Lee Hsien Yang is a Singaporean businessman and former brigadier-general. A prominent member of the Lee family, he is the younger brother of Lee Hsien Loong, the third prime minister of Singapore, and the youngest son of Lee Kuan Yew, the founding prime minister of Singapore. Having spent most of his career in the private sector, he joined politics in 2020 by becoming a member of the Progress Singapore Party (PSP).
Lee Hsien Yang PJG (Chinese: 李显扬; pinyin: Lǐ Xiǎnyáng) was born on September 24, 1957, and is age 65 years old. He is the son of Lee Kuan Yew (father) and Kwa Geok Choo (mother). His father Lee Kuan Yew was a former prime minister of Singapore, and his mother is a lawyer. His elder brother, Lee Hsien Loong, is the current prime minister. His elder sister, Lee Wei Ling, is a former director of the National Neuroscience Institute.
Lee attended Catholic High School and National Junior College before graduating from Trinity College, Cambridge with a double first in engineering science under the President’s Scholarship and Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Scholarship awarded by the Public Service Commission. He subsequently went on to complete a Master of Science degree in management at Stanford University.
Lee Hsien Yang enlisted in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in 1976 and has held several command and staff appointments such as the Commander of the second Singapore Infantry Brigade, and attained the rank of brigadier-general before retiring in 1994. After retiring from the military, Lee joined Singtel in April 1994 as Executive Vice President of Local Services.
Lee became CEO of SingTel in May 1995, where he served until March 2007. That same year, Lee was awarded the Pingat Jasa Gemilang (PJG). In September 2007, Fraser and Neave (F&N) appointed Lee as a Non-Executive Director and Chairman-designate with effect from 6 September 2007. Lee assumed the position of Non-Executive Chairman on 15 October 2007.
On 1 July 2009, Lee was appointed Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) by Minister for Transport Raymond Lim. On 26 February 2013, it was announced that Lee had stepped down from the board of Fraser and Neave. Lee has also held other positions in the private sector – Board Member and Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Singapore Exchange (SGX); Independent Director of the Islamic Bank of Asia.
He was also a board member of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ); Member of the Governing Board of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP); Member of the Board of Asia Pacific Investment; Chairman of Republic Polytechnic (RP); Member of the International Advisory Board of Rolls-Royce Holdings.
Lee stepped down as Chairman of the CAAS on 1 July 2018. Although in 2006, Lee said that he has “no great interest to pursue a career in politics”, he joined the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) led by the former Member of Parliament (MP) Tan Cheng Bock, on 24 June 2020, claiming that the People’s Action Party (PAP) has “lost its way”, and that it is no longer the PAP of its “founding principles that Lee Kuan Yew had envisioned”. The PSP was one of the opposition parties that ran in the 2020 general election.
Lee ultimately decided not to run as a candidate for the 2020 general election, stating that “Singapore doesn’t need another Lee”. In March 2023, Lee hinted in a phone call interview from Europe about running for the 2023 presidential election. However, it has been cited that he may not meet the eligibility requirements due to ongoing police investigations against him and his wife, Lim Suet Fern, over allegedly giving false evidence in the proceedings over his father Lee Kuan Yew’s will.
In July 2023, Singaporean ministers K. Shanmugam and Vivian Balakrishnan warned Lee Hsien Yang that they wou ld file defamation lawsuits against him unless he formally withdrew his allegations, apologized as well as pay damages – which would in turn be paid to charity – over his statements on Facebook in regards to the Ridout Road rentals where said ministers were involved.
In his posts, Lee Hsien Yang accused the ministers of using their powers to coerce the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) into giving them preferential treatment in regard to the residences as well as making the SLA pay for renovations, which were refuted by Shanmugam in another Facebook post.
Lee Hsien Yang Wife: Who Is Lee Hsien Yang Wife?
As of June 2023, Lee Hsien Yang is still married to his wife Lim Suet Fern, they had their wedding in July 1981. His wife is the daughter of the economist Lim Chong Yah and they first met at the University of Cambridge. His wife Lim later became the founder and managing partner of Stamford Law Corporation and the president of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA). The couple have three children, sons: Li Shengwu, Li Huanwu, and Li Shaowu. Their eldest son, Li Shengwu, is currently serving as an Assistant Professor of Economics at Harvard University. He graduated from Balliol College of the University of Oxford as the top student in the Philosophy, Politics and Economics program in 2009, received a Master of Philosophy degree in economics from Oxford in 2011, and received a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2016. Their son Li Huanwu came out as gay in July 2018. Li Huanwu married his partner, Heng Yirui, a vet working for Mandai Wildlife Group, in South Africa on 24 May 2019.