Did Heng Swee Keat accidentally hint that Ong Ye Kung or Ng Chee Meng will be the next Finance Minister?


Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat may have accidentally hinted about who his successors in Parliament yesterday.

The Minister had been responding to a question by Workers’ Party chairman Sylvia Lim on the education system in Singapore, when he said:

“Then on your point about science and the PISA score and the students, now we’re not saying that we have a perfect education system. In fact there are many things which I’m very happy that Minister Ng Chee Meng and Minister Ong Ye Kung are continuing to do building on the works of previous finance minister to continue to raise the-“

At this point, people in the chamber began whispering “education minister” when Heng realises his error and corrects himself with a laugh: “…sorry? Education Minister, sorry. Did I say Finance? Oh ok (Laughs).”

Most people around Heng begin laughing at this time and Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin even quips off-screen: “Same person.”

While Heng’s comment could very well have been a slip of the tongue, some think that he accidentally signalled who his successors might be when there is a cabinet reshuffle after Parliament goes on a mid-term break.

The Straits Times‘s Yuen Sin was one such individual who thought Heng’s slip was a slip-up She said, “Could this be an indication of the future portfolios that the two ministers — identified as core members of Singapore’s fourth-generation leadership — would take up when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reshuffles the Cabinet this year?”

The upcoming cabinet reshuffle is designated to give younger ministers more exposure and responsibilities so that they can better support the next Prime Minister.

PM Lee revealed this in a Facebook post earlier this week but did not give any indication on when exactly he will select his successor, even amid increasing anticipation.


Heng Swee Keat is believed to be one of the frontrunners to succeed the Prime Minister, himself.

Upcoming cabinet reshuffle will give 4G leaders more exposure and responsibility: PM Lee


  1. Natural progression from education portfolio to finance portfolio. Have been what they did for both Mr Tharman and Mr Heng~ Probably expect Mr Ng and Mr Ong to take up the finance and trade portfolio respectively. But it’s just one mans’ conjecture~

  2. They are laughing so happily because square pegs can also place in round holes, just like HO Ching don’t have a bachelor degree in economics, yet she sits on the throne of Temasek holdings!!!
    Singapore is in great mess as what the finance minister’s duty is to raise taxes when talking about budget!
    Really don’t need to study accounting, economics or finance, just raise taxes will do as the 70% naive citizens had given them the mandate to live like princes at our expense !!!
    This coming GE2019, just replace them with any opposition in their territory, and we can see them crying like George Yeo
    Now, let us watch them laughing as their time are running out very soon!!!

  3. Big deal , so what if it’s a leak. This is the person who continued to cap local undergraduates to 20%.
    So in future, hoarding money, more taxes and spending less will continue.
    Just more of the same.