PA to have new chief executive director; SCCCI to get new secretary-general

Mr Jimmy Toh Yong Leng (left) will succeed Mr Lim Hock Yu as PA’s chief executive director on Jan 1. PHOTO: MCCY

SINGAPORE - There will be a change of leadership at the People’s Association (PA) and the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) in November.

Mr Jimmy Toh Yong Leng, 50, will be PA’s chief executive director (designate) from Nov 1, and will take over fully from Jan 1. He succeeds Mr Lim Hock Yu, who will be stepping down on the same day.

Mr Lim, 57, will be joining SCCCI as secretary-general with effect from Jan 1. 

Mr Toh is currently the deputy chief of government communications (operations). He helmed the integrated effort to push out timely and accurate information on Covid-19 to encourage Singaporeans to adopt safe management measures, health protocols and vaccinations.

He also spearheaded the transformation of government communications, such as the setting up of the Gov.sg WhatsApp channel, the development of the SG Translate Machine Translation engine, and the installation of digital display panels in Housing Board estates islandwide to deliver public communications messages. He received the Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 2017.  

Mr Lim was appointed as PA’s chief executive director in June 2020 and prior to that, he was its deputy chief executive from April 2016. Under his leadership, PA embarked on its Community 2025 plan to strengthen community bonds and social resilience.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, PA mobilised grassroots volunteers and staff to raise awareness on public health and safety, among other initiatives.  As the task force commander for vaccination mobilisation and engagement operations, Mr Lim oversaw the national effort to reach out to seniors and the vulnerable to get vaccinated, and rapidly converted community clubs into vaccination centres.

Under his leadership, PA also introduced more courses and programmes online to encourage residents to stay active and healthy. In addition, it set up the Seniors Go Digital Hubs to help seniors pick up essential digital skills. 

Mr Lim, who personally distributed care packs to his staff during the pandemic, also stepped up PA’s transformation efforts in resource optimisation, digitalisation and innovation. He was conferred the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2022.  

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong, who is PA deputy chairman, said Mr Lim discharged his duties at the PA with distinction and he thanked him for his years of service.

Mr Tong said: “He played a significant role in a very challenging period for the PA over the past two years. At the same time, he maintained a clear focus on many initiatives to make the PA more relevant and relatable to the people we serve.

“I am confident that Mr Lim will lead SCCCI with equal distinction and success.”

SCCCI president Kho Choon Keng said it has been looking to strengthen itself as the leading business chamber in this rapidly changing business landscape.

“Hock Yu’s wealth of experience in strategic planning, stakeholder management, staff development, combined with strong operational capabilities, will be valuable to the transformation of SCCCI,” he said, adding that Mr Lim will play a pivotal role in SCCCI’s next lap of growth.

Mr Lim is taking over from Mr Lu Cheng Yang, 60, who has resigned as SCCCI’s secretary-general to pursue other career opportunities. Mr Lu will relinquish his role on Nov 30, after close to five years of service. SCCCI has appointed Mr Leong Teng Chau, 52, as the deputy secretary-general to assist in covering SCCCI’s affairs. Mr Leong is currently the assistant secretary-general.

SCCCI said on Monday that Mr Lu has helped to strengthen the chamber’s capabilities in government advocacy, engagement with local trade associations, capacity building of trade associations and internationalisation initiatives in China. 

It added that during the pandemic, he helped SCCCI implement several initiatives that benefited the business community. The Straits Times understands that he put in place live-streaming facilities to help companies tap social media to sell their products.

In response to ST’s queries, SCCCI said this is not the first time it has staff from government agencies seconded to the chamber. It added that government officials are seconded to trade associations and chambers (TACs) so there is cross-sharing of experience and expertise, which can facilitate industry and TAC development.

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