New Chief of Defence Force and Chief of Army named

Army chief Melvyn Ong will be new defence force head, while BG Goh Si Hou will take his place

Outgoing Chief of Defence Force Perry Lim Cheng Yeow has served the SAF with distinction since his enlistment, said Mindef.
Outgoing Chief of Defence Force Perry Lim Cheng Yeow has served the SAF with distinction since his enlistment, said Mindef.

Army chief Melvyn Ong Su Kiat will take over as Chief of Defence Force on March 23, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said yesterday.

The 43-year-old will replace Lieutenant-General Perry Lim Cheng Yeow, 46, who has "served the SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) with distinction since his enlistment in 1990", said Mindef.

In turn, taking over Maj-Gen Ong's place as army chief is the commander of the 6th division, Brigadier-General Goh Si Hou, 40.

The changes are part of the continuing process of leadership renewal in the SAF, a ministry spokesman said.

Maj-Gen Ong was appointed army chief in August 2015, when he was a brigadier-general, and promoted to his current rank the following year.

During his time as army chief, Maj-Gen Ong strengthened the army to address the emerging threat of transnational terrorism, the Mindef spokesman said.

Under his charge, the Island Defence Training Institute was set up at Clementi Camp.

One of the institute's key responsibilities is to train and develop SAF units to protect important military and civilian installations.

Maj-Gen Ong also oversaw plans to revamp the Safti training area into one that provides "a realistic dense urban environment" to better prepare future soldiers, Mindef said.

Replacing Maj-Gen Ong, BG Goh currently commands the 6th division, an operationally ready front-line formation of both professional and conscription units.

Mindef said he led the division through key army exercises and bilateral training with foreign partners.

BG Goh also oversaw the development of the Combined Arms Training Centre, which aims to strengthen the army's training system, said the ministry.

The outgoing Chief of Defence Force, Lt-Gen Lim, "maintained a high level of operational readiness and conducted round-the-clock security operations to defend Singapore and safeguard our peace and sovereignty", said Mindef.

He also led efforts to strengthen the SAF's counter-terrorism capabilities and inter-agency co-operation for homeland security operations.

Among Lt-Gen Lim's achievements was the year-long NS50 campaign to pay tribute to 50 years of national service, which Mindef said was "successfully carried out", noting in its statement that NS50 strengthened the country's commitment to defence and recognition of national service as a cornerstone of Singapore's defence.

Mindef expressed its deep appreciation to Lt-Gen Lim for "his sterling leadership and outstanding contributions to the development of the SAF".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 13, 2018, with the headline 'New Chief of Defence Force and Chief of Army named'. Subscribe