Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announces Singapore's new Cabinet

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announces Singapore's new Cabinet

A total of 20 Ministers were named in the Cabinet, which sees the introduction of three Coordinating Ministers: Teo Chee Hean and Tharman Shanmugaratnam, both of whom will remain as DPM, as well as Khaw Boon Wan, who will concurrently be the new Transport Minister.

full cabinet sep 28

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong unveiled Singapore's new Cabinet on Monday (Sep 28),

Mr Lee shuffled his team two weeks after the People's Action Party took almost 70 per cent of the votes in a General Election in which the Prime Minister campaigned upon the need for strong candidates in Parliament to ensure leadership renewal.

cabinet pt1
cabinet pt2
cabinet pt3
cabinet pt4

"It's an urgent task. We don't have the luxury of time," noted Mr Lee in a press conference on Monday where he announced the changes.

"I have given heavy responsibilities to the next generation of leaders. They will be stretched and tested, and must gel together as a team. By the end of this term, we must have a new team ready to take over from me."

THREE COORDINATING MINISTERS

In total, there will be 20 Cabinet members, up from 19. Of the 20, half were elected in the last three General Elections, and half are below 55 years old, Mr Lee noted.

The key change to the structure of the Cabinet is the introduction of three Coordinating Ministers, each of whom will oversee a handful of related Ministries.

"We need tighter coordination across ministries to have a tighter, whole-of-Government approach to issues," said Mr Lee in explaining the change.

The three are:

  • Mr Teo Chee Hean (Coordinating Minister for National Security)
  • Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam (Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies)
  • Mr Khaw Boon Wan (Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure)

Mr Teo and Mr Tharman will each remain Deputy Prime Minister, but relinquish their previous ministry portfolios. Mr Khaw Boon Wan will also be Minister for Transport, replacing Mr Lui Tuck Yew, who announced his retirement from politics ahead of the General Election.

Mr Khaw - who said he did not volunteer for the Transport post, but willingly agreed when approached by the Prime Minister - said his vision of the future Singapore was that of a "car-lite" society.

"As Transport Minister, my major objective is to further raise the quality of life for Singaporeans - make it easier for them to move about on feet, bicycle, bus, train and driverless cars. One critical piece is an extensive and reliable rail infrastructure. We have launched huge numbers of rail lines - some 60 billion dollars' worth - so when fully implemented it'll be a big plus for Singaporeans," said Mr Khaw.

"But in terms of reliability, we are not quite there yet. Let's be realistic about such a complex system - it's not rocket science but also not straightforward. There will be fires big and small but I hope for Singaporeans' patience and we will do our best."

NEW ACTING MINISTERS, NEW OFFICE-HOLDERS

In another change from the previous Cabinet, two ministries - Education, and Trade and Industry - will each have two full ministers, overseeing separate aspects within the ministry.

Those new to the Cabinet are Acting Ministers Ng Chee Meng (MOE, Schools) and Ong Ye Kung (MOE, Higher Education and Skills).

Said Mr Ong: "It's a great honour to be given a complex and important role for Singapore's future. The previous ministers have built an exceptional system and I'll strive to build upon it. My top priority is to know how the ministry works and understand the entire system. I look forward to taking guidance from ministers and working with Chee Meng and being part of the MOE family."

Added Mr Ng: "Singapore recognises education is one of best gifts we can give to children. We have consistently invested here as part of our national strategy. I take on this heavy responsibility with enthusiasm and hopefully to value-add."

Among the existing Ministers, those with a change of portfolio include Dr Vivian Balakrishnan (Foreign Affairs), Mr K Shanmugam (Home Affairs), Mr Heng Swee Keat (Finance), Mr Lawrence Wong (National Development) and Mr Masagos Zulkifli (Environment and Water Resources).

Ms Grace Fu will head a ministry, helming the Culture, Community and Youth Ministry.

"I'm humbled by the confidence PM has in me. I think MCCY has started off a good phase of development under Lawrence Wong. My priority is to engage stakeholders to build a committed community in Singapore," said Ms Fu.

Mr Chan Chun Sing, who remains a Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, will take over Mr Gan Kim Yong as Party Whip.

Three Ministers of State - Maliki Osman, Sim Ann and Desmond Lee - will be promoted to Senior Ministers of State, while the new office holders at Minister of State and Parliamentary Secretary level are Mr Chee Hong Tat, Dr Koh Poh Koon, Dr Janil Puthucheary, Mr Baey Yam Keng and Mr Amrin Amin.

Apart from former Transport Minister Lui and former Senior Parliamentary Secretary Hawazi Daipi, both of whom asked to step down prior to GE2015, Mr Lee Yi-Shyan also asked to step down and return to the backbenches.

PARLIAMENT APPOINTMENTS

Mdm Halimah Yacob will be nominated to continue her role as the Speaker of Parliament when Parliament convenes in January.

Mdm Halimah was previously elected as Speaker of Parliament on Jan 14, 2013. She was Singapore’s first woman Speaker, and the ninth Speaker since the First Legislative Assembly of 1955.

PM Lee has also appointed Ms Grace Fu as Leader of the House. Ms Fu, who is the new Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and MP for Yuhua SMC, will be taking over from Dr Ng Eng Hen.

Deputy Leader of the House will be Mr Desmond Lee, who has also been promoted to Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development. He is also MP for Jurong GRC.

Mr Chan Chun Sing, who is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC will be taking over the Government Whip position from Mr Gan Kim Yong. He will be assisted by two deputies: Ms Sim Ann, who has been promoted to Senior Minister of State for Finance and Culture, Community and Youth, and Mr Sam Tan, who is Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office and in the Ministry of Manpower.

The full Cabinet is as follows:

PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE
Mr Lee Hsien Loong - Prime Minister
Mr Teo Chee Hean - Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security
Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam - Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies
Mr Chan Chun Sing - Minister, PMO
Mr Heng Chee How, Mrs Josephine Teo - Senior Minister of State
Mr Sam Tan - Minister of State

DEFENCE
Dr Ng Eng Hen - Minister
Dr Maliki Osman, Mr Ong Ye Kung - Senior Minister of State

FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan - Minister
Mrs Josephine Teo, Dr Maliki Osman - Senior Minister of State

HOME AFFAIRS
Mr K Shanmugam - Minister
Mr Desmond Lee - Senior Minister of State
Mr Amrin Amin - Parliamentary Secretary

TRADE AND INDUSTRY
Mr Lim Hng Kiang - Minister (Trade)
Mr S Iswaran - Minister (Industry)
Dr Koh Poh Koon - Minister of State from Jan 1, 2016
Ms Low Yen Ling - Parliamentary Secretary

FINANCE
Mr Heng Swee Keat - Minister
Ms Indranee Rajah, Ms Sim Ann - Senior Minister of State

MANPOWER
Mr Lim Swee Say - Minister
Mr Teo Ser Luck, Mr Sam Tan - Minister of State

TRANSPORT
Mr Khaw Boon Wan - Minister
Mrs Josephine Teo, Mr Ng Chee Meng - Senior Minister of State

NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Mr Lawrence Wong - Minister
Mr Desmond Lee - Senior Minister of State
Dr Koh Poh Koon - Minister of State from Jan 1, 2016

COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION
Dr Yaacob Ibrahim - Minister
Mr Chee Hong Tat - Minister of State
Dr Janil Puthucheary - Minister of State from Jan 1, 2016

ENVIRONMENT AND WATER RESOURCES
Mr Masagos Zulkifli - Minister
Dr Amy Khor - Senior Minister of State

LAW
Mr K Shanmugam - Minister
Ms Indranee Rajah - Senior Minister of State

HEALTH
Mr Gan Kim Yong - Minister
Dr Amy Khor - Senior Minister of State
Dr Lam Pin Min, Mr Chee Hong Tat - Minister of State

EDUCATION
Mr Ng Chee Meng - Acting Minister (Schools)
Mr Ong Ye Kung - Acting Minister (Higher Education and Skills)
Dr Janil Puthucheary - Minister of State from Jan 1, 2016
Assoc Prof Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Ms Low Yen Ling - Parliamentary Secretary

SOCIAL AND FAMILY DEVELOPMENT
Mr Tan Chuan-Jin - Minister
Assoc Prof Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim - Parliamentary Secretary

CULTURE, COMMUNITY AND YOUTH
Ms Grace Fu - Minister
Ms Sim Ann - Senior Minister of State
Mr Baey Yam Keng - Parliamentary Secretary

Source: CNA/hs

Bookmark