Yam Ah Mee

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Yam Ah Mee
Born 2 July 1957
Allegiance Singapore
Service/branch Singapore Armed Forces
Rank Brigadier-General
Commands held

Yam Ah Mee (simplified Chinese: 杨雅镁; traditional Chinese: 楊雅鎂; pinyin: Yáng Yǎměi,[1][2] born 2 July 1957) is a former Singaporean civil servant and Chief Executive Director of the People's Association. He shot to fame after Singaporeans took to his monotone voice and expressionless demeanour as the Returning Officer for the General Elections in 2011.[3]


Yam studied at Hwa Chong Junior College[4] and graduated from the University of New South Wales with a First Class Honours in Engineering and the Royal Military College, Duntroon in Australia, with The Queens Medal in 1980,[5] on a Singapore Armed Forces scholarship. He also has a Masters in Business Administration degree from the National University of Singapore and a Masters in Public Administration degree from Harvard University.[6]

Yam served in the Republic of Singapore Air Force, writing an article in the Military Journal POINTER,[7] rising to be the chief of staff of the air staff [8] and commanding the ground based air-defence systems, including the new Igla short range surface to air missiles,[9][10] before retiring as a Brigadier-General and entering the Civil Service.

He joined the Public Service Division in August 1998 and was appointed the Deputy Secretary (Development) and the CEO & Dean of the Civil Service College. He was then posted to the Ministry of Transport as Deputy Secretary (Sea & Air) on 1 June 2004 and was appointed chief executive of Land Transport Authority on 11 May 2005. He was also President of the Singapore Youth Flying Club for 8 years from 1998 to 2006.[11] Yam was honoured in 2008 with the Public Administration (Gold) Medal, a top National Day Award.[12]

On 1 May 2010, Yam was appointed CED-designate of the People's Association and on 1 June 2010 fully assumed the Chief Executive Director (CED) mantle, taking over from the retiring Tan Boon Huat.[13][14][15] His appointment as Returning Officer also took effect on 1 June 2010.[16]


Singaporean general election, 2011[edit]

Yam shot to fame during the election results release night/morning, as the Returning Officer (having replaced Tan Boon Huat, who retired). He was noted for his monotoned "nasal" voice and expressionless demeanour while reading out the 26 batches of results. Fan pages were soon created on Facebook while the results release was still ongoing. Netizens have also released music videos with clips and remixes of his voice on YouTube.[17] A video of Yam doing the chicken dance with youths from Geylang Serai Community Club also went viral, before it was quickly taken down.[18]

Yam has since explained that his "robotic" and "nasal" voice is due to an operation he had to remove a fishbone in his larynx,[19] although he has also said, explaining his impassive delivery to The Straits Times, that he "felt it was important to announce (the election results) clearly, concisely and impartially."[20]

Singaporean presidential election, 2011[edit]

Yam was appointed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as Returning Officer for the Singapore Presidential Election.[21] Yam announced the results of the 4 nominated candidates for the Presidential Election on 4:24am (GMT +8).

Hougang SMC by-election, 2012[edit]

Yam was named as the Returning Officer for the 2012 Hougang by-election. He delivered the nomination announcement at 12.35 pm on 16 May 2012.

Punggol SMC by-election, 2013[edit]

This was Yam's last appearance as the Returning Officer.[22]


After GE 2011[edit]

Yam's robotic voice announcing the results for Aljunied GRC had turned into a mix just within a few hours ensuing the elections. Many have taken clips of his voice and mixed it with various styles of music, from electro to dance, on popular video-sharing website YouTube.

Within two days, Yam's Facebook account had reached the 5000 friends limit. Yam thus created an official page for himself ; although non-official pages had already appeared by then.

After a week, he did a "spoof" video of himself, in which he announced PAssion Movie Night, held to celebrate a million PAssion Card memberships, in his trademark manner.

Mr. Yam filmed a video in late May, to promote a K-pop dance event on 29 May 2011, to be held at Ngee Ann City.[23]

In less than 24 hours after the release of the presidential election results, a club mix of Yam announcing the results was released on YouTube,[24] by the same user responsible for the earlier club mix of Yam's general elections "performance".

Yam starred in a musical held to celebrate the opening of the first 12 stations of the Circle Line, on 2 October.[25]

People's Association[edit]

As part of an effort to promote the PA and social cohesion, Yam made appearances at many youth and sporting events, particularly after his rise to fame in the elections.

In January 2013, reports emerged that Yam had resigned from the PA and would leave the organisation by March, to be replaced by Health Promotion Board chief executive Ang Hak Seng.[26][27] In an interview with RazorTV, he announced plans to pursue a career in the private sector after 36 years in the civil service.[28] He held a farewell party on 28 March 2013 and ended his tenure at the PA on 31 March 2013.[29]


Yam joined Sembcorp Design and Construction as its managing director on 16 April 2013..[30]


  1. ^ "选举官杨雅镁网上爆红". Zaobao.com. Retrieved 11 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "People's Association Organisation Chart". Retrieved 11 May 2011. 
  3. ^ http://www.elections.gov.sg/gazette/G_ParE2010/Appointment%20of%20Returning%20Officer%20(PEA).pdf
  4. ^ http://theurbanwire.com/2011/05/10/yammering-online-for-yam-ah-mee/
  5. ^ Hedges 2012, p. 152.
  6. ^ http://app.lta.gov.sg/corp_new_content.asp?start=76
  7. ^ http://www.mindef.gov.sg/safti/pointer/back/journals/archives/v13no2.html
  8. ^ http://www.mindef.gov.sg/content/imindef/news_and_events/nr/1996/sep/03sep96_nr2.print.html?Status=1
  9. ^ http://www.mindef.gov.sg/content/imindef/news_and_events/nr/1997/oct/15oct97_nr.html
  10. ^ http://www.mindef.gov.sg/content/imindef/news_and_events/nr/1998/mar/24mar98_nr.html
  11. ^ http://www.mindef.gov.sg/content/imindef/publications/cyberpioneer/news/2006/June/26jun06_news2.html
  12. ^ http://www.lta.gov.sg/corp_info/doc/LTA%20Connect%20JulAug08.pdf
  13. ^ http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1045161/1/.html
  14. ^ http://www.straitstimes.com/print/BreakingNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_534583.html
  15. ^ http://app1.mcys.gov.sg/PressRoom/SeniorAppointmentChanges.aspx
  16. ^ http://www.elections.gov.sg/gazette/G_ParE2010/Appointment%20of%20Returning%20Officer%20(PEA).pdf
  17. ^ [1]
  18. ^ [2]
  19. ^ [3]
  20. ^ http://tnp.sg/content/yam-ah-mee-internet-sensation
  21. ^ Singapore Presidential election 29112.html
  22. ^ Yam Ah Mee gives thanks on last day as Returning Officer
  23. ^ [4]
  24. ^ [5]
  25. ^ [6]
  26. ^ Yam Ah Mee to resign in March
  27. ^ Yam Ah Mee gives thanks on last day as Returning Officer
  28. ^ Yam Ah Mee gives thanks on last day as Returning Officer
  29. ^ Facebook – YAM AH MEE'S FAREWELL PARTY
  30. ^ Yam Ah Mee joining Sembcorp


  • Hedges, Jason (2012). Royal Military College of Australia 1911–2011: Celebrating 100 Years at Duntroon. Newport: Big Sky Publishing. ISBN 978-1-921941-47-4. 

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