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Wong Kan Seng
黄根成


Incumbent
Assumed office 
1 September 2005
Serving with Teo Chee Hean
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Preceded by Tony Tan Keng Yam

Incumbent
Assumed office 
1994
Preceded by S. Jayakumar

In office
1988–1994
Preceded by S Dhanabalan
Succeeded by S. Jayakumar

Minister for Community Development
In office
1987–1991

Deputy Chairman of People's Association
In office
1992–2006

Incumbent
Assumed office 
1997

Born 1946
Singapore
Nationality Singaporean
Political party People's Action Party
Spouse(s) Ruth Lee Hong Geok
Children 2
Profession Teacher[1]
This is a Chinese name; the family name is 黄 (Huang).

Wong Kan Seng (simplified Chinese: 黄根成pinyin: Huáng Gēnchéng; POJ: Ng Kun-siaⁿ; born 1946) is a politician from Singapore. A member of the governing People's Action Party (PAP), he is currently the country's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs. He previously served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1988-94.

Wong is considered to be part of Singapore's third-generation leadership that includes Lee Hsien Loong, S Jayakumar, Yeo Cheow Tong, Mah Bow Tan and others. Wong's wife coincidentally shares the same surname with Minister Mentor Lee Kwan Yew, which lead many to mistakenly claim that Wong Kan Seng is the nephew-in-law of Lee.

Contents

Early life

Wong received his secondary education at Outram Secondary School. He went on to received a BA (Hons) degree from the University of Singapore in 1970, and an MBA from the London Business School on a Singapore government scholarship in 1979.

Talent-spotted for political office, Wong entered politics in 1984 after working in the civil service and private sector.[2]

Political career

Wong became a Member of Parliament (MP) in 1984 for the Kuo Chuan Constituency in Toa Payoh. He has since been re-elected as Member of Parliament for the Group Representation Constituencies of Toa Payoh (1988), Thomson (1991) and Bishan-Toa Payoh (1997, 2001 and 2006).

Wong was appointed was appointed the Acting Minister for Community Development in 1986. He served as Minister for Community Development from 1987-91, and as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1988-94. He became the Minister for Home Affairs in 1994. Wong also served as the Leader of the House in Singapore's Parliament from 1991-2007.

On 1 September 2005, the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, appointed Wong as one of two Deputy Prime Ministers following the retirement of Dr Tony Tan. [3]

Homeland Security (Singapore)

As the Minister for Home Affairs, Wong has been a key figure in overseeing emergency planning, dealing with internal threats such as cults and terrorists, involved in law and order, border security rooting out criminals and illegal immigrants, and being tough on drugs.[4]. But there's a blotch on his record, because of Mas Selamat's escape earlier this year.

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SARS

Wong was then responsible for coordinating the inter-ministerial nation-wide effort to counter the epidemic.[4] Certain measures were taken to contain the virus, including mandatory home quarantine measures, health screening at immigration checkpoints, schools and hospitals and public education programs. On 31 May 2003, Singapore was taken off the World Health Organization's list of SARS-affected countries.

Mas Selamat escape

On February 27, 2008, an alleged Jemaah Islamiyah leader escaped from the Whitley Road Detention Centre, leading to the largest manhunt in Singapore. Wong expressed his regret in Parliament for the escape on the day after the occurrence, but stopped short of apologising for it.

"This should not have happened. I am sorry that it has (sic)."

He revealed that Mas Selamat bin Kastari escaped when he was being taken to the toilet before a meeting at the Family Visit Room.[5]

Criticism has been directed towards Wong Kan Seng, the Minister of Home Affairs in Singapore, with regards to the fact that news of Mas Selamat's escape was not disseminated to the public until four hours after its occurrence.[6] There have been calls for Wong to step down, given the severity of the security lapse. Some have stated that though appropriate action would be taken against the junior officers, none of the blame seemed to rest on him at all. The fallout has also been exacerbated over the public's outrage over the major pay hike for MPs in Singapore.[citation needed]

In January 2009, DPM Wong infamously said 'the fugitive (Mas Selamat) was either still in Singapore, hidden by sympathisers, or had fled the country - a scenario he said was "more pausible" - The Straits Times, May 9 2009.

Political offices
Preceded by
?
Deputy Chairman of People's Association
1992-2006
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
S Jayakumar
Minister for Home Affairs
1994–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Tony Tan
Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore
2005–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
?
Minister for Community Development
1987-1991
Succeeded by
?
Preceded by
S Dhanabalan
Minister for Foreign Affairs
1988-1994
Succeeded by
S Jayakumar

References

  1. ^ Cabinet Appointments: Wong Kan Seng
  2. ^ Emergencies and threats? He's tackled them all", The Straits Times (Singapore), 15 Aug 2004
  3. ^ The Cabinet - Mr Wong Kan Seng
  4. ^ a b Emergencies and threats? He's tackled them all, The Straits Times (Singapore), 15 Aug 2004
  5. ^ Security lapse led to escape of JI leader Mas Selamat, says DPM Wong, Channelnewsasia.com, 28 Feb 2008
  6. ^ Wikipedia on Mas Selamat bin Kastari

External links


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