Featured News PM Lee's latest Cabinet: No change in prominent ministerial positions

PM Lee’s latest Cabinet: No change in prominent ministerial positions

Prime Minister says Cabinet designed to reflect continuity, exposure and renewal

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Singapore — Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced his new Cabinet on Saturday afternoon (July 25). While there are changes within the Executive branch of the Government, many prominent positions remain intact.

Mr Lee will continue to be head of government while his presumptive successor, Mr Heng Swee Keat, will continue as the Cabinet’s sole Deputy Prime Minister and also as Finance Minister with an additional role as Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies. Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Mr Teo Chee Hean will remain as Senior Ministers.

Mr K Shanmugam will continue helming two key ministries: Law and Home Affairs. Mr Chan Chun Sing, Mr S Iswaran and Mr Gan Kim Yong will continue leading the ministries of Trade and Industry, Communications and Information, and Health respectively.

Mrs Josephine Teo will continue as Minister of Manpower despite widespread criticism of how she handled the Covid-19 outbreak among migrant workers.

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In his announcement, that came 15 days after the 2020 elections — which saw the People’s Action Party draw its second-worst result in history, Mr Lee said that he is retaining these key positions to promote continuity. He is, however, making some changes to give the 4G ministers more exposure handling different portfolios.

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung will become Transport Minister, while National Development Minister Lawrence Wong will be appointed Education Minister. Mr Wong will continue as co-chairman of the Multi-Ministry Task Force for Covid-19.

Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee will become the new National Development Minister but will continue to be present in his current ministry as Minister‐in-charge of Social Services Integration.

Ms Grace Fu will take over the environment ministry — which has been renamed the Ministry of Sustainability and Environment — from Mr Masagos Zulkifli, who will be the new Minister for Social and Family Development and continue as Minister‐in-charge of Muslim Affairs.

Mr Edwin Tong, who has been promoted to full minister, will take over from Ms Fu as Minister for Culture, Community and Youth.

Ms Indranee Rajah will continue as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Her fellow ministers in the PMO will be Dr Maliki Osman, who has been newly promoted to full minister, and new PAP  MP Tan See Leng who is one of the rare few who has been promoted directly to full minister.

Mr Lee said that he designed the new Cabinet to reflect continuity, exposure and renewal. Asserting that this will be a team that will be able to lead the nation amid the health and economic crises that lie ahead, he said:

“First, continuity. In normal times, we need experienced ministers to provide steady hands, and also to mentor the younger ministers. And in this crisis, this need is even greater,” he added, pointing out that older ministers like Mr Gan Kim Yong and Mr K Shanmugam are staying on.
“Secondly, I’m rotating the ministers, especially the younger ones to gain exposure and experience. We regularly do this during Cabinet reshuffles, and the intent is to expose the office holders to different portfolios, to gain both breadth and depth, to understand the intricacies of the issues and to see things from different perspectives. And ultimately from a national perspective.
“Thirdly, I’m renewing the line-up and bringing in fresh blood and promoting several junior office holders and backbenchers who have performed well. I’m also bringing in fresh faces from the newly elected Members of Parliament, including several from the private sector, and one of whom as a full minister. They will reinforce my team and offer new ideas and perspectives.”

There are other changes within the Cabinet, involving Second Ministers, Senior Ministers of State, Ministers of State, Parliamentary Secretaries and Mayors.

The changes are expected to take effect from July 27. Take a look at the full list of changes within the Cabinet here:

Retirement

  • Mr Khaw Boon Wan retires as Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport. The Prime Minister thanks Mr Khaw for his service and contributions in multiple portfolios over many years.
  • Mr Sam Tan retires as Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Social and Family Development, and as Chairman of the Government’s feedback unit, REACH.
  • Dr Tan Wu Meng retires as Senior Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The Prime Minister thanks Mr Tan and Dr Tan for their service and contributions.

Appointment of Ministers

  • Ms Grace Fu Hai Yien will be appointed Minister for Sustainability and the Environment. (The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources will be renamed the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment.) She will relinquish her appointment as Minister for Culture, Community and Youth.
  • Mr Lawrence Wong will be appointed Minister for Education. He will remain Second Minister for Finance, and relinquish his appointment as Minister for National Development.
  • Mr Masagos Zulkifli will be appointed Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Health. He will remain the Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs and relinquish his appointment as Minister for the Environment and Water Resources.
  • Mr Ong Ye Kung will be appointed Minister for Transport. He will relinquish his appointment as Minister for Education.
  • Mr Desmond Lee will be appointed Minister for National Development. He will relinquish his appointment as Minister for Social and Family Development but will remain in the Ministry and be concurrently appointed as Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration.
  • Ms Indranee Rajah will be appointed Second Minister for National Development, and relinquish her appointment as Second Minister for Education. She will remain Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and as Second Minister for Finance.
  • Dr Tan See Leng will be appointed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry.

Promotions

  • Dr Maliki Osman will be promoted to full Minister. He will be appointed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Education and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs. He will relinquish his appointment as the Mayor of South East District.
  • Mr Edwin Tong will be promoted to full Minister. He will be appointed Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, and Second Minister for Law.
  • Mr Zaqy Mohamad will be promoted to Senior Minister of State. He will remain at the Ministry of Manpower and take up an additional appointment at the Ministry of Defence.
  • Ms Low Yen Ling will be promoted to Minister of State, and take up new appointments at the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, and at the Ministry of Trade and Industry. She will relinquish her appointments at the Ministry of Manpower and Ministry of Education. She will also remain as Mayor of South West District.
  • Associate Professor Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim will be promoted to Minister of State, and take up new appointments at the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of National Development. He will relinquish his appointments at the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Social and Family Development.
  • Ms Sun Xueling will be promoted to Minister of State, and take up new appointments at the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social and Family Development. She will relinquish her appointments at the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development.

Other Political Appointments

  • Mr Heng Swee Keat, the Deputy Prime Minister, will take on an additional appointment as Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies.
  • Dr Amy Khor will be appointed Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport. She will continue in the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment.
  • Ms Sim Ann will be appointed Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of National Development. She will continue in the Ministry of Communications and Information but relinquish her appointment in the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.
  • Mr Chee Hong Tat will be appointed Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Transport. He will relinquish his appointments in the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
  • Dr Janil Puthucheary will be appointed Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Health. He will continue in the Ministry of Communications and Information but relinquish his appointment in the Ministry of Transport.
  • Dr Koh Poh Koon will be appointed Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Health. He will relinquish his appointment in the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

New Political Office Holders

In addition to Dr Tan See Leng, there will be six new political office holders.

  • Ms Gan Siow Huang will be appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Manpower.
  • Mr Alvin Tan will be appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, with effect from 1 September 2020.
  • Mr Desmond Tan will be appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment.
  • Mr Tan Kiat How will be appointed Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of National Development. He will also be Chairman of REACH.
  • Mr Eric Chua will be appointed Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, and the Ministry of Social and Family Development.
  • Ms Rahayu Mahzam will be appointed Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Health, with effect from 1 September.

Mayors

  • Mr Alex Yam will be appointed Mayor for North West District.
  • Mr Mohd Fahmi Aliman will be appointed Mayor for South East District.

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