SINGAPORE: Senior Ministers of State Josephine Teo and Desmond Lee will be promoted to full ministers with effect from May 1, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said on Thursday (Apr 27).
Mrs Teo, who is currently Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Transport and in the Prime Minister’s Office, will be appointed as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Manpower and Foreign Affairs. She will relinquish her appointment in the Ministry of Transport, but will continue to oversee population matters, assisting Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.
Her promotion means that Singapore will have two female full ministers – including Minister of Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu – in its Cabinet for the first time.
In a Facebook post on Thursday night, Ms Fu said the addition of Mrs Teo signified "yet another step forward for women in Singapore". "I have said that it was a matter of time before more female colleagues will join me in Cabinet," she wrote. "I hope to see more women fulfilling their aspirations and taking on leadership roles, regardless of their line of work."
Mr Lee, who is currently Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development, will be appointed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, and will also be Second Minister for Home Affairs and National Development.
Dr Lam Pin Min, Dr Janil Puthucheary, Dr Koh Poh Koon and Mr Chee Hong Tat will be promoted to Senior Ministers of State in their current ministries. Dr Lam will also be appointed as Senior Minister of State for Transport.
Ms Low Yen Ling and Associate Professor Faishal Ibrahim will be promoted to Senior Parliamentary Secretaries in their current ministries.
Mr Sam Tan Chin Siong will be appointed as Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and will continue as Minister of State for Manpower and in the Prime Minister’s Office.
Mr Amrin Amin will be appointed as Parliamentary Secretary for Health, and will continue as Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs.
TEO SER LUCK RETIRES
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has accepted Minister of State for Manpower and Mayor of North East CDC Teo Ser Luck's request to step down from public office. Mr Teo will return to the private sector, the PMO said.
Mr Teo will relinquish his appointment as Minister of State on Jun 30, and as mayor when his current term ends on May 26. He will continue serving Sengkang Central division as a Member of Parliament for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.
In a Facebook post on the new appointments, Mr Lee thanked Mr Teo for his service to the Government.
"Ser Luck has contributed much in the ministries he served in – Transport, MTI, Manpower – and worked with his fellow mayors on many meaningful projects. I thank him for his contributions and wish him all the best in his future endeavours," Mr Lee wrote.
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean also thanked Mr Teo for the “innovative and meaningful NE CDC programmes" that have benefited residents, such as an inclusive toy library for kids of all abilities in Elias Community Club.
Thursday's announcement marks the third round of changes in appointments that Prime Minister Lee has made to this Cabinet. The first changes on Aug 22 last year saw Mr Lawrence Wong appointed as Second Minister for Finance, and Ms Sim Ann appointed as Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and relinquishing her appointment in the Ministry of Finance. The second round of changes on Oct 28 last year saw Mr Ong Ye Kung and Mr Ng Chee Meng promoted to full ministers.
The changes are part of leadership renewal, the PMO said.
Mr Desmond Choo will be appointed as mayor of North East CDC. Dr Maliki Osman, Dr Teo Ho Pin, Ms Denise Phua and Ms Low Yen Ling will be reappointed as mayors, and Ms Low Yen Ling will be appointed as coordinator for the CDCs.
The new mayor appointments will take effect when the terms of the current mayors end on May 26.