Ng Chee Meng

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Ng Chee Meng

Maj. Gen. Ng Chee Meng, Chief of Defence Force, Singapore Armed Forces.jpg
Ng in 2013 as Chief of Defence Force
Minister in the Prime Minister's Office
In office
1 May 2018 – 26 July 2020
Serving with Indranee Rajah
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
Preceded byChan Chun Sing
Josephine Teo
Succeeded byMaliki Osman
Tan See Leng
ConstituencyPasir Ris–Punggol GRC
Secretary-General of the
National Trades Union Congress
Assumed office
22 May 2018
DeputyKoh Poh Koon
Chee Hong Tat
(since 2021)
Preceded byChan Chun Sing
Member of the Singapore Parliament
for Pasir Ris–Punggol GRC
(Punggol North)
In office
11 September 2015 – 23 June 2020
Preceded byPenny Low
Succeeded byYeo Wan Ling
(Punggol Shore)
Minister for Education
In office
1 November 2016 – 30 April 2018
Acting: 1 October 2015 – 31 October 2016
Serving with Ong Ye Kung (2015 - 2018)
(Higher Education and Skills)
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
Preceded byHeng Swee Keat
Succeeded byOng Ye Kung
ConstituencyPasir Ris–Punggol GRC
Second Minister for Transport
In office
1 November 2016 – 30 April 2018
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
MinisterKhaw Boon Wan
ConstituencyPasir Ris–Punggol GRC
Chief of Defence Force
In office
27 March 2013 – 18 August 2015
Preceded byNeo Kian Hong
Succeeded byPerry Lim
Personal details
Born (1968-08-08) 8 August 1968 (age 53)
Political partyPeople's Action Party
Spouse(s)Michelle Lim Bee Leng
Children2 daughters
Alma materUnited States Air Force Academy
Tufts University
Military service
Allegiance Singapore
Branch/service Republic of Singapore Air Force
Years of service1986–2015
Rank10-RSAF-OF08.svg Lieutenant-General

Ng Chee Meng PPA(E) (Chinese: 黄志明; pinyin: Huáng Zhìmíng; born 8 August 1968) is a Singaporean politician and former chief of defence force of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). A member of the governing People's Action Party (PAP), he was appointed as the secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) on 1 May 2018 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and was subsequently co-opted into the party's central executive committee on 19 November 2020.

During his career in the armed forces, Ng was Chief of Air Force from 10 December 2009 to 25 March 2013 and Chief of Defence Force from 27 March 2013 to 18 August 2015. He last held the rank of lieutenant-general.

Ng subsequently retired from the military and joined the ruling People's Action Party. He ran for Member of Parliament in the 2015 general election in Pasir Ris–Punggol GRC and won the election, becoming the MP for the Punggol North division from 11 September 2015 to 23 June 2020. He served in the ministerial portfolios for education, transport and minister in the Prime Minister's Office.

During the 2020 general election, Ng was fielded in the newly-created Sengkang GRC where he led a PAP team against the Workers’ Party team led by He Ting Ru. He subsequently lost reelection and was voted out of office.[1][2]


Ng was educated at The Chinese High School and Hwa Chong Junior College, and was awarded the Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Training Award (Graduating) in 1987.[3] He completed a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering at the United States Air Force Academy in 1991, and graduated from the Singapore Command and Staff College in 1999. In 2002, he obtained a Master of Arts in international relations from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.[4]

Military career[edit]

Ng joined the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in December 1986 and was a fighter pilot in the Republic of Singapore Air Force. During his military career, among the appointments he held were the following: Commanding Officer, 144 Squadron; Commander, Changi Air Base; Deputy Head, Joint Communications and Information Systems Department; Head, Air Plans; Director, Joint Operations; Deputy Chief of Air Force. He was also the Military Private Secretary to the Minister of Defence from December 1995 to July 1996.[4]

Ng succeeded his elder brother, Ng Chee Khern, as the Chief of Air Force on 10 December 2009.[5] He relinquished this position to Hoo Cher Mou on 25 March 2013,[6] and succeeded Neo Kian Hong as the Chief of Defence Force (CDF) on 27 March.[7] He was promoted from the rank of Major-General to Lieutenant-General on 27 June 2013.[8] Ng was the second air force general in Singapore's military history to be appointed as the CDF, after Bey Soo Khiang in 1995.

Ng chaired the organising committee for the state funeral of Singapore's first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, from 23 to 29 March 2015. He also led the first round of the vigil guard who stood guard during Lee's lying in state in Parliament House from 25 to 28 March.[9][10]

Ng retired from the SAF on 18 August 2015 and was replaced by Perry Lim as the CDF.[9][10]

Political career[edit]

Ng confirmed on 18 August 2015 after retiring from the SAF that he would enter politics.[11] On 22 August, the PAP announced that Ng would be part of a six-member PAP team that would be contesting in Pasir Ris–Punggol Group Representation Constituency in the 2015 general election.[12] The PAP team won, clinching 72.89% of the electorate's valid votes in the constituency.[13] Ng was appointed Acting Minister of Education (Schools). Subsequently, Ng was the Second Minister for Transport and Minister of Education (Schools) from 1 November 2016 - 30 April 2018.

On 23 April 2018, Ng joined the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) and was appointed as its Deputy Secretary-General.[14][15][16] On 22 May 2018, Ng was elected by the NTUC Central Committee members to become Secretary-General of the NTUC.[17][18]

On 29 June 2020, the media announced that Ng will lead the PAP contesting in the new Sengkang Group Representation Constituency in the 2020 Singaporean general election. On 30 June 2020 (Nomination Day), it was confirmed that Ng's PAP team will contest for Sengkang GRC against the Workers' Party team led by He Ting Ru. The newly created GRC has more than 120,000 eligible voters in GE2020.

On 10 July 2020, Ng's PAP team lost to the WP team by a margin of 4.26% and he lost his parliamentary seat. He retains his title as labour chief and secretary general of the NTUC.[19][20]

On 19 November, he was co-opted into the central executive committee (CEC) of the PAP. His appointment into the CEC came as a surprise to local political observers as he had lost reelection. The party justified it on the grounds that his predecessors had been part of the committee and that omitting Ng would have been a "massive departure".[21]

Personal life[edit]

Ng has two notable brothers. The elder, Ng Chee Khern, was the Chief of Air Force from 2006 to 2009 and is currently the Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office. The younger, Ng Chee Peng, was the Chief of Navy from 2011 to 2014,[5] and was the Chief Executive Officer of the Central Provident Fund Board from 2015 to 2019.



  1. ^ "Singapore GE2020: PAP team led by Ng Chee Meng to face off against WP in new Sengkang GRC". The Straits Times. 28 June 2020.
  2. ^ "Singapore GE2020: PAP's Ng Chee Meng congratulates WP's Sengkang team on election win". Channel News Asia. 11 July 2020.
  3. ^ "NG CHEE MENG 黄志明" (PDF). 23 July 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "SAF Leadership". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  5. ^ a b Jermyn Chow (17 October 2009). "Brother succeeds RSAF chief". AsiaOne. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  6. ^ "New Chief of Air Force takes command". AsiaOne. 25 March 2013. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  7. ^ "New Chief of Defence Force for the SAF". Ministry of Defence. 27 March 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  8. ^ Ong Hong Tat (27 June 2013). "Greater responsibility & recognition: SAF promotes over 500 personnel". Cyber Pioneer. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Change in Chief of Defence Force and Chief of Army". MINDEF Official Releases. Ministry of Defence. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Chief of Defence Force Ng Chee Meng will retire after 29 years in SAF". Channel NewsAsia. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  11. ^ Jermyn Chow (18 August 2015). "Outgoing Chief of Defence Force Ng Chee Meng to enter politics". The Straits Times. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Former defence chief Ng Chee Meng joins PAP's Pasir Ris–Punggol team". AsiaOne. 22 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  13. ^ "Results". Channel NewsAsia. Archived from the original on 11 January 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  14. ^ Kwang, Kevin (23 April 2018). "Education Minister Ng Chee Meng, Koh Poh Koon join NTUC as deputy sec-gens". Channel NewsAsia (in Korean).
  15. ^ "Ng Chee Meng is new NTUC Deputy Sec-Gen, expected to take over as new labour chief". The Straits Times. 23 April 2018.
  16. ^ "Outgoing labour chief Chan Chun Sing lays out NTUC's focus going forward". Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  17. ^ "Ng Chee Meng steps up as labour chief, taking over from Chan Chun Sing". The Straits Times. 22 May 2018.
  18. ^ "Ng Chee Meng elected NTUC secretary-general". CNA.
  19. ^ "GE2020: Sengkang GRC a 'major loss' to 4G team, says PM Lee". TodayOnline. 11 July 2020. Retrieved 12 July 2020.
  20. ^ "Without a parliamentary seat, Ng Chee Meng can 'still be an effective labour chief but may not wield same influence'". TODAYonline.
  21. ^ Ong, Justin (20 November 2020). "PAP co-opts four new members into its top decision-making body, including Ng Chee Meng". The Straits Times. Retrieved 26 February 2021.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Heng Swee Keat
as Minister for Education
Minister for Education (Schools)
2016 – 2018
Acting: 2015 – 2016
Served alongside: Ong Ye Kung (Higher Education and Skills)
Succeeded by
Ong Ye Kung
as Minister for Education
Preceded by
Chan Chun Sing
Josephine Teo
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office
2018 – 2020
Served alongside: Indranee Rajah
Succeeded by
Maliki Osman
Tan See Leng
Parliament of Singapore
Preceded by
Penny Low
Member of Parliament for
Pasir Ris–Punggol GRC (Punggol North)

2015 – 2020
Succeeded by
Yeo Wan Ling
Trade union offices
Preceded by
Chan Chun Sing
of the National Trades Union Congress

2018 – present
Military offices
Preceded by
Major-General Ng Chee Khern
Chief of the Republic of Singapore Air Force
10 December 2009 – 25 March 2013
Succeeded by
Brigadier-General Hoo Cher Mou
Preceded by
Lieutenant-General Neo Kian Hong
8th Chief of Defence Force
27 March 2013 – 18 August 2015
Succeeded by
Major-General Perry Lim