Permanent Secretary Retirements and Appointments – 4 September 2023
Three senior Public Service leaders will be retiring after many decades of distinguished service in the public sector:
a. Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), will be retiring on 1 January 2024 after serving 36 years in the Public Service.
b. Ms Chan Lai Fung (陈丽芬), Permanent Secretary of National Research and Development (NRD) and Public Sector Science and Technology Policy and Plans Office (S&TPPO), Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Chairman of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), will retire on 1 October 2023 after serving 36 years in the Public Service.
c. Mr Loh Khum Yean (罗锦贤), Permanent Secretary of the Public Service Division (PSD), PMO, will retire on 1 October 2023 after serving 33 years in the Public Service.
2 Thanking the retiring senior leaders, Minister-in-charge of the Public Service, Mr Chan Chun Sing, said, “I would like to express my gratitude to Ravi, Lai Fung and Khum Yean for their excellent leadership and many significant contributions to the Public Service and to Singapore. They have served with excellence in a wide range of sectors over many decades of dedicated service.”
New Permanent Secretary Appointment
3 Professor Tan Chorh Chuan (陈祝全), Chief Health Scientist, Ministry of Health (MOH) and Executive Director of the MOH Office for Healthcare Transformation (MOHT), will be appointed as Permanent Secretary of NRD and S&TPPO, PMO and Chairman of A*STAR with effect from 1 October 2023.
Changes in Permanent Secretary Appointments
4 Ms Tan Gee Keow (陈义娇), Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), will be concurrently appointed Permanent Secretary of PSD, PMO with effect from 1 October 2023.
5 Mr Chia Der Jiun (谢啇真) will be appointed as Managing Director (designate) of MAS on 1 November 2023, and as Managing Director of MAS with effect from 1 January 2024. He will relinquish his appointment as Permanent Secretary (Development) of the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) from 1 January 2024.
Mr Ravi Menon
6 Mr Ravi Menon, 59, started his career at MAS in 1987. During the first 16 years in MAS, he was involved in monetary policy; econometric forecasting; organisational development; banking regulation and liberalisation; and integrated supervision of complex financial institutions. In 2003, Mr Menon was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Finance (MOF) where he played a key role in the development of Budget policies and framework for whole-of-Government asset liability management.
7 Appointed as Second Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) in 2007 and then Permanent Secretary in 2009, Mr Menon was instrumental in supporting our economy to see through the 2008/2009 global financial crisis. He worked closely with relevant agencies to develop and implement measures to minimise retrenchments and strengthen industry capabilities. He enhanced Singapore’s access to external markets through the development of a forward-looking architecture for the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and in progressing the EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
8 In 2011, Mr Menon returned to MAS as Managing Director. As MAS’ longest serving Managing Director, he reformed Singapore’s financial regulatory framework and strengthened the enforcement regime against money laundering and market misconduct. He initiated strategies to strengthen skills training and harness technology in the financial sector and positioned Singapore as a leading FinTech hub. He also oversaw the introduction of digital banking in Singapore, with MAS issuing its first four digital banking licenses in 2020. Mr Menon has also been instrumental to COVID-19 response measures, including low-cost funding for banks to extend to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), credit and insurance relief for individuals and SMEs, regulatory relief for Financial Institutions (FIs), as well as supporting digitalisation and workforce training for FIs and Financial Technology firms.
9 Mr Menon has also been actively involved in shaping the international financial regulatory agenda. He is the Chairman of the Network for Greening the Financial System and a member of the G20’s Financial Stability Board (FSB) Steering Committee. He had chaired the FSB Standing Committee on Standards Implementation from 2013 to 2017 and the International Monetary and Financial Committee Deputies Meetings from 2011 to 2015.
10 In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the Public Service, Mr Menon was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2007 and the Meritorious Service Medal in 2017.
Ms Chan Lai Fung
11 Ms Chan Lai Fung, 59, started her public service career in 1987 and served in various appointments across several ministries and agencies. In 2002, Ms Chan was appointed Deputy Secretary of the then-Ministry of Environment and subsequently Deputy Secretary of MTI in 2004.
12 In 2005, Ms Chan assumed her first Permanent Secretary appointment in the Ministry of Law (MinLaw). She spearheaded the implementation of the Qualifying Foreign Law Practice Scheme, new admission rules to the Singapore Bar, as well as the setting up of Singapore’s second law school and our first dedicated international arbitration centre. As Permanent Secretary (Finance)(Performance) of MOF from 2009 to 2012, Ms Chan oversaw the review of Government procurement policies and the refresh of GeBiz to enhance user experience.
13 In 2012, Ms Chan was appointed Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education (MOE). She led the MOE team to make fundamental changes to our education policies, including the replacement of the Primary School Leaving Education (PSLE) T-score system, the introduction of Subject-Based Banding for lower secondary students, and the review of the Primary One Admission Framework. She also strengthened preschool education, through efforts including the establishment of MOE Kindergartens and the National Institute of Early Childhood Development. She also oversaw the establishment of the Singapore University of Social Sciences as an Autonomous University.
14 Since 2019, Ms Chan has held concurrent roles as Permanent Secretary of NRD and S&TPPO, PMO and Chairman, A*STAR. She guided the development of the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 Plan, developed new governance frameworks, synergised the efforts of NRF and A*STAR, and led cross-agency efforts to strengthen the public sector’s science and technology capabilities. Ms Chan also strengthened NRF’s international engagements, including through leveraging the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise to foster international collaborations.
15 In recognition of her outstanding contributions to the Public Service, Ms Chan was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2009 and the Meritorious Service Medal in 2020.
Mr Loh Khum Yean
16 Mr Loh Khum Yean, 58, joined the Public Service in 1991 and has held key appointments in various ministries and agencies. From 2003 to 2008, Mr Loh was appointed Chief Executive of the then-SPRING Singapore. In 2008, Mr Loh was appointed Deputy Secretary of MTI, where he played a key role in efforts to help the Singapore economy weather the 2008/2009 global financial crisis.
17 Appointed Permanent Secretary of MOM in 2009, Mr Loh spearheaded enhancements to the Continuing Education and Training infrastructure and introduction of the Workfare Training Scheme to build up a competitive and productive workforce. During his tenure, MOM also established the Fair Consideration Framework, enhanced the Employment Act to address changing workforce needs and expanded the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices.
18 In 2016, Mr Loh was appointed Permanent Secretary of MTI. He led the implementation of the Industry Transformation Maps to strengthen the growth and competitiveness of our economy. He also oversaw efforts to augment Singapore’s international trade links, including the completion of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, EU-Singapore FTA and Sri Lanka-Singapore FTA.
19 In 2019, Mr Loh was appointed as Permanent Secretary of PSD and Chairman of the Civil Service College. During Singapore’s battle with COVID-19, Mr Loh helmed efforts to redeploy public officers to support COVID-19 operations, and in providing public sector employment and traineeship opportunities. He led the refresh of the Civil Service’s core competency frameworks, and the development of new growth and development initiatives for public officers. He guided the transformation of leadership development approaches in the Public Service and strengthened efforts to diversify public service leadership pipelines. From 2019 to 2020, and 2022 to 2023, he held the concurrent appointment of Permanent Secretary of MinLaw. In this appointment, Mr Loh strengthened the legal system and access to justice, through enhancements to the Family Justice system, the operationalisation of the Protection from Harassment Court and the launch of the Public Defender’s Office. Mr Loh also helped to establish key enabling legal frameworks to alleviate the economic impact of COVID-19, including supporting affected businesses with shared rental relief.
20 In recognition of his contributions to the Public Service, Mr Loh was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2011.
Professor Tan Chorh Chuan
21 Professor Tan, 64, held various key appointments in the medical and academic fields as well as in the public sector. He has served as the Executive Director of MOHT and Chief Health Scientist of MOH since 2018. He is also Chairman of the Healthier SG Implementation Office, Chair of the RIE Human Health and Potential Domain Executive Committee, and Advisor to the National University of Singapore (NUS) President. As Director of Medical Services from 2000 to 2004, he played an instrumental role in leading the public health response to the 2003 SARS epidemic. He had also served as President of NUS from 2008 to 2017, and Deputy Chairman of A*STAR from 2004 to 2017.
Ms Tan Gee Keow
22 Ms Tan, 48, held various appointments in MOF, Public Service Commission Secretariat, People’s Association, Ministry of Defence and MOE before her appointment as Deputy Secretary (Policy) at the then-Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) in 2012. In July 2015, she was appointed as Deputy Secretary (Strategy Group) of PMO, before serving as Permanent Secretary of MCCY since July 2018.
Mr Chia Der Jiun
23 Mr Chia, 52, joined MAS in 2004 and held various management appointments in MAS before being appointed Deputy Managing Director (Corporate Development) of MAS in May 2019. He was also seconded to the International Monetary Fund in 2011 for two years as Executive Director for Southeast Asia. Prior to MAS, Mr Chia served in MTI, PSD and then-MEWR. Mr Chia was appointed as Second Permanent Secretary of MOM in October 2020 and redesignated as Permanent Secretary (Development) of MOM in April 2022.