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Quah Ley Hoon, Champion of Crew Change, Steps Down at MPA Singapore

Quah Ley Hoon
Courtesy MPA Singapore

Published Aug 7, 2022 12:42 PM by The Maritime Executive

The chief executive of the Maritime and Port Authority Singapore (MPA), Quah Ley Hoon, will be stepping down on September 5, Singapore's Ministry of Transport announced Friday. She will be replaced by Teo Eng Dih, the current deputy secretary for policy of Singapore's Ministry of Defense.

"The Ministry of Transport would like to put on record its appreciation to Ms Quah Ley Hoon for her significant contributions as the Chief Executive of MPA and wish her all the best in her future endeavors," the ministry said in a statement. 

Quah Ley Hoon became chief executive of the MPA in January 2019. During her tenure, she led MPA through the completion of the Tuas Port Phase 1 reclamation, which was a major milestone in the evolution of Singapore's container transshipment enterprise.  She also navigated the MPA through the disruptions of the COVID-19 era, including critical policy decisions about crew change. 

Quah launched the Singapore Shipping Tripartite Alliance Resilience (SG-STAR) Fund in November 2020, the first initiative of its kind. In partnership with organizations like the ITF, IMEC, ICS and WSC, the fund set up an audit program based on Singapore’s crew change model in order to establish safe corridors for crew change, including regular quality checks on quarantine, medical and swabbing facilities in select crew-supplying countries. In the first full year of the pandemic, when so many port states closed their doors to seafarers, MPA facilitated 100,000 crew changes.

To reduce disruptions and improve safety, Quah also led the MPA's initiatives to make vaccines available to frontline maritime workers and seafarers.

For her efforts in keeping maritime commerce (and seafarers) moving during the pandemic, Quah was awarded the Legion d'Honneur by the French government and the Medal of Commendation from Singapore's National Trade Union Congress.

Quah's tenure will also be remembered for leadership on technological transformation and decarbonization. Among other highlights, she worked with the Singapore Maritime Foundation to establish the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonization (GCMD) in August 2021. In addition, she oversaw the implementation of MPA's digital port clearance system, which put the clearance forms for multiple Singaporean agencies into one single platform.