Major Cabinet reshuffle: 7 ministries with new ministers

Major Cabinet reshuffle

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the new Cabinet line-up in a major Cabinet reshuffle at a press conference held at the Istana today (Friday 23 April). With the reshuffle, 7 ministers will be helmed by new ministers. Here’s the line-up.

Heng Swee Keat

Will continue as Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies. He will continue to oversee the Strategy Group within the Prime Minister’s Office, which coordinates policies and plans across the government, as well as the National Research Foundation. He will also continue to chair the Future Economy Council, and incorporate the recommendations of the Emerging Stronger Taskforce into the work of the Council. In addition, he will also continue to co-chair the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) together with PRC Vice Premier Han Zheng.

Heng Swee Keat said:

“The reshuffle will enable the 4G team an opportunity to work even more closely together in new capacities. I hope you will give us your fullest support as we work together to overcome COVID-19 and emerge stronger from the crisis.”

Lawrence Wong

Will take over as Minister for Finance. PM Lee described him as a ‘natural fit’ for the job because he was assisting Heng Swee Keat as Second Minister in the Finance Ministry. Minister Indranee Rajah will support Lawrence as Second Minister. Lawrence will continue to co- chair the Multi-Ministry Task Force on the COVID-19 front.

Lawrence Wong said:

“I look forward to the new appointment in MOF. DPM Heng Swee Keat has left behind big shoes to fill. He has helped steer our economy during this pandemic, and delivered 5 budgets over the past year alone. I have learnt a lot from him over the years, and value greatly his guidance and mentorship.”

Chan Chun Sing

Will helm the Ministry of Education. PM Lee said:

“Chun Sing has done an excellent job getting our economy back on track, and preparing our industries and companies to respond to structural changes in the global economy. This has been a major national priority. 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 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.”

Chan Chun Sing said:

“I look forward to continue serving our country in my new role at the Ministry of Education, Singapore. The professionals in MOE and my predecessors have built an internationally-recognised and renowned education system.

I am also a beneficiary of this system. Given my family circumstances, I managed to pursue what would otherwise be just a dream – getting a good education. Many Singaporeans have their own stories too. This is what makes Singapore special – that everyone can have the opportunity to do justice to our respective gifts and in turn pay it forward to the next generation.

Everyone will have opportunities in life; from pre-school to tertiary education, and now more important than ever before – lifelong education. I will build on this system of ours to enable every generation of Singaporeans to realise their aspirations, whatever their starting circumstances and stations in life.”

Gan Kim Yong

Will take over as Minister for Trade and Industry,  a key ministry. He will will oversee our economic recovery from COVID-19.

Ong Ye Kung

Will take over as Minister for Health.

At MOH, he will deal with issues like ageing, healthcare infrastructure and healthcare finance. These are needs that require unremitting efforts spanning many health ministers, PM Lee said. Mr Ong will co-chair the MTF on COVID-19, together with Lawrence Wong.

Ong Ye Kung said:

“As public servants, we go where we are needed. Mr Gan Kim Yong left big shoes to be filled at MOH. The Ministry is leading the effort to fight COVID-19, and in the long term, we need to ensure that even as our population ages, we will deliver quality and affordable healthcare to Singaporeans.”

S Iswaran

Will take over as Minister for Transport.

PM Lee said, “At MCI, he has significantly improved government’s public communications and sensemaking capabilities, and helped us understand and respond to citizens’ views and concerns. He has managed major upgrades to our tech infrastructure, e.g. the award of tenders and rollout of the new 5G networks. At Transport, he will continue improving the quality, affordability and environmental sustainability of our transport system. Another important task is to maintain our status as a global air and sea hub in the post-COVID-19 world. MOT also deals with ongoing sensitive air space and maritime issues concerning our neighbours.”

Iswaran will also continue as Minister in charge of Trade Relations at MTI.

Josephine Teo

Will take over as Minister in the Ministry of Communications and Information.

PM Lee said, “Last year, in the unprecedented COVID-19 downturn, MOM led our efforts to support local job creation and training opportunities. At the same time, MOM has been on the frontline dealing with the migrant worker dormitories. Through all this, Josephine has been steadfast in working to support our lower wage workers and upgrade their incomes. This project is making good progress, and she will see this through even though she has gone to MCI.”

Josephine will also continue as Second Minister of Home Affairs.

Tan See Leng

Will step up as Minister for Manpower. He was appointed Second Minister in MOM last year. Since then, PM Lee said he has been leading efforts to tackle COVID-19 in the migrant worker dormitories. Now he will take on the full range of responsibilities at MOM.

He will also continue as Second Minister at MTI. “This will help us connect the work of the two vital economic Ministries, particularly on restructuring the economy and the workforce,” PM Lee said.

Tan See Leng said:

“I have been tasked by PM to take over the Manpower portfolio. I am very honoured, and at the same time, very mindful of the heavy responsibilities and tasks at hand. I will do my best.”

The rest of the Ministers and Ministries are unchanged.

Watch the question-and-answer session of the press conference:
[irp posts=”7829″ name=”Unexpected turn of events is setback for succession planning: statement from 4G Team”]


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