Lee Hsien Loong

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Lee Hsien Loong

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Lee Hsien Loong

Order: 3rd Prime Minister of Singapore
Term of Office: August 12, 2004 - present
Date of Birth: February 10, 1952
Place of Birth Singapore
Wife Ho Ching
Occupation Politician
Political Party: People's Action Party
Deputy PM: Tony Tan (1995 - present)

S. Jayakumar (2004 - present)

Lee Hsien Loong (Hanzi: 李显龙/李顯龍; pinyin: Lǐ Xiǎnlng; born February 10 1952) is the third Prime Minister of Singapore. He also serves as the Minister for Finance. Lee Hsien Loong is the eldest son of Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and is married to Ho Ching who is the Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the government-owned Temasek Holdings.


Early Life

The eldest child of former-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and Kwa Geok Choo, Lee was born in Singapore on February 10, 1952. In Lee Kuan Yew's biography, Lee had learned Jawi since he was five, and was always interested in the affairs of Singapore, often following his father to the rally grounds since 1963.

Lee went through his secondary education at Catholic High School and studied at National Junior College subsequently. He studied mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated in 1974 with First Class Honours in Mathematics and a Diploma in Computer Science (with distinction). He subsequently obtained a Master in Public Administration (MPA) from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in 1980.

Lee joined the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in 1971, retiring as brigadier general in 1984 when he was elected as a Member of Parliament.

Lee, who was widowed in 1982 when his Malaysian-born wife Wong Ming Yang, a medical doctor, died three weeks after giving birth, found a new partner in 1985, fast-rising civil servant Ho Ching. They have one daughter and three sons (including one daughter and son from his first wife). Lee's children include Lee Xiu Qi, Lee Yi Peng, Lee Hong Yi and Lee Hao Yi. Lee's oldest son, Yipeng, is an albino.

In 1992, Lee was diagnosed with lymphoma and he went through a three-month period of chemotherapy. During his treatment, Lee appeared visibly bald.

Early Political Career

Lee entered politics at the age of 32 in 1984. He was appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Defence in December 1984 by Lee Kuan Yew, and was subsequently promoted to Acting Minister for Trade and Industry in 1986, and the Second Minister for Defence.

In February 1987, issues on ethnic relationships in Singapore surfaced when Malays asked the members of parliament why there were few Malays holding key positions in the SAF. Lee Hsien Loong, then minister for trade and industry and second minister for defence, stated that the SAF did not want its soldiers to be in a position where the loyalty of the soldiers might clash with racial and religious factors.

In response, the Malaysian foreign minister, Rais Yatim, criticised the fact that the Chinese Malaysians were represented only to a small extent in the armed forces and the top echelons of the civil service, concluding that it was a tit-for-tat situation, and that the UMNO should leave Singapore alone. However, pressure from the public forced the UMNO to respond to the case.

Deputy Prime Minister

Lee became the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore when Goh Chok Tong became the Prime Minister of Singapore on November 28, 1990, specialising in economic and civil service matters. At the same time, he continued serving as Minister for Trade and Industry until 1992.

Mr Lee was subsequently appointed Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore in 1998, and Minister for Finance in 2001.


Political Adminstration

On August 12, 2004, Lee Hsien Loong succeeded Goh Chok Tong as Prime Minister, and relinquished the chairmanship of the Monetary Authority of Singapore to Goh Chok Tong in the process.

Lee made his maiden "National Day Rally Speech'" sixteen days after he assumed the position as Prime Minister on August 12 2004. In his speech, Lee initiated the policy of the "Five-day work week", a plan that would remove a half-working day on Saturday. The plan took effect on 1 January, 2005.

Lee also proposed two-month paid maternity leaves for new-born's mothers and financial incentives to mothers who give birth to a fourth child. These policies were in response to declining birth rate that Singapore experienced in recent years.

In November 2004, Lee sparked a national debate when he revealed a proposal to build two Integrated Resorts (IRs) which are holiday resorts with casinos. In April 2005, despite some oppositions expressed by the public, Lee announced the decision to approve the proposal. The two IRs will be built in Marina Bay and Sentosa. To limit the negative social impact of casino gambling, Lee suggested that safeguards will be implemented, such as prohibiting minors from entering the casinos and a SGD$100 entrance fee for Singaporeans and permanent residents.

Lee officiated the opening of the newly-restored Malay Heritage Centre in Singapore on June 5, 2005. The opening was witnessed by Yaacob Ibrahim, the Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs. [1] (http://sg.news.yahoo.com/050605/5/singapore151081.html)

Lee sought security support on the Straits of Malacca in the wake of terrorists attacks on ships that passes through the Strait of Malacca. Approximately 50,000 ships pass through the Straits each year. In response, Lee sought security assistance from neighbouring countries, including the US, at a meeting of defence ministers from around the world in Singapore June 3, 2005.


As the eldest son of Singapore's first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, Lee's career has been shadowed by allegations of nepotism. At the age of 32 he became the youngest brigadier-general in Singapore's history, and from a young age was widely tipped to become Lee Kuan Yew's successor as Prime Minister. Perhaps understandably, the appointment of Lee's wife Ho Ching as the director of state investment agency Temasek has also raised some eyebrows. However, the Lees have reacted harshly to such allegations, winning large out-of-court settlements for defamation from, among others, the International Herald Tribune (1994), Bloomberg (2002) and The Economist (2004).

Lee's career has also been dogged by a perceived reputation for being arrogant and autocratic. According to one particularly persistent rumor, at a pre-Cabinet meeting in 1990 an enraged Lee first insulted Minister for Finance Richard Hu and then physically slapped Minister for National Development S. Dhanabalan when he sided with Hu and demanded an apology. [2] (http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/070071474X/ref=sib_vae_srch/104-5578762-5746321?v=search-inside&keywords=slapped&x=10&y=5). While those directly involved have never publicly mentioned to the alleged incident, in 2003 Goh Chok Tong referred to it anecdotally in order to deny it when discussing his successor.

On July 10, 2004, he created a diplomatic uproar with the People's Republic of China by visiting Taiwan. On August 28, 2004 in his maiden National Day Rally speech he criticized the Taiwanese leadership and populace of overestimating the support they would receive if they declared Taiwan independence. In response, the Republic of China Foreign Minister, Mark Chen, called Singapore a "Pi-Sai Country", translated literally from Minnan, it means a "Country no bigger than a snot". The Taiwanese Foreign Minister subsequently made a formal apology.

Following Lee's remarks on Koizumi's Yasukuni shrine visits, stating that From the point of view of many countries in the region who have experienced Japanese occupation, it raises many unhappy memories, public demonstrations have been led just outside the Singapore embassy of Japan on May 24, 2005. According to news sources, demonstrators have heavily criticised Lee for "meddling" with Japanese issues.

External Links

Preceded by:
Goh Chok Tong
Prime Ministers of Singapore
Succeeded by:
Current Incumbent

Template:End box

Preceded by:
Richard Hu
Finance Ministers of Singapore
Succeeded by:
Current Incumbent

Template:End boxde:Lee Hsien Loong gl:Lee Hsien Loong id:Lee Hsien Loong zh-min-nan:L Hin-ling nl:Lee Hsien Loong ja:リー・シェンロン zh:李显龙


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