6 things you might not know about incoming Prime Minister Lawrence Wong

Lawrence Wong things to know, like his wife & his book list

Today (15 April), the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced that current PM Lee Hsien Loong will relinquish his post for the incoming Lawrence Wong on 15 May.

Through his social media accounts, the Deputy PM showcases his social media game as well as his guitar skills, including this delightful fingerstyle guitar cover of Taylor Swift’s Love Story.

But beyond that, Mr Wong, who is also the Finance Minister, is a fairly private person, only noting that he is a bookworm, guitar player, and dog lover on his social media profile.

Here’s a look at some other facts about Mr Wong that you might not have already known, including his book interests and what his wife, Ms Loo Tze Lui, does.

1. Current wife has a background in banking

Mr Wong has been married twice — he amicably ended his first marriage when he was 28 due to incompatibility. The Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC Member of Parliament, who is not known to have any children, had lived alone for several years.

According to this The New Paper article, he was apparently quite adept at cooking and cleaning when he was a bachelor.

He later married Ms Loo Tze Lui, who caught the attention of netizens when she appeared alongside Mr Wong at the inauguration of President Tharman Shanmugaratnam at the Istana last September.

Being the wife of the PM-to-be is enough to garner attention, but it was Ms Loo’s elegance that really made her stand out in the crowd.

Source: @bluebirdconfessions on TikTok

Ms Loo is a former banker who previously sat on the board of directors of the YMCA until 2023.

In 2022, Ms Loo appeared in pictures with Mr Wong when they visited Brunei, posted by Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean.

Source: Teo Chee Hean on Facebook


A graduate of Business Administration, Finance from the University of Southern California in 1993, Ms Loo has run a single-family office (SFO) since 2011.

An SFO, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore, is an entity that manages assets for or on behalf of only one family and is wholly owned or controlled by members of the same family.

2. Marine Parader who chose to attend schools nearby

Mr Wong grew up in Marine Parade, where his Hainan-born father, who died in 2021 at age 86, went to Malaysia as a boy, then came to Singapore to work in a sales job.

Meanwhile, Mr Wong’s Singapore-born mother, was a primary school teacher. He’s close to his mother, whom he has described as a “superwoman”.

Both he and his older brother were in the primary school she taught at — Haig Boys’ School.

Source: Lawrence Wong on Facebook

In a The Sunday Times interview with Sumiko Tan, Mr Wong admitted that he chose not to attend an elite school like Raffles Institution as it was “very natural” to continue education at Tanjong Katong Secondary School, which was near to home and where all his friends were.

Later, Mr Wong attended Victoria Junior College, then earned a Government scholarship and chose to go to the United States as it was “home to his favourite musicians”.

The rock, blues, soul, and jazz enthusiast counts legendary guitarist Eric Clapton, as well as singers Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald among his favourites.

He got his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor respectively.

This was followed by a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.

3. Busked in the US when he was an undergrad

We know that one of Mr Wong’s claims to fame is his skills at stringed instruments, notably guitar. He began to play when he was eight, after his father gifted him the instrument.

The 51-year-old clearly enjoys performing. While in the US studying economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he went busking with his guitar together with his American roommate.

If they were lucky, they’d earn US$30 (around S$41) playing for an hour, but it was simply something he enjoyed doing, Mr Wong said in a 2012 interview.

Be it electric or acoustic, Mr Wong has played it.

He has even tried his hand at the sitar.

Mr Wong said in an Instagram post that music and playing the guitar help him to relax and unwind.

“I don’t get to play as much these days. But I still try to find time whenever I can,” he said.

4. Was rejected from the MFA when younger

Mr Wong has had a public career that could be described a stellar — after all, he has held various ministerial roles, such as Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Education Minister, before his current portfolio.

He was also the Principal Private Secretary to PM Lee between 2005 and 2008, and CEO of Energy Market Authority before he stepped down to enter politics.

Still, he claims he lagged behind his peers when he first started working.

He revealed in 2022 that he’d once applied to join the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) but was rejected.

“They decided maybe I was not good enough,” he said. He eventually joined another ministry, even though he received offers from the private sector after graduating.

His colleagues, he said, did better than him at the start of his career, and “moved up faster” than him. “But it was fine,” he said. “My individual personal philosophy in life is, don’t compare. You do the best you can.”

Asked if he ever thought he’d be on this trajectory, he said: “No, of course not,” describing his life as a process of discovery. He “certainly didn’t” wake up one day and decided he wanted to be DPM, he said with a laugh.

5. Avid reader of sci-fi and global affairs

Growing up, Mr Wong loved visiting the old Marine Parade library, where he’d borrow sci-fi books as well as guitar tomes.

According to this Straits Times article, he’d head there almost every Saturday afternoon and read for hours on end.

These days, Mr Wong still possesses a love for books. Once a year, he’d share his book list on social media, which holds a variety of genres such as AI, space, leadership, geopolitics, and leadership.

Source: Lawrence Wong on Facebook

Notably, many of these books were released just months before Mr Wong read them, which means he is one to keep up with the latest book releases.

In case you’d like to delve into the mind of what a DPM reads, here’s a handy searchable list:

  • Eighteen Days in October by Uri Kaufman
  • Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things by Adam Grant
  • Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy by Henry Kissinger
  • How To Know A Person by David Brooks
  • The Coming Wave by Mustafa Suleyman
  • Accidental Conflict: America, China, and the Clash of False Narratives by Stephen Roach
  • When The Heavens Went On Sale by Ashlee Vance
  • Never Enough by Jennifer Breheny Wallace
  • How Big Things Get Done by Bent Flyvbjerg & Dan Gardner

6. Dog lover

Mr Wong’s other known great love, besides his guitar and books, is dogs.

He had a golden retriever named Summer, who died in July 2020. In his tribute to Summer, Mr Wong stated:

“Thank you for bringing so much love and joy to our lives.”

While it does not appear that he has owned another dog since, he professed in a social media post in 2023 that he likes all dog breeds.

However, he still seems to like golden retrievers most, as according to him, they are affectionate and very gentle. “Once you show them some love and affection, they’ll return it in spades”.

They are also lovely to cuddle and snuggle with, he said.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at news@mustsharenews.com.

Featured image adapted from Teo Chee Hean on Facebook and Lawrence Wong on Facebook.

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