Lui Tuck Yew

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Lui Tuck Yew
Lui Tuck Yew giving the Partner of the Year award to Paul Daff of Jetstar Asia at the Changi Airline Awards, Singapore - 20120510 (version 2).jpg
Lui Tuck Yew at the Changi Airlines Awards ceremony in Singapore on 10 May 2012
Minister for Transport
In office
21 May 2011 – 30 September 2015
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Preceded by Raymond Lim
Succeeded by Khaw Boon Wan
Constituency Moulmein-Kallang GRC (Moulmein) (2011-2015)
Tanjong Pagar GRC (Moulmein) (2006-2011)
Second Minister for Defence
In office
8 April 2015 – 11 August 2015
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Preceded by Chan Chun Sing
Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts
In office
1 April 2009 – 20 May 2011
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Preceded by Lee Boon Yang
Succeeded by Yaacob Ibrahim
Personal details
Born (1961-08-16) 16 August 1961 (age 56)
Political party People's Action Party
Spouse(s) Soo Fen
Alma mater University of Cambridge,
Tufts University,
Anglo-Chinese School
Military service
Allegiance  Singapore
Service/branch  Republic of Singapore Navy
Rank Rear-Admiral
Commands Chief of Navy (1999–2003)

Lui Tuck Yew (simplified Chinese: 吕德耀; traditional Chinese: 呂德耀; pinyin: Lǚ Dé Yào; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Lū Tek-iāu) (born 16 August 1961) is a former Singaporean politician. Prior to his retirement from politics on 11 August 2015,[1] he was the country's Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Defence. He previously served as the Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts from 2010 to 2011. Lui was formerly an officer in the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), where he rose to the rank of Rear-Admiral (RADM). He took over from RADM Richard Lim Cherng Yih and served as Singapore's Chief of Navy from 1999 to 2003.[2]


Lui was educated at Anglo-Chinese Primary School (Canning Rise)(1968-1973), Anglo-Chinese Secondary School (Barker Road) (1973-1977) and Anglo-Chinese Junior College (Rochester Park) (1978-1979), before receiving a Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge, where he read Natural Sciences Tripos (Chemistry) in Trinity College and graduated in 1983. In 1994, he completed a Master of Arts in international relations at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.[3]


Lui began his career in the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). He became the Chief of Navy in 1999. He left the RSN in 2003 to join the Administrative Service, and was appointed the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA). In 2004, he became the Deputy Secretary (Land) at the Ministry of Transport, while continuing to serve concurrently as CEO of the MPA. In 2005, Lui was appointed the CEO of the Housing and Development Board.

Political career[edit]

At the 2006 general election, Lui was elected to Parliament as a member of the People's Action Party (PAP) team in the Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency (GRC). He was re-elected to Parliament at the 2011 general election, this time in Moulmein-Kallang GRC.

Lui was appointed a Minister of State at the Ministry of Education on 30 May 2006. On 1 April 2008, he became the Senior Minister of State at the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. He was made the Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts on 1 April 2009, and became a full member of the Cabinet in 2010.

Lui (left), in his capacity as Minister for Transport, presenting the "Partner of the Year" award to Paul Daff, Acting CEO of Jetstar Asia Airways, at the Changi Airlines Awards ceremony in Singapore on 10 May 2012

After the 2011 general election, Lui was appointed the Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs.[4] He relinquished his portfolio in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 1 August 2012, and remains the Minister for Transport.

During his tenure as Minister for Transport, Lui defended the privatization of the public transport system,[5] explaining that if public transport were to be nationalised, operators would be dependent on government funding as well as operate on a cost recovery basis.[6] This he added, would not spur them to lower transport costs. Lui is adamant that the companies remain financially viable[7] by approving yearly fare hikes.

2011 general election[edit]

In the 2011 general election, Lui was a PAP candidate in the newly created Moulmein-Kallang GRC, which included his Moulmein ward (which had previously been part of Tanjong Pagar GRC). The PAP team defeated the team from the Workers' Party by 44,828 votes (58.56%) to 31,721 (41.44%).[8]

Departure from politics[edit]

On 11 August 2015, Lui announced his departure from politics after serving for nine years.[1]. Together with former cabinet ministers Wong Kan Seng, Mah Bow Tan and Raymond Lim, they stepped down from politics after the 2015 General Elections. Yew acknowledged the criticisms against him as a result of handling the Transportation portfolio, and said, "In politics, you need a tender heart and a thick skin, not a hard heart and thin skin. I think my heart, my skin, like all my body parts, are fine."[9]

Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Japan[edit]

On 1 June 2017, Lui was officially appointed as Singaporean Ambassador to Japan.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Lui is married to Soo Fen. They have two children.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew will not contest coming General Election". Channel News Asia. Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Chan Kairen (27 March 2003). "Change of command parades for Army, Navy chiefs". Cyberpioneer. Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Singapore" (PDF). Singapore Embassy Publication. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 8 April 2006. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "PM Lee announces sweeping changes to Cabinet". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "Nationalised transport system has its downsides: Minister Lui". 
  6. ^ "Public Transport Fares". 
  7. ^ "Oral Reply by Minister for Transport Lui Tuck Yew to Parliamentary Question on Fare Increments". Archived from the original on 9 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "PAP wins Moulmein-Kallang GRC". AsiaOne. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  9. ^ Almenoar, Maria. "Lui Tuck Yew on comments in support of him: 'Like obituaries, eulogies without the flowers'" (2015-08-13). The Straits Times. Retrieved 15 August 2017. 
  10. ^ Lui Tuck Yew appointed Singapore's ambassador to Japan, Singapore News & Top Stories - The Straits Times - 2 June 2017
  11. ^ "MR Liu Tuck Yew". prime Minister's Office. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Lee Boon Yang
Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts
Succeeded by
Yaacob Ibrahim
Preceded by
Raymond Lim
Minister for Transport
Succeeded by
Khaw Boon Wan
Military offices
Preceded by
Rear-Admiral Richard Lim Cherng Yih
Chief of the Republic of Singapore Navy
1999 – 1 April 2003
Succeeded by
Rear-Admiral Ronnie Tay
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Chin Siat Yoon
Singaporean Ambassador to Japan
Succeeded by