BCA to get new CEO in November as it oversees an industry in transition

Economic Development Board executive vice-president Kelvin Wong (left) will take over the role from Hugh Lim. PHOTOS: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Come Nov 2, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), which has gained new importance as the go-to agency for construction firms amid Covid-19, will have a new chief executive officer.

Mr Hugh Lim, 55, a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) scholar who has been CEO of the BCA since 2017, will relinquish his appointment and hand over duties to Economic Development Board (EDB) executive vice-president Kelvin Wong, 49.

The announcement was made jointly by the Ministry of National Development and the BCA on Tuesday (July 21) in a press statement, in which both agencies thanked Mr Lim for his contributions and welcomed Mr Wong to his new appointment.

The BCA is a statutory board that aims to ensure Singapore's built environment is safe, of high quality, sustainable and friendly.

Following the disproportionate effects of the coronavirus on workers in the construction sector - including 45,260 migrant workers in dormitories who have tested positive to date - the authority has also taken on a leading role in helping construction firms navigate Covid-19 regulations and tap government resources.

The MND and BCA said that Mr Wong oversaw EDB's SkillsFuture efforts and was responsible for the implementation of the Leadership Development Initiative, which helped develop Singaporeans as business leaders in their fields.

He also played a major role in growing Singapore's supply chain and connectivity, with his spearheading of the National Trade Platform in particular positioning Singapore as an important trade, supply chain and financial trading hub.

Mr Wong graduated from Imperial College in London with first class honours in electronics and electrical engineering and a masters in communications and signal processing.

The MND and BCA noted that during his tenure at the BCA, Mr Lim spurred the industry to adopt technology, supporting industry-related research and innovation.

During his three years as CEO, he saw the amendment of key legislation which promoted good governance and transparency when it came to building maintenance and strata management, as well as introduced a new regulatory framework for lifts and escalators, among others.

He also introduced a provision which allowed the Government to mandate a Progressive Wage Model for locals in the lift maintenance industry, increasing their pay by upgrading their skills and improving productivity.

The BCA, like other agencies, is adapting to the coronavirus situation as it develops, and has said recently that design standards for new buildings might have to be changed to boost ventilation in crowded spaces and improve air quality.

It is in the midst of discussions with industry stakeholders and experts on whether new rules are necessary.

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