Poh Li San’s trailblazing career serves as an inspiration to both boys and girls


Member of Parliament for Sembawang GRC Ms Poh Li San has had quite the career.

She started out as one of the very few female Search and Rescue pilot and military officer in the Republic of Singapore Air Force after being awarded the Singapore Armed Forces Merit Scholarship (Women).

Screenshot from Tuesday Report

Flying the Super Puma, Ms Poh was also part of the 125 Squadron and was part of the Singapore Armed Forces Humanitarian and Relief mission deployed to Aceh, Indonesia, following the Boxing Day Tsunami.

In 2006, she became the first female aide-de-camp, assisting the late President S R Nathan.

Her military career officially ended in 2010 when she joined the Changi Airport Group as Vice President and was instrumental in closing the Budget Terminal and transforming it into Terminal 4. The 46-year-old is now Senior Vice President, planning systems and driving innovation for Terminal 5.

And now, she’s an MP for the Sembawang West ward.

Her trailblazing career is featured in a video by Channel 8 Tuesday Report. You can watch it here:


Indeed, Ms Poh’s career is testament to how far the society has progressed from looking at women through old lenses; that a woman’s primary role is to play the supporting, domesticated figure.

She’s also in good company. Over the years Singapore has seen her fair share of inspiring women: President Halimah Yacob, Paralympian champion and Nominated Member of Parliament Yip Pin Xiu, East Asia’s first female ambassador to the United States Chan Heng Chee, swim queen Joscelin Yeo, well-respected doctor and champion of social causes Dr. Kanwaljit Soin, former Under-Secretary-General of UN Dr. Noelene Heyzer.

The PAP government, through the forward looking and systematic formulation of policies and conviction activism, has contributed to this progression. Despite the progress made throughout the decades, the Party firmly believes that even more can be done for women.

It is with this conviction that the Party started the #ActionForHer initiative last year, calling for Singaporeans to support women’s rights.

The Party’s Women and Youth wings have submitted a paper on improving women’s development to the government and will culminate in a White Paper to be presented in Parliament this year.

May the successes of these female inspirational figures blaze the trail and inspire the future generations: the sky’s the limit and women are not being confined to a stereotypical role in society.

Because Ms Poh’s journey is anything but.

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Cover photo credit: Poh Li San’s Instagram page