SINGAPORE: After the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) launched a probe involving Transport Minister S Iswaran earlier this week, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that Senior Minister of State Chee Hong Tat will be Acting Minister for Transport in the interim.
Mr Iswaran, along with hotelier Ong Beng Seng, was arrested on Tuesday (Jul 11), but both have since been released on bail.
But who is Chee Hong Tat?
While it was only in 2015 that Mr Chee first entered the public eye when he contested as part of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) slate at Bishan–Toa Payoh GRC, he has actually been in public service since 1998, the year he joined the Singapore Administrative Service.
Mr Chee has held positions in a number of ministries, including Education, Finance, Home Affairs and Transport.
Significantly, from 2008 to 2011, he was the Principal Private Secretary to Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. In 2015, upon Mr Lee’s death, he was one of his eight pallbearers.
After his stint with Mr Lee, Mr Chee then worked as Chief Executive Officer of the Energy Market Authority from 2011 and 2015, as well as Second Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry from late in 2014 to August 11, 2015, stepping down when he contested in the 2015 General Election.
Since his election as MP, he has served as Minister of State for Health and Communications and Information, and then Senior Minister of state for Health, Communications and Information, Education, Trade and Industry, Foreign Affairs, Transport and Finance.
From May 2021 to June 2022, he was also the Deputy Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress.
On a more personal note, Mr Chee was born in 1973 and is married with four children. He went to the Chinese High School and Raffles Junior College, he then went on to the University of California at Berkeley, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 1996.
In 2006, he obtained his Masters of Business Administration from Adelaide University.