Richard Hu

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Richard Hu
Minister for Finance
In office
2 January 1985 – 10 November 2001
Prime Minister
Preceded byTony Tan
Succeeded byLee Hsien Loong
Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore
In office
January 1985 – December 1997
Prime Minister
  • Lee Kuan Yew
  • Goh Chok Tong
Preceded byGoh Keng Swee
Succeeded byLee Hsien Loong
Minister for Health
In office
Prime MinisterLee Kuan Yew
Preceded byTony Tan
Succeeded byYeo Cheow Tong
Member of the Singapore Parliament
for Kreta Ayer–Tanglin GRC (Kreta Ayer)
In office
2 January 1997 – 18 October 2001
Preceded byHimself (Kreta Ayer SMC)
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Member of the Singapore Parliament
for Kreta Ayer SMC
In office
22 December 1984 – 16 December 1996
Preceded byGoh Keng Swee
Succeeded byHimself (Kreta Ayer–Tanglin GRC – Kreta Ayer)
Personal details
Richard Hu Tsu Tau

(1926-10-30)30 October 1926
Singapore, Straits Settlements, British Malaya
Died8 September 2023(2023-09-08) (aged 96)
Singapore[citation needed]
Political partyPAP
SpouseIrene Tan Dee Leng
Alma mater
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese胡賜道
Simplified Chinese胡赐道

Richard Hu Tsu Tau (Chinese: 胡赐道; 30 October 1926 – 8 September 2023) was a Singaporean politician who served as Minister for Finance between 1985 and 2001. A member of the governing People's Action Party (PAP), he was Member of Parliament (MP) for Kreta Ayer SMC between 1984 and 1997, and Kreta Ayer–Tanglin GRC between 1997 and 2001. Hu was Singapore's longest-serving finance minister and gave a record number of 16 Budget speeches. He served as chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore between 1985 and 1997.

Early life and education

Hu was born in Singapore to Hu Tsai Kuen [zh], a physician,[1] and Margaret Kwan Fu Shing.

He was educated at the Anglo-Chinese School before graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. He subsequently went on to complete a PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Birmingham.[2]


Hu joined the Royal Dutch Shell Group of Companies in 1960 and rose to the position of chairman and chief executive in Singapore, where he served from 1977 to 1983.[3] In 1983, Hu was appointed managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC), where he served until 1984 concurrently.[4] He was chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore from 1985 to 1997.[5]

Hu made his political debut in the 1984 general election as a People's Action Party (PAP) candidate contesting in Kreta Ayer SMC and won.[4][6] He was later appointed Minister for Health in 1985, where he served until 1987. He was also Minister for Finance from 1985 to 2001.[7][8] He had also briefly served as Minister for National Development from 1992 to 1993.[1]

As Minister for Finance, Hu was known for his signature on the 'Ship' series of legal tender notes issued after his appointment.[9] He introduced the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 1993.[4] As part of deregulation and reform of its financial and banking sectors, Hu oversaw the privatisation of the government-linked Post Office Savings Bank (POSB) and the sale of POSB to the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) in 1998.[10]

On 13 April 2004, Hu was appointed CapitaLand's chairman of the board, where he served until his retirement in 2012.[11] He was also chairman of GIC Real Estate Pte Ltd[12] and Asia Financial Holdings Pte Ltd, and director of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (GIC)[13] and Buildfolio.Com.Inc. Hu served as the chancellor of the Singapore Management University from July 2002 to August 2010.[14] Hu retired from GIC in 2012.[15] In 2013, he was appointed senior advisor of the Fraser and Neave board.[16]

Personal life

Hu was married to Irene Tan Dee Leng,[17] with whom he had two children.[18] He was of Hakka Chinese ancestry.

Hu died on 8 September 2023, at age 96.[19]


  1. ^ a b Tay, Hwee Peng; Chew, Hui Min (4 March 2016). "Heng Swee Keat to present Budget 2016: Who were the finance ministers before him? | The Straits Times". Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  2. ^ "Heng Swee Keat to present Budget 2016: Who were the finance ministers before him?". 4 March 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  3. ^ "Management Team | Barghest Building Performance". Archived from the original on 26 April 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Richard Hu, S'pore's longest-serving finance minister, dies at 96". The Straits Times. 8 September 2023. ISSN 0585-3923. Retrieved 10 September 2023.
  5. ^ "Our History".
  6. ^ "Official Reports". Parliament of Singapore. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  7. ^ Tesoro, Jose Manuel. "SINGAPORE Keeping Up the Pace". Asiaweek. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Finance Minister Bios". Retrieved 18 July 2022.
  9. ^ "Note Facts". The Singapore Mint. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  10. ^ "National Archives of Singapore". Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  11. ^ "CapitaLand chairman Richard Hu to step down". Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Richard Hu Tsu Tau Ph.D." Bloomberg News. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  13. ^ Lee, Meixian. "Richard Hu to retire from GIC board". Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  14. ^ "31 August 2010". Archived from the original on 6 September 2010. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  15. ^ Lee, Meixian (2 November 2012). "Richard Hu to retire from GIC board". The Straits Times. p. 22.
  16. ^ "F&N: Appoints Dr. Richard Hu As Senior Adviser To The Board". Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Business Times. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  17. ^ Who's who in Singapore, 2006. Kar Tiang Low, Who's Who Publishing (3rd ed.). Singapore: Who's Who Pub. 2006. p. 193. ISBN 981-4062-02-2. OCLC 62782476.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  18. ^ Migration (13 January 1985). "From the archives: Money man with a soft touch | The Straits Times". Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  19. ^ Tan, Felicia. "Former finance minister Richard Hu dies at 96". Retrieved 8 September 2023.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by Minister for Finance
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister for Health
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister for National Development
1 September 1992 – 1993
Succeeded by