Lawrence Wong Shyun Tsai (黄循财; 黃循財; Huáng Xún Cái}; born 18 December 1972) is a Singaporean politician. A member of the governing People's Action Party (PAP), he was appointed the Minister for National Development after the 2015 General Election. On 22 August 2016, he was concurrently appointed as the Second Minister for Finance. He has previously held appointments in Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Communications and Information, and the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. He has been a Member of Parliament (MP) since 2011 representing West Coast Group Representation Constituency (2011-2015) and Marsiling-Yew Tee Group Representation Constituency (since 2015).[1]


Wong began his career as a civil servant at the Ministry of Trade and Industry. He served as the Ministry's Assistant Director (Research and Planning) from 1997 to 1999, as a secretary to Ong Teng Cheong (who was Singapore's first elected President). He then moved to the Ministry of Finance, where he served as Assistant Director (Fiscal Policy) from 1999 to 2001, before becoming the Deputy Director (Budget) and Head of Economic Programmes. In 2004, he moved to the Ministry of Health as the Director of Healthcare Finance.

From 2005 to 2008, Wong served as the Principal Private Secretary to Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong.

In 2008, Wong became the Chief Executive of Singapore's Energy Market Authority.[2]

Political careerEdit

Wong was elected to Parliament at the 2011 general election. On 21 May 2011, he was appointed a Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Education. On 1 August 2012, he was appointed a Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Information, Communications & the Arts and Senior Minister of State for Education. On 1 November 2012, he was appointed Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information. On 1 May 2014, he was appointed Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister for Communications and Information. He is also a member of the PAP's Central Executive Committee.[3]

For Singapore’s Golden Jubilee Year, Wong was also appointed as the Head of the SG50 Programme Office that coordinates the work of five Committees for the nation’s SG50 celebrations.[4] Wong is also the Co-Chair for the SG50 Culture and Community Committee.[5]

In August 2015, it was reported[6] that Wong would be contesting in the Marsiling- Yew Tee Group Constituency for the Singaporean General Election, 2015.

On 28 September 2015, it was announced that Wong will be the Minister of National Development from 1 October 2015.[7]

During the National Day Rally on 21 August 2016, it was announced that Wong will also be appointed Second Minister for Finance.[8]

Arts & HeritageEdit

Wong led a team to bid for the Singapore Botanic Gardens to be recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[9] At the 39th World Heritage Committee meeting in Bonn, Germany on 4 July 2015, Wong witnessed the 21-member states of UNESCO who unanimously adopted the ICOMOS recommendation to inscribe the Gardens as Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site,[10] a proud moment in Singapore’s history on her 50th birthday.[11] Wong also spearheaded the free museum entry policy for all Singaporeans and permanent residents, to all national museums and heritage institutions from 18 May 2013. This move to increase accessibility to the museums was done so that Singaporeans are able to tell the Singapore Story in a way that resonates with them.[12]

Under his charge, Wong also introduced the $200 million Cultural Matching Fund (CMF), a dollar-for-dollar matching grant for cash donations to arts and heritage charities and Institutions of Public Character in Singapore.[13] Wong did this in hope that the CMF will grow a sense of shared ownership among all in contributing to Singapore’s arts and heritage landscape.[14] He also advocates that the arts should be accessible to all Singaporeans as part of their everyday lives.[15] As the Minister responsible for the arts and heritage, Wong is actively involved in the transformation of Singapore’s Civic District – the birthplace of modern Singapore, containing many institutions that have witnessed important turning points in Singapore’s history.[16][17] Under Wong’s care, the National Gallery Singapore is also getting ready to open its doors to the public come 24 November 2015,[18] and promises to be a spectacularly restored space, with the world’s largest public display of modern Singapore and Southeast Asian art.[19]

Sports, Youth & SEA Games InvolvementEdit

Wong was also the Chairman of the Steering Committee[20] for the 2015 Southeast Asian Games. Singapore’s performance of 259 medals was its best ever showing in Southeast Asian Games history.[21] Wong had also announced several key initiatives to get more Singaporeans involved in sports.[22] This includes a national movement called ActiveSG, which gives all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents ActiveSG$100 to sign up for sports programmes, and enter into swimming pools and gyms at the various Sports Centres island-wide.[23]

Wong also chairs the Singapore High Performance Sports Steering Committee. The Committee provides strategic guidance on the national High Performance System, and is part of the Government's continued support for our Singapore athletes to pursue their sporting aspirations towards excellence.[24] Wong said that the accomplishments of Singapore athletes at the 2015 Southeast Asian Games indicate that Singapore’s investment in sports is paying off.[25]

In 2013, Wong also announced the setting up of a new $100 million National Youth Fund for youth to champion community and social causes.[26]

Other appointmentsEdit

Wong was also appointed to the Board of Directors of the Monetary Authority of Singapore on 10 June 2011.


Wong was educated at Haig Boys' Primary School, Tanjong Katong Secondary School and Victoria Junior College, before going on to the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the United States where he completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics in 1993. He subsequently obtained a Master of Arts degree in Economics at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.[27]


Television dramasEdit

Year Network Title Notes
2014 MediaCorp Channel 8 World at Your Feet Guest-of-honour for the futsal competition
Special appearance in two episodes

References Edit

External links Edit

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