Lim Chuan Poh Retires from Administrative Service

18 January 2019

Mr Lim Chuan Poh, 57, Chairman, A*STAR, will retire on 1 April 2019, after 38 years of distinguished service in the Singapore Public Service.

Thanking Mr Lim, Minister-in-charge of the Public Service, Mr Chan Chun Sing said, “Chuan Poh has served with distinction, and made impactful contributions in the military and our science and technology ecosystem. He helped to evolve the SAF to the integrated armed forces we have today, and built up A*STAR’s capability as a leading research organisation. I would like to express our appreciation to Chuan Poh for his leadership and outstanding contributions to the Public Service.”


Mr Lim Chuan Poh

Mr Lim Chuan Poh joined the Singapore Armed Forces in 1980 on being awarded an SAF Overseas Scholarship. He held various appointments in the course of his military career, including Head, Joint Plans Department, Commander of the 10th Singapore Infantry Brigade and Commander 9th Division, before he was appointed Chief of Army from 1998 to 2000. He was Chief of Defence Force from 2000 to 2003.

During his terms as the Chief of Army and then as Chief of Defence Force, he oversaw the operational deployment of SAF Peacekeeping Troops to Timor Leste. In response to the changed global security environment following the attacks of September 11 and working closely with the Home Front agencies, he led the SAF efforts to put in place plans and measures to counter the threats of catastrophic terrorism. In recognition of his significant contributions to the SAF, Mr Lim was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) (Military) in 1999 and the Meritorious Service Medal (Military) in 2003.

Mr Lim was appointed Second Permanent Secretary (Education) in 2003 and subsequently Permanent Secretary (Education) in 2004. During his appointment, he oversaw the transformation of the publicly funded universities into Autonomous Universities (AUs) to enable them to reach new peaks of excellence. He also reviewed the university research framework that led to the creation of the Academic Research Council and a new Academic Research Funding Framework. Mr Lim also put in place the framework for the polytechnics to tie up with top foreign institutions to offer degree programmes in specialised areas.

As Chairman A*STAR since 2007, Mr Lim led A*STAR to advance science and develop innovative technology to further economic growth and to improve lives. A*STAR has significantly grown its industry revenues and in the last two years, the A*STAR spinoffs collectively raised venture funding to more than double that of the past decade. Under his strong leadership, A*STAR has been recognised as one of the world’s top innovative government Science and Technology organisations. In addition, the number of A*STAR scholars has increased significantly, contributing to the growing core of Singaporeans who will lead Singapore’s continued push in science and technology.