Head of Civil Service and Permanent Secretary Appointments

18 July 2017

Peter Ong retires

         Mr Peter Ong, 56, Head of Civil Service and Permanent Secretary (Prime Minister’s Office) (Strategy), will retire from the Administrative Service on 1 September 2017 after more than 31 years of distinguished service in the public sector.

         Mr Ong served in various capacities in the Ministry of Communications and Information, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Civil Service College and Ministry of Home Affairs before his secondment to Temasek Holdings as its Executive Vice-President from 1998 to 2000.

         Mr Ong served successively as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Trade & Industry, and Ministry of Finance from 2000 to 2016. He was also the Chairman of various statutory boards, including the Defence Science & Technology Agency, Maritime & Port Authority, Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority and Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.

         In 2010, Mr Ong was appointed Head of Civil Service, Permanent Secretary (Special Duties), Prime Minister’s Office and Permanent Secretary (National Security and Intelligence Coordination) while continuing as Permanent Secretary (Finance). He relinquished his appointment as Permanent Secretary (National Security and Intelligence Coordination) in 2011. In 2016, he was appointed as Permanent Secretary (Prime Minister’s Office) (Strategy) after relinquishing his appointments as Permanent Secretary (Prime Minister’s Office)(Special Duties) and Permanent Secretary (Finance).

         Mr Ong has led with distinction in his various Permanent Secretary appointments. As Permanent Secretary (Transport), he contributed significantly to Singapore’s advancement in land, sea and air transportation. His key contributions included the opening of the North-East Line, the deregulation of the taxi industry, and various initiatives to strengthen Singapore’s aviation and maritime competitiveness. As Permanent Secretary (Trade and Industry) and Permanent Secretary (Finance), he made significant contributions to Singapore’s economic development, playing a key role in formulating policies that helped to steer the economy through some difficult years, including the global recession in 2009. As Permanent Secretary (Finance), he oversaw the successful implementation of several annual Budgets, including key measures such as the Grow & Share, Pioneer Generation Package and Medishield Life.

         Mr Ong was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2004 and the Meritorious Service Medal in 2010 for his significant contributions to the public sector.

         Thanking Mr Ong for his outstanding leadership and contributions to the Public Service, Minister in charge of the Civil Service and Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Teo Chee Hean said: “As Head of Civil Service, Peter played a key role in steering the Public Service towards a culture of innovation, and building a bold and innovative Public Service. He drove the transformation of the Public Sector to deliver citizen-centric policies and services as One Public Service, and build partnerships with the community. He guided the Public Service’s move towards digital government, leveraging technology and data to better support policy formulation and serve Singaporeans.

         "As Permanent Secretary (Prime Minister’s Office)(Strategy), Peter was instrumental in forming the PMO Strategy Group and guiding its work. Peter played a key role in identifying whole-of-government priorities and translating them into policy plans, strengthening the co-ordination and planning of agencies to address issues that cut across multiple domains, and taking the lead to seed new capabilities for the Service.

         "With his wealth of experience, I look forward to Peter continuing to contribute in different capacities.”

Leo Yip appointed Head of Civil Service

         Mr Leo Yip will be appointed Head of Civil Service and Permanent Secretary (Prime Minister’s Office)(Strategy), concurrent to his appointments as Permanent Secretary (National Security and Intelligence Coordination) and Permanent Secretary (Prime Minister’s Office) which  includes the portfolio of PMO Communications Group, on 1 September 2017. He will relinquish his appointment as Permanent Secretary (Home Affairs) on the same date.

         Mr Leo Yip, 53, held various appointments in the Singapore Police Force including Commander, Clementi Police Division, Director (Planning and Organisation) and Director (Operations). Mr Yip was appointed Principal Private Secretary to then Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew in 2000. He was appointed Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Manpower in 2002, and concurrently as Chief Executive, Singapore Workforce Development Agency in 2003. Mr Yip was appointed Permanent Secretary (Manpower) in 2005 and Chairman, Economic Development Board in 2009. He was appointed Permanent Secretary (Home Affairs) in 2014 and concurrently Permanent Secretary (Prime Minister’s Office) and Permanent Secretary (National Security and Intelligence Coordination) in 2016.

Other Permanent Secretary appointments

Other appointments that will take effect from 1 September 2017 are:

a. Mr Pang Kin Keong will relinquish his appointment as Permanent Secretary (Transport) and be appointed as Permanent Secretary (Home Affairs);

b. Mr Loh Ngai Seng will relinquish his appointment as Second Permanent Secretary (Home Affairs) and be appointed as Permanent Secretary (Transport); and

c. Mr Lai Chung Han will be appointed as Second Permanent Secretary (Home Affairs) concurrent with his appointment as Second Permanent Secretary (Education).

Background information on Mr Pang, Mr Loh and Mr Lai is below.

Mr Pang Kin Keong
         Mr Pang Kin Keong, 51, served in various portfolios in the Public Service Division and Ministry of Trade and Industry. He was the Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister and Director, Internal Security Department, Ministry of Home Affairs before his appointment as Permanent Secretary (Law) in 2010. He has been Permanent Secretary (Transport) since 2012.

Mr Loh Ngai Seng
         Mr Loh Ngai Seng, 46, has served in various capacities in the Ministries of Defence, Education and Home Affairs before his appointment as Deputy Secretary (Policy), Ministry of Education in 2008. He was appointed Director, Internal Security Department, Ministry of Home Affairs in Sep 2010 and concurrently Second Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs in Jan 2016. He relinquished his position as Director, Internal Security Department in Mar 2016.

Mr Lai Chung Han
         Mr Lai Chung Han, 44, held various command and staff appointments in the course of his military career in the SAF, including Commanding Officer of RSS Valiant, Director of Future Systems Directorate, Commanding Officer of 188 Squadron, Director (Policy) and Fleet Commander. He was appointed Deputy Secretary (Policy), MINDEF in 2012 and was the Chief of Navy from Aug 2014 to June 2017 before his appointment as Second Permanent Secretary (Education) in June 2017.