SINGAPORE: Senior Minister of State for Transport and for Foreign Affairs Chee Hong Tat will join the labour movement as the deputy secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) from May 15, NTUC said on Friday (May 7).
He will replace Senior Minister of State for Health Koh Poh Koon, who is to return to the Government full-time. In the last Cabinet reshuffle on Apr 23, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that Dr Koh will be appointed Senior Minister of State for Manpower on top of his health portfolio.
Mr Chee will continue as Senior Minister of State for Transport but relinquish his post in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These appointments are to take effect from May 15.
He will also be appointed group director of the NTUC Training & Transformation (NTUC T&T) Group.
In addition, the Union of Power & Gas Employees has appointed him as a cadre member, and the United Workers of Electronics & Electrical Industries has also appointed him as executive secretary.
"DSG Chee Hong Tat is no stranger to the Labour Movement," said NTUC in a statement.
"He recently received the Distinguished Service Award in this year’s May Day Awards for his strong advocacy for the interests and protection of healthcare and public transport workers."
He has helped to improve the lot of workers in his former roles as CEO of the Energy Market Authority, during his tenure at the Ministry of Health, and as SMS for Transport, the union said.
Dr Koh, who was co-opted into the NTUC Central Committee as deputy secretary-general on Apr 23, 2018, drove NTUC’s training strategies and efforts.
"He has been a strong advocate for the improvement of wages for lower-wage workers through the Progressive Wage Model," said NTUC.
As executive secretary for the Metal Industries Workers’ Union and United Workers of Electronics & Electrical Industries, he strengthened labour management relations with many companies and championed for the interests and protection of workers’ wages, welfare and work prospects, it added.
"NTUC records its deep appreciation to DSG Koh Poh Koon for his valuable service and contributions."