AVA's CEO Tan Poh Hong to step down on Oct 1; senior police officer Lim Kok Thai to take over

Current Deputy Commissioner of Police (Policy) Lim Kok Thai (right) will take over the reins from Ms Tan Poh Hong.
Current Deputy Commissioner of Police (Policy) Lim Kok Thai (right) will take over the reins from Ms Tan Poh Hong. PHOTO: ST FILE/MND

SINGAPORE - The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) will have a new chief executive officer from Oct 1.

Current Deputy Commissioner of Police (Policy) Lim Kok Thai will take over the reins from Ms Tan Poh Hong, the Ministry of National Development said in a press release on Friday (Sept 8).

Ms Tan will be retiring from public service.

Her eight-year tenure has seen the agency move beyond a regulatory role, strengthening food security by forging strong partnerships with the industry and stakeholders, the statement said.

The Agriculture Productivity Fund and other initiatives transformed Singapore's farming landscape, pushing agriculture innovation and supporting private sector urban food solution projects.

These efforts saw Singapore climb from 16th position to third from 2013 to 2016, on the Global Food Security Index, it added.

Ms Tan also led efforts to review and strengthen legislation raising animal welfare standards.

She had served at the Housing and Development Board (HDB) for almost 28 years, prior to her appointment at AVA.

Mr Lim, 44, first joined the Singapore Police Force in 1996 as an Assistant Superintendent of Police.

He has held various key appointments since, including Commander of Bedok Police Division and Director of Operations of the SPF.

Along the way, he held the post of Assistant Director in MND's Housing Division from 1999 to 2001, and also as Senior Director of the National Security Coordination Centre under the National Security Coordination Secretariat in the Prime Minister's Office in 2014.

He has thus accumulated vast operational and policy experience.

"MND would like to thank Ms Tan Poh Hong for her many years of dedicated service in the Singapore public service. At the same time, MND welcomes Mr Lim Kok Thai to AVA and the MND family," said the press release.