You put heart and soul into the task

Minister Lui Tuck Yew (left) with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (right) after the opening ceremony of Downtown Line 1.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Dear Tuck Yew,

Thank you for your letter informing me that you have decided not to stand in the coming General Election. I reluctantly accept your decision, though I am disappointed that I did not succeed in changing your mind.

You have done very good work as Minister for Transport. When I asked you to helm the Ministry in 2011, we both knew that you had a very difficult job, but you did not hesitate to take up the challenge.

There were urgent things to be done, especially expanding and improving the public transport system. Public expectations were high.

You put your heart and soul into the task. As a result, we made significant progress over the last four years.

The job is not yet complete, as we are reminded from time to time when train services break down.

But despite these incidents, I am confident that we are heading in the right direction, to get the public transport system that Singaporeans deserve.

Your role in setting policies, implementing major projects, and supervising the operation of the public transport network, has contributed critically to this progress.

You have put in place many improvements whose benefit will be seen only in the coming years, and which will make a lasting difference to the public transport system.

My senior colleagues share my view that you have more to contribute, both in transport and in other areas in government. We discussed the matter with you several times, but could not persuade you to continue. So I have no choice but to accept your decision not to stand for election again.

You entered Parliament in 2006 as Member of Parliament for Moulmein, which later became part of Moulmein-Kallang GRC.

As an MP, you worked tirelessly for almost a decade in Moulmein to improve the lives of your residents. You served in several ministries.

Before Transport, you were Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, where under your watch, the arts and cultural scene flourished.

You have also served in Foreign Affairs and Defence. You served with distinction and dedication in all your postings. You will be missed.

I would like to thank you for all that you have done for my team and for Singapore over the last decade.

I wish you all the best in your future endeavours, and look forward to your continuing contributions, in other roles, towards our nation building beyond SG50.

With all good wishes to you and your family.

Yours sincerely,

Lee Hsien Loong

This article was first published on August 12, 2015. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.