In a bombshell dropped on 11 August 2015, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew announced that he will not stand for re-election in the coming GE2015, despite multiple attempts by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and several Cabinet ministers to get him to stay in office.
In an exchange of letters between Mr Lui and Mr Lee that was released to the Press, Lui Tuck Yew wrote:
“It is with deep regret that I confirm my decision not to stand in the coming General Election. I broached this subject with you early this year. You and several senior members of the Cabinet tried hard to persuade me to change my mind. You reminded me that the responsibility of Government was a collective one, and no minister carried difficult problems like public transport alone. I deeply appreciate the reassurance and support. But having thought the matter over carefully, I have decided that I should stand by my original decision. I thank you for the unstinting support you have personally given to the Ministry of Transport and me.”
Reflecting on his time with the Ministry of Transport, Lui shared that to address multiple teething issues, the ministry has embarked on major upgrades, strengthened maintenance practices and identified areas that need systematic renewal – measures which “will allow our problems to be progressively dealt with and resolved”.
However Lui admitted that despite the significant progress made, “large-scale or prolonged disruptions still happen more frequently than acceptable”.