Forum: Bold move by ex-chief of defence force that is worth emulating

LG (Ret) Ng Jui Ping on the FH2000 howitzer bidding goodbye to servicemen at his farewell parade at Khatib Camp, on June 30, 1995.
LG (Ret) Ng Jui Ping on the FH2000 howitzer bidding goodbye to servicemen at his farewell parade at Khatib Camp, on June 30, 1995.PHOTO: MINDEF

In an interview with The Sunday Times, the late Lieutenant-General (Retired) Ng Jui Ping said: "I surely cannot be seen in my second career to be living off the Government." (Ex-chief of defence force's role in building the new SAF, Jan 5).

In explaining his bold move to enter the private sector upon retirement as chief of defence force in 1995 at the age of 50, he said: "The basis of the second career is that the SAF has trained and groomed a person who is of this calibre, and a person of this calibre should be able to hold his own outside of the SAF, the Government and Temasek."

One of the companies he co-founded was Pacific Andes Resources Development, which focuses on the development, marketing and distribution of fish and fish products.

He also held non-executive or board positions in various other investment and business consulting companies, as well as being adviser to various business groups.

While we have not heard much about his achievements in the private sector, he said he did not have too much difficulty leading a comfortable life.

The Singapore economy is going through major restructuring. We need more high-calibre Singaporeans like Lt-Gen (Ret) Ng to venture out as entrepreneurs in their second careers instead of being seen as "living off the Government".

Liu Fook Thim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 08, 2020, with the headline 'Bold move by ex-chief of defence force that is worth emulating'. Print Edition | Subscribe