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Teo Chee Hean
Teo Chee Hean at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore on 3 June 2006
Native name 张志贤
Born 27 December 1954(1954-12-27) (age 67)
Singapore, Colony of Singapore
Alma mater University of Manchester
Imperial College London
Harvard University
Political party People's Action Party (1992)
Spouse(s) Chew Poh Yim
Children 2

Teo Chee Hean (simplified Chinese: 张志贤; traditional Chinese: 張志賢; pinyin: Zhāng Zhìxián; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tioⁿ Chì-hiân; Tamil: தியோ சீ ஹியென்; born 27 December 1954) is a Singaporean politician. A member of the governing People's Action Party (PAP), he was appointed Senior Minister on 1 May 2019. He also serves, since 21 May 2011, as Coordinating Minister for National Security. He also oversees the Prime Minister's Office Strategy Group, including the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group, the National Security Coordination Secretariat, the National Population and Talent Division and the National Climate Change Secretariat.

In the first phase of his career, he served in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) where he held various command and staff appointments in the Republic of Singapore Navy and the Joint Staff. In 1991, he was appointed Chief of Navy, and was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral.

In December 1992, he left the SAF to seek elected public office and was elected as a Member of Parliament in a by-election in the Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency (GRC). He was re-elected to Parliament five times in the Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.

He was appointed Deputy Prime Minister from 1 April 2009 to 30 April 2019 when former deputy prime ministers, S. Jayakumar & Wong Kan Seng both stepped down from position. He is serving as deputy prime minister alongside Tharman Shanmugaratnam. He has served as the Minister for Home Affairs, Minister for Defence , Minister for Education, and Minister for the Environment. He has also served as Minister of State in the Ministries of Finance, Communications and Defence.

Career[edit | edit source]

Naval career[edit | edit source]

Teo enlisted in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in 1972 and received his commission as a naval officer at the Singapore Armed Forces Training Institute (SAFTI) in 1973. He went on to hold various command and staff appointments in the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and the Joint Staff.

Teo assumed command of the RSN as Chief of Navy in 1991 and was promoted to the rank of Commodore (later re-designated as Rear-Admiral) in July 1991.

On 7 December 1992, Teo left the RSN to seek election into Parliament.

Political career[edit | edit source]

Teo was elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) for the Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency (Marine Parade GRC) in the Marine Parade by-election on 19 December 1992.

Following his election, Teo served as a Minister of State in the Ministries of Finance, Communications and Defence.

In April 1995, Teo was appointed the Acting Minister for the Environment and Senior Minister of State for Defence. In January 1996, he was appointed Minister for the Environment and Second Minister for Defence.

At the 1997 general election, Teo was elected as an MP for Pasir Ris GRC. In the subsequent Cabinet reshuffle, he was appointed the Minister for Education and Second Minister for Defence.

At the 2001 general election, Teo was elected as an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC and re-appointed as Minister for Education and Second Minister for Defence. On 1 August 2003, he was appointed the Minister for Defence and Minister-in-charge of the Civil Service.

At the 2006 general election, Teo was re-elected as an MP for Pasir-Ris Punggol GRC. He led the team six-member PAP team to victory in the constituency with 68.7% of the votes.

On 26 March 2009, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong appointed Teo as one of two Deputy Prime Ministers with effect from 1 April 2009. He held this appointment alongside his roles of Minister for Defence and Minister-in-charge of the Civil Service.

At the 2011 general election, Teo led the PAP team in Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC to victory with 64.79% of the votes.

On 18 May 2011, Teo was appointed the Minister for Home Affairs and Co-ordinating Minister for National Security. He remains as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister-in-charge of the Civil Service.

Within the PAP, Teo is the First Assistant Secretary General on the party's Central Executive Committee, a post he held until 2018.[1]

On 23 April 2019, the Prime Minister Office's latest cabinet reshuffle announced that he, alongside Tharman Shanmugaratnam, would both be relinquishing their respective Deputy Prime Minister portfolio to Heng Swee Keat, and they would be conferred the Senior Minister post effective from 1 May onwards, while retaining his Co-ordinating Minister for National Defense portfolio.[2]

Involvement in the Singapore sports scene[edit | edit source]

Teo serves in leadership and advisory roles in several sports organisations in Singapore. He served as the President of the Singapore National Olympic Council from 1984–2014. He is also the advisor to the Singapore Dragon Boat Association.

Education[edit | edit source]

Teo Chee Hean went to Saint Michael's School and Saint Joseph's Institution.

He was awarded the President's Scholarship and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Scholarship in 1973. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours) in Electrical Engineering and Management Science from the University of Manchester in 1976. He subsequently attained a Masters of Science degree (with distinction) in Computing Science in 1977 at the Imperial College in London, and a Masters in Public Administration at the Kennedy School of Government in Harvard University in 1986, where he was named a Littauer Fellow.

Family[edit | edit source]

Teo is married to Chew Poh Yim. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Biochemistry from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in 1977. She is a director of a business consultancy and teaches marketing management in the School of Business Management at Nanyang Polytechnic on a part-time basis. The couple has one son and one daughter.

References[edit | edit source]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Political offices
Preceded by
Mah Bow Tan
Minister for the Environment
15 Jan 1996 – 24 Jan 1997
Acting: 17 Apr 1995 – 14 Jan 1996
Succeeded by
Lim Swee Say
Recreated
Title last held by
Lee Boon Yang
Second Minister for Defence
15 Jan 1996 – 31 Jul 2003
Succeeded by
Ng Eng Hen
Preceded by
Lee Yock Suan
Minister for Education
25 Jan 1997 – 31 Jul 2003
Succeeded by
Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Preceded by
Tony Tan
Minister for Defence
1 Aug 2003 – 20 May 2011
Succeeded by
Ng Eng Hen
Preceded by
S. Jayakumar
Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore
1 Apr 2009 – 30 April 2019
Served alongside: Wong Kan Seng (2005 – 2011),
Tharman Shanmugaratnam (2011 – present)
Succeeded by
Heng Swee Keat
Preceded by
K. Shanmugam
Minister for Home Affairs
21 May 2011 – 30 Sep 2015
Succeeded by
K. Shanmugam
Preceded by
Wong Kan Seng
Co-ordinating Minister for National Security
21 May 2011 – present
Incumbent
Unrecognised parameter
Preceded by
Lim Chee Onn
Member of Parliament for
Marine Parade GRC (Joo Chiat)

1992 – 1997
Succeeded by
Chan Soo Sen
as MP for East Coast GRC (Joo Chiat)
New constituency Member of Parliament for
Pasir Ris GRC (Pasir Ris Central)

1997 – 2001
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for
Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC (Pasir Ris West)

2001 – present
Incumbent
Military offices
Preceded by
Rear-Admiral James Leo
Chief of the Republic of Singapore Navy
1991 – 1992
Succeeded by
Rear-Admiral Kwek Siew Jin

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