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[1]Chee Hong Tat (simplified Chinese: 徐芳达; traditional Chinese: 徐芳達; pinyin: Xú Fāng Dá) is a Singaporean politician. A member of the People's Action Party, he is currently the Senior Minister of State. He has been a Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Bishan-Toa Payoh Group Representation Constituency since 2015.

Chee Hong Tat
Member of the Singapore Parliament
for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC
Assumed office
11 Sept 2015
PresidentTony Tan Keng Yam and Halimah Yacob
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
Second Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry
In office
1 December 2014 – 11 August 2015
PresidentTony Tan Keng Yam
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
Chief Executive at the Energy Market Authority
In office
9 May 2011 – 1 April 2015
PresidentS R Nathan (2011)
Tony Tan Keng Yam (2011–2015)
Prime MinisterLee Hsien Loong
Personal details
Born1974 (age 44–45)
Alma materThe Chinese High School
Raffles Junior College
University of California at Berkeley
Adelaide University



Chee Hong Tat studied at the University of California at Berkeley on an Overseas Merit Scholarship, and graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science (Highest Honours) in Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences and a Bachelor of Arts (Highest Honours) in Economics. He obtained a Masters of Business Administration from Adelaide University in 2006,[2] and was awarded the Newmont Australia Prize for Most Outstanding MBA Graduate.

Civil Service careerEdit

Chee Hong Tat joined the Administrative Service in 1998. He worked in various ministries, including Home Affairs, Finance, Transport and Education.[3]

Chee Hong Tat was Principal Private Secretary to the late Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew from 2008 to 2011. Chee described his years with Mr Lee in the book Up Close with Lee Kuan Yew, Insights from colleagues and friends.[4] “He was a hard taskmaster with exacting standards and little patience for mediocrity. The reward for doing your job well was to be given more work.” Mr Lee was a “generous teacher” albeit the training included “getting reprimanded and receiving candid feedback”. The quality which stood out most for Chee was Lee Kuan Yew's commitment to the country, “his single-minded focus on doing what was good for Singapore”.

As Mr Lee's PPS, Chee was, for the large part, out of the public's eye. He however received attention following a letter he wrote to the Straits Times Forum on 7 March 2009 in response to a call by Nanyang Technological University's Division of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies for a return to dialects saying that "it would be stupid for any Singapore agency or NTU to advocate the learning of dialects, which must be at the expense of English and Mandarin".[5]

The NTU incident and the letter are however cited in Lee Kuan Yew's book My Lifelong Challenge: Singapore’s Bilingual Journey.[6] “I thought it was a daft call. My then-principal private secretary Chee Hong Tat issued a reply on my behalf.”

Chee was one of the eight pallbearers for the funeral of Mr Lee Kuan Yew.[7]

After Lee left the Cabinet in 2011, Chee served as Chief Executive of the Energy Market Authority from 9 May 2011[8] to 1 April 2015.[9] On 1 December 2014, he was appointed Second Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Trade and Industry.[10]

Political careerEdit

On 11 August 2015, Mr Chee resigned from the Administrative Service to stand for the General Election.[11] Two years prior to GE2015, he had been spotted at grassroots events in Bishan-Toa Payoh[12] and Marine Parade[13] GRCs.

On Nomination Day, Mr Chee's fist clenching and chest thumping action, in response to hecklers,[14] shocked a few observers, whilst amusing others. Asked about the incident, Chee said, “I’m new to this, so there’s much for me to learn. I’ll certainly try to improve.” [15]

Chee was part of the team of five led by Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen that won 73.59 percent of the votes in the Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC.[16]

On 1 October 2015, Mr Chee was appointed Minister of State for Health and Communications and Information.

In 2016 Mr Chee appeared in TV Drama Eat Already? promoting healthy eating diets.[17]

On 1 May 2017, Mr Chee was promoted to Senior Minister of State for both Ministries.[18] On 9 November 2017, Chee took to Facebook alleging NCMP Leon Perera had made false accusations on Mediacorp of making partisan edits on the video of Parliamentary debate on Presidential Elections (Amendment) Bill in February.[19] In response, Leon rejected his claim and stated that his questions were about the ownership of the copyright to Parliamentary video footage and why Parliamentary video live feed cannot be made available as it is in many other countries. Leon Perera later apologised in Parliament.[20]

On 10 March 2018, Mr Chee was one of a number of PAP members who responded to Sylvia Lim over her remark that the government had intended to raise GST in the current term but backtracked due to negative public reaction. He chided the Workers' Party for using this issue to discredit the PAP government, saying that it was an attack on its integrity and not responding as strongly as they did would imply that the government is dishonest.[21] Ms Lim acknowledged that she "may have been wrong".[22]

On 24 March 2018, it was announced that Mr Chee will move to Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Trade and Industry (Singapore) and Ministry of Education (Singapore).[23]

Personal lifeEdit

Chee Hong Tat is married with four children.[24]


  1. ^ hermes (2015-09-03). "Stepping out of comfort zone to serve". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  2. ^ "SMS Chee Hong Tat" (PDF). Parliament of Singapore.
  3. ^ "Second Perm Sec for Trade and Industry Chee Hong Tat leaves civil service". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 2015-08-16.
  4. ^ Various authors (2016). Up Close with Lee Kuan YewC : Insights from colleagues and friends. Marshall Cavendish.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Lee, Kuan Yew (2012). My Lifelong Challenge: Singapore's Bilingual Journey. Straits Times Press.
  7. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "Lawrence Wong steps down as Chief Executive of Energy Market Authority, may enter politics". 29 March 2011.
  9. ^ "New Chief Executive For Energy Market Authority". Ministry of Trade and Industry.
  10. ^ "Second Permanent Secretary". Ministry of Trade and Industry.
  11. ^ Yong, Charissa (4 August 2015). "Senior civil servant Chee Hong Tat, 41, resigns from the civil service". The Straits Times.
  12. ^ hermes (2015-07-30). "Three potential candidates spotted with PAP MPs". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  13. ^ "New PAP candidates: This 'small brother' wants to pay it back". The New Paper. 2015-08-13. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  14. ^ hermes (2015-09-03). "Stepping out of comfort zone to serve". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  15. ^ hermes (2015-09-03). "Stepping out of comfort zone to serve". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  16. ^ "GE2015: PAP wins Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC with 73.59% of votes". Business Times. 2015-09-12. Retrieved 2016-12-08.
  17. ^ govsingapore (2016-10-20), 《吃饱没?》(Eat Already?) Episode 7, retrieved 2018-11-19
  18. ^ "SMS Chee Hong Tat" (PDF). Parliament of Singapore.
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Chee Hong Tat" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-08-16.
Parliament of Singapore
Preceded by
Hri Kumar Nair
as MP (Thomson-Toa Payoh)
Member of Parliament for
Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC (Toa Payoh West-Balestier)

2015 – present