Lee Hsien Loong was sworn in as Singapore’s third Prime Minister on 12 August 2004.
Mr Lee was first elected Member of Parliament (MP) in 1984 as a candidate of the People's Action Party (PAP) and has been re-elected seven times, most recently in 2015 as an MP for the Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency. He was elected to the Central Executive Committee of the PAP in 1986, and became its Secretary-General in 2004.
Mr Lee was appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Ministry of Defence in 1984. He was confirmed as full Minister for Trade and Industry in 1987, and was concurrently Second Minister for Defence. In 1985, Mr Lee chaired the Economic Committee, which recommended changes to long established government policies to reduce business costs and revive the economy during a severe recession, as well as policies to foster longer term growth, including drastic reduction of corporate and personal taxes and the introduction of a consumption tax.
In 1990, Mr Lee was appointed Deputy Prime Minister with responsibilities for economic and civil service matters. He also concurrently served as Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) from 1998 until 2004, and Minister for Finance from 2001 until 2007. Mr Lee was appointed Chairman of Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC) in June 2011.
At the MAS, Mr Lee initiated reforms to liberalise the financial sector and to shift the emphasis from one-size-fits-all regulation towards a lighter supervisory touch, relying more on disclosure and caveat emptor.
As Minister for Finance, he chaired the Economic Review Committee which in 2003 proposed strategies to further restructure and upgrade the economy. These included tax changes to make Singapore more competitive and a major restructuring of the Central Provident Fund system.
As Prime Minister, Mr Lee has launched policies to build a competitive economy and an inclusive society. He has introduced new programmes to upgrade the education system, invest in R&D and infrastructure, and transform the city and living environment. Mr Lee chairs the Research, Innovation and Enterprise Council (RIEC), an international panel to oversee Singapore’s major effort in promoting R&D.
Mr Lee’s Government is also strengthening Singapore’s social safety nets. Significant measures include the Workfare Incentive Scheme, which is a negative income tax to encourage and reward older, low-income workers, and Community Care (ComCare), an endowment fund to support a wide range of welfare and social programmes targeted at the poor.
By tackling long-term issues such as the ageing population and the pressures of globalisation, Mr Lee seeks to gear up Singapore to seize the abundant opportunities in a vibrant Asia.
Before entering politics, Mr Lee was a Brigadier-General in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). He attended the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and held various staff and command posts, including the Director of the Joint Operations and Plans Directorate, and Chief of Staff of the General Staff.
Mr Lee was born on 10 February 1952 and completed his schooling in Singapore. He studied at the University of Cambridge, graduating with a B.A. in Mathematics and a Diploma in Computer Science. He subsequently earned a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.
First married to Wong Ming Yang in 1978, Mr Lee was widowed in 1982. He remarried Ho Ching in 1985. He has one daughter and three sons.
Mr Lee enjoys reading, photography, walking, listening to classical music and tinkering with computers.
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