Lim Swee Say

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The Honourable
Lim Swee Say
Lim Swee Say at the PAP Community Foundation 25th Anniversary Carnival - 20110402 (cropped).jpg
Minister for Manpower
Assumed office
1 October 2015
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Preceded by Tan Chuan-Jin
Constituency East Coast GRC (Bedok) (2011)
Minister in Prime Minister's Office
In office
12 August 2004 – 2015
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Succeeded by Chan Chun Sing
Member of Parliament
for East Coast GRC(Bedok)
Assumed office
8 May 2011
Preceded by S. Jayakumar
Member of Parliament
for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC (Buona Vista)
Tanjong Pagar GRC (Buona Vista)(1996-2001)
Holland-Bukit Panjang GRC (Buona Vista) (2001-2006)
In office
2006 – 27 April 2011
Preceded by Himself (Holland-Bukit Panjang GRC-Buona Vista)
Succeeded by Chan Chun Sing (Tanjong Pagar GRC-Buona Vista)
Personal details
Born (1954-07-13) July 13, 1954 (age 62)
Political party People's Action Party (1996)
Spouse(s) Elaine Cheong Siew Boon
Alma mater Loughborough University
Stanford University

Lim Swee Say, MP (Chinese: 林瑞生; pinyin: Lín Ruì Shēng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Lîm Sūi-seⁿ, born 13 July 1954) is a Singaporean politician. A member of the governing People's Action Party (PAP), he is currently the Minister for Manpower. He previously served as the Minister for the Environment from 2001 to 2004, a Minister in the Prime Minister's Office from 2004 to 2015, and as the Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) from 2005 to 2015. He has been a Member of Parliament (MP) since 1996.


Lim served at Singapore's National Computer Board as Chief Executive from 1986 to 1991, and as Chairman from 1994 to 1998. He also served at the Economic Development Board (EDB) as Deputy Managing Director based in New York City from 1991 to 1993, and as Managing Director from 1994 to 1996.

Political career[edit]

At the 1997 general election, Lim was a PAP candidate in the Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency (Tanjong Pagar GRC), which was led by the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew (who died in 2015) and was elected in a walkover. He was on the PAP's team in Holland-Bukit Panjang GRC at the 2001 general election, and in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC at the 2006 general election, and was elected unopposed on both occasions. At the 2011 general election, Lim stood in East Coast GRC, where the PAP's team defeated the team from the opposition Workers' Party by 59,992 votes (54.8%) to 49,429 (45.2%).

Lim served as Deputy Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) from 1997 to 1999. He also served on the Committee on Singapore's Competitiveness from 1997 to 1998, and chaired its Sub-committee on Manpower Development.

In 1999, Lim was appointed a Minister of State at the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts.

Lim was made the Acting Minister for the Environment in 2000. He became a full member of the Cabinet in 2001.

In 2004, Lim was appointed a Minister in the Prime Minister's Office. He also served as the Second Minister for National Development from 2004 to 2005.

In 2005, Lim became the Deputy Secretary-General of the NTUC for the second time (while continuing to serve concurrently as a Minister without portfolio in the Prime Minister's Office). In 2007, he was made the Secretary-General of the NTUC.

In 2014, Lim appeared on Singapore's Mediacorp Channel 8 episode "Hear Me Out", to respond to the criticisms against him and clarify himself on a few topics such as his Zorro costume, "Cheaper Better Faster", "Better, Betterer, Betterest", "Deaf Frog" and why Singapore implements Progressive Wage Model instead of minimum wage.

In 2015, Lim relinquished his post of Minister in Prime Minister's Office and NTUC secretary-general (in line with the NTUC's retirement policies) and was appointed the Minister for Manpower.[1]

Lim has been a member of the PAP's Central Executive Committee since 1999, and served as the Chairman of the Young PAP (the party's youth wing) from 2000 to 2004.


Lim was educated in Catholic High School and National Junior College, before being awarded a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Scholarship in 1973 to study in the United Kingdom at Loughborough University.

In 1976, he graduated with first class honours in electronics, computer and systems engineering.

In 1991, Lim completed a master's degree in Management at Stanford University.

Personal life[edit]

Lim is married to Elaine Cheong Siew Boon. The couple has one daughter and one son.


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Teo Chee Hean
Minister for the Environment
23 Nov 2001 – 11 Aug 2004
Acting: 1 Oct 2000 – 22 Nov 2001
Succeeded by
Yaacob Ibrahim
New office Second Minister for National Development
12 Aug 2004 – 30 Sep 2005
Position abolished
Preceded by
Tan Chuan-Jin
Minister for Manpower
1 Oct 2015 – present
Party political offices
Preceded by
George Yeo
Chairman, Young PAP
2000 – 2004
Succeeded by
Vivian Balakrishnan
Other offices
Preceded by
Lim Boon Heng
Secretary-General, National Trades Union Congress
2007 – 2015
Succeeded by
Chan Chun Sing