Parliament: Tributes pour in for outgoing Transport Minister

Mr Lui (centre) had said in a surprise announcement last week that he was leaving politics after what is only his second term as an MP.
Mr Lui (centre) had said in a surprise announcement last week that he was leaving politics after what is only his second term as an MP. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - Politicians from the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) and the opposition paid tribute to outgoing Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew in Parliament on Tuesday.

The four MPs, speaking during the parliamentary debates, thanked him for his service at the Transport Ministry over the last four years.

Mr Lui had said in a surprise announcement last week that he was leaving politics after what is only his second term as an MP.

Tuesday's sitting is expected to be the last session before Parliament is dissolved ahead of the next general election, widely expected to be held sometime next month.

Singapore People's Party (SPP) chairman Lina Chiam ended her speech to amend the Public Transport Council Act with a personal note. "The SPP would like to thank Mr Lui Tuck Yew for the hard work he has done on a very challenging portfolio as Minister for Transport," said Mrs Chiam, a Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) who is married to veteran politician Chiam See Tong. "Mr Chiam and I wish Mr Lui all the best for the future."

NCMP Gerald Giam of the Workers' Party also thanked the minister "for patiently answering all my PQs (parliamentary questions) and responding to my speeches over the past four years".

Mr Ang Wei Neng, from the PAP-held Jurong GRC, praised Mr Lui's work during the debate on the Bus Services Industry Bill, which paves the way for the public bus service contracting model to be adopted.

The senior vice president at SBS Transit said Mr Lui had done a formidable job. Under his leadership, bus services here have "improved tremendously" and would continue to do so with the Bus Service Enhancement Programme, he said.

While the performance of the train services were not as outstanding, after being marred mainly by the breakdown of North-South and East-West lines in July, Downtown Lines 1 and 2 were largely completed under Mr Lui's close supervision, he added.

Mr Gan Thiam Poh, who is MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, said Mr Lui was a dedicated MP and minister who put his heart and soul into serving the country.

"We have all benefited from his tireless efforts, he said. "Despite taking on a very challenging portfolio, he had done so much to improve our public transport system, with this bus contracting model being one of the most important.

"I wish you could stay on for you have done so much for us, so much for the country. You will be sorely missed in this House."

charyong@sph.com.sg