25 February 2022 Press Releases

Permanent Secretary Retirements and Appointments - 25 February 2022

Two Permanent Secretaries will retire on 1 Apr 2022 after many years of distinguished service.  They are:-

(a) Ms Yong Ying-I, Permanent Secretary (Communications and Information) and Permanent Secretary (Cybersecurity), Prime Minister’s Office. Ms Yong has served 36 years in the Singapore Public Service; 

(b) Mr Chee Wee Kiong, Permanent Secretary (Foreign Affairs). Mr Chee has served a combined 40 years in the Singapore Armed Forces and Public Service. 

2 Thanking the retiring officers, Minister Chan Chun Sing, Minister-in-charge of the Public Service, said, “I would like to thank Ying-I and Wee Kiong for their many years of dedicated service. They have served with distinction in their careers, including helming a range of different organisations, and I would like to express the government’s appreciation to them for their leadership and outstanding contributions to the Public Service and to Singapore.”


Changes in Permanent Secretary Appointments

3 The following Permanent Secretary appointments will take effect from 1 April 2022:

(a) Mr Joseph Leong will be appointed Permanent Secretary (Communications and Information) and Permanent Secretary (Cybersecurity), Prime Minister’s Office. He will be appointed concurrently as Permanent Secretary (Smart Nation and Digital Government Group) and will relinquish his appointment as Permanent Secretary (Defence Development);

(b) Mr Chng Kai Fong, Second Permanent Secretary (Smart Nation and Digital Government Group), will be appointed concurrently as Second Permanent Secretary (Communications and Information) and Second Permanent Secretary (Cybersecurity);  

(c) Mr Albert Chua will relinquish his appointment as Permanent Secretary (Sustainability and the Environment) and be appointed Permanent Secretary (Foreign Affairs);

(d) Mr Stanley Loh will relinquish his appointment as Second Permanent Secretary (Social and Family Development) and be appointed Permanent Secretary (Sustainability and the Environment). He will also be re-designated as Permanent Secretary (Development), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and continue concurrently as Second Permanent Secretary (Prime Minister’s Office)(Special Duties); 

(e) Mr Chew Hock Yong will relinquish his appointment as Permanent Secretary (Social and Family Development) and continue as Permanent Secretary (Home Affairs Development);

(f) Mr Aubeck Kam will relinquish his appointment as Permanent Secretary (Manpower) and be appointed Permanent Secretary (Social and Family Development);

(g) Ms Lim Wan Yong, Second Permanent Secretary (Education), will be appointed concurrently as Second Permanent Secretary (Social and Family Development);  

(h) Mr Ng Chee Khern will relinquish his appointment as Permanent Secretary (Smart Nation and Digital Government Group) and be appointed Permanent Secretary (Manpower);

(i) Mr Chia Der Jiun, Second Permanent Secretary (Manpower), will be re-designated as Permanent Secretary (Development), Ministry of Manpower; 

(j) Ms Lai Wei Lin will relinquish her appointment as Permanent Secretary (Law) and be appointed Permanent Secretary (Transport Development).  She will continue concurrently as Second Permanent Secretary (Finance); and

(k) Mr Loh Khum Yean, Permanent Secretary (Public Service Division), will be concurrently appointed as Permanent Secretary (Law).  

Background 

Ms Yong Ying-I 

4 Ms Yong Ying-I, 58, started her public service career in 1985 and served in various appointments across several Ministries, including as Principal Private Secretary to then Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
  
5 From 1999 to 2001, Ms Yong was Deputy Secretary in the former Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and concurrently Chief Executive Officer of the then Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). As CEO of a newly formed statutory board, Ms Yong was instrumental in leading IDA to spearhead Singapore’s drive to be a global info-communications centre and develop the nation’s info-communications infrastructure. She later chaired the IDA Board of Directors for a decade.

6 In 2002, Ms Yong assumed her first Permanent Secretary appointment in the Ministry of Manpower.  She led the Ministry in restructuring the workforce, workplace and wage systems in light of the changing economic landscape and enhanced the employability of local workers. This included setting up and chairing the former Workforce Development Agency.  As Permanent Secretary (Health) for 7 years, from 2005, Ms Yong led the Ministry to develop a high-quality, cost-effective national healthcare system to serve Singaporeans’ needs then and in the future.  She also actively drove major initiatives to revamp the governance of the step-down and aged care sector, develop our academic medicine campuses, and expand clinical research and technology investments.  This included setting up Integrated Health Information Systems and building up our national electronic medical records system.

7 During her 7 years as Permanent Secretary (Public Service Division) (2012-2019), Ms Yong was instrumental in building up the capabilities to enable the Public Service to be more effective. She oversaw a range of impactful initiatives, such as workforce transformation, rebuilding the Service’s engineering capabilities, enacting the Public Sector Governance Act to improve governance in public sector agencies, and raising the quality of leadership development and HR management in the Service. For improving employee welfare and protection, she received a Distinguished Service Award from the National Trades Union Congress.   Ms Yong was concurrently also Permanent Secretary (National Research & Development) where she led the National Research Foundation to systematise Singapore’s science & technology R&D, translation and innovation funding and governance while expanding the range and depth of our research thrusts.

8 As Permanent Secretary (Communications and Information), Ms Yong has led the Ministry in strengthening Singapore’s position in the digital realm, both in functional areas such as infocomm & media, public communications, info-literacy and cybersecurity, as well as the “horizontal” areas of digital economy, digital security and digital society.  Under her leadership, MCI has driven significant efforts in building our digital infrastructure, as well as enhancing digital regulations, digital engagement and wellness, and digital diplomacy on the international front.   Ms Yong also championed significant organisational transformation and capability development efforts to ensure excellence in the Ministry’s work. 

9 For her outstanding contributions to the Public Service, Ms Yong was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 1997 and the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2005. 

10 Ms Yong will continue as Chairman, Central Provident Fund Board, and as Senior Adviser, Ministry of Communications & Information after her retirement.

Mr Chee Wee Kiong 

11 Mr Chee Wee Kiong, 58, joined the Singapore Armed Forces in 1982 and rose to the rank of Brigadier-General during his career in the SAF/MINDEF. In the course of his military career, he held various key command and staff appointments, which included Commander of Air Defence Systems Division, Chief of Staff for Air Staff and Director of Joint Operations and Planning Department. Mr Chee also held the appointment of Director, Security and Intelligence Division, Ministry of Defence.

12 Mr Chee was appointed Second Permanent Secretary (Foreign Affairs) in 2010 and subsequently Permanent Secretary (Foreign Affairs) in 2013. Mr Chee has steered the Singapore Foreign Service with pragmatic leadership, providing strategic and clear directions in managing Singapore’s foreign relations in a complex, uncertain and rapidly evolving global environment.    

13 An astute diplomat, Mr Chee’s leadership has been invaluable to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in dealing with regional and bilateral issues, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has led the Ministry in advancing Singapore’s interests at international and regional fora, strengthened Singapore’s ties with countries near and far, and buttressed Singapore’s standing in the international arena.  

14 Mr Chee was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold)(Military) in 2004 for his outstanding contributions to the SAF. He was also awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2017.  

Mr Joseph Leong 

15 Mr Joseph Leong, 51, joined the Singapore Armed Forces in 1990 and rose to the rank of Rear-Admiral, having held various key appointments.  Mr Leong was Director, Security and Intelligence Division, Ministry of Defence before his appointment as Permanent Secretary (Defence Development) and concurrently as Second Permanent Secretary (Communications and Information) and Second Permanent Secretary (Cybersecurity), Prime Minister’s Office in 2019.

Mr Chng Kai Fong 

16 Mr Chng Kai Fong, 43, held various appointments in the then Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, Ministry of Home Affairs, Civil Service College, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Communications Group, Prime Minister’s Office.  He also served a 2-year stint at Shell Eastern Petroleum Pte Ltd. He was appointed Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister in 2014 and subsequently as Managing Director, Economic Development Board in 2017. He was appointed Second Permanent Secretary (Smart Nation and Digital Government Group) in 2021.

Mr Albert Chua 

17 Mr Albert Chua, 53, joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in 1992 and served in various posts before his appointment as Principal Private Secretary to then Prime Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong (subsequently Senior Minister) from 2004 to 2007. He served as High Commissioner to Australia in 2008 and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York in 2011. He was appointed Second Permanent Secretary (Foreign Affairs) in 2014. In 2017, he was appointed Permanent Secretary (Environment and Water Resources), and subsequently redesignated as Permanent Secretary (Sustainability and the Environment) in 2020.

Mr Stanley Loh 

18 Mr Stanley Loh, 50, served in various appointments in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) before his appointment as Press Secretary to then Prime Minister and subsequently Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, and concurrently Director (Special Duties) in the then Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts from 2004 to 2007.  He was Singapore’s Trade Representative in Taipei from 2007 to 2011, Deputy Secretary (International) in MFA between 2011 and 2012 and appointed Singapore’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China in 2012.  In 2019, he was appointed Second Permanent Secretary (Foreign Affairs) and concurrently Second Permanent Secretary (Social and Family Development) and Second Permanent Secretary (Prime Minister’s Office)(Special Duties).

Mr Chew Hock Yong 

19 Mr Chew Hock Yong, 57, held various appointments in the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Finance before his appointment as Deputy Secretary of the then Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports in 2004. He was Chief Executive, Land Transport Authority before his appointment as Second Permanent Secretary (National Development) in 2014. In 2016, he was appointed Permanent Secretary (Social and Family Development) and in 2019, he was appointed concurrently as Permanent Secretary (Home Affairs Development).

Mr Aubeck Kam 

20 Mr Aubeck Kam, 51, held various appointments in the Singapore Police Force including Commander, Ang Mo Kio Police Division and Director (Operations).  He served in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and subsequently in the Ministry of Manpower as its Deputy Secretary before his appointment as Chief Executive Officer of the former Media Development Authority in 2010.  He was appointed Permanent Secretary (Communications and Information) in 2012.  He has been Permanent Secretary (Manpower) since 2016.

Ms Lim Wan Yong 

21 Ms Lim Wan Yong, 45, held various appointments in the Trade Development Board (now Enterprise Singapore), Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance and Civil Service College, and was Special Assistant to then-DPM Teo Chee Hean. She was appointed Deputy Secretary (Planning), Ministry of National Development in 2017, and concurrently Deputy Secretary (Security Coordination), Prime Minister’s Office in 2019.   She has been Second Permanent Secretary (Education) since 2021.

Mr Ng Chee Khern 

22 Mr Ng Chee Khern, 56, joined the Singapore Armed Forces in 1984 and rose to the rank of Major General, having held various command and staff appointments in the course of his military career, including Director Joint Operations and Planning Directorate. He was the Chief of Air Force from March 2006 to December 2009. He was Director, Security and Intelligence Division, MINDEF, before his appointment as Permanent Secretary (Defence Development) in 2014. Mr Ng was concurrently Second Permanent Secretary (Health) from 2014 to 2016.  He was appointed Permanent Secretary (Smart Nation and Digital Government), Prime Minister’s Office in May 2017. 

Mr Chia Der Jiun 

23 Mr Chia, 50, joined the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in 2004 and held various management appointments in MAS before being appointed Deputy Managing Director (Corporate Development), 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 the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Public Service Division and Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources. Mr Chia was appointed Second Permanent Secretary (Manpower) in October 2020. 

Ms Lai Wei Lin 

24 Ms Lai Wei Lin, 46, held various appointments in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of National Development, Civil Service College and Ministry of Health.  She was appointed Deputy Secretary (Policy), Ministry of Health in 2015, and subsequently as Deputy Secretary (Policy), Ministry of Education in 2017.  She served as Second Permanent Secretary (Education) from 2019 till 2021 and concurrently as Permanent Secretary (Law) since 2020.  She was appointed concurrently as Second Permanent Secretary (Finance) in January 2022.

Mr Loh Khum Yean 

25 Mr Loh Khum Yean, 57, held various appointments in the former Ministry of Communications, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Public Service Division before his appointment as Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Finance in 2002.  He was appointed Chief Executive, SPRING Singapore in 2003 and Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry in 2008.  He was appointed Permanent Secretary (Manpower) in 2009 and Permanent Secretary (Trade and Industry) in 2016.  He has been Permanent Secretary (Public Service Division) since April 2019 and served concurrently as Permanent Secretary (Law) from 2019 till 2020.