RADM (NS) Ng Chee Peng steps down from CPF board while social media abuzz with election talks

The Straits Times reported today (28 Feb) that the CEO of CPF Board, RADM (NS) Ng Chee Peng would be stepping down on 1 Apr after 30 years in public service. A new chief, Augustin Lee who is currently the Deputy Secretary of MOM will be taking over from RADM (NS) Ng.

MOM, in a statement yesterday (27 Feb), thanked RADM (NS) Ng for his leadership. It said that under RADM (NS) Ng, the CPF Board has provided members with greater assurance in their retirement, improved members’ service experience, enhanced the Board’s digital shopfront and deepened engagement with members.

He has also supposedly helped CPF members grow their retirement savings and receive payouts that better meet their retirement needs.

Most importantly, he helped to provide greater flexibility for CPF members to transfer their CPF balances to their loved ones, so as to top-up their CPF. This can be done easily through digital means.

RADM (NS) Ng has much experience dealing with boats

RADM (NS) Ng’s career in the public service began in 1989, when he was awarded the President’s Scholarship and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Overseas Scholarship.

He spent his early days with the Missile Gun Boats, first as a junior officer and later as the Executive Officer on board a Navy boat. He was also the Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer on another boat.

He assumed his first command on board the Missile Corvette RSS Victory and held various staff appointments in MINDEF, including: Head, Operations Planning Branch, Naval Operations Department and Head, Long Term Planning Secretariat, Office of the Chief of Defence Force.

He was later appointed as the Commanding Officer of the Missile Corvette Squadron in 2003, and concurrently served as the Commander of the First Flotilla from 2004. He held the following appointments later:

  • Director (Policy), MINDEF (2005–2007);
  • Fleet Commander (2007–2009);
  • Chief of Staff, Naval Staff (2009–2010);
  • Chief of Staff, Joint Staff (2010–2011).

RADM (NS) Ng succeeded Chew Men Leong as the Chief of Navy in 2011 and was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 1 July the same year. Three years later, he stepped down as Chief of Navy. He was then appointed the Deputy Secretary (Special Projects) at MOM in the civil service. In 2015, he became the CEO of CPF Board.

RADM (NS) Ng also has 2 brothers in the civil service:

  • Ng Chee Khern, who was the Chief of Air Force from 2006–2009, is currently the Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office
  • Ng Chee Meng, who served as the Chief of Air Force from 2009–2013 and the Chief of Defence Force from 2013–2015, is currently the NTUC Chief and a Minister in PMO.

Elder big brother not so lucky

The 3 Ng brothers must have felt lucky to have joined the SAF and Civil Service which provided them with high-paying “iron rice bowl” jobs, because, as later revealed by Ng Chee Meng in an interview last year, their elder big brother was not so lucky.

In that media interview, Ng Chee Meng disclosed that their much older brother was a senior bank executive. He was retrenched in 2016 and has tried multiple times since to try to re-enter the job market but without success.

He said that his brother was even penalised at a job interview for saying he did not expect the company to match his last-drawn pay. The recruiter took it as a sign that he was looking to coast in the role and cut short the interview.

Recounting his brother’s experience, he said, “The Government has put in good measures, but the ground reality is still tough. The first step is to get employed.”

As NTUC Chief, he was trying to assure the public through the interview that challenges faced by Singapore workers have a particular resonance with him.

Netizens: Election coming?

In any case, with RADM (NS) Ng Chee Peng stepping down from the civil service, netizens are speculating online that the general election is approaching and that he would likely be fielded as yet another PAP candidate plucked from the group of SAF generals and admirals.

One netizen said, “Election lai liao.”

Another concurred, “Election lai lor… He would become one of the PAP candidates joining his brother.”

“Election Lai Lo. When is the third brother going to resign. Onward to the second most powerful family in Singapore,” one netizen quipped.

However, ST did not mention where RADM (NS) Ng would be going? To help his elder big brother to get a job, perhaps?