Heng Swee Keat and Chan Chun Sing 'make a strong pairing': PM Lee

Heng Swee Keat and Chan Chun Sing 'make a strong pairing': PM Lee

chan chun sing and heng swee keat
PAP's second assistant secretary-general Chan Chun Sing and first assistant secretary-general Heng Swee Keat at a news conference on Nov 23, 2018. (Photo: Hanidah Amin)

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said that he supports the decision of younger ministers in the Cabinet who have come to a consensus that Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat will be their leader.

Mr Lee also said that Mr Heng has asked Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing to be his deputy.

"I support the decision of the younger team, and am happy with this outcome," he said in a Facebook post on Friday (Nov 23). 

"I have known and worked with Swee Keat and Chun Sing for some years now, and watched them grow in their different responsibilities. They have complementary strengths, and make a strong pairing."

The ruling People's Action Party's (PAP) newly elected Central Executive Committee (CEC) held its first meeting on Friday and elected a new slate of officeholders, he said in the post on the party's Facebook page.

READ: PAP appoints Heng Swee Keat first assistant secretary-general

Mr Heng is the new first assistant secretary-general and Mr Chan is now the second assistant secretary-general, the party announced earlier on Friday.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong is the new party chairman, and Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli the vice-chairman. PM Lee remains the PAP secretary-general.

READ: ‘Deeply conscious of the heavy responsibility I'm taking on’: Heng Swee Keat on being PAP first assistant sec-gen

"This new CEC will lead the party into the next General Election, which must be held at the latest by April 2021," Mr Lee wrote.

He said that the younger ministers and political office holders have been meeting in recent months to discuss who should lead them. 

PAP central executive committee office-bearers infographic

PAP Members of Parliament have also endorsed the choice of Mr Heng as their next leader and Mr Chan as his deputy, Mr Lee said.

"I am confident that they will continue to grow in experience and touch, and steadily win the confidence and trust of Singaporeans," he wrote.

He added that he will announce Cabinet changes in due course.

The younger political officeholders issued a statement on Friday saying that they have chosen Mr Heng to lead the team after carefully considering the issue.

"We endorse and support Swee Keat and Chun Sing as our leaders," they said.

"We will continue to work cohesively as a team, and forge a strong partnership with all Singaporeans. We are united in our purpose of serving Singaporeans to the best of our abilities."