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Cablegate: Pm Passes Finance Minister Role to Tharman

VZCZCXRO1230
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHGP #2135 3360452
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 020452Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4522
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

UNCLAS SINGAPORE 002135

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE PASS TREASURY SSEARLS, RKAPROTH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIN ECON ETRD EFIN EINV SN

SUBJECT: PM PASSES FINANCE MINISTER ROLE TO THARMAN


1. (U) After 19 months as second Minister of Finance, Tharman
Shanmugaratnam takes over the top position at the Finance
Ministry from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, effective December
1. Trained as an economist at London School of Economics and
Cambridge University, the promotion caps a long career in
economic and financial policy. Minister Tharman also serves on
the boards of the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the
Government Investment Corporation (GIC). He will retain his
position as Minister for Education until a cabinet reshuffle
next year, according to press reports. An edited version of
Minister Tharman's classnet biography follows below.
Biography
---------

2. (U) Tharman Shanmugaratnam has been Member of Parliament
representing the Jurong district of Singapore since October
2001. Before entering politics, he spent much of his earlier
professional career at MAS, Singapore's central bank and
financial regulator, where he rose to the position of Managing
Director. While at MAS, he worked on broad-ranging
liberalization and regulatory changes to Singapore's financial
sector. He continues to serve on the Board of MAS, and also
sits on the Board of GIC.

3. (U) He served as Senior Minister of State in the Ministries
of Trade and Industry and Education between November 2001 and
July 2003. He became Acting Minister for Education in August
2003, and Minister for Education a year later. He added the
position of Second Minister for Finance in May 2006. Tharman is
also Co-Chairman of the Singapore-Liaoning Economic and Trade
Council, which was established in 2003 to advance stronger links
between Singapore and Liaoning Province. He is Chairman of the
Ong Teng Cheong Institute of Labour Studies, and serves as a
Life Trustee of the Singapore Indian Development Association.

4. (U) Tharman was appointed to the Central Executive Committee
(CEC) of the People's Action Party (PAP) in 2002. He was re-
elected to the CEC, and appointed the party's Assistant
Treasurer in 2004.

5. (U) Tharman undergraduate and masters degrees in Economics
from the London School of Economics and Cambridge University,
respectively. He later obtained a masters degree in Public
Administration at Harvard University, where he received the
Littauer Fellow award. He was awarded the Singapore Public
Administration Gold Medal in 1999.

6. (U) Born in 1957, he is married and has four children.


HERBOLD

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