Who is he?
Tan Chuan Jin is Singapore’s current minister for social and family development, a position he has held since 2015. He was minister for manpower from 2014 to 2015 and before that, senior minister of state for national development from 2012 to 2013. He is a 24-year veteran of the Singapore Armed Forces and also serves as president of Singapore’s National Olympic Council and co-chair of the Singapore-Liaoning Economic and Trade Council. Tan has a bachelor’s degree from the London School of Economics and master’s degrees from King’s College London and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore.
Why is he in the news?
Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) is in the process of grooming a new team of leaders as its third generation, led by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, gets nearer to retirement. Concerns over who would succeed the prime minister were heightened after Lee suffered a brief fainting spell during his National Day speech on August 21. Tan is one of several standout PAP legislators that observers are eyeing as a possible future prime minister in this country that has long taken pride in its decades of political stability.
What can we expect from him?
Tan’s move from senior minister to acting minister in 2013 was seen by many as a demotion. This charge was dismissed by the prime minister’s office, which explained that the move would enable Tan more time to concentrate on his responsibilities at the Manpower Ministry. His subsequent promotion indicates that he retains the confidence of Prime Minister Lee, who commented on Tan’s strong performance and ability to gain public trust. Tan connects with his constituency regularly through social media and was very visible in his role as president of the Singapore National Olympic Council amid the media frenzy that followed Singapore’s first-ever Olympic gold medal win.