Dear A.S.S. Editor

The Public Service Division has just announced some changes in the Permanent Secretaries portfolios across some ministries, where two ministries will get a new second Permanent Secretary, while another two current permanent secretaries will change portfolios in June. And of these four changes, three are high flyers from the armed forces.

Seems like the route where you are a high flyer in the Armed Forces, and then moving on to positions in the ministries is a well trodden path on Singapore. The three newly elected Permanent Secretaries are Rear-Adm Lai Chung Han, the outgoing navy chief; Mr Neo Kian Hong, the Chief of Defence Force from 2010 to 2013; and Mr Ng Chee Kern, the air force chief from 2006 to 2009.

Rear-Admiral Lai Chung Han, 44, will be appointed Second Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education (MOE) on June 19, after he steps down as Singapore’s Navy Chief, Mr Neo Kian Hong will be appointed Permanent Secretary for Defence Development, and Mr Ng Chee Kern will continue as Permanent Secretary (Smart Nation and Digital Government) for the Prime Minister’s Office, and chair the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) board at the same time.

Goes to show that these men at the top of the pyramid in the Armed Forces are guaranteed good posts within Ministries, so long as they don’t screw up any of their appointments.

Dominic Lau

A.S.S. Contributor

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