Tembusu Conversations: SM Teo Chee Hean



7.00pm:   Registration

7.20pm:   Audience to be seated at Tembusu College’s Multi-Purpose Hall

7.30pm:  Start of Tembusu Converssations

9pm:    End of dialogue and group photo-taking session

This session will be held under Chatham House Rule.

Mr Sven Tan


Mr Teo Chee Hean was appointed Senior Minister on 1 May 2019 and serves, since 21 May 2011, as Coordinating Minister for National Security. He also oversees the Smart Nation and Digital Government Group, the National Security Coordination Secretariat, the National Population and Talent Division and the National Climate Change Secretariat under the Prime Minister’s Office.

In the first phase of his career, he served in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) where he held various command and staff appointments in the Republic of Singapore Navy and the Joint Staff.  In 1991, he was appointed Chief of Navy, and was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral. In December 1992, he left the SAF to seek elected public office and was elected as a Member of Parliament in a by-election in the Marine Parade Group Representation Constituency (GRC).  He was re-elected to Parliament six times in the Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.

SM Teo was appointed Deputy Prime Minister from 1 April 2009 to 30 April 2019. He has served as the Minister for Home Affairs, Minister for Defence, Minister for Education, and Minister for the Environment, as well as Minister of State in the Ministries of Finance, Communications and Defence.

He was awarded the President’s Scholarship and the Singapore Armed Forces Scholarship in 1973, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours) in Electrical Engineering and Management Science from the University of Manchester in 1976.  He subsequently attained a Master of Science degree (with distinction) in Computing Science in 1977 at the Imperial College in London, and a Master in Public Administration at the Kennedy School of Government in Harvard University in 1986, where he was named a Littauer Fellow.

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The Tembusu (Fagraea fragrans) is a large evergreen tree in the family Gentianaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia. Its trunk is dark brown, with deeply fissured bark, looking somewhat like a bittergourd. It grows in an irregular shape from 10 to 25m high. Its leaves are light green and oval in shape. Its yellowish flowers have a distinct fragrance and the fruits of the tree are bitter tasting red berries, which are eaten by birds and fruit bats.