SINGAPORE: Acting Ministers Ong Ye Kung and Ng Chee Meng have been promoted to full ministers.
In a statement issued on Friday (Oct 28), the Prime Minister’s Office said Mr Ong has been promoted to Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills). Mr Ong will also be Second Minister in the Ministry of Defence.
Meanwhile, Mr Ng has been promoted to Minister for Education (Schools). He will also be Second Minister in the Ministry of Transport.
The promotions are part of leadership renewal and will take effect on Nov 1.
"Building a leadership team is one of my top priorities," said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a Facebook post on Friday. "These changes are part of the renewal process, to reinforce my Cabinet and get a younger team in place, ready to take over."
"I hope that Singaporeans will give them your full support, and work with us to take Singapore forward," he added.
This is the second round of changes in appointments that Mr Lee has made to this Cabinet. The first changes on Aug 22 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.
ACTING MINISTERS GRATEFUL FOR PM LEE'S CONFIDENCE
Reflecting on his work with the Ministry of Education (MOE), Mr Ng wrote in a Facebook post that it has been a “fulfilling year in service".
He added: “I would like to thank the Prime Minister for his confidence in me. Together with Ye Kung, my MOE colleagues and our teachers, we will continue to build upon the good work done, equipping our young with skills for the future through a forward-looking curriculum focused on strengthening resilience and inculcating a 'can do' spirit, built upon sound values that have made Singapore what it is today.”
Mr Ng also said he looks forward to further supporting Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan and working with the team at the Transport Ministry to realise the new transport master plan for Singapore.
In a Facebook post, Mr Ong also said that he is grateful for Mr Lee’s "continued confidence" in him and the opportunity to contribute to Singapore.
“Our common vision is a Singapore society that recognises and values a wide range of talent and contributions that goes far beyond academic grades, and which reflects the diverse interests and aspirations of our people," he wrote. "Our higher education system must offer the various options and pathways to develop such talents.”
Mr Ong said that in the coming years, the Government will continue to evolve the higher education system, broaden the concept of meritocracy and uncover a lifelong learner in all Singaporeans.