Prime minister Lee Hsien Loong just announced that in February, Singapore’s new auditor-general will be Goh Soon Poh, current deputy secretary (Corporate) at the Home Affairs Ministry (MHA) and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). This comes after Singapore named three female ministers in Cabinet for the first time last April, in a win for female empowerment. With a long and decorated history of service, here are five things you may not know about her:
1. She’s been in the civil service for 34 years
That’s right, 34. Goh joined in 1984, and has since served as deputy secretary in the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance, Public Service Division, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Office.
She’s held her current position in MHA since 2009 and in the PMO since 2016.
2. She graduated from Cambridge University
Awarded an Overseas Merit Scholarship (now known as the Public Service Commission (PSC) Scholarship) in 1981, she went on to graduate with a bachelor of arts (economics) from Cambridge University.
3. Her husband is senior minister of state, Heng Chee How
Goh Soon Poh's husband, MP Heng Chee How
The Jalan Besar GRC MP and current senior minister of state (PMO) is also a former PSC scholarship holder and Cambridge graduate. Together they have one daughter.
4. She's won the Public Administration medal twice
Officially known as the Pingat Pentadbiran Awam, it’s awarded to outstanding civil servants. Goh won the silver medal in 2000 and the gold in 2015.
5. She studied at Singapore Chinese Girls School
(Left-right) Actress and former NMP Janice Koh; president Halimah Yacob