Ex-SAF chiefs in public service: ‘Don’t generalise generals’

Former SAF generals (clockwise from top left) Winston Choo, Ng Jui Ping, Bey Soo Khiang, Lim Chuan Poh, Ng Yat Chung, Perry Lim, Ng Chee Meng, Neo Kian Hong and Desmong Kuek.
Former SAF generals (clockwise from top left) Winston Choo, Ng Jui Ping, Bey Soo Khiang, Lim Chuan Poh, Ng Yat Chung, Perry Lim, Ng Chee Meng, Neo Kian Hong and Desmong Kuek. PHOTOS: ST FILE, LIANHE ZAOBAO, THE BUSINESS TIMES, A*STAR, SMRT, MCI, MINDEF

The appointment of former chief of defence force Neo Kian Hong as chief executive of SMRT highlights again how a fair number of positions in government and government-linked companies are helmed by former military men.

When it was announced last month that Mr Neo Kian Hong would be taking over as chief executive of SMRT from Mr Desmond Kuek, one similarity in the two men's backgrounds stood out - both were formerly the chief of defence force.

The appointment of yet another general to a non-military sector sparked some debate about the relevance of military experience in civilian jobs.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 06, 2018, with the headline 'Where do former generals go?'. Print Edition | Subscribe