LEE HSIEN LOONG’S MILESTONES AS PRIME MINISTER

Straits Times

2004

Aug 12: Mr Lee Hsien Loong, at age 52 and after 20 years of service in politics, is sworn in as Singapore’s third prime minister, succeeding Mr Goh Chok Tong.

2005

Jan: The ComCare Fund is set up to provide financial assistance to needy families.

April 18: After a year-long debate, the Government decides Singapore will have casinos.

2006

Feb: Workfare Bonus is introduced to top up the pay of lower-wage workers, recognising that growth no longer delivers the same opportunities to all. It becomes permanent in 2007.

May 6: At PM Lee’s first general election at the helm, the PAP is returned to power with 66.6 per cent of valid votes.

2007

Aug: Reforms to the Central Provident Fund scheme are announced, including mandatory annuities to cover old age, a later drawdown age of the Minimum Sum, and higher interest rates.

2008

Feb 27: Terror suspect Mas Selamat Kastari escapes, sparking a review of the Internal Security Department’s operations.

2009

Jan: The Government dips into reserves to help finance a $20.5 billion stimulus package for Singapore to ride out the global financial crisis.

May 27: PM Lee raises the minimum number of opposition MPs from three to nine through the Non-Constituency MP scheme, trims the sizes of Group Representation Constituencies.

2010

Feb: The productivity push starts, with $2.5 billion set aside for continuing education and training and $2 billion for the National Productivity Fund.

April: Property cooling measures are introduced as property prices hit new heights.

May 24: PM Lee and his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak agree to move the Malayan Railway station in Tanjong Pagar to Woodlands, breaking a 20-year impasse on the issue.

2011

May 7: The watershed general election is held. PAP wins with 60.1 per cent of the vote share, but it sees the loss of Aljunied GRC to the Workers’ Party (WP).

2012

Sept: The first phase of the Government’s $1.1 billion plan to boost bus services is rolled out.

Nov: Parliament passes legislative changes to remove the mandatory death penalty for certain instances of murder and drug trafficking.

Nov 26: Singapore’s 26-year strike-free record is broken as 171 SMRT bus drivers from China go on strike to protest against poor pay and living conditions.

Dec: Speaker of Parliament Michael Palmer resigns over an extramarital affair. It triggers a by-election in Punggol East in January, which WP candidate Lee Li Lian wins with 54.5 per cent of valid votes. This follows the WP’s win in the Hougang by-election in May 2012.

2013

Jan: A White Paper on Population sets out plans to accommodate up to 6.9 million people here by 2030, drawing backlash.

June: Websites that regularly report Singapore news and have significant reach are asked to put up a performance bond of $50,000 and be licensed under new licensing rules.

Aug: PM Lee announces plans for universal health insurance MediShield Life.

Dec 8: A riot breaks out in Little India.

2014

Feb: An $8 billion Pioneer Generation Package is launched to provide health-care subsidies for Singapore’s pioneers.

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