Cabinet reshuffle: Six interesting facts

Cabinet reshuffle: Six interesting facts

cabinet reshuffle
A Cabinet meeting held on Tuesday (Apr 24), before changes take effect on May 1, 2018. (Photo: Lee Hsien Loong/Facebook) 

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday (Apr 24) announced a "more extensive than usual" Cabinet reshuffle, where younger ministers will head two-thirds of Singapore's ministries

"I have decided to stretch the younger ones, giving many of them two ministries and additional responsibilities," said Mr Lee in a Facebook post shortly after the announcement. 

"The leadership transition taking place in the next few years is well underway."

Here are six facts about the latest Cabinet reshuffle. 

1. There will be three female full ministers in the Cabinet

Indranee Rajah
Indranee Rajah (Photo: MCI)

With Ms Indranee Rajah's promotion, there will be three female full ministers in the Cabinet come May 1. The other two are Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu and Mrs Josephine Teo who will be the new Manpower Minister.

2. Indranee Rajah to hold the most portfolios - until Jun 30, 2018

From May 1, Ms Indranee Rajah will hold four portfolios - Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Finance, Second Minister for Education as well as Second Minister for Law. 

She will hold on to the law portfolio as a transition arrangement until Jun 30, until Mr Edwin Tong assumes the role of Senior Minister of State for Law from Jul 1. 

3. Of the 15 ministries, three will get new ministers at the helm

Mr Chan Chun Sing, currently a Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, will head the Ministry of Trade and Industry. He was recently asked by Mr Lee to return to Government after three years with the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).

Mrs Josephine Teo will be the Minister for Manpower, taking over from Mr Lim Swee Say, while Mr S Iswaran will be appointed Minister for Communications and Information, in place of Dr Yaacob Ibrahim who is also retiring.

(Download our printable infographic: Singapore's new Cabinet and other political appointments at a glance.)

4. The three retiring ministers leave behind nearly 70 years of collective experience

collage Lim Hng Kiang, Lim Swee Say, Yaacob Ibrahim
Retiring ministers Mr Lim Hng Kiang, Mr Lim Swee Say and Dr Yaacob Ibrahim.

When Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade) Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say and Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim leave their ministerial posts on May 1, they will be leaving behind 66 years of collective experience as office holders. 

Of the three, Mr Lim Hng Kiang is the longest-serving one. The 64-year-old took office in 1991 as Minister of State for National Development, shortly after he was first elected as Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC. Since then, he has made the rounds among the ministries, becoming the Acting Minister for MND in 1994 before becoming a full minister a year later. 

5. The Ministry of Finance will have three full ministers 

Following Ms Indranee Rajah's promotion, the Ministry of Finance will have three full ministers - the other two being Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat and Second Finance Minister Lawrence Wong.

6. All CEOs of Business China have gone on to take on political office

Sun Xueling PAP
PAP candidate Sun Xueling. (Photo: Xabryna Kek) 

CEO of non-profit organisation Business China, Ms Sun Xueling, will be joining the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of National Development as Senior Parliamentary Secretary on May 1. 

All previous CEOs of Business China, including Ms Low Yen Ling, Mrs Josephine Teo and Mr Sam Tan, had also earlier left the post to take on political office. 

Source: CNA/dl/(gs)