Today’s The Straits Time reported that Ong Ye Kung will be joining Keppel Corp as a Director. Prior to this news, there was wide speculation on where Ong Ye Kung will be headed to. Initially, I have thought that Ong Ye Kung will be appointed as CEO of Capitaland after Liew Mun Leong made known his plan to retire, but that post went to Lim Ming Yan. Then there were others who thought Ong Ye Kung would be appointed as CEO of SMRT after Saw Phaik Hwa but that post went to Desmond Kuek.
When Michael Palmer resigned, many including myself thought that Ong Ye Kung is now preparing himself for a by-election. Today, we know Ong Ye Kung will join Keppel Corp as a Director. I think that Ong Ye Kung will still be fielded as a candidate in Punggol East after he becomes Keppel Corp’s Director. I think that if Ong Ye Kung were to be fielded as a candidate of the ruling party, he will win in what many believe to be a multi-cornered fight.
Once Ye Kung is elected as MP of Punggol East, I believe he may be reshuffled to a GRC with lower Opposition support in the next General Election and if so, I believe Ong Ye Kung will be appointed a Minister once he wins the GRC election contest.
Even if Ong Ye Kung does not enter politics, I believe he may become the next CEO of Keppel Corp after Choo Siau Beng as many Government-Linked companies like SBS Transit, Changi Airport Group, SMRT, NOL are currently helmed by former high-flying scholars from MINDEF or from the Administrative Serivice.
Before Ye Kung, another high-flying scholar, former BG and Deputy Secretary in National Development Tay Lim Heng joined Keppel Integrated Engineering as CEO.