SINGAPORE - Ministers and Members of Parliament who have worked with Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew reacted with sadness at his decision to leave politics, saying he has always been very dedicated to his job and shows concern for the people.
They credited Mr Lui for putting in place measures to improve Singapore's transport situation in the last four years, saying the impact of what he has done will be felt in the future.
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean thanked the outgoing minister, whom he has known for 30 years, for serving in Government and being ready to take on challenging tasks.
"He has served with honour and distinction, and has brought commitment, an analytical mind, and compassion and concern for people to every responsibility he has undertaken," he said.
Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim, Mr Lui's team-mate at Moulmein-Kallang GRC, praised him for his unwavering commitment towards Singaporeans and residents of Moulmein.
He said in a Facebook post: "The residents and I are sad to see him go... He has always had a heart for Singaporeans, and strives to do his best for their needs."
Similarly, labour chief Chan Chun Sing, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, said Mr Lui's contributions "will be sorely missed".
He said Mr Lui had steered the transport sector through challenging times and put in place "plans that will not only manage today's challenges, but also tomorrow's demands".
He added that Mr Lui also "had the interests of our (transport) workers at heart as he tackles the many challenges in the transport sector".
The Government announced on Tuesday Mr Lui's decision to leave politics and not contest the coming general election.
Fellow Moulmein-Kallang GRC MP Denise Phua said Mr Lui had accepted the job of Transport Minister, despite having witnessed what previous transport ministers had gone through professionally and personally.
She said: "Tuck Yew took the brunt of public anger. He took criticisms and online flaming in his stride, and quietly focused on resolving problems on the ground. I wish he had stayed on to see the fruits of his labour."
She added that Mr Lui is also an MP with "no airs, no wayang".
"He is a diligent and sincere leader who treats his residents, grassroots and activists with respect and dignity... I will really miss him," she said.
Holland-Bukit Timah MP Liang Eng Hwa, meanwhile, said Mr Lui had often gone incognito on public transport to assess the transport situation for himself.
On one such occasion in 2011, Mr Lui rode on the Bukit Panjang LRT.
"I remembered it was the June school holidays and the LRT trains were not as crowded as it should be. He said never mind, he would come back again a month later to observe. Indeed, he returned and later also announced some good news, including the 50 per cent capacity upgrade for the Bukit Panjang LRT as well as additional LRT platforms at Chua Chu Kang station," said Mr Liang on Facebook.
He added that Mr Lui was at Zhenghua recently for a community visit, during which he took public transport around to see if the transport situation had improved.
Thanking Mr Lui, he said: "I am sure many of the MPs will miss him a great deal; an approachable and very capable Minister and always willing to hear out our problems and to intervene decisively when needed."