Cabinet reshuffle: Chan Chun Sing, Lawrence Wong and Ong Ye Kung get new portfolios; no new DPM
SINGAPORE: The three 4G ministers thought of as frontrunners to be Singapore's next Prime Minister have all been given new portfolios, in the ...
BookmarkSINGAPORE: The three 4G ministers thought of as frontrunners to be Singapore's next Prime Minister have all been given new portfolios, in the latest Cabinet reshuffle announced on Friday (Apr 23).Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing will become Education Minister, taking over from Mr Lawrence Wong, who becomes Finance Minister. Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung will be the next Health Minister, replacing Mr Gan Kim Yong, who takes over as Trade and Industry Minister.
AdvertisementAdvertisementAll new appointments will take effect on May 15, after the next Parliament sitting.Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, widely thought to be the next Prime Minister, had announced earlier this month that he is stepping aside as a 4G leader for a younger person to become the future Prime Minister.
Mr Heng will continue as Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies. He will relinquish his portfolio as Finance Minister.A new Deputy Prime Minister was not announced as part of the reshuffle.AdvertisementAdvertisementFollowing Mr Heng's announcement earlier this month, political observers touted Mr Chan, Mr Wong and Mr Ong as possible candidates for the role of Prime Minister in the future. headtopics.com
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at a press conference on Friday that this round of Cabinet changes will allow the 4G ministers to gain new experience and exposure."Most of the 4G ministers have already accumulated experience in a wide range of portfolios," he said.
However, Mr Lee said they have to"get to work quickly", because although Singapore's COVID-19 situation is more stable now, the country is still in the midst of a public health and economic crisis.Advertisement"The reshuffle is also an opportunity for them to work together in new capacities, so that they can understand each other better, and strengthen their cohesion as a team," he added.
"This will make the new team readier to take over from me and my older colleagues."CHAN CHUN SINGMr Chan, who alongside Mr Heng makes up the People's Action Party's two assistant secretary-generals, will take over as Education Minister.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that Mr Chan has done an"excellent job" getting Singapore's economy back on track and preparing its industries and companies to respond to structural changes in the global economy."This has been a major national priority," Mr Lee said. headtopics.com
"Now I am sending him to education, where he will build on the work of previous education ministers, to improve our education system to bring out the best in every child and student, and to develop young Singaporeans for the future."Nurturing people is quite different from growing the economy or mobilising unions. I look forward to Chun Sing taking on this fresh responsibility and broadening his experience."
Mr Chan will relinquish his role as deputy chairman of the People's Association. He will be replaced by Edwin Tong.After leaving the Singapore Armed Forces as Chief of Army, Mr Chan, 51, was first elected as Member of Parliament (MP) in the 2011 General Election.
The Tanjong Pagar GRC MP has held various portfolios as Minister for Social and Family Development, Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office.He was also the secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress from 2015 to 2018. He became Trade and Industry Minister in 2018.
LAWRENCE WONGMr Lee said Mr Wong, who has been assisting Mr Heng as Second Minister for Finance since 2016, has the experience and is a"natural fit for the job" as Finance Minister."The Ministry of Finance team is otherwise unchanged. Minister Indranee Rajah will support Lawrence as Second Minister," Mr Lee said. headtopics.com
Mr Wong will continue to co-chair the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force, Mr Lee added.Mr Wong, 48, was also elected as MP in 2011. He had previously helmed the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth before being appointed the Minister for National Development in 2015. He became Education Minister in July last year.
Before entering politics, the former civil servant was principal private secretary to Mr Lee from 2005 to 2008 and chief executive of the Energy Market Authority.ONG YE KUNGMr Ong, 51, will build on the"strong foundation" that current Health Minister Gan Kim Yong has laid in healthcare, Mr Lee said.
"(He will) deal with issues like ageing healthcare infrastructure and healthcare finance. These need our unremitting efforts spanning many health ministers," Mr Lee said.Mr Ong will also replace Mr Gan as co-chair of the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force, Mr Lee added.
In 2015, Mr Ong was elected as MP for Sembawang GRC, after which he was appointed Education Minister overseeing higher education and skills, as well as Second Minister for Defence.In a 2018 Cabinet reshuffle, Mr Ong took over the full education portfolio, including the role of overseeing schools - a role previously held by Mr Ng Chee Meng. He also relinquished the defence portfolio.
Shortly after the 2020 General Election, Mr Ong was appointed Transport Minister, replacing the retired Mr Khaw Boon Wan. Read more: CNA »
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