Lim Hng Kiang

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Person.png Lim Hng Kiang  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(officer, politician)
Minister Lim Hng Kiang.jpg
Born9 April 1954
Alma materRaffles Institution, Christ's College (Cambridge), Harvard University
SpouseLee Ai Boon
Member ofWEF/Global Leaders for Tomorrow/1994
WEF/Global Leaders for Tomorrow/1994, then various ministerial posts in the Singaporean government, including for Health and Trade.

Employment.png Singapore/Minister/Trade and Industry

In office
12 August 2004 - 30 April 2018
Preceded byGeorge Yeo

Employment.png Singapore/Minister/Trade

In office
1 October 2015 - 30 April 2018

Employment.png Singapore/Minister/Health

In office
3 June 1999 - 31 July 2003

Employment.png Singapore/Minister/National Development

In office
17 April 1995 - 2 June 1999
Preceded byLim Hng Kiang

Employment.png Singapore/Minister/National Development

In office
2 January 1994 - 16 April 1995
Succeeded byLim Hng Kiang

Lim Hng Kiang is a retired Singaporean officer and politician.[1][2][3] A member of the governing People's Action Party (PAP), he was a Member of Parliament 1991–2020. He also held positions in the Cabinet from 1994 to 2018, including Minister for National Development (1994–1999), Minister for Health (1999–2003), Minister in the Prime Minister's Office (2003–2004), and Minister for Trade and Industry (2004–2018).

He was selected a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in 1994.


Lim was educated in Raffles Institution, before being awarded a President's Scholarship and Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge, where he completed a degree in engineering in 1976. In 1985, Lim was awarded a scholarship to study for a Master of Public Administration degree at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.[4]


Lim began his career in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and left with rank of lieutenant-colonel. He later served as a deputy secretary at the Ministry of National Development, and as the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Housing and Development Board (HDB).

Lim was first elected to Parliament in 1991 as an MP for the Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency. Since 1997, he has represented the West Coast Group Representation Constituency (West Coast GRC).

Lim was appointed a Minister of State at the Ministry of National Development in 1991. In 1994, he became the Acting Minister for National Development and Senior Minister of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In 1995, Lim became the Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs. In 1998, he relinquished the role of Second Minister for Foreign Affairs and became the Second Minister for Finance.

In 1999, Lim became the Minister for Health. He also retained the portfolio of Second Minister for Finance.

During the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic that swept through the region. Many Singaporeans felt his initial handling of the crisis, citing his lack of leadership and indecisiveness, helped prolong the epidemic that eventually drove the economy into a recession. While then Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said "SARS has significantly disrupted our economy. It has affected not only tourist spending but also domestic consumption... certainly our first half growth will be affected, and we will have to revise down our growth forecasts for the year." Others cited his calls to quarantine patients and to close and extend local school holidays were late in coming (although the measures would not have made any difference).

In 2003, Lim was made a minister in the Prime Minister's Office. He retained the role of Second Minister for Finance.

Lim was made the Minister for Trade and Industry in 2004. He was subsequently put in charge of trade at the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The ministry was split into two, with Lim taking the trade portfolio and the industry portfolio taken by S. Iswaran.[4]

Lim served as the deputy chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) from 2006 until 2021[5] and is also a board director of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC).

Lim stepped down from the cabinet on 30 April 2018[4] and appointed as special advisor to MTI.

During 2020 Singaporean general election, Lim announced his retirement from politics.[2][3]

Personal life

Lim has two sons.[6] His wife, Lee Ai Boon, died of cancer on 12 April 2014.[7]

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