What we know about Singapore’s new Deputy Prime Minister Gan Kim Yong


Mr Gan, 65, said on Monday that he was “not quite 4G”, referring to Singapore’s fourth-generation political leadership that is taking over the reins of government.

He has been in politics a decade longer than Mr Wong, 51, and Mr Heng, 63, who were both elected in 2011.

Mr Gan entered politics as a Member of Parliament for Holland-Bukit Panjang Group Representation Constituency (GRC) in 2001.

He was re-elected to Chua Chu Kang Single Member Constituency in 2006, and stayed on when his ward became part of Chua Chu Kang GRC.

As a youth, he accepted a public service scholarship to study engineering at Cambridge University, graduating with a masters’ degree in 1985.

In a speech in 2005, he described how his engineering training had equipped him with the basic skills to solve complex problems that do not come with an “instruction sheet”.

“Whether it is a business challenge, a management problem or a political issue, my approach is similar. Break down big problems into smaller ones, identify the source of the problems, decide on the method to deal with it, find the right person for the job and it will get done,” he said.

After graduation, Mr Gan joined the civil service, where he was an officer in the elite Administrative Service. He worked at the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Home Affairs before leaving for the private sector in 1989.

At NatSteel, as it was then called, Mr Gan rose from a corporate planning manager to eventually become CEO and president of the steel and electronics company.

That was when the call to a career in government grew stronger.

In 2005, Mr Gan was introduced as Minister of State for Manpower and Education in Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s Cabinet.

He stepped up to serve as Minister for Manpower from 2008 to 2011, seeing Singapore through the retrenchments of the global financial crisis.



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