Lee Hsien Loong
Overview
 
Lee Hsien Loong is the third and current Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Singapore
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore is the head of the government of the Republic of Singapore. The President of Singapore appoints as Prime Minister a Member of Parliament who, in his opinion, is most likely to command the confidence of a majority of MPs.The office of Prime Minister...

 of Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

. He is married to Ho Ching
Ho Ching
Ho Ching is the Chief Executive Officer of Temasek Holdings and the wife of the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong...

, who is the Executive Director
Executive director
Executive director is a term sometimes applied to the chief executive officer or managing director of an organization, company, or corporation. It is widely used in North American non-profit organizations, though in recent decades many U.S. nonprofits have adopted the title "President/CEO"...

 and Chief Executive Officer
Chief executive officer
A chief executive officer , managing director , Executive Director for non-profit organizations, or chief executive is the highest-ranking corporate officer or administrator in charge of total management of an organization...

 of Temasek Holdings
Temasek Holdings
Temasek Holdings is an investment company owned by the government of Singapore. With an international staff of 380 people, it manages a portfolio of about S$193 billion at end of March 2011, focused primarily in Asia...

. He is the eldest son of Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew, GCMG, CH is a Singaporean statesman. He was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, governing for three decades...

.
The eldest child of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew, GCMG, CH is a Singaporean statesman. He was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, governing for three decades...

 and Kwa Geok Choo
Kwa Geok Choo
Kwa Geok Choo was a Singaporean most widely known as the wife of Singapore's Minister Mentor and former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, and one of the partners in the law firm Lee & Lee. Kwa was also the mother of current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong...

, Lee was born in Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 on 10 February 1952. His grandmother Chua Jim Neo was a Hokkien
Hokkien
Hokkien is a Hokkien word corresponding to Standard Chinese "Fujian". It may refer to:* Hokkien dialect, a dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in Southern Fujian , Taiwan, South-east Asia, and elsewhere....

 Nyonya
Peranakan
Peranakan Chinese and Baba-Nyonya are terms used for the descendants of late 15th and 16th-century Chinese immigrants to the Indonesian archipelago of Nusantara during the Colonial era....

, and his mother Kwa Geok Choo has ancestry from Tong'an District
Tong'an District
Tong'an District is a northern mainland district of Xiamen which faces Jinmen. Tong'an is located on the southeast of Fujian province. To the north is Anxi and Nan'an, to the south is Jimei. Tong'an is also east of Lianxiang and Changqin to the West...

, Xiamen
Xiamen
Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

, in Fujian province. In Lee Kuan Yew's biography, the young Lee had learned Jawi script since he was five, and has always been interested in the affairs of Singapore, often following his father to the rally grounds since 1963.
Lee studied at Nanyang Primary School
Nanyang Primary School
Nanyang Primary School is a co-educational primary school in Singapore, normally covering ages 6 to 12. It is situated in Bukit Timah , which is a private housing district near Coronation Plaza. The principal is Mrs Lee Hui Feng. Although it is not run by the government of Singapore, it receives...

, received his secondary education at Catholic High School
Catholic High School (Singapore)
Catholic High School ' is an all-boys Catholic school in Singapore offering a six-year primary, a four-year GCE 'O' Level education and a six-year GCE 'A' Level education starting from 2013. The primary school offers the Gifted Education Program in addition to the standard PSLE curriculum. The...

 and subsequently studied at National Junior College
National Junior College
National Junior College is the first junior college established by the Ministry Of Education, located in Bukit Timah, Singapore. It is considered as one of the top five junior colleges in Singapore. NJC offers a two-year course for pre-university students leading up to the GCE 'A' Levels...

, where he learned the clarinet under the tutelage of Adjunct Associate Professor Ho Hwee Long.
Quotations

You put out a funny podcast, you talk about bak chor mee. I will say mee siam mai hum.

National Day Rally, 2006

Encyclopedia
Lee Hsien Loong is the third and current Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Singapore
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore is the head of the government of the Republic of Singapore. The President of Singapore appoints as Prime Minister a Member of Parliament who, in his opinion, is most likely to command the confidence of a majority of MPs.The office of Prime Minister...

 of Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

. He is married to Ho Ching
Ho Ching
Ho Ching is the Chief Executive Officer of Temasek Holdings and the wife of the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong...

, who is the Executive Director
Executive director
Executive director is a term sometimes applied to the chief executive officer or managing director of an organization, company, or corporation. It is widely used in North American non-profit organizations, though in recent decades many U.S. nonprofits have adopted the title "President/CEO"...

 and Chief Executive Officer
Chief executive officer
A chief executive officer , managing director , Executive Director for non-profit organizations, or chief executive is the highest-ranking corporate officer or administrator in charge of total management of an organization...

 of Temasek Holdings
Temasek Holdings
Temasek Holdings is an investment company owned by the government of Singapore. With an international staff of 380 people, it manages a portfolio of about S$193 billion at end of March 2011, focused primarily in Asia...

. He is the eldest son of Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew, GCMG, CH is a Singaporean statesman. He was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, governing for three decades...

.

Early life

The eldest child of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew, GCMG, CH is a Singaporean statesman. He was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, governing for three decades...

 and Kwa Geok Choo
Kwa Geok Choo
Kwa Geok Choo was a Singaporean most widely known as the wife of Singapore's Minister Mentor and former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, and one of the partners in the law firm Lee & Lee. Kwa was also the mother of current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong...

, Lee was born in Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 on 10 February 1952. His grandmother Chua Jim Neo was a Hokkien
Hokkien
Hokkien is a Hokkien word corresponding to Standard Chinese "Fujian". It may refer to:* Hokkien dialect, a dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in Southern Fujian , Taiwan, South-east Asia, and elsewhere....

 Nyonya
Peranakan
Peranakan Chinese and Baba-Nyonya are terms used for the descendants of late 15th and 16th-century Chinese immigrants to the Indonesian archipelago of Nusantara during the Colonial era....

, and his mother Kwa Geok Choo has ancestry from Tong'an District
Tong'an District
Tong'an District is a northern mainland district of Xiamen which faces Jinmen. Tong'an is located on the southeast of Fujian province. To the north is Anxi and Nan'an, to the south is Jimei. Tong'an is also east of Lianxiang and Changqin to the West...

, Xiamen
Xiamen
Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

, in Fujian province. In Lee Kuan Yew's biography, the young Lee had learned Jawi script since he was five, and has always been interested in the affairs of Singapore, often following his father to the rally grounds since 1963.
Lee studied at Nanyang Primary School
Nanyang Primary School
Nanyang Primary School is a co-educational primary school in Singapore, normally covering ages 6 to 12. It is situated in Bukit Timah , which is a private housing district near Coronation Plaza. The principal is Mrs Lee Hui Feng. Although it is not run by the government of Singapore, it receives...

, received his secondary education at Catholic High School
Catholic High School (Singapore)
Catholic High School ' is an all-boys Catholic school in Singapore offering a six-year primary, a four-year GCE 'O' Level education and a six-year GCE 'A' Level education starting from 2013. The primary school offers the Gifted Education Program in addition to the standard PSLE curriculum. The...

 and subsequently studied at National Junior College
National Junior College
National Junior College is the first junior college established by the Ministry Of Education, located in Bukit Timah, Singapore. It is considered as one of the top five junior colleges in Singapore. NJC offers a two-year course for pre-university students leading up to the GCE 'A' Levels...

, where he learned the clarinet under the tutelage of Adjunct Associate Professor Ho Hwee Long. In 1971, he was awarded the President's Scholarship and Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Scholarship
Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Scholarship
The Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Scholarship , is a scholarship by the Public Service Commission .The SAFOS is second in prestige to the President's Scholarship. Singaporean males have to serve two years of National Service upon completion of their GCE A level or International Baccalaureate...

 by the Public Service Commission (Singapore)
Public Service Commission (Singapore)
The Public Service Commission , Singapore , is constituted under Part IX of the Constitution of Singapore and its constitutional role is to appoint, confirm, promote, transfer, dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over public officers in Singapore.The PSC also retains two key...

 to attend Cambridge University where he studied mathematics and graduated in 1974 with First Class Honours in Mathematics and a Diploma in Computer Science (with distinction). He subsequently obtained a Master of Public Administration
Master of Public Administration
The Master of Public Administration is a professional post-graduate degree in Public Administration. The MPA program prepares individuals to serve as managers in the executive arm of local, state/provincial, and federal/national government, and increasingly in nongovernmental organization and...

 (MPA) from Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

's Kennedy School of Government
John F. Kennedy School of Government
The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University is a public policy and public administration school, and one of Harvard's graduate and professional schools...

 in 1980.

Lee joined the Singapore Armed Forces
Singapore Armed Forces
The Singapore Armed Forces is the military arm of the Total Defence of the Republic of Singapore; as well as the military component of the Ministry of Defence. The SAF comprises three branches: the Singapore Army, the Republic of Singapore Air Force and the Republic of Singapore Navy...

 (SAF) in 1971 and rose quickly through the ranks becoming the youngest Brigadier General
Brigadier General
Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000...

 in Singapore's history. In 1978, he attended the US Army Command and General Staff College
Command and General Staff College
The United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas is a graduate school for United States Army and sister service officers, interagency representatives, and international military officers. The college was established in 1881 by William Tecumseh Sherman as a...

 at Fort Leavenworth
Fort Leavenworth
Fort Leavenworth is a United States Army facility located in Leavenworth County, Kansas, immediately north of the city of Leavenworth in the upper northeast portion of the state. It is the oldest active United States Army post west of Washington, D.C. and has been in operation for over 180 years...

. He retired from the military in 1984 to enter politics and was elected as a Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 that year. Lee's first wife, Malaysian-born doctor Wong Ming Yang, died on 28 October 1982 of a heart attack three weeks after giving birth to Lee's first son Li Yipeng, an autistic
Autism
Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. These signs all begin before a child is three years old. Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their...

 albino. In 1985, Lee married Ho Ching
Ho Ching
Ho Ching is the Chief Executive Officer of Temasek Holdings and the wife of the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong...

, a fast-rising civil servant. They have one daughter and three sons (the oldest son of Ho Ching, Li Hongyi was the winner of the Lee Kuan Yew Award for Math & Science in 2006, the same year he was commissioned as an officer in the Singapore Armed forces at the SAFTI Military Institute), including one daughter and son from Lee's first wife.

In 1992, Lee was diagnosed with lymphoma
Lymphoma
Lymphoma is a cancer in the lymphatic cells of the immune system. Typically, lymphomas present as a solid tumor of lymphoid cells. Treatment might involve chemotherapy and in some cases radiotherapy and/or bone marrow transplantation, and can be curable depending on the histology, type, and stage...

. He underwent a three-month period of chemotherapy
Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer with an antineoplastic drug or with a combination of such drugs into a standardized treatment regimen....

 and has since gone into remission.

Early political career

Lee entered politics with the People's Action Party
People's Action Party
The People's Action Party is the leading political party in Singapore. It has been the city-state's ruling political party since 1959....

 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 his father, Lee Kuan Yew, and was subsequently promoted to Acting Minister for Trade and Industry in 1986, and the Second Minister for Defence.

Deputy Prime Minister

When Goh Chok Tong
Goh Chok Tong
Goh Chok Tong is the Senior Minister of Singapore and the chairman of the central bank of Singapore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore. He also served as the second Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore from 28 November 1990 to 12 August 2004, succeeding Lee Kuan Yew, the former Prime...

 became the Prime Minister of Singapore
Prime Minister of Singapore
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore is the head of the government of the Republic of Singapore. The President of Singapore appoints as Prime Minister a Member of Parliament who, in his opinion, is most likely to command the confidence of a majority of MPs.The office of Prime Minister...

 on 28 November 1990, Lee became the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore. He focused on economic and civil service matters and concurrently served as Minister for Trade and Industry
Ministry of Trade and Industry (Singapore)
The Ministry Of Trade and Industry is a ministry of the Government of Singapore that directs the formulation of policies related to the development of trade and industry in Singapore.-Mission:...

 until 1992.

Lee was appointed Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore
Monetary Authority of Singapore
The Monetary Authority of Singapore is Singapore's central bank and financial regulatory authority...

 in 1998, and Minister for Finance
Minister for Finance (Singapore)
The Minister for Finance is an appointment in the Cabinet of Singapore and heads the Ministry of Finance. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who was Second Minister for Finance, took over the ministership on 2007-12-01 when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong relinquished the Finance post ....

 in 2001. During Lee's thirteen and a half years as Deputy Prime Minister, he exerted significant influence on Singapore's governance, especially in economic and social affairs.

To ease the growing budget deficit due to falling tax revenues from cuts in corporate and personal income taxes and other factors such as the Iraq War and SARS
Severe acute respiratory syndrome
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome is a respiratory disease in humans which is caused by the SARS coronavirus . Between November 2002 and July 2003 an outbreak of SARS in Hong Kong nearly became a pandemic, with 8,422 cases and 916 deaths worldwide according to the WHO...

 outbreak, Lee proposed on 29 August 2003 to raise the GST
Goods and Services Tax (Singapore)
Goods and Services Tax in Singapore is a broad-based value added tax levied on import of goods, as well as nearly all supplies of goods and services. The only exemptions are for the sales and leases of residential properties and most financial services...

 from three percent to five percent, a change that took place in January 2004.

Lee also initiated several relaxations of the requirements for Singapore citizenship, notably for foreign-born children of Singaporean women. The changes were made after repeated pleas from MPs and the Remaking Singapore Committee
Remaking Singapore Committee
The Remaking Singapore Committee or was established in February 2002. It is to complement the work of the Economic Review Committee of Singapore. It is led by the Minister of State for National Development Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.-External links:*...

.

In the sphere of domestic politics, Lee played a key role as Deputy Prime Minister. In a media interview in 1996, ahead of the 1997 general election, he outlined what the ruling party looked for in its candidates for Members of Parliament.

On the international front, Lee helped build relations with other countries as far away as New Zealand.

2004

In the months leading up to his taking over as independent Singapore's third Prime Minister in 2004, Lee was already signalling reforms in some key areas, including ceding more space to the private and people sectors. Of the government's role, he said in a speech: "Nanny should not look after everything all the time".

On 12 August 2004, Lee Hsien Loong succeeded Goh Chok Tong
Goh Chok Tong
Goh Chok Tong is the Senior Minister of Singapore and the chairman of the central bank of Singapore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore. He also served as the second Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore from 28 November 1990 to 12 August 2004, succeeding Lee Kuan Yew, the former Prime...

 as Prime Minister, relinquishing his Chairmanship of the Monetary Authority of Singapore to Goh Chok Tong. Lee was sworn in by former Chief Justice
Chief Justice of Singapore
The Chief Justice of Singapore is the highest post in the judicial system of Singapore. The Chief Justice is appointed by the President, chosen from candidates recommended by the Prime Minister. The present Chief Justice is Chan Sek Keong....

 Yong Pung How
Yong Pung How
Yong Pung How, DUT . He was the former Chief Justice of Singapore, serving from 1990 to 2006. Prior to his judicial career, he was a lawyer, banker and senior government official...

 at the Istana, office of the President of Singapore
President of Singapore
The President of the Republic of Singapore is Singapore's head of state. In a Westminster parliamentary system, as which Singapore governs itself, the prime minister is the head of the government while the position of president is largely ceremonial. Before 1993, the President of Singapore was...

.

Lee made his maiden National Day Rally
National Day Rally
The National Day Rally is an annual address that the Prime Minister of Singapore makes to the entire nation, on the second Sunday after August 9, the country's National Day...

 on 12 August 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 leave for mothers of newly-born children and financial incentives to mothers who give birth to a fourth child. These policies were initiated in response to the declining birth rate that Singapore has experienced in recent years.

In November 2004, Lee sparked a national debate when he revealed a proposal to build two Integrated Resort
Integrated Resort
An integrated resort is a resort with a wide variety of leisure and entertainment attractions, all housed in one resort property. The first known integrated resort began in early 1980s in Malaysia, when Resorts World Genting was developed from a single hotel with casino facility to a variety of...

s (IRs) which are holiday resorts with casinos. In April 2005, despite substantial opposition expressed by the public, Lee announced the decision to approve the proposal. The two IRs are to be built in Marina Bay
Marina Bay
Marina Bay is a bay near Central Area in the southern part of Singapore, and lies to the east of the Downtown Core. Marina Bay is set to be a 24/7 destination with endless opportunities for people to “explore new living and lifestyle options, exchange new ideas and information for business, and be...

 and Sentosa
Sentosa
Sentosa, which translates to peace and tranquility in Malay , is a popular island resort in Singapore, visited by some five million people a year...

. To limit the negative social impact of casino gambling, Lee suggested that safeguards be implemented, such as prohibiting minors from entering the casinos and charging a SGD$100 entrance fee for Singaporeans and permanent residents or SGD$2000 for a year-long entrance fee.

The 2006 General Election

In February 2006, 3 months before the General Election, Lee announced in parliament a S$2.6 billion bonus called the Progress Package. The plan was to distribute budget surpluses accumulated from the past few years to adult Singaporeans in the form of cash to everyone, top-ups to the state pension savings for elders, rental and utilities rebates for those living in public housing, educational funds for school children from low-income families, and cash bonuses for low-wage workers above 40 and for those men who have completed National Service. The cash bonuses was distributed in early May 2006.

Critics, especially members of the opposition, have slammed the Progress Package as a "vote-buying exercise" for the Singapore parliamentary election
Singapore general election, 2006
The 2006 Singapore parliamentary general election was held on 6 May 2006. 1.22 million out of the 2.16 million eligible Singaporeans voted for Members of Parliament and elected their next government. The People's Action Party , in its first election under Lee Hsien Loong, won 66.6% of the overall...

 held on 6 May 2006. In that election, Lee led the People's Action Party
People's Action Party
The People's Action Party is the leading political party in Singapore. It has been the city-state's ruling political party since 1959....

 to win 82 of the 84 seats, including 37 walkovers. Lee and his 6-member team won the Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency
Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency
Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency is a six-member Group Representation Constituency in the north eastern region of Singapore...

 with 96,591 (60.42%) votes out of the total 159,872 votes cast. Most of the opposition WP's team of 6 were in their 20s and the constituency was contested for the first time in 15 years.

Its decision to contest Ang Mo Kio came as a surprise, as the opposition was expected to stay away from GRCs helmed by heavyweight ministers; but the party said that giving Ang Mo Kio residents a chance to vote was a prime reason for contesting the GRC. Given the inexperience of the WP team and Lee Hsien Loong's position as the Prime Minister, they won a surprisingly strong 49,468 votes (30.94%). There were also an extremely high percentage of void votes: 13,813 (8.64%).

2010

In May 2010, Lee instituted electoral reforms to the current electoral system
Parliamentary elections in Singapore
Parliamentary elections in Singapore must be held within three months after five years have elapsed from the date of the first sitting of a particular Parliament of Singapore. However, in most cases Parliament is dissolved and a general election called at the behest of the Prime Minister before the...

 by reducing the number of Group representation constituencies (GRC), increased the number of Non-constituency Members of Parliament
Non-Constituency Member of Parliament
Non-Constituency Members of Parliament are members of the opposition parties who are appointed as members of the Parliament of Singapore even though they had lost in the parliamentary election....

 (NCMPs) to a maximum of nine (inclusive of the number of elected opposition members of Parliament), and the number of Nominated Members of Parliament
Nominated Member of Parliament
A Nominated Member of Parliament is a Member of the Parliament of Singapore who is appointed instead of being elected into office by the people, and who does not belong to any political party or represent any constituency. There are currently nine NMPs in Parliament...

 (NMPs) permanent also to nine. Also part of the reforms was the legalization of internet campaigning
Internet activism
Internet activism is the use of electronic communication technologies such as e-mail, the World Wide Web, and podcasts for various forms of activism to enable faster communications by citizen movements and the delivery of local information to a large audience...

 and mandating a "cooling-off" day where campaigning is prohibited except for party political broadcasts.

2011

Effective 1 June 2011, Lee was named chairman of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation
Government of Singapore Investment Corporation
The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Private Limited is a sovereign wealth fund established by the Government of Singapore in 1981 to manage Singapore's foreign reserves...

 which manages more than $100 billion of the in assets. He succeeds his father, Lee Kuan Yew, who will remain as senior advisor to the fund.

The 2011 General Election

In April 2011, a general election was called for 7 May 2011. For the second time, the PAP was not return to government on Nomination Day with only one uncontested walkover. In the final results, the PAP saw a 6.46% swing against the it from the 2006 elections to 60.14%, its lowest since independence. While the PAP met most expectations to sweep into power and claim over two-thirds of parliamentary seats, it won 81 out of 87 seats, and lost Aljunied Group Representation Constituency
Aljunied Group Representation Constituency
Aljunied Group Representation Constituency is a five-member group representation constituency in the north-eastern region of Singapore. The GRC consists of a large part of Hougang, Serangoon Gardens, a portion of Bedok and Aljunied...

 to the Workers' Party of Singapore
Workers' Party of Singapore
The Workers' Party of Singapore is a centre-left opposition political party in Singapore. The party currently has six elected seats in Parliament, with the party's Secretary-General Low Thia Khiang, Chairman Sylvia Lim, Chen Show Mao, Muhamad Faisal Manap and Pritam Singh serving as Members of...

, the first time a GRC was won by an opposition party. Two cabinet ministers namely Foreign Minister George Yeo Yong-Boon and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Lim Hwee Hua
Lim Hwee Hua
Lim Hwee Hua was a Singaporean politician, who was formerly the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and appointed concurrently as Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for Transport.-Early career:...

 were defeated.

Later on, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew, GCMG, CH is a Singaporean statesman. He was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, governing for three decades...

 and Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong
Goh Chok Tong
Goh Chok Tong is the Senior Minister of Singapore and the chairman of the central bank of Singapore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore. He also served as the second Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore from 28 November 1990 to 12 August 2004, succeeding Lee Kuan Yew, the former Prime...

 tendered their resignations from the Cabinet, stating that they wished to give the Prime Minister a "fresh clean slate" in forming the Government and enable him to "have a completely younger team of ministers to connect to and engage with this young generation". Lee and Goh were appointed as senior advisers to the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation
Government of Singapore Investment Corporation
The Government of Singapore Investment Corporation Private Limited is a sovereign wealth fund established by the Government of Singapore in 1981 to manage Singapore's foreign reserves...

 (GIC) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore
Monetary Authority of Singapore
The Monetary Authority of Singapore is Singapore's central bank and financial regulatory authority...

 (MAS) respectively.

Lee was sworn-in into a second term on 21 May 2011. His new cabinet included three newly appointed ministers namely, S. Iswaran
S. Iswaran
S. Iswaran is a politician from Singapore. A member of the governing People's Action Party , he currently serves in the Cabinet as a Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Second Minister for Trade and Industry...

, formerly Senior Minister of State for Education and for Trade and Industry, was elevated to the Cabinet as Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, and Second Minister for Home Affairs
Ministry of Home Affairs (Singapore)
The Ministry of Home Affairs is a ministry of the Government of Singapore responsible for public safety, civil defence and immigration. It is also known as the Home Team. It is headed by the Minister for Home Affairs....

 and for Trade and Industry. Heng Swee Keat and Chan Chun Sing
Chan Chun Sing
Chan Chun Sing is a politician from Singapore. A member of the country's governing People's Action Party , he is currently the Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, and a Minister of State at the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts...

, both elected to Parliament for the first time, were respectively assigned the posts of Minister for Education
Ministry of Education (Singapore)
The Ministry Of Education is a ministry of the Government of Singapore that directs the formulation and implementation of policies related to education in Singapore.-Statutory boards:...

, and Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports
Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports
The Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports is a ministry of the Government of Singapore tasked with, from the government's point of view, building a "cohesive and resilient" society in Singapore.The MCYS often pursues vigorous social engineering campaigns of varying effectiveness and...

 and Minister of State for the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts
Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts
The Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts is a ministry of the Government of Singapore...

. Heng was the first new MP directly appointed a full minister since 1984.

Foreign relations

China
Relations with China have improved under Lee's administration. Smooth progress has been made in areas of trade, tourism and investment, which is not merely in accordance with the interest of the two countries, but promises to be beneficial to the common development of the region. The China-Singapore Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) is responsible for promoting Sino-Singaporean co-operation.

During his meeting with vice-premier Wu Yi
Wu Yi
Wu Yi was one of four Vice Premiers of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, overseeing the country's economy until March 2008. Known as the "iron lady", Wu is one of the toughest negotiators in China's government.-Biography:...

 in September 2005, Lee proposed the establishment of a China-ASEAN Free Trade Zone, which would achieve the goal of realizing US$50 billion in trade volume before 2010. In doing so, both agreed that relations between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Association of Southeast Asian Nations
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, commonly abbreviated ASEAN rarely ), is a geo-political and economic organization of ten countries located in Southeast Asia, which was formed on 8 August 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Since then, membership has...

 (ASEAN) should be elevated.

During his seven-day visit to China in late October 2005, the Prime Minister stressed the need of improving bilateral diplomatic relationships between ASEAN and China. Lee also urged leaders to focus on the next wave of growth in north-eastern China, saying:
United States
Singapore has generally had a favourable relationship with the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The growth of bilateral trade improved commercial and diplomatic ties between the two countries after the implementation of the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement and the growth in bilateral trade has been evident since the Free Trade Agreement became effective on 1 January 2004.

Lee made his inaugural visit to the United States, as Prime Minister of Singapore, between 6 July and 16 July 2005. Several other ministers, notably the defence minister Teo Chee Hean
Teo Chee Hean
Teo Chee Hean is a politician from Singapore. A member of the governing People's Action Party , he is currently the country's Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Home Affairs and Co-ordinating Minister for National Security, and a Member of Parliament for the Pasir Ris-Punggol Group...

 and foreign minister George Yeo
George Yeo
George Yeo Yong-Boon is a former politician from Singapore. A member of the governing People's Action Party , he served in the Cabinet from 1991 to 2011 as the Minister for Information and the Arts , Minister for Health , Minister for Trade and Industry and Minister for Foreign Affairs...

, accompanied Lee.

On 12 July 2005, President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 and Lee signed the "Strategic Framework Agreement between the United States of America and the Republic of Singapore for a Closer Cooperation Partnership in Defence and Security". The agreement was a natural step in the expansion of bilateral ties. President Bush and the then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong had first announced their intention to conclude this agreement in October 2003.

The intention of the agreement is to address common threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of Weapons of mass destruction
Weapons of mass destruction
A weapon of mass destruction is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans and/or cause great damage to man-made structures , natural structures , or the biosphere in general...

 (WMD), which called for even closer cooperation between the United States and Singapore.

The agreement recognizes Singapore's role as a Major Security Cooperation Partner and will expand the scope of current cooperation in areas such as counter-terrorism, counter-proliferation
Counter-proliferation
Counter-proliferation refers to diplomatic, intelligence, and military efforts to combat the proliferation of weapons, including both conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction...

, joint military exercises and training, policy dialogues and defence technology. The Agreement will further enhance regional stability by supporting the continued security presence of the United States in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

.

Both Lee and Bush agree that US presence in Southeast Asia has promoted peace and stability, which are crucial for regional cooperation and economic development.

During their meeting, both Bush and Lee acknowledged the progress in the war on terror. Lee commended Bush's 'resolute and steadfast stance in the war on terror' and expressed Singapore’s continued support in this endeavour. In exchange, Bush commended the professionalism of the Singapore Armed Forces personnel, who have been deployed in support of Iraq operations over the past two years and of the Singapore Police Force, which has provided critically important training. Both Bush and Lee also pledged to sustain the close cooperation between the United States and Singapore in key regional and global multilateral institutions.

Controversies

As the eldest son of Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew, GCMG, CH is a Singaporean statesman. He was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, governing for three decades...

, Lee's career has been shadowed by allegations of nepotism
Nepotism
Nepotism is favoritism granted to relatives regardless of merit. The word nepotism is from the Latin word nepos, nepotis , from which modern Romanian nepot and Italian nipote, "nephew" or "grandchild" are also descended....

. At the age of 32 he became the youngest Brigadier General
Brigadier General
Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000...

 in Singapore's history, and from a young age was widely tipped to be Lee Kuan Yew's successor as Prime Minister. When Lee Kuan Yew stepped down as Prime Minister to make way for his successor, Goh Chok Tong, several critics had seen Goh as a seat-warmer, but Lee Kuan Yew said he had disproved that. In his memoirs, Lee Kuan Yew stressed that he could not have his son directly succeed him.
However, such allegations by critics held on for six to seven years until Goh managed to prove his worth by regaining seats and pushing up the PAP's vote share in the 1997 elections. The appointment of Lee's wife Ho Ching as the director of state investment agency Temasek
Temasek
Temasek was the name of an early city on the site of modern Singapore. From the 14th century, the island has also been known as Singapura, which is derived from Sanskrit and means "Lion City"...

 has also raised some eyebrows.

The Lees have reacted strongly against these allegations by taking legal action, often winning large out-of-court settlements for defamation from, among others, the International Herald Tribune
International Herald Tribune
The International Herald Tribune is a widely read English language international newspaper. It combines the resources of its own correspondents with those of The New York Times and is printed at 38 sites throughout the world, for sale in more than 160 countries and territories...

(1994), Bloomberg
Bloomberg L.P.
Bloomberg L.P. is an American privately held financial software, media, and data company. Bloomberg makes up one third of the $16 billion global financial data market with estimated revenue of $6.9 billion. Bloomberg L.P...

(2002), The Economist
The Economist
The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843...

(2004) and the Financial Times
Financial Times
The Financial Times is an international business newspaper. It is a morning daily newspaper published in London and printed in 24 cities around the world. Its primary rival is the Wall Street Journal, published in New York City....

 (2007).

Lee's career has also been dogged by a reputation for being arrogant and autocratic. According to documented sources, at a pre-Cabinet meeting in 1990 an enraged Lee first insulted the then Minister for Finance Richard Hu and then physically slapped the then Minister for National Development S. Dhanabalan when he sided with Hu and demanded an apology. While those directly involved have never publicly mentioned the alleged incident, in 2003, then prime minister Goh Chok Tong
Goh Chok Tong
Goh Chok Tong is the Senior Minister of Singapore and the chairman of the central bank of Singapore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore. He also served as the second Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore from 28 November 1990 to 12 August 2004, succeeding Lee Kuan Yew, the former Prime...

 dismissed the incident when discussing the leadership transition to his successor.

Taiwan

On 10 July 2004, Lee visited Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, causing displeasure in the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

. On 28 August 2004 in his maiden National Day Rally speech, he criticized the Taiwanese leadership and populace of overestimating the support they would receive if they were to declare Taiwan independence
Taiwan independence
Taiwan independence is a political movement whose goals are primarily to formally establish the Republic of Taiwan by renaming or replacing the Republic of China , form a Taiwanese national identity, reject unification and One country, two systems with the People's Republic of China and a Chinese...

. At the same time, he also clarified during the rally that his visit to Taiwan in July was to ensure he gathered enough intelligence to make the right decisions when he took over the baton as Prime Minister. He reiterated his support for the One-China policy. Later that year in September, Foreign Minister George Yeo
George Yeo
George Yeo Yong-Boon is a former politician from Singapore. A member of the governing People's Action Party , he served in the Cabinet from 1991 to 2011 as the Minister for Information and the Arts , Minister for Health , Minister for Trade and Industry and Minister for Foreign Affairs...

 cautioned the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

 about the dangers of letting the cross-strait relationship deteriorate. In response, an enraged Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 Foreign Minister, Mark Chen
Mark Chen
Mark Chen Tang-shan , born September 16, 1935, in Tainan County , Taiwan, is a Taiwanese politician, former Secretary-General of the Office of the President of the Republic of China under ex-President Chen Shui-bian. He was also previously Foreign Minister of the ROC from 2004 to 2006...

, called Singapore a "Pi-Sai Country", translated literally from Hokkien
Hokkien
Hokkien is a Hokkien word corresponding to Standard Chinese "Fujian". It may refer to:* Hokkien dialect, a dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in Southern Fujian , Taiwan, South-east Asia, and elsewhere....

, it means a "country no bigger than a booger
Dried nasal mucus
Dried nasal mucus, pieces of which are colloquially known as bogeys in English and boogers in American, is commonly found in the nose and is a result of drying of the normally viscous colloidal mucus .-Formation:...

." The Taiwanese Foreign Minister later made a formal apology.

Japan

In 2005, Lee made a remark regarding Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
Junichiro Koizumi
is a Japanese politician who served as Prime Minister of Japan from 2001 to 2006. He retired from politics when his term in parliament ended.Widely seen as a maverick leader of the Liberal Democratic Party , he became known as an economic reformer, focusing on Japan's government debt and the...

's visit to Yasukuni Shrine
Yasukuni Shrine
is a Shinto shrine located in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. It is dedicated to the soldiers and others who died fighting on behalf of the Emperor of Japan. Currently, its Symbolic Registry of Divinities lists the names of over 2,466,000 enshrined men and women whose lives were dedicated to the service of...

, stating that "from the point of view of many countries in the region who have experienced Japanese occupation, it raises many unhappy memories". His remark drew public demonstrations outside the Singapore embassy in Japan on 24 May 2005 with protestors criticising Lee for "meddling" with Japanese issues.

Defamation judgment

On 24 September 2008, High Court
High Court of Singapore
The High Court of the Republic of Singapore is the lower division of the Supreme Court of Singapore, the upper being the Court of Appeal. It consists of the Chief Justice of Singapore and the Judges of the High Court. Judicial Commissioners are often appointed to assist with the Court's caseload...

, in a summary judgment
Summary judgment
In law, a summary judgment is a determination made by a court without a full trial. Such a judgment may be issued as to the merits of an entire case, or of specific issues in that case....

 by Justice
Justice
Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics; justice is the act of being just and/or fair.-Concept of justice:...

 Woo Bih Li
Woo Bih Li
Justice Woo Bih Li is a judge of the Supreme Court of Singapore.Justice Woo received his LL.B. from the University of Singapore in 1977, and was admitted as an advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court the following year. He joined the law firm Allen & Gledhill in 1970 and in 1992, he...

, ruled that the Far Eastern Economic Review
Far Eastern Economic Review
The Far Eastern Economic Review was an English language Asian news magazine started in 1946. It printed its final issue in December 2009. The Hong Kong-based business magazine was originally published weekly...

 (FEER) magazine-Hugo Restall, editor, defamed Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew, GCMG, CH is a Singaporean statesman. He was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, governing for three decades...

 and his son, Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 Lee Hsien Loong. The court found the 2006 article "Singapore's 'Martyr': Chee Soon Juan
Chee Soon Juan
Chee Soon Juan, PhD is a politician and political activist from Singapore. He is currently the leader of the opposition Singapore Democratic Party ....

" meant that Lee Kuan Yew "has been running and continues to run Singapore in the same corrupt manner as Durai operated NKF and he has been using libel actions to suppress those who would question to avoid exposure of his corruption." FEER has 30 days to appeal. The court sentenced FEER publisher and editor, owned by Dow Jones & Company
Dow Jones & Company
Dow Jones & Company is an American publishing and financial information firm.The company was founded in 1882 by three reporters: Charles Dow, Edward Jones, and Charles Bergstresser. Like The New York Times and the Washington Post, the company was in recent years publicly traded but privately...

 (in turn owned by Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch
Keith Rupert Murdoch, AC, KSG is an Australian-American business magnate. He is the founder and Chairman and CEO of , the world's second-largest media conglomerate....

's News Corp), to pay damages
Damages
In law, damages is an award, typically of money, to be paid to a person as compensation for loss or injury; grammatically, it is a singular noun, not plural.- Compensatory damages :...

 to complainants.

Defamation lawsuit

In 2010, Lee Hsien Loong, together with the two former prime minister preceded him, Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong, threatened legal action against The New York Times Company which owns The International Herald Tribune regarding an Op-Ed piece titled ‘All in the Family’ of 15 February 2010 by Philip Bowring, a freelance columnist and former editor of The Far Eastern Economic Review. The Herald Tribute apologized in March that readers of the article may ‘infer that the younger Lee did not achieve his position through merit’. The Times and Bowring also agreed to pay SG$60,000 to Lee, SG$50,000 to Lee Kuan Yew and SG$50,000 to Goh (total amounted to about US$114,000 at the time), in addition to legal costs. The case stemmed from a 1994 settlement between the three Singaporean leaders and the paper about an article also by Bowring that referred to ‘dynastic politics’ in East Asian countries including Singapore. In that settlement, Bowring agreed not to say or imply that the younger Lee had attained his position through nepotism by his father Lee Kuan Yew. In response, media rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders wrote an open letter to urge Lee and other top officials of the Singapore government to stop taking ‘libel actions’ against journalists.

Salary

Lee Hsien Loong currently earns an annual salary of S$
Singapore dollar
The Singapore dollar or Dollar is the official currency of Singapore. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively S$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies...

3,870,000 , an increase of 25% from S$3,091,200 , making him the highest paid head of government in the world. In comparison, the President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 earns a salary of US$400,000. The new salary took effect in January 2008.

Honours

  • Orden El Sol del Perú en el grado de Gran Cruz con Brillantes (Order of the Sun - Peru), bestowed 22 November 2008.
  • Olympic Order
    Olympic Order
    The Olympic Order is the highest award of the Olympic Movement, created by the International Olympic Committee in May 1975 as a successor to the Olympic Certificate previously awarded. The Olympic Order originally had three grades , although the bronze grade was retired in 1984...

     (Gold), conferred 13 August 2010.
  • Bad Democrat Of The Year, conferred 13 August 2006.

External links

  • Prime Minister's Office Singapore official government website
  • Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, MP official government website
  • Lee Hsien Loong collected news and commentary at CNN
    CNN
    Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

  • Lee Hsien Loong collected news and commentary at The Economic Times
    The Economic Times
    The Economic Times is an English-language Indian daily newspaper published by the Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.. The Economic Times was started in 1961. It is the most popular and widely read financial daily in India, read by more than 8 lakh people...

  • Lee Hsien Loong collected news and commentary at The Los Angeles Times
  • Lee Hsien Loong, The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy on PBS
    Public Broadcasting Service
    The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

    , 2002
  • Profile: Lee Hsien Loong, BBC News
    BBC News
    BBC News is the department of the British Broadcasting Corporation responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online...

    , 11 August 2004

Speeches
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