Lee Yock Suan

Lee Yock Suan (b. 30 September 1946, Singapore - ) is a former cabinet minister and member of Parliament. After a distinguished career in 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.

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.

1960 - 1963 : Queenstown Secondary Technical School
1964 - 1965 : Raffles Institution
1966 - 1969 : Imperial College, London (B. Sc. Chemical Engineering (First Class Honours))
1974 : University of Singapore (Diploma in Business Administration)
1979 : Stanford-Insead Advanced Management Program, France 

Lee joined the Economic Development Board on his return from London to Singapore in 1969 and served the board until 1980. He started as a projects 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 member of Parliament , winning a seat in the Cheng San constituency on a PAP 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
1975 - 1980 : Board Member,  Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research 
1980 - 1988 : Member of Parliament, Cheng San constituency
1983 - 1984 : Minister of State for National Development 
1983 - 1984 : Minister for Finance 
1984 - 1991 : Deputy Chairman, People's Association
1985 - 1986 : Acting Minister for Labour 
1987 - 1991 : Minister for Labour 
1988 - 2001 : Member of Parliament, Cheng San GRC
1992 - 1997 : Minister for Education  
1993 : President, SEAMEC
1997 - 1998 : Minister for Trade and Industry, and Second Minister for Finance   
1997 - 2002 : Chairman, Singapore Labour Foundation
1998 - 1999 : Minister for Trade and Industry 
1999 - 2001 : Minister for Information and the Arts, and Minister for the Environment 
2001 - 2006 : Member of Parliament, East Coast GRC
2001 - 2004 : Minister, Prime Minister's Office, and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs  
1 September 2007 - : Independent Non Executive Director and Chairman of Audit Committee, ARA Asset Management Limited

Lee left his mark on the policies adopted by the various ministries that he headed. He is especially noted for his contributions to education.  He was praised by former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong 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 of 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 Ministry of Information and the Arts 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. 

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

Ainon Binte Ismail

ARA Asset Management Limited. (2008). Annual report 2007. Singapore: ARA Asset Management Limited.
(Call no.: R 332.63247 AAMLAR  -[AR])

Lee, R. (2004, August 12). Veteran bows out after helming several ministriesThe Straits Times.  Retrieved on March 1, 2011, from NewspaperSG.

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

A modest man who has done much.  (1996, December 27). The Straits Times. Retrieved on March 1, 2011, 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 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.

Education>>Public policy issues in education
Lee, Yock Suan, 1946-
Personalities>>Biographies>>Political Leaders
Law and government>>Political process>>Leadership

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