Teo Ser Luck bids farewell as mayor of North East District

Mr Teo Ser Luck (in dark-coloured shirt) will hand over his role as mayor of North East District to Mr Desmond Choo. He urged CDC staff and donors to support Mr Choo. With them at the charity golf and dinner event at Raffles Country Club yesterday wa
Mr Teo Ser Luck (in dark-coloured shirt) will hand over his role as mayor of North East District to Mr Desmond Choo. He urged CDC staff and donors to support Mr Choo. With them at the charity golf and dinner event at Raffles Country Club yesterday was DPM Teo Chee Hean. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Final appearance as mayor at event that raised $543k for CDC social programmes

Large corporations, small firms and aspiring entrepreneurs have been approaching Minister of State for Manpower Teo Ser Luck with job offers since it was announced last month that he was returning to the private sector.

But he does not have time to pursue these opportunities as yet. He said his focus remains on his duties at the Manpower Ministry, which he will relinquish on June 30.

"I'm very excited about some of the inquiries because I see the effort that young people are putting into their business concepts, and that's very encouraging," Mr Teo told reporters yesterday at a charity golf and dinner event for the North East Community Development Council (CDC).

The 48-year-old steps down as mayor of North East District on Friday, but will remain an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.

He has represented the constituency since he entered politics in 2006.

Yesterday's event at Raffles Country Club - his final appearance as mayor - raised $543,000 from businesses and individuals for the CDC social programmes.

Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Education Minister (Schools) Ng Chee Meng, and Tampines GRC MP Desmond Choo, the incoming mayor for North East District.

The spotlight, however, was on Mr Teo. Appearing visibly relaxed on stage, he dropped his prepared remarks and spoke off the cuff, acknowledging the various people who helped him during his eight years as mayor.

He thanked DPM Teo for supporting an early proposal that he made on increasing interaction between the CDC staff and grassroots organisations.

He also thanked North East CDC partnership committee chairman Russell Tham for his long-time contributions.

Mr Teo then regaled the crowd with stories of how they met while playing video games as students at the Nanyang Technological University.

Turning to his successor, he called on CDC staff and donors to give their full support to Mr Choo, who will be sworn in as mayor today. He will assume his duties on Saturday .

Mr Teo drew loud, appreciative laughter when he said with a broad grin that he hoped for success in his future business ventures so that he could donate more money at next year's edition of this event.

He received a standing ovation at the end of his speech.

After a charity auction, Mr Teo went to each dinner table to thank the guests, who expressed good wishes to him with handshakes and backslaps.

Asked how he felt about leaving after more than a decade as an office-holder, Mr Teo said he preferred to focus on the future.

"I'm the kind who looks forward and it's not in my nature to get too emotional," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2017, with the headline 'Teo Ser Luck bids farewell as mayor of North East District'. Print Edition | Subscribe