PAP and Property

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Thanks to netizens + readers for contributing to this post.

Presented in 6 parts:

INTRO: Excerpts on Singapore Property
Part 1: Nassim Jade + NParks + Gardens By The Bay + Corals At Keppel Bay
Part 2: Sim Lian + Far East + MapleTree + GoodWood
Part 3: Suntec REIT + CityDev + Pontiac Land + JTC
Part 4: Sentosa DC + GSH + Marina Bay + CapitaLand
Part 5: Keppel Land + Sentosa Cove + White Group

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EXCERPTS on PROPERTY in SINGAPORE

1) We can infer from their cash-only purchases of condominiums during the “Hotel Properties Scandal” that all of the extended Lee family are probably cash millionaires. . .government connections can be very lucrative in state-run Singapore.

Source: AndyXianWong

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Singapore Real Estate. Image from Bloomberg.

2) The government is “the largest landowner in Singapore. . .the Land Acquisition Ordinance of 1955 and its amendment in 1966 were the chief policies that laid the groundwork for [the Singapore government] to acquire land from private holders.

Source: Emerald Group Publishing (2015)

3) CityDev is the third largest landowner in Singapore after the government and the family of Ng Teng Fong.

Source: AsiaWeek (2000)

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“Ng Teng Fong tops Singapore rich list.” (2007)

4) Forbes’ list of the 50 richest people in Singapore was dominated by real estate moguls as property emerged as the main source of wealth for 12 tycoons on the list.

Source: Property Guru (2015)

5) Property is the main factor in growing prosperity of two-thirds of names on Forbes top 50.

Source: Urban Land Rent (2015)

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PART 1: Nassim Jade + NParks + Gardens By The Bay + Corals At Keppel Bay

1. HOTEL PROPERTIES (HPL) / NASSIM JADE

Lee Suan Yew (one of Lee Kuan Yew’s brothers) was a past director of Singapore’s Hotel Properties Ltd. HPL is headed by Malaysian-born tycoon, Ong Beng Seng.

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In 1996, Lee Kuan Yew bought a Nassim Jade unit (a condominium project by Hotel Properties) at a discount during the soft launch without HPL (a publicly listed company) seeking permission of its shareholders.

LKY’s relatives who also purchased units at discounts include:

  • Kwa Geok Choo (Mrs. LKY);
  • Lee Hsien Loong + Ho Ching (son and daughter-in-law);
  • Pamelia Lee (sister-in-law);
  • Kwa Kim Li (niece);
  • Lee Wei Ling (daughter);
  • Lee Kim Mon (sister);
  • Freddy Lee (brother);
  • Dennis Lee (brother); and
  • Gloria Lee (sister-in-law).

All the purchases amounted to more than $10 million and were carried out without mortgages and loans.

Lai Kew Chai was a Malaysia-born Singaporean judge and the longest-serving member of the Supreme Court Bench, having served for almost 25 years as a Judge. He was a former partner of LKY’s law firm of Lee and Lee and a close friend of LKY and family. He bought a discounted unit at Nassim Jade and was the presiding judge on Tang Liang Hong’s case (Tang Liang Hong was a lawyer and opposition Workers’ Party candidate, who was bankrupted after raising questions about the Lee family’s Nassim Jade purchases).

For more details on the Nassim Jade saga, here are some articles:

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Class of 1962 reunion in 2012. Source: ACS Alumni

The above ACS 1962 reunion picture shows that Ong Beng Seng, Managing Director of HPL, was a former classmate or schoolmate of Kwa Chong Seng (nephew of Mrs. LKY).

  • NOTE: Chew Choon Seng (beside Ong Beng Seng in above ACS reunion pic) has been a member of the board of GIC since January 2004. Chew is Chairman of the Singapore Exchange, Chairman at Singapore Tourism Board, and the former CEO of Singapore Airlines.

2. NPARKS

Christina Ong has been the Managing Director of Club 21 since 2007 (estimated worth of S$150 million). She is a well-known hotelier and fashion retailer and has been Chairman of NParks since 2007.

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Christina Ong and Ong Beng Seng. Source: Forbes

Her husband is Ong Beng Seng of Hotel Properties Limited (HPL). NParks manages the Gardens By The Bay project.

3. GARDENS BY THE BAY

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Chang Hwee Nee, member on board of directors of Gardens by the Bay (2011+).

Heng Swee Keat is married to Chang Hwee Nee. Mr. Heng was Principal Private Secretary to SM Lee Kuan Yew from 1997 to 2000. Ms. Chang, a President Scholar, is the former Deputy Secretary (Policy) of Ministry of Education and a member of the board of directors of Gardens by the Bay.

The development of Gardens By The Bay came under the scrutiny of the Auditor-General in 2015 for lapses in the control of contract variation works.

The Auditor-General’s Office’s test-checks revealed a general lack of documentation, failure to obtain approval and laxity in control over contract variations by NParks in managing the development of the Gardens By The Bay project, which has an estimated total contract value of S$1.06 billion.

There was no assurance that NParks had not spent more funds than necessary.

Source: CNA (and PDF 2014/2015 report)

Checks by the AGO found that managers of the $1 billion Gardens by the Bay project had awarded over $20 million of contracts through a waiver of competition, without compelling reasons.

4. CORALS at KEPPEL BAY

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“The development comprises 366 luxurious waterfront homes.” ~$10million for a 4-bedroom unit.

Mrs. Koh-Lim Wen Gin, a former Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) chief planner, has been an independent director of Keppel Land since January 2010. She has been a board member of NParks since 2010.

Her daughter, Ms. Koh Lin-Net, was one of the buyers of Keppel Land’s units at its Corals at Keppel Bay project. Koh Lin-Net is the chief executive of the Media Development Authority and prior to that was deputy secretary of trade at the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Ms Koh and her husband Lawrence Low bought a unit at Corals for slightly below $10.1 million.

Mrs. Koh-Lim Wen Gin’s husband is Koh Seow Chuan, retired founder of DP Architects. Under Koh’s leadership, DP Architects has been responsible for many iconic buildings in Singapore, including Suntec City, Paragon, Bugis Junction and Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay.

+ + +

PART 2: Sim Lian + Far East + MapleTree + GoodWood

5. SIM LIAN GROUP LTD.

Ong Ye Kung (Sembawang GRC candidate; 2015) is married to Diana Kuik Sin Leng. Mr. Ong was a former top civil servant and Principal Private Secretary to PM Lee Hsien Loong.

Ong’s wife, Diana Kuik Sin Leng, is the executive director of Sim Lian (owned by the Kuik family). Sim Lian has undertaken over S$2 billion worth of contracts, including public projects for the Housing Development Board (HDB), DBSS flats, and other government projects.

Ong Chit Chung (1949 – 2008) was a former MP, parliamentary secretary, and a director at Sim Lian. Associate Professor Sim Loo Lee was a former HDB director and an independent director of Sim Lian.

It is interesting to note that the Government did not consider the potential conflict of interests when it invited a Sim Lian board director to also sit on the board of HDB.

Netizen Melvin Chong says:

Don’t Be Stupid, Singaporeans. This is Detention Barrack Singapore-Style with Damn Bloody Shoddy Standard.”

6. FAR EAST ORGANIZATION

a) Ng Teng Fong

Robert Ng Chee Siong is the son of Singapore property tycoon and Far East Organization founder, Ng Teng Fong. Robert Ng is a board member of Temasek and is married to Yeoh Saw Kheng (楊素瓊), the third daughter of Dr. Yeoh Ghim Seng, the former Speaker of Parliament of Singapore (Source: CapitalProfile PDF).

Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen is said to be the nephew of Ng Teng Fong (who had 10 siblings).

  • Reader Tip: A forum poster said the Chinese newspapers mentioned Ng Eng Hen as “the nephew” of Ng Teng Fong. Does anyone have a newspaper clipping?
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Ng Eng Hen at the wake of Ng Teng Fong.

One in six houses in Singapore today is built by the Ng family.

Ng Teng Fong’s family has close ties to the governments of Singapore, Hong Kong and China (Source: PDF document). The Ngs have also enjoyed a close relationship with Lee Kuan Yew.

The late Mr. Ng Teng Fong was billed as Singapore’s richest man by Forbes magazine in September 2009.

b) Colleagues

Leong Hong Kee was executive director at Far East Organization from 1993 to 2008 and a member of Singapore’s parliament in Singapore for 32 years until his retirement in 2006.

Heng Chiang Meng served as executive director of Far East Organization from 1996 to 1997, during which time he was also a member of parliament. He resigned from FEO amid allegations of conflict of interest between private and public-sector roles. Heng has been a board director at Keppel Land since 2005.

7. MAPLETREE

Kwa Kim Li is the Managing Partner of Lee and Lee law firm. Ms Kwa is a director in Mapletree Commercial Trust. In addition, she sits on the Boards of Sentosa Development Corporation, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Singapore Chinese Girls’ School.

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Singapore’s Mapletree Raises US$1.4 bil for China Real Estate Fund. Source: Mingtiandi, 2013

Mapletree Commercial Trust is a unit of Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings’ property arm, Mapletree Investments. Mapletree is a government-linked company (GLC).

Kwa Kim Li is the niece of Kwa Geok Choo (Mrs. LKY).

8. GOODWOOD GROUP of HOTELS

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Mavis Khoo-Oei is part of the Khoo clan consisting of 14 heirs of late banker Khoo Teck Puat, founder of Maybank, Malaysia’s most valuable bank (market cap:$23 billion). She is the Chairman of Goodwood Park Hotel. Her husband was Humphrey Oei, who is a grandchild of Oei Tiong Ham. Incidentally, Oei Tiong Ham is a forefather of Teo Chee Hean.

In 1986, the Brunei authorities issued a warrant for Khoo Teck Puat’s arrest on charges of defrauding the bank.

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PART 3: Suntec REIT + CityDev + Pontiac Land + JTC

9. SUNTEC REIT

Chew Gek Khim is a grandchild of Tan Chin Tuan. She is a relative of Kwa Geok Choo through Tan Chin Tuan (her mother is Dr. Tan Kheng Lian, daughter of Tan Chin Tuan and cousin of Kwa Geok Choo).

Chew Gek Khim joined the Board of Directors of Suntec Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) on 21 January 2014 and was appointed Chairman on 17 April 2014.

Edwin Tong is an Allen & Gledhill Partner, who has made headlines as the defense lawyer acting for Pastor Kong Hee in the high-profile City Harvest case. He is a PAP candidate in the Marine Parade GRC in GE2015.

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City Harvest at Suntec (2013). Source: CN

Pastor Kong Hee, City Harvest Church founder and co-owner, paid $9.33m for a luxury duplex unit at Sentosa Cove in 2007. Kong and five others are alleged to have misused $50 million of church funds and then falsified church accounts to cover up the misuse. They are accused of funnelling millions from the church’s building fund to pay for the Crossover Project, to boost the music career of Kong’s wife Ho Yeow Sun.

In 2012, City Harvest Church increased its stake in Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre to 39.2 per cent, from its original 20 per cent in 2010. The church’s executive pastor, Aries Zulkarnain, said “we are co-owners of this property together with Suntec REIT.”

10. CITY DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED

Philip Yeo was formerly the Special Adviser for Economic Development in the Prime Minister’s Office (2007-2011), and former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence for Defence Research, Logistics and Industry (1979-1985). He is a director of CDL and a member of the advisory board at NTU Business School.

Kwek Leng Joo, brother of Kwek Leng Beng, was appointed as a Director of CDL in 1980. He served as the President of Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI) and is currently an Honorary President of SCCCI.

11. PONTIAC LAND

Kwee Liong Seen is one of the four Kwee brothers who share ownership of Pontiac Land, a major real estate company in Singapore. Kwee Liong Seen is executive director of Pontiac Land and a member of the advisory board at NTU Business School.

The other brothers are Kwee Liong Keng, Singapore’s Non-Resident Ambassador to Poland, Kwee Liong Tek, and Kwee Liong Phing.

There is a Kwee Liong Phing in ICIJ’s Offshore Banking database.

12. JTC CORPORATION

Ngiam Shih Chun, relative of Ngiam Tong Dow, is a board member of JTC Corporation.

Augustin Lee, is Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Manpower (2010+), Deputy Chairman of the CPF Board, and a JTC Board Member (2011+).

Ng Chee Meng, brother of Ng Chee Khern and Ng Chee Peng, was a JTC Board Member (2013-2015).

AGO’s audit of the contracts (total contract value of $510.18 million) for the International Cruise Terminal development project undertaken by Jurong Town Corporation (JTC) revealed lapses in controls and management of contract variations.

+ + +

PART 4: Sentosa DC + GSH + Marina Bay + CapitaLand

13. SENTOSA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

Kwa Kim Li (niece of Mrs. LKY), Ngiam Shih Chun (relative of Ngiam Tong Dow), and Lt-Gen Bey Soo Khiang are board members of Sentosa Development Corporation.

14. GSH CORPORATION

Former cabinet minister Mah Bow Tan was the fifth biggest shareholder in GSH Corporation in 2014. As of 18 Mar 2014, Mah owned 365,575,000 shares with a current market value of about S$28 million. According to John Harding, Mah Bow Tan’s son, Warren Mah, studied at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania — fully paid for on a scholarship from Monetary Authority of Singapore (a statutory board).

15. MARINA BAY

Keppel Corp director Alvin Yeo, who is also the senior partner at law firm Wong Partnership, is paying $6.54 million for a unit on the 32nd floor of the luxury project. Keppel Land director and permanent secretary Niam Chiang Meng is paying $4.577 million for his unit, also on the 32nd floor.

16. CAPITALAND

Jennie Chua, icon of Singapore’s hospitality industry, is the former spouse of Goh Kian Chee, the only son of former Deputy PM Goh Keng Swee.

Goh Kian Chee took 5 years to clear $280,000,000 of debt. He is now retired and enjoys leisurely tennis and golf.

+ + +

PART 5: Keppel Land + Sentosa Cove + White Group

17. KEPPEL LAND

Tan Yam Pin, director at Keppel Land, has been a member of the Singapore Public Service Commission since 1990. Mr. Tan was appointed as a Member of the Public Service Commission in 1990.

According to Wikipedia, Singapore’s Constitution, and PSC’s 2012 Annual Report:

The Public Service Commission (PSC)’s constitutional role is to appoint, confirm, promote, transfer, dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over public officers in Singapore.

It considers the suitability of candidates for appointment as Chief Executive Officers of Statutory Boards; it is also responsible for the planning and administration of scholarships provided by the Government of Singapore.

18. SENTOSA COVE

Chua Thian Poh was #26 on Forbes’ Singapore’s 50 Richest list (2015).

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Three major Chinese community organisations in Singapore — the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations (SFCCA), Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) and Business China — organised a celebratory dinner for Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s 90th Birthday at Shangri-La Hotel. Photo: Ooi Boon Keong

Mr. Chua is also the President of the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations (SFCCA) and a long-time grassroots leader, serving as Chairman of Bishan East Citizens’ Consultative Committee.

He started the Ho Bee group of companies and ventured into property development. Ho Bee was the sole bidder for the en bloc sale of Coral Island on Sentosa Cove.

As revealed by AGO, 33 days after he “retired” from SCPL, Mr Chua was allowed to tender for sales of Sentosa Cove land through Ho Bee.

19. WHITE GROUP

Peh Chin Hua is the executive chairman of White Group, a holding company with properties and business interests in China and Singapore. He was also a Singapore Member of Parliament from 1988 to 2001. He holds numerous positions in various clans, including the Peh Clan Association.

In 2013, White Group signed a $12 billion deal to develop a vast township site in China.

Peh Chin Hua’s younger brother is Desmond Peh Chin Chye, Managing Director of Just Education Holdings. There is a “Peh Chin Chye” in ICIJ’s offshore banking database.

Peh Shing Huei is the son of Peh Chin Hua. Peh Shing Huei was formerly The Straits Times’ China bureau chief, based in Beijing.

Burmese Generals, Drug Lords, and the Singapore Government

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On the historical links between the Singapore government and “Burmese Generals / Drug Lords.”

1. LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS

Most of Burma’s 50 million people struggle to feed their families on less than $1 a day.

Regional analysts say most of that revenue and money earned on the black market goes straight to the military leaders and the elite that surrounds them.

Ian Holliday, a Burma expert at the University of Hong Kong, says the generals also spend their money in Singapore.

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Might one of these luxury villas belong to Senior General Than Shwe? (Image of Sentosa Cove)

“I know they’ve got some property investments. Than Shwe and his family have a luxury villa that they go [to]. I don’t know how much money they put in Singaporean bank accounts. I assume it’s quite a lot,” he said.

Source: VoA (2007)

2. BANKS and BILLIONS

a) Nine banks have been given provisional licences to operate in Myanmar, of which two are Singaporean — UOB and OCBC.

Source: Jakarta Post (2015)

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OCBC: World’s Strongest Bank (in 2012). Source: Bloomberg

b) In early September 2009, the NGO EarthRights International (ERI) revealed that the French and American oil companies Total and Chevron were using two Singapore-based banking corporations (DBS and OCBC) to finance Burma’s Yadana energy project.

This project might have generated huge dividends for the Burmese state and its military associates (around US$5 billion in one decade according to ERI’s report), as well as for Singapore. Singapore’s official bilateral trade with Burma hit US$1.86 billion during the 2009-2010 fiscal year.

Source: Soldiers and Diplomacy in Burma (NUS Press)

c) “[Burma’s] military elite are hiding billions of dollars of the people’s revenue in Singapore while the country needlessly suffers under the lowest social spending in Asia,” said ERI’s Matthew Smith, the report’s main author.

Source: The Independent

d) Jelson Garcia, Asia Program Manager with the Banking Information Center (BIC), said World Bank, ADB and International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials informed him last year that Burma’s government held up to $11 billion in several Singaporean bank accounts.

Source: The Irrawaddy

3. DOUBLE STANDARDS and “BLOOD MONEY”

Stephen Law is the son of Burma’s notorious drug lord Lo Hsing Han, who, at one point, was sentenced to death in Burma for drug trafficking.

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Lo Hsing Han or Law Sit Han (1935 – 2013): Burmese drug trafficker and major business tycoon.

a) Lo Hsing Han’s Asia World (managed by son Stephen Law) and the Burmese junta are partners in Singapore’s luxury Traders Hotel. The hotel’s November 1996 opening ceremony was attended by the wanted guy, Lo Hsing Han himself.

According to a high-level US government official familiar with the situation, Law’s wife Cecilia Ng operates an underground banking system, and “is a contact for people in Burma to get their drug money into Singapore, because she has a connection to the government.”

Source: John Harding, SBS: Singapore Sling, and Covert Action Quarterly

b) “If the Singapore Government truly feels drug abuse is a scourge on society, it would not just want to catch and hang these small-time peddlers,” Singapore Democratic Party leader Chee Soon Juan said, pointing out the Singapore government’s hypocrisy.

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Chee Soon Juan, SDP

“You would want to go for the big fish and go to what the source is. Press the Government on what it’s doing in Burma to stop this production of opium and heroin.”

Source: Singapore’s Hand in Golden Triangle

c) Is it so difficult to prosecute a drug lord? There is a conspiracy of intellects and governments that feed the public with bullshit that corruptions are extremely difficult to prosecute and to prove.

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Money Trail | Image from loans.org

Nothing could be further from the truth. It is easy to steal $1 to $2, but to embezzle millions you would leave trails of accountants, private bankers, large amount of bank accounts transactions, etc. Those are the easiest things to track down.

Source: Veritas

d) Remember, you are dealing with a country like Singapore where the brutal military junta leaders of Burma are not only given red carpet welcomes when they visit Singapore, while they brutalize and torture their citizens, orchids in Singapore were even named after them!

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Singapore Botanic Gardens held an “Orchid Naming Ceremony” for Myanmar’s President Thein Sein, a former general, in 2009

There is a lot of dirty money to be made with Burmese drug money connections. Burmese drug lords need lawyers too. Lee Kuan Yew does business with Burma. Many of them are drug lords.

Contracts for drug money transactions have to be drafted, banking agreements have to be entered into and complicated money laundering transactions have to be worked out.

Source: Singapore Dissident (2011)

e) “The Singapore government knows it’s having dinner with the devil, and sharing a very short spoon,” says former solicitor-general Francis Seow.

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Francis Seow, former solicitor-general of SG

“And it is a terrible double standard. Drug moneys are being laundered apparently by the same drug lords who supply the heroin for which small-time drug dealers are hanged. We are reaping profits as Burma’s biggest investor, but we’re being paid with blood money.”

Source: The Nation

4. GIC, SINGTEL, and MEDICAL TRIPS to SINGAPORE

a) The close political, economic, and military relationship between the two countries facilitates the weaving of millions of narco-dollars into the legitimate world economy.

. . .The Burmese government has kept computers and communication technology away from students and others in opposition to the regime. Yet Singapore has made the best computer technology available to the ruling elite and their business partners [through Singapore Telecom (SingTel)].

Singaporean companies have also helped suppress dissent in Burma by supplying the military with arms to use against its own people.

Source: Covert Action Quarterly

b) A former US assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Robert Gelbard, has said half of Singapore’s investment in Burma has been “tied to the family of narco-trafficker Lo Hsing Han.”

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Medical trips to SG. Image of SGH by Thomson Adsett.

Dissident groups say the trade-off for Tay Za’s government business contracts in Burma is to fund junta leaders’ medical trips to Singapore.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Singapore has received criticism for its large investment in the military dictatorship of Burma. In 1995, the government of then PM Goh Chok Tong pursued a diplomatic strategy of engaging Burma while securing investment deals for its Soverign Wealth Funds (SWFs), including the GIC’s investment in the Myanmar Fund (Financial Times 1995). The state used its SWFs as a diplomatic tool to open channels into Burma.

Source: Sovereign Wealth Funds (by Christopher Balding)

5. FORCED ORGAN HARVEST?

  • Reader Tip: Take note of the two dates in the paragraphs below.

1) Burma’s Prime Minister Soe Win is being treated at a hospital in Singapore, an official from the Burmese embassy in the city-state said. The official would not give details of Soe Win’s illness, saying only that it was a “serious health matter.”

Source: BBC (21 March 2007)

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2) As Sim Tee Hua lay on life support in a Singapore hospital, seven of his relatives knelt crying on the floor before the doctors, begging them not to remove his organs and give him a chance for a miracle recovery.

“The hospital staff were running as they wheeled him out of the back door of the room,” said Sim Chew Hiah, one of his sisters. “They were behaving like robbers.”

The harvesting surgeons had waited for 24 hours, but although his family still clung to hopes that he could recover, Singaporean law assumes all citizens except Muslims are willing organ donors unless they have explicitly opted out.

Source: Telegraph (2 March 2007)

6. LEE KUAN YEW on BURMESE LEADERS

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Lee Kuan Yew (Photo: AFP/Files/Roslan Rahman)

From an article on CNN:

This time, the WikiLeaks cable shows Minister Mentor [Lee Kuan Yew] describing the Myanmar (or Burma) leaders as “stupid” and “dense.” He was even quoted as saying that dealing with the regime is like “talking to dead people.”

Source: Mr. Brown / CNN (2010)

END NOTE:

As netizens say:

“This is what we call LEEgalised corruption.”

ADDITIONAL INFO:

This blog post takes a look at LKY’s family ties to opium trade.

PAP: Other Relatives

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Thanks to some diligent netizens for contributing to this post.

Links for verification and additional info below.

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1. TEO CHEE HEAN = Father of TEO ENG SIANG

Teo Chee Hean is the father of Teo Eng Siang. Teo Eng Siang received a PSC Overseas Merit Scholarship in 2005 to study International Relations and Philosophy at Brown University (scholarship funded by Singapore taxpayers). Brown University’s tuition fee for 2015-2016 is US$48,272 per annum.

2. MAH BOW TAN = Father of WARREN MAH

According to John Harding’s website, Mah Bow Tan is the father of Warren Mah (who received an MAS scholarship to study overseas; funded by Singapore taxpayers).

3. JUTHIKA RAMANATHAN = Daughter of S. R. NATHAN

Juthika Ramanathan, CEO of the Supreme Court, is the daughter of former president S. R. Nathan.

4. YONG YING-I = Daughter of YONG PUNG HOW

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Private wake of Lee Kuan Yew at Sri Temasek, Istana on 23 March 2015. Mr Lee’s close friend and former Chief Justice Yong Pung How with his wife and daughter. Source: AsiaOne

Yong Ying-I is the daughter of former Chief Justice Yong Pung How, a close friend of LKY.

5. GRACE FU = Daughter of JAMES FU

Grace Fu, senior minister of state, is the daughter of former press secretary to LKY, James Fu.

6. NGIAM SIEW YING + NGIAM SHIH CHUN = Relatives of NGIAM TONG DOW

Ngiam Siew Ying and Ngiam Shih Chun are relatives of Ngiam Tong Dow.

7. WONG TIEN YIN = Son of ALINE WONG

Prof. Wong Tien Yin, a former President’s Scholar, is the son of former senior minister of state, Dr. Aline Wong.

8. a) CHUA SIAN CHIN = Brother-in-Law of WONG YIN HIN

Chua Sian Chin, former Minister of Home Affairs, is the brother-in-law of Wong Lin Ken (Home Affairs Minister from 1970 – 1972). The above images show that Chua Sian Chin married Alice Tan, who is the sister of Lilli Tan. Lilli is the spouse of Wong Lin Ken.

Photos of Tan sisters from National Archives of Singapore (Alice Tan and Lilli Tan).

8. b) MORE INFO on WONG LIN KEN

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Wong Lin Ken, former Minister for Home Affairs.

Wong Lin Ken was found to have committed suicide in 1983.

1) Francis Seow opines this reflected the level of trust and faith that Lee Kuan Yew had in Rajaratnam instead of Jek Yuen Thong and Home Affairs’ Dr. Wong Lin Ken. Wong subsequently returned to academia after being told by Lee senior that he did not ‘want a liberal’ (Straits Times, 5 May 1971) in his cabinet, and later committed suicide.

Source: PBWorks: SG Press and The Media Enthralled

2) By the 1968 elections, LKY’s efforts to assemble a group of successors had begun — bright PhD holders such as Chiang Hai Ding and Wong Lin Ken were fielded, but he quickly learnt that political leadership required “other qualities besides a disciplined mind able to marshal facts and figures.”

Source: Today Online

9. FOO MEE HAR = Descendant of CHIA HOOD THEAM

MP Foo Mee Har held a number of senior positions in Standard Chartered Bank.

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Foo Mee Har, born in Malaysia. Source: Today Paper

She is one of several MP’s who were not born in Singapore.

Foo Mee Har’s mother-in-law is Madam Eleanor Tan Kok Neo. In a 2014 article, Madam Tan, then 79, had paid her stepdaughter (Wendy Chan) $1 million “not to say or write anything about her or her family, who are descendants of Mr Chia Hood Theam, a prominent Peranakan and bank agent born in the mid-19th century.” Wendy Chan and her brother were born out of wedlock after Dr Chan, who was married to Madam Tan, had an affair.

As a netizen says:

“Rich people’s problems.”

10. CHEW SIBLINGS = Grandchildren of TAN CHIN TUAN (uncle of TONY TAN whose son-in-law = SIMON CHESTERMAN)

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Chew Siblings: Grandchildren of Tan Chin Tuan.

Chew Gek Khim, Chew Kwee San and Chew Gek Hiang are the grandchildren of Tan Chin Tuan (uncle of President Tony Tan). They are thus relatives of Kwa Geok Choo through Tan Chin Tuan (their mother is Dr. Tan Kheng Lian, daughter of Tan Chin Tuan and cousin of Kwa Geok Choo).

Chew Kwee San is an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court in Singapore. Chew Gek Khim sits on the board of Singapore Exchange Limited and is a Member of the SSO Council and Board of Governors of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. Chew Gek Hiang serves on the advisory panel of the GST Review Board.

Tony Tan became the 9th NUS chancellor in late 2011; Simon Chesterman was installed as NUS law dean in early 2012. Chesterman is also Editor of the Asian Journal of International Law and Secretary-General of the Asian Society of International Law. Tony Tan is the current NUS chancellor as of June 2015.

Simon Chesterman is married to Patricia Tan, daughter of Tony Tan.

11. YEOH GHIM SENG = Father-in-Law of ROBERT NG (son of property tycoon NG TENG FONG)

Yeoh Ghim Seng, former Speaker of the Parliament, had 5 daughters. One of them, Yeoh Saw Kheng, is the spouse of Robert Ng, who is the son of Far East Organization founder Ng Teng Fong.

Ng Teng Fong’s family has close ties to the governments of Singapore, Hong Kong and China (Source: PDF document). The Ngs have enjoyed a close relationship with Lee Kuan Yew.

Ministers and Spouses

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As netizens say: “Marry-tocracy!”

Thanks to some industrious netizens for help with this list. Links below for verification.

PAP_Spouses_2015

// UPDATE (8 Sept 2015):

Thanks to a reader for submitting the following tip (Ng Chee Khern and spouse). Will move this to ‘other relatives‘ post soon (since Ng Chee Khern technically isn’t a minister).

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Perm-Sec (Defence Development) Ng Chee Khern’s wife is Elaine Ng (nee Neo Poh Choo). This is mentioned in Page 16 of this PDF document and in The Straits Times (2009).

Elaine Ng started out in the public service as a research analyst in the Defence Ministry. She became the CEO of the National Library Board (NLB) in 2011.

In 2014, she admitted she “did not expect the matter to blow up so much” (re: the NLB’s banning of three gay penguin children’s books).

As of July 2015, the police are investigating possible wrongdoings in relation to procurement at the NLB after the Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) flagged lapses in its annual report. NLB spent about S$7.3 million in FY2012/13 to acquire and maintain its e-resources collection.

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FIRST: MR. NGIAM TONG DOW on MINISTERS’ SPOUSES

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“Even if he wants to [disagree with LHL on ministers’ salaries], his wife will stop him. When the salary is so high, which minister dares to leave?”

— Ngiam Tong Dow (2013)

LEFT SIDE

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1. PM Lee Hsien Loong married Ho Ching in 1985. Ho Ching’s dealmaking ambitions span the globe; she started her career as an Engineer with the Ministry of Defence of Singapore in 1976.

2. Lee Hsien Yang is the brother of Lee Hsien Loong. Lee Hsien Yang is married to Lim Suet Fern. Ms. Lim is Singapore’s Managing Partner for Morgan Lewis law firm.

3. Tharman Shanmugaratnam is married to lawyer Jane Yumiko Ittogi. Ms. Ittogi is a partner at Shook Lin & Bok and board chairman of the Singapore Art Museum.

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4. Teo Chee Hean is married to Chew Poh Yim. A 2008 press release stated that Chew Poh Yim was NTUC FairPrice’s Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications and General Manager of NTUC FairPrice Foundation. Chew Poh Yim is a SingHealth board trustee (2009, 2013; current).

5. Goh Chok Tong is married to Tan Choo Leng, who was a former patron of the National Kidney Foundation.

6. Ong Ye Kung (Sembawang GRC candidate; 2015) is married to Diana Kuik Sin Leng. Mr. Ong was a former top civil servant and Principal Private Secretary to PM Lee Hsien Loong.

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Gripes over burst bathroom water pipes in DBSS flats at Centrale 8 (by Sim Lian). Source: ST

Ong’s wife, Diana Kuik Sin Leng, is the executive director of Sim Lian (owned by the Kuik family). Sim Lian has undertaken over S$2 billion worth of contracts, including public projects for the Housing Development Board (HDB), DBSS flats, and other government projects.

It is interesting to note that the Government did not consider the potential conflict of interests when it invited a Sim Lian board director to also sit on the board of HDB.

7. Sim Ann (MP, Minister of State, former assistant director at Ministry of Health and Ministry of Home Affairs, and former director of National Population Secretariat) is married to Dr. Mok Ying Jang, Group Director of Corp Services at Health Sciences Authority (a statutory board of the Singapore Ministry of Health).

PM Lee Hsien Loong has known Sim Ann’s mother for 30 years.

A forum post has some details on Sim Ann’s grandfather being executed in the People’s Republic of China for treason. Will update this section if there’s more info on this in future.

The archive is still available in the China national archive.

Now Sim Ann, his granddaughter, is selling out Singaporeans — it should not be a surprise as it seems treason runs in their family blood line.

Sim Ann’s sister is Sim Min, 34, who was awarded a Monetary Authority of Singapore scholarship. Her brother Sim Kai, 31, is also a President’s Scholar.

Daughter of executed Prisoner PRC ID number (XD4429372J) – Choo Lian Liang
Father – Sim Hock Kee

This is a family of nation betrayers.

Source: Helium

8. Former MP Dr. Seet Ai Mee was married to Dr. Seet Lip Chai for almost 30 years. Dr. Seet Lip Chai was the former chief medical officer of the Singapore Armed Forces Medical Corps.

RIGHT SIDE

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9. Dr. Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Defence, is married to Prof. Ivy Lim Swee Lian, CEO of Singhealth.

* Reader Tip: Something interesting about Ng Eng Hen. He joined PAP in 2001. In 2002, he was appointed as minister of state for 2 ministries. In 2004, he was promoted to full minister. That was also the year his wife, Ivy Lim, was promoted to CEO of KKH.

10. Grace Fu is married to technopreneur Ivan Lee Boon Hong.

11. Heng Swee Keat is married to Chang Hwee Nee. Mr. Heng was Principal Private Secretary to SM Lee Kuan Yew from 1997 to 2000, a Director of SingTel Optus, and a Director of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. from July 4, 2003 to July 30, 2010. Ms. Chang, a President Scholar, is the former Deputy Secretary (Policy) of Ministry of Education and a member of various public institutions and organisations such as A*STAR Board.

12. Josephine Teo née Yeo Li Min is married to Teo Eng Cheong, former AVA board member and CEO of International Enterprise Singapore (a government agency).

13. Tin Pei Ling is married to Ng How Yue. Mr. Ng was former Principal Private Secretary to PM Lee Hsien Loong. Tin Pei Ling was a former senior associate at Ernst & Young.

14. Desmond Choo is married to civil servant Pamela Lee. In a 2012 PAP article, Desmond Choo mentions that Pamela Lee was in the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

This 2013 document lists Pamela Lee as the “Deputy Director” of the MOM (Workplace Policy and Strategy  Division).

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“Pamela Lee HuiYing,” PSC Scholar (Overseas Merit Scholarship; Cambridge University / Economics). Source: Data.gov.sg

This document says that “Pamela Lee HuiYing” was a PSC Scholar (2002), who was awarded an Overseas Merit Scholarship to Cambridge University to study Economics. This matches with Pamela Lee’s LinkedIn Profile (link and screenshot). The LinkedIn profile states that Pamela Lee has been Deputy Director of the MOM since 2011, and that she is an alumnus of Raffles Girls’ and Hwa Chong Junior College.

* TO BE VERIFIED: That this “Pamela Lee” is the spouse of Desmond Choo. Personally, I’m 90% sure it is the right Pamela Lee.

15. Dr. Aline Wong is married to Prof. John Wong. Dr. Aline Wong was elected Member of Parliament at four successive General Elections. Photo of the Wong’s from Singapore Tatler.

16. Hri Kumar Nair is married to Dilys Boey. Dilys Boey was Tin Pei Ling’s former boss at Ernst & Young.

PAP Relatives: Former and Current MPs

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Thanks to some readers for contributing this list of names. Links below for verification.

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1. FONG SIP CHEE = Father of ARTHUR FONG

Fong Sip Chee is the father of Arthur Fong.

Major Fong Sip Chee was Minister of State (Culture) in the 1980’s.

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Arthur Fong, NLB.

Arthur Fong stepped down from politics in August 2015; he was the Assistant VP of OCBC bank from 1996-2000, and has been an NLB board member since 2011.

2. HO SEE BENG = Father of HO GEOK CHOO

Ho See Beng is the father of Ho Geok Choo.

Ho See Beng was NTUC’s first president from 1964 to 1966, and described by PM LHL as “the archetypical grassroots MP.”

Ho Geok Choo was elected as a Member of Parliament for the West Coast GRC from 2001 to 2011. A former Vice Chairman of the PAP Women’s Wing, Mdm Ho has close to 30 years of experience in GLCs and the private sector.

3. CHOO WEE KHIANG = Uncle of DESMOND CHOO

Former PAP MP Choo Wee Khiang is the uncle of Desmond Choo Pey Ching, PAP candidate for Tampines GRC.

Choo Wee Khiang was charged with 3 counts of corruption in 2011. A quote by Mr. Choo below.

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“One evening, I drove to Little India and it was pitch dark but not because there was no light, but because there were too many Indians around.”
— Former PAP MP Mr Choo Wee Khiang, in a speech in Parliament in 1992

4. ONG AH HENG = Father of ONG TENG KOON

Ong Ah Heng was the Member of Parliament for Nee Soon Central until 2011. He was appointed a non-executive Director of ComfortDelGro Corporation Limited on 18 February 2003.

Ong Ah Heng is the father of Ong Teng Koon, a commodities trader and MP for Sembawang GRC.

5. LEE YOCK SUAN = Father of DESMOND LEE TI-SENG

Lee Yock Suan is a former cabinet minister and member of Parliament. His son is Desmond Lee Ti-Seng.

6. CYNTHIA PHUA = Sister of DENISE PHUA

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Denise Phua and husband Tay Kiong Hong (right); Denise Phua and younger siblings (left). Source: ST

  • Reader Tip: Mentioned in Chinese newspapers during former elections that Cynthia Phua is the sister of Denise Phua.

7. CHUA SIAN CHIN = Father of CHUA ENG LEONG

Former cabinet minister Chua Sian Chin is the father of Chua Eng Leong.

8. LIM KIM SAN = Uncle of PANG KIM HIN and LIM BOON HENG

Lim Kim San was a former senior cabinet minister and trusted political confidante of Lee Kuan Yew.

Pang Kim Hin is his nephew. A reader says that the Chinese newspapers reported that Lim Boon Heng is a nephew of Lim Kim San as well.

Powerful Siblings in Singapore

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Links and text below for verification. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this post.

Reader Tip:  

“In Russia, they have the oligarchs and China the Princelings. In Singapore, we have the Siblings.”

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// UPDATE (4 Sept 2015):

Will update the bigger image later (Chew siblings; grandchildren of Tan Chin Tuan).

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Grandchildren of Tan Chin Tuan (uncle of President Tony Tan): Chew Gek Khim, Chew Kwee San and Chew Gek Hiang. They are relatives of Kwa Geok Choo through Tan Chin Tuan.

Chew Kwee San is an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court in Singapore. He is a Member of the Heritage Industry Incentive Program (Hi2P) Approval Committee of the National Heritage Board of Singapore and Member of Audit and Investment Committee of the Boy’s Brigade in Singapore.

Chew Gek Khim sits on the board of Singapore Exchange Limited and is a Member of the Securities Industry Council of Singapore, the SSO Council and Board of Governors of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. She was Chairman of the National Environment Agency Board of Singapore from 2008 to 2015.

Chew Gek Hiang serves on the advisory panel of the GST Review Board.

FIRST COLUMN

1. Alan Chan Heng Loon, Public Service Commission (PSC) Member and former principal private secretary to Lee Kuan Yew, has two “illustrious siblings“: Professor Chan Heng Chee and Chan Heng Wing.

According to Singapore’s Constitution and PSC’s 2012 Annual Report:

The Public Service Commission (PSC)’s constitutional role is to appoint, confirm, promote, transfer, dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over public officers in Singapore.

It considers the suitability of candidates for appointment as Chief Executive Officers of Statutory Boards; it is also responsible for the planning and administration of scholarships provided by the Government of Singapore.

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Kate Middleton, Prince William, PM LHL, and Ho Ching. Source: Getty

2. Ho Ching, wife of PM Lee Hsien Loong, has two brothers and a sister. Her sister is Ho Peng and one of her brothers is Ho Sing.

3. Teo Chee Hean has three sisters by the names of Hee Lian, Chai Lian and Swee Lian.

There is a Teo Swee Lian (director) in Singtel who was formerly a Special Advisor in the Managing Director’s Office at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). There is a Teo Hee Lian who was formerly the Director of Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM). This Teo Hee Lian has had “extensive experience writing cabinet memoranda, parliamentary replies, reports, papers, minutes of meetings, and speeches.”

Will update this section if anyone can verify that these two ladies are Teo Chee Hean’s sisters. Images below from CSCollege and Singtel.

4. Richard Ong and Charles Ong are Chinese-Malaysian brothers. Charles Ong spent 10 years managing investment projects for Temasek Holdings, and was described as the “right-hand man” to Temasek chief Ho Ching.

The last two funds Richard led or co-led (in 2011) raised around $5 billion combined. At a 2 percent management fee — an industry standard — that’s $100 million in annual fees alone.

According to Wikipedia and China Economic Review:

. . .the true reason that the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) denied Goldman permission to name [Richard] Ong to his new position was due to his family ties to Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings and his own role in the money-losing sale of former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s Shin Corporation to Temasek.

  • NOTE: Ho Ching’s (CEO of Temasek Holdings since 2004; wife of PM Lee Hsien Loong; on the Forbes Power Woman list every year since 2004) mother, Chan Chiew Ping, was from Taiping, Malaysia.

SECOND COLUMN

1. Ng Chee Meng has two notable brothers: Ng Chee Khern and Ng Chee Peng (both were President’s Scholars). Ng Chee Khern was Chief of Air Force from 2006 – 2009. Ng Chee Peng was Chief of Navy from 2011 – 2014, and was appointed the CEO of CPF in Jan 2015. Former defence chief, Ng Chee Meng, has been touted as a potential office-bearer.

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Ng Brothers | Image by Roy Ngerng

As Roy Ngerng wrote in a FB post:

“Ng Chee Meng is expected to run for the PAP and would be the highest-ranking military officer to run for election. He could even potentially become a prime minister. This means that he could head the government. If so, the Ng family would control the government, the military and our CPF.

2. Dr. Yaacob Ibrahim has a sister, Zuraidah Ibrahim (political deputy editor at The Straits Times, married to Cherian George). Yaacob and Zuraidah have a brother, Ismail Ibrahim, who was the first Malay President’s Scholar in SIngapore. Thanks to The Unseen Singapore for making the original identification.

3.  Kwa Soon Bee, former Permanent Secretary for Health and Director of Medical Services, is a brother of Kwa Geok Choo (Mrs. Lee Kuan Yew). Kwa Soon Chuan was the first local appointed to the Colonial Administration. He is a brother of Kwa Geok Choo.

4. Lee Su Shyan, Money Editor / Business Editor at The Straits Times, is said to be the sister of Lee Yi Shyan. Will update this section if anyone can provide more verification.

THIRD COLUMN

1. Raymond Lim Siang Keat is the brother of Benny Lim, former ISD director.

2. Thio Shen Yi, President of the Law Society (2015), is the brother of Thio Li-Ann.

Thio Li-Ann’s views have been described as “anti-gay.” She described homosexuality as a “gender identity disorder,” said anal sex was akin to “shoving a straw up your nose to drink,” and opposed the repeal of a law in the penal code — known as Section 377A — that criminalizes sex between men.

[youtube.com/watch?v=vscnsmHyGhA&w=420&h=315;feature=youtu.be&]

(YouTube video of Thio Li-Ann in Parliament).

The Thio siblings’ maternal grandfather, Reverend Huang Yang Ying, was the founding Principal of Anglican High School (1956-1958).

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Thio family. Source: BookSG

3. Chua Lee Hoong is the sister of Chua Mui Hoong. According to a reliable offline source, Chua Mui Hoong was a desk officer in the ISD.

4. Chew Men Leong took over from Chew Hock Yong as the chief executive of Land Transport Authority (LTA) in 2014. A reader pointed out that these two could be brothers or relatives.

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Chew twin brothers. Source: Jasmine Tan / FB

5. Lieutenant-Colonel Chew Chun Chau is the identical twin brother of SLTC Chew Chun Liang. Chew Chun Liang is 1.5 hours younger than Chew Chun Chau.

6. Lim Suet Fern, wife of Lee Hsien Yang (brother of PM Lee Hsien Loong), has a brother called Lim Suet Wun, former CEO of Tan Tock Seng hospital.

Kwa: Family Tree (Government Positions)

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A Kwa family tree, showing some family members and their titles / positions. Links with verification and additional info below.

Thanks to several diligent netizens for contributing to this post.

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KWA GEOK CHOO:

Kwa Geok Choo (“Mrs. LKY”) was married to Lee Kuan Yew for 63 years.

Kwa was the co-founder of Lee and Lee law firm. She participated in drafting the PAP party’s constitution and gave a speech on radio urging women to vote for the PAP in the upcoming elections.

ANTI-CLOCKWISE DIRECTION (from top left corner):

1. Kwa Kim Li is a niece of Kwa Geok Choo. Kwa Kim Li is a director at Mapletree Commercial Trust (a GLC and unit of Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd.’s property arm, Mapletree Investments).

2. Kwa Chong Seng, Public Service Commission (PSC) Member and former Temasek Holdings chairman, is a nephew of Kwa Geok Choo.

According to Wikipedia, Singapore’s Constitution, and PSC’s 2012 Annual Report:

The Public Service Commission (PSC) is constituted under Part IX of the Constitution of Singapore and its constitutional role is to appoint, confirm, promote, transfer, dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over public officers in Singapore.

The PSC also retains two key non-constitutional roles. It considers the suitability of candidates for appointment as Chief Executive Officers of Statutory Boards; it is also responsible for the planning and administration of scholarships provided by the Government of Singapore.

3. Kwa Chong Guan, chairman of the National Archives, is a nephew of Kwa Geok Choo. Read more about his influential titles at the end of this post on the National Heritage Board.

4. Kwa Soon Bee, former Permanent Secretary for Health and Director of Medical Services, is a brother of Kwa Geok Choo.

5. Kwa Soon Chuan was the first local appointed to the Colonial Administration. He is a brother of Kwa Geok Choo.

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Kwa Soon Chuan’s titles. Source: ST / NLB, 5 Jan 1977

Kwa Soon Chuan’s spouse is Ivy Lim Seok Cheng (daughter of Lim Chong Pang). Ivy Lim’s link to Teo Chee Hean is through Teo Chee Hean’s great grand aunt (Teo Choon Lian), who was married to Ivy Lim’s great grandfather (Lim Peng Nguan; spouse of Teo Choon Lian). So Ivy Lim and Teo Chee Hean would address each other as 表姐, 表弟. In English, “cousin.”

6. Yong Nyuk Lin, Minister for Education in PAP’s first cabinet, is a brother-in-law of Kwa Geok Choo. His spouse is Kwa Geok Lan, elder sister of Kwa Geok Choo (Mrs. LKY).

7. Earnest Lau was the principal of ACS. His mother was Madam Yong Soong Moy, Headmistress of Geylang Methodist Girls’ School (1930s), and his father was Reverend Edward Sing Lau (Ee Sing), Pastor of Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church (1929-1930), Geylang English Methodist Church (1930-1951) and Straits Chinese Methodist Church (1952-1963). Earnest Lau’s spouse is Kwa Geok Lian, sister of Kwa Geok Choo.

8. According to a couple of thorough online comments, Kwa Chong Teck, Senior Advisor at National Dental Centre Singapore, is the brother of Kwa Chong Seng.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

This blog post takes a look at Kwa Geok Choo (the “Dragon Lady”) through the perspective of Peranakan culture.