a b "Changes of Chief of Army and Chief of Air Force". MINDEF. 3 April 1998. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Mr Lim Chuan Poh biography". A* Agency for Science, Technology and Research. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "Change of Chief of Defence Force and Service Chiefs". MINDEF. 6 February 2003. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Lieutenant-General Bey Soo Khiang
4th Chief of Defence Force
1 April 2000 - 1 April 2003
Succeeded by
Major-General Ng Yat Chung
Preceded by
Major-General Han Eng Juan
Chief of the Singapore Army
1 July 1998 – 1 April 2000
Succeeded by
Brigadier-General Ng Yat Chung