Ng Chee Meng takes over as NTUC secretary-general

He replaces Mr Chan Chun Sing, who was appointed Trade and Industry Minister

A month after joining the labour movement, Mr Ng Chee Meng officially took over as labour chief yesterday, pledging to work closely with tripartite partners - the Government, employers and unions - to improve the lives of workers.

He took over the role of secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) from his predecessor, Mr Chan Chun Sing, who stepped down on the same day.

NTUC said in a statement that its central committee had met in the afternoon and unanimously elected Mr Ng to take over at the helm after accepting the resignation of Mr Chan.

This completes the leadership handover at NTUC, which has been widely expected since Mr Ng, together with Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon, were co-opted into the labour movement as deputy secretaries-general on April 23.

Mr Ng relinquished his roles as Education Minister (Schools) and Second Minister for Transport on May 1.

In a Facebook post yesterday, he thanked Mr Chan for his work in NTUC, promising to build on the strong foundation to strengthen the labour movement.

Mr Chan, meanwhile, wished Mr Ng great success in his new role.

Among labour chiefs in recent times, Mr Ng has had the shortest period of time to understudy his predecessor, underscoring the urgency of leadership renewal in the labour movement and the Cabinet.

Mr Chan was appointed Trade and Industry Minister in the Cabinet reshuffle which took effect on May 1.

He had joined NTUC as deputy secretary-general in January 2015, and was promoted to secretary-general in April that year, taking over from outgoing labour chief Lim Swee Say.

During his three years with the labour movement, Mr Chan had expanded its reach to include groups such as professionals, managers, executives, freelancers and migrant workers.

Team Singapore