Singapore’s transport minister will step down after general elections expected to be called soon, passing up on the prime minister’s offer to be reappointed.
Lui Tuck Yew, a member of parliament since 2006, has chosen not to stand for re-election, according to transcripts of letters exchanged with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong released Tuesday. Lee had signaled his intention to retain him in the Cabinet, according to Lui.
Singapore, which celebrated its 50th year of independence on Sunday, is preparing for its first nationwide polls since 2011. The ruling People’s Action Party is seeking to shore up support among voters with increases spending to offset higher living costs, after losing some districts in the previous ballot.
While Lui has overseen an expansion of the public-transportation network, he’s also had to deal with infrastructure breakdowns in recent years. Singaporeans vented on social media after a power fault froze evening commutes across two major train lines and stranded thousands on July 7.
“We have had some setbacks, including two major disruptions on the North-South/East-West lines,” Lui, who has helmed the transport ministry since 2011, said in his letter. “Large-scale or prolonged disruptions still happen more frequently than is acceptable.”
Lui, who turns 54 this month, is a former navy chief who’s held appointments in ministries including defense and foreign affairs, according to the website of the Prime Minister’s Office.
“No minister carried difficult problems like public transport alone,” Lui said. “But having thought the matter over carefully, I have decided that I should stand by my original decision” to step down.