Retired MP Lee Bee Wah was pleasantly surprised by fellow ruling party retiree Khaw Boon Wan, who gave her an early birthday treat last week. Dr Lee turned 60 years old on Tuesday (6 Oct).
Last Friday (2 Oct), Dr Lee shared photos on social media of Mr Khaw and other friends surrounding her as she sat in front of a birthday cake. Revealing that the celebration was part of Mr Khaw’s birthday treat for her, Dr Lee wrote on Facebook: “A surprise early birthday celebration! Thanks to my favourite Minister Khaw Boon Wan and friends.”
This is not the first time Dr Lee has referred to Dr Khaw as her “favourite minister”. On 29 July, she shared on Facebook that she had a chance to spend time with her “favourite minister” Mr Khaw. Just a few days prior, Mr Khaw was discharged after being hospitalised with dengue.
Dr Lee’s latest post makes it clear that the friendship between her and Mr Khaw has continued even after they have stepped down from electoral politics.
Interestingly, the political careers of the two friends began and ended in similar ways. Both People’s Action Party (PAP) members first ran for politics in wards anchored by one of Singapore’s three prime ministers.
Mr Khaw entered Parliament in the 2001 general election as part of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew’s team for Tanjong Pagar GRC while Dr Lee entered Parliament at the next general election in 2006 under Mr Lee’s son, current prime minister Lee Hsien Loong’s team for Ang Mo Kio GRC.
Both Dr Lee and Mr Khaw ended up being elected at wards in the North region of Singapore towards the end of their political career – Dr Lee served at Nee Soon GRC while Mr Khaw anchored Sembawang GRC.
Both politicians also retired from politics this year, ahead of the 2020 general election that took place in July. Mr Khaw had spent five terms in Parliament while Dr Lee had served four terms in the House.
A surprise early birthday celebration! Thanks to my favourite Minister Khaw Boon Wan and friends.