Students from the various schools at the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) bid farewell to Cabinet minister Ong Ye Kung who relinquished his education portfolio to join the transport ministry late last month.
Mr Ong said that a large card from SIT was delivered to his office at the transport ministry, leading him to believe that it was the university’s management bidding him farewell. Instead, it was SIT students who shared their hopes and aspirations with the former education minister.
Sharing a photo of the card in a Facebook post published today (16 Aug), the ruling party politician wrote: “This big farewell card from Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) was delivered to my office at MOT. I thought it must be from the management.
“But as I read it I was greatly surprised that it was from students – their messages filled up pages, each printed with a different font, representing their varied hopes and aspirations. Many thanks to the #SITizens!”
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 historic 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.
This big farewell card from Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) was delivered to my office at MOT. I thought it must…