'Big shoes to fill': Desmond Lee on new role as Minister at MSF

'Big shoes to fill': Desmond Lee on new role as Minister at MSF

desmond lee
Mr Desmond Lee will relinquish his appointments in the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Prime Minister's Office. (Photo: Desmond Lee/Facebook)

SINGAPORE: Ministers Desmond Lee and Josephine Teo said they look forward to taking on new roles in different ministries, after the Prime Minister's Office announced the portfolio changes on Tuesday (Sep 5). 

Mr Lee, 41, will helm the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), succeeding Mr Tan Chuan-Jin who is poised to become Speaker of Parliament. Mrs Teo, 49, will be appointed as Second Minister in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), taking over from Mr Lee.

"As Chuan-Jin answers the calling of the Speaker's office (leaving me with very big shoes to fill!), I look forward to joining the MSF team to continue this work of building a resilient and caring society," Mr Lee said on Facebook.

He pointed out that Mr Tan and the social services sector have been faced with "complex challenges" such as strengthening social safety nets, giving children from less privileged backgrounds a better head start, helping people with disabilities and special needs, as well as supporting the early childhood sector. 

Nevertheless, Mr Tan and his team dealt with the issues "passionately", said Mr Lee, adding that he has much to learn as he joins the ministry. 

He also said he looks forward to working with Mr Tan and Culture, Community and Youth Minister Grace Fu to drive the SG Cares movement, which encourages Singaporeans to give back to society.

Mrs Teo, meanwhile, described her new role at MHA as a "stretch assignment", as none of her previous postings were security-related. 

"But the ministry is ably helmed by Minister K Shanmugam and assisted by Parliamentary Secretary Amrin Amin. Together with the Home Team agencies, we will continue to make sure Singaporeans' security interests are well served," said Mrs Teo on Facebook. 

The new appointments take effect on Sep 11. It is also when Parliament will sit to elect a new Speaker.

Source: CNA/gs