SINGAPORE: The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will have a new chief executive next month with the appointment of Mr Teo Eng Dih, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) said on Friday (Aug 5).
Mr Teo, who is presently Deputy Secretary (Policy) of the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), will take over from current MPA chief executive Quah Ley Hoon from Sep 5.
He will be appointed as chief executive (designate) of MPA from Aug 8 to Sep 4, concurrent to his appointment in the Defence Ministry.
As deputy secretary (policy), Mr Teo was responsible for MINDEF's defence policy and diplomacy, strategic and public communications, and Total Defence. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he helped to coordinate the ministry's efforts to support the national fight against the disease.
He also oversaw the expansion of defence cooperation with international partners and strengthening of collaborations at the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) platform, as well as enhanced MINDEF's public engagement initiatives, which included revamping the Singapore Discovery Centre.
Prior to MINDEF, Mr Teo was special assistant to then-Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean. He had also served in various government agencies in the areas of policy and planning, manpower, strategy, technology, climate change, enterprise services and international trade.
Ms Quah assumed the position of MPA's chief executive on Jan 1, 2019.
She was "instrumental" in leading MPA to "navigate the disruptions caused by COVID-19, while pressing on with the development and transformation of Singapore’s international maritime centre and global hub port", said MOT.
These include efforts such as the sea-air-vaccination exercise and the sea crew vaccination initiative to safeguard the health of local maritime workers and crew members onboard ships calling at Singapore.
She also led MPA to complete the Tuas Port Phase 1 reclamation last year, which was a "significant milestone" in the development of Singapore’s next-generation port.
Ms Quah initiated the Singapore Shipping Tripartite Alliance Resilience (SG-STAR) Fund in November 2020, the first global tripartite initiative, to work with stakeholders in seafaring nations on sustainable solutions for safe crew changes, said MOT.
A strong proponent for transformation of the maritime industry, MOT added that Ms Quah worked with the Singapore Maritime Foundation to establish the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation with private sector partners in August 2021. The centre has since been collaborating with the industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping.
During Ms Quah's tenure, she also led MPA to launch the digitalPORT@SG, which streamlined port clearance forms across multiple agencies into a one-stop digital clearance platform. This enabled the industry to save up to "100,000 man-hours annually" since its launch in 2019, said MOT.
For her contributions to the maritime sector, Ms Quah was awarded the Medal of Commendation by NTUC in May for her work in improving workers’ wages, welfare and work prospects for seafarers amid COVID-19.
She was also awarded the Legion d’Honneur by the French Government in June this year, for her work in keeping Singapore’s port and services open during COVID-19, and enhancing ties with France on maritime.
Before serving in MPA, Ms Quah was Chief Editor of CNA, Mediacorp. She also served in leadership positions in the public service, namely the Ministry of Finance, the Prime Minister's Office and the then-Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports.
MOT extended its appreciation to Ms Quah for her "significant contributions" as the chief executive of MPA and wished her all the best in her future endeavours.