Singapore — The new Transport Minister, Mr Ong Ye Kung, and his top officials were at work on Friday (July 31) even though it was the public holiday of Hari Raya Haji.
Mr Ong was once a civil servant in the ministries of Communications and Trade and Industry before becoming Principal Private Secretary to then Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who later became PM.
After Mr Lee became PM, Mr Ong became the CEO of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency. He later joined the NTUC, the Government-linked labour movement, as its Assistant Secretary-General.
Mr Ong made his first foray into politics in the 2011 General Election, when he was in the People’s Action Party team that contested in Aljunied GRC. In a stunning upset, the Workers’ Party (WP) won the GRC, making history by being the first opposition party to be elected in a multi-member constituency.
Following the electoral defeat, Mr Ong continued to work at the NTUC. He was promoted to Deputy Secretary-General before being elected into the NTUC’s Central Committee.
He left the NTUC for the private sector in 2013. Two years later, he contested as part of the PAP team in Sembawang GRC, which was considered a “safer” ward. The team won and Mr Ong became a Member of Parliament (MP) for the GRC.
Mr Ong was one of the few MPs to be promoted to full minister in their first term in Parliament. He was given the Education portfolio. In the most recent Cabinet line-up, he was made Transport Minister.
Although it has been less than a week since he joined the ministry, Mr Ong has been hard at work. He paid a visit to Changi Airport on his second day of work, then met his Malaysian counterpart the next day to discuss transport connectivity between the two countries.
On Friday, Mr Ong observed rail operations early in the morning. He took the first train out of Tuas depot on the East-West Line to Boon Lay MRT Station, then visited SBS Transit’s Boon Lay Integrated Transport Hub.
Mr Ong was accompanied by Senior Ministers of State Amy Khor and Chee Hong Tat and top officials.
In a Facebook post, Mr Ong said: “Although it is a public holiday today, our public transport workers were hard at work. They go about their work quietly in the background, but steadfast in their duty. I thank them for their hard work and dedication.”
The new #TeamMOT started at Tuas Depot, home to the trains that serve EWL. Though it was still dark, the depot was abuzz with the SMRT maintenance folks performing final checks before start of service. Train Captain Abdul Malek showed us how to start and guide a train out of the depot. 25 minutes later, we pulled into Boon Lay station where we visited SBS Transit Ltd’s Boon Lay Integrated Transport Hub, which serves 25 bus services.It was an interchange I visited frequently when I was in NTUC serving the transport union. Met several old union friends there.Although it is a public holiday today, our public transport workers were hard at work. They go about their work quietly in the background, but steadfast in their duty.I thank them for their hard work and dedication.#EverydayHeroes
Posted by Ong Ye Kung on Friday, 31 July 2020
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