Singapore — The newly-appointed Minister for Transport, Mr Ong Ye Kung, has shared in a Facebook post that his very first job in government was at the ministry.
The former Education Minister said in his post on Tuesday (July 28): “MOT (then MinCom) was actually my first job as a young civil servant. I spent 5 years at the office at PSA Building.”
“Today is my first day back at work here. The surroundings are now much nicer, but the office still looks very familiar!” he added.
Despite his nostalgia, Mr Ong, 50, has his work as Transport Minister cut out for him.
Considering that travel is one of the hardest-hit industries due to Covid-19, with Singapore Airlines reporting net losses of up to S$1.12 billion in the first quarter of the year alone, Mr Ong is heavily tasked to find ways for the industry to evolve amidst the pandemic.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced in a press conference on Saturday (July 25) on the new Cabinet line-up that Mr Ong was picked for the role because “we need a very good minister at the helm with Cabinet experience and political nous”.
Meanwhile, as reported by mothership.sg on Wednesday (July 29), Mr Ong had said in an interview with Channel 5 news: “With Covid-19, who will be the new aviation hubs of this world? And I think Singapore must do whatever we can to maintain our hub status for both maritime and aviation. This has always been our lifeblood, and will continue to be our lifeblood. And it’s a piece of work that I think is urgent, critical and will determine the future economic late of Singapore.”
Also on Wednesday (July 29), Mr Ong posted about his visits to Changi Airport and Singapore Airlines that “air connectivity is a vital organ of our small island state. It connects #Singapore to the rest of the world. Being an air hub breathes oxygen into every other economic sector and helps them thrive and create more jobs”.
He then said: “To revive air travel in and out of Singapore, we have to find ways to allow for safe travel. It is our top and immediate priority.”
Mr Ong also shared photos from his first day on the job, explaining that it was a “long day of briefings”.
He also had lunch with other governments officials hosted by his immediate predecessor, Mr Khaw Boon Wan, that day.
In an earlier post on Saturday (July 25), Mr Ong said a heartfelt goodbye to his former ministry: “It is with a heavy heart that I am leaving MOE.”
His post had 17K reactions, 1K comments and 1.3K shares.