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HDB and NEA appoint new chief executive officers

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Tan Meng Dui (left) will move from NEA to helm HDB, while Luke Goh will take over as CEO of NEA.

Cheong Koon Hean - HDB outgoing CEO - HDB.jpg
Cheong Koon Hean will step down as HDB's CEO after a decade in the role. She spearheaded initiatives to expand housing options to low-income households.

TWO statutory boards in Singapore on Monday separately announced changes to their leadership.

The current chief executive officer (CEO) of the National Environment Agency (NEA), Tan Meng Dui, will become CEO of the Housing and Development Board (HDB) from Feb 26, 2021.

This will take place after the public housing authority's present chief, Cheong Koon Hean, relinquishes her role on Jan 1, 2021.

In the interim, from Jan 1 to Feb 25 next year, HDB's acting CEO will be Fong Chun Wah. Mr Fong is the deputy CEO (building) of HDB, where he leads the planning and implementation of building projects through master planning, long-term planning, urban design, upgrading of older towns and more.

Meanwhile, NEA will appoint Luke Goh to take its helm as CEO starting Feb 26 next year, after Mr Tan steps down.

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HDB's outgoing chief Dr Cheong was pivotal in the formulation and review of housing policies and building programmes, said the statutory board and the Ministry of National Development in a joint statement.

She spearheaded several housing initiatives to expand housing options to low-income households, and enhanced housing grants for first-time homebuyers. The 63-year-old has been CEO since 2010.

Dr Cheong steered HDB towards new approaches in providing homes that are highly liveable and sustainable, with a focus on building strong communities. "Under her stewardship, new-generation public housing projects have progressively taken shape, raising the bar for HDB living," according to the statement.

Mr Tan, who will move from NEA to lead HDB, has been helming the environment agency since October 2018.

Under his leadership, NEA made "significant progress" in reviewing key policies, building new capabilities and rolling out new programmes, the statutory board said in a separate statement on Monday.

The 53-year-old led NEA's responses in Singapore's fight against the coronavirus pandemic, including oversight of disinfection tasks and public advisories. He oversaw the rapid development of a wastewater-based surveillance capability as well, to assess Covid-19 transmission in the foreign-worker dormitories.

In addition, he spearheaded the SG Clean Campaign in February this year, to encourage individuals and businesses to keep public premises clean so as to reduce the risk of disease transmission.

During Mr Tan's tenure, NEA enhanced the management model of new hawker centres, helped to improve the after-death services industry's professionalism, developed infrastructure for recycling, as well as launched the Tuas Nexus integrated development.

Moreover, the agency led the government's response to 2019's haze episode and managed the historic dengue outbreak in 2020 under his guidance, NEA said in its statement.

NEA's incoming CEO, Mr Goh, 45, is the deputy secretary (trade) in the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Prior to that role, he was senior director at the Public Service Division and concurrently institute director at the Institute of Governance and Policy in the Civil Service College.

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