Singapore appoints new Chief of Defence Force, Chief of Army

Outgoing CDF, Lieutenant-General (LG) Perry Lim, incoming CDF, Major-General (MG) Melvyn Ong Su Kiat, and incoming COA Brigadier-General Goh Si Hou. (PHOTO: MINDEF)

From 23 March, Major-General (MG) Melvyn Ong Su Kiat will be Singapore’s new Chief of Defence Force (CDF), said a Ministry of Defence spokesman on Monday (12 March).  

MG Ong, the current Chief of Army (COA), will succeed Lieutenant-General (LG) Perry Lim, who was appointed as CDF in August 2015. Replacing MG Ong as COA is 40 year-old Brigadier-General Goh Si Hou, Commander 6th Singapore Division, who assumes his new position on 21 March.

“These changes are part of the continuing process of leadership renewal,” said the spokesman.

MG Ong, 43, joined the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in 1994, and was a recipient of the SAF Overseas Scholarship. The former Chief Guards Officer’s key contributions thus far include the Soldier Strong campaign and establishment of the Centre of Excellence for Soldier Performance (CESP), which takes a more data-driven approach to soldiers’ performance.

BG Goh joined the SAF in 1997. He is also a recipient of the President’s Scholarship and SAF Overseas Scholarship. He previously served as the Commanding Officer of 20th Battalion Singapore Artillery and Commander 3rd Division Artillery.

BG Goh also held appointments in the Ministry of Defence. One of the projects he headed led to the formation of the SAF Volunteer Corps, a uniformed volunteer scheme which allows women, first-generation Permanent Residents and new citizens to contribute to national defence.

Outgoing CDF LG Lim’s key contributions include setting up the SAF’s C4 capabilities, which deals with complex cyber threats. He also oversaw the year long NS50 campaign which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the armed forces.

Previous CDFs such as Ng Yat Chung and Desmond Kuek have gone on to head Singapore Press Holdings and SMRT, respectively. Minister for Education (Schools) and Second Minister for Transport Ng Chee Meng is also a former CDF.