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New officeholders outline plans in their new roles

The latest round of Cabinet changes will see three office bearers being promoted -- two to full ministers and one to a minister of state. At the same time, other parliamentarians will see new appointments or changes to their current roles.

SINGAPORE: The latest round of Cabinet changes will see three office bearers being promoted -- two to full ministers and one to a minister of state.

At the same time, other parliamentarians will see new appointments or changes to their current roles.

Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin and Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong will both be promoted to full ministers from May 1.

Mr Tan attributed his promotion to the hard work put in by those who have served alongside him.

He said he will remain focused on his work and responsibilities regardless of any change in his appointment.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a May Day Dinner on Tuesday, Mr Tan said issues that people grapple with and which remain important do not change.

Mr Tan said: "The priorities don't change just because your appointment has changed.

"The things that remain important continue to remain important -- whether it's policy work or tactical work on the ground, in terms of how you work with residents and reaching out to those who need help.

"Those things will continue... regardless of what happens and you just continue to apply yourself to it."

Mr Wong has served as Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth for about two years.

Since the ministry's inception in 2012, Mr Wong has been actively engaging the arts, heritage, sports, community and youth sectors.

He said he will continue to look at ways to enable Singaporeans to lead more fulfilling lives through the arts, sports and community involvement.

"We've rolled out new initiatives, like making museum entry free for all Singaporeans, launching ActiveSG as a national movement for sports, and setting up the Youth Corps," Mr Wong said.

"There's still much more to be done, and I look forward to working with our partners and stakeholders to make Singapore a distinctive and endearing home for all of us."

Mr Sam Tan, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth, will be promoted to Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office and the Culture, Community and Youth Ministry.

He said his immediate priority is to ensure that new measures such as the Pioneer Generation Package and MediShield Life are fully communicated to Singaporeans.

He said his experience on the ground over the last 30 years will enable him to better communicate the benefits of these measures to different segments of the population.

Mr Sam Tan said: "For every major programme or policy, the last mile delivery is always the most crucial.

"So, if we are able to deliver the service clearly, efficiently, warmly and friendly to the people, then I think the recipients of the service or programme will feel that their concerns have been addressed and their views have been heard.

"And the most important thing is that they feel that they can benefit from the programmes."

New appointee Dr Lam Pin Min, MP for Sengkang West SMC, will be made Minister of State for Health on August 1.

Dr Lam said that having served in the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Health for the past eight years will help him to add value to the Health Ministry.

He believes there is much work to be done in that sector, especially when it comes to future healthcare needs of Singaporeans.

Dr Lam said: "The Pioneer Generation Package announced at the recent Budget is an important initiative to address the healthcare affordability for our seniors from the pioneer generation.

"However, I understand that many Singaporeans are still concerned about their future healthcare needs. And the soon-to-be-implemented MediShield Life will definitely serve to provide universal coverage and peace of mind to all Singaporeans."

Ms Low Yen Ling, who entered politics in 2011, will take on an appointment as Parliamentary Secretary in the Culture, Community and Youth Ministry, on top of her present appointment in the Ministry of Social and Family Development.

She hopes to bring about a synergy in her roles in both ministries.

She said: "There are areas of opportunities where the community, youth and culture intersect with families and those in need.

"The youth are a vital part of our future, and the arts and culture as well as Chinese culture and clan groups play an important role in the fabric of our society."

Ms Low will also replace Dr Amy Khor as Mayor of South West CDC from May 27.

Another new appointee is Denise Phua, an MP for Moulmein-Kallang GRC.

She will take over from Mr Sam Tan as Mayor of the Central Singapore CDC from May 27.

Ms Phua, who is well-known for championing disability rights, said she wishes to do more for this group.

She said: "The end line for me is to create a stronger Singapore that more people would choose to make home, and the kind of Singapore society that really goes beyond the typical definitions of material success... to create significance to have impact beyond the me and mine mentality and also positively impact lives of other people."

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