Desmond Lee’s promotion to a lucrative S$1.1 million-a-year Minister comes no surprise, considering who his father was. The new Minister for Social and Family Development is the son of former Cabinet Minister Lee Yock Suan, who held multiple ministerial portfolios as Minister for Labour, Education, Trade and Industry, Information and Environment over 17 years from 1987 to 2004.
PAP MP Desmond Lee became a MP only in 2011, under the Group Representative Constituency (GRC) coat tail of Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam. Prior to joining the PAP, the white horse son of a Minister was a Deputy Director of the Legal Branch at the Health Ministry and an Associate Director with Temasek Holdings, where the Prime Minister’s wife Ho Ching is CEO.
In 2013, less than two years from his first election, he was fast-tracked promoted to a Minister of State position, and two years later in 2015, a Senior Minister. Two years later today in 2017, he is now a full Minister.
The only natural explanation to his starry promotion is nepotism. Dictator Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong values faithfulness over competency, and this is where Desmond Lee aced in. Minister Desmond Lee have been previously tasked with attacking the Opposition Workers’ Party through his Minister of State with Ministry of Development portfolio. In the past three years, Desmond Lee led the defamatory attack on the Workers’ Party alleging them of dishonesty over town council funds. Desmond Lee earned the dictator’s approval and is today rewarded with a bigger stick, at S$1.1 million-a-year.
Besides polishing the right apples, Desmond Lee’s bloodline as a son of a former Minister goes to show that he will never defy Lee Hsien Loong. Desmond Lee’s ministerial promotion is just a matter of time, and he will likely be shuffled onto different ministries like his father was.