ENERGY & OFFSHORE | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Lawrence Wong steps down as Chief Executive of Energy Market Authority, may enter politics

Mr Chee Hong Tat will be appointed as CE, EMA  from 9 May as Mr Wong is reported to be considering running as a PAP candidate in the upcoming Singapore elections.

According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry Singapore, EMA's Deputy Chief Executive, Mr Yeo Yek Seng will be Acting CE, EMA in the interim.

Mr Wong, 38, will step down as CE, EMA on 1 April 2011. He joined EMA as Deputy Chief Executive in September 2008 and was appointed Chief Executive on 1 Jan 2009. Under his leadership, EMA put in place several initiatives to secure a more sustainable energy future for Singapore.

Mr Wong expanded EMA’s portfolio to include industry promotion and development. He helped to build up the Singapore International Energy Week as a premier event for dialogue on energy matters in the region. He also played a pivotal role in introducing several innovative projects, such as the test-bedding of electric
vehicles and the piloting of advanced metering and smart grid technologies that can potentially increase competition and efficiency in the electricity market and broaden consumer choice.

Mr Wong led the implementation of Singapore's Liquefied Natural Gas project, which will diversify Singapore’s fuel sources and enhance energy security. He spearheaded the building of the terminal facility to import LNG, and negotiated the terms of the initial tranche of LNG supply contracts, to ensure a reliable and competitively-priced supply of gas for Singapore.

Mr Wong started his public sector career in August 1997 as an Economist at the Ministry of Trade and Industry. He joined the Administrative Service in January 2002, and was posted to the Ministry of Finance, where he worked on improving budget policies and processes, and updating the rules on the protection of reserves. In MOF, he was part of the secretariat team for the Economic Review Committee, and helped to formulate and implement the Economic Restructuring Shares scheme, which the Government had introduced to help Singaporeans adapt to structural changes in the economy.

From July 2004 to May 2005, Mr Wong was Director of Healthcare Finance at the Ministry of Health, where he was responsible for implementing reforms to the MediShield Scheme, which expanded its coverage and helped to reduce the financial burden of patients with large hospital bills. From May 2005 to August 2008, he served as the Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister.

Mr Chee Hong Tat, 37, joined the Administrative Service in 1998. Currently the Principal Private Secretary to the Minister Mentor, Mr Chee has served in various policy and management positions at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Education. He was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 2010.

Mr Ravi Menon, Permanent Secretary for MTI, said “Lawrence has been an excellent CEO at the Energy Market Authority. He has laid strong foundations for our energy security, spearheaded several initiatives to broaden our energy options, and built up EMA’s capabilities as an organization. MTI thanks him for his strong contributions and wishes him the best in his future endeavours”. Added Mr Menon, “We are delighted that Hong Tat is taking over the helm at EMA. He brings with him a wealth of management and policy experience. We welcome him to the MTI family”. 

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