Lee Yock Suan


Lee Yock Suan (b. 30 September 1946, Singapore) is a former cabinet minister and member of parliament. After a distinguished career with the Economic Development Board, he became a member of parliament in 1980 and remained in parliament until 2006. He was a minister in various portfolios from 1981 to 2004.

Education
Lee  was one of  the first recipients of the President's Scholarship. He attained his bachelor of science in chemical engineering with first-class honours, winning several academic awards during his course.


19601963 : Queenstown Secondary Technical School
19641965 : Raffles Institution
19661969 : Imperial College, London (bachelor of science)
1974: University of Singapore (diploma in business administration)
1979: Stanford-Insead Advanced Management Program, France 

Career
Lee joined the Economic Development Board upon his return from London to Singapore in 1969 and served the board until 1980. He started as a project officer in charge of the petroleum and petrochemical industries portfolio and was later promoted to divisional director (industry). He then moved on to become deputy managing director of the Petroleum Corporation of Singapore Pte Ltd between January to September 1981.

In 1980, he was elected as a member of parliament after winning a seat in the Cheng San constituency on a People's Action Party ticket, and remained a member of parliament until his retirement from politics in 2006. During this period, he was a minister in the Singapore government, helming several ministries from 1981 to 2004. In addition, he served as deputy chairman of the People's Association from 1984 to 1991 and chairman of the Singapore Labour Foundation from 1997 to 2002.

Major appointments
Sep 1981Oct 1983: Minister of state (national development)
Oct 1983Dec 1984: Minister of state (finance)
Jan 1985Dec 1986: Acting minister for labour and senior minister of state (finance)
Jan 1987Dec 1991: Minister for labour (appointed concurrently as second minister for education from September 1991 to December 1991)
Jan 1992Jan 1997: Minister for education
Jan 1997May 1999: Minister for trade and industry and second minister for finance (Lee later relinquished the latter post in March 1998)
May 1999Nov 2001: Minister for information and the arts and minister for the environment (Lee would relinquish the latter post in October 2000)
Nov 2001Aug 2004: Minister in the prime minister's office and second minister for foreign affairs

Accomplishments
Lee left his mark on the policies adopted by the various ministries that he headed. He is especially noted for his contributions to education. Former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong praised Lee for his achievements in education, including revamping teachers' salaries, upgrading the quality of teachers and introducing the autonomous-schools scheme. He also persuaded the government to install computers in every school. In 1993, the education ministry implemented the Edusave scheme to help students, particularly those from lower-income families. The scheme was later extended to help average students who did well, through the Good Progress Awards. Lee was also the minister for education when Singapore students topped an international evaluation of students in mathematics and science.

As the minister for information and the arts, he was entrusted with the mission to turn Singapore into a world-class city with a vibrant arts and cultural scene. In 2000, the then Ministry of Information and the Arts (now Ministry of Communications and Information) launched the Renaissance City Project, aimed at establishing Singapore as global arts centre and one of the top cities in the world to live, work and play in.

Family
Wife: Adeline Oh Choon Neo
Children: One son and one daughter 




Author
Ainon Binte Ismail




References
A modest man who has done much. (1996, December 27). The Straits Times. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

ARA Asset Management Limited. (2008). Annual report 2007. Singapore: ARA Asset Management Limited.

(Call no.: RSING 332.63247 AAMLAR-[AR])

Boon Yang to be new labour minister. (1991, December 29). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Cabinet reshuffled. (1986, December 30). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

George, C. (1992, January 3). Man who tailored education system to Singapore's needs. The Straits Times, p. 25. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Government of Singapore. (1981, September 18). Statement from the prime minister's office [Press release]. Retrieved from National Archives of Singapore website: http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline 

Government of Singapore. (1983, October 24). 
Statement from the prime minister's office [Press release]. Retrieved from National Archives of Singapore website: http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline

Government of Singapore. (1986, December 29). Statement from the prime minister's office [Press release]. Retrieved from National Archives of Singapore website: http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline


Government of Singapore. (1981, September 18). Statement from the prime minister's office [Press release]. Retrieved from National Archives of Singapore website: http://www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline 

Lee, R. (2004, August 12). Veteran bows out after helming several ministriesThe Straits Times. Retrieved on from NewspaperSG.


Low, K. T. (Ed.). (2006). Who's who in Singapore. Singapore: Who's Who Pub. 
(Call no.: RSING 920.05957 WHO)

PM gives 7 newcomers top jobs. (2001, November 18). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

PM Goh's new cabinet. (1997, January 19). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Renaissance city report: Culture and the Arts in renaissance Singapore. (2000). Singapore: Ministry of Information and the Arts.
(Call no.: RSING q700.95957 REN)

The cabinet changes. (1999, May 14). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



The information in this article is valid as at 2009 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources.  It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject.  Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

Subject
Politics and Government
Politicians
Personalities
Politics and Government>>Education
Education>>Public policy issues in education
Personalities>>Biographies>>Political Leaders
Politicians--Singapore--Biography
Education
Law and government>>Political process>>Leadership
Lee, Yock Suan, 1946-

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