SINGAPORE: The fourth-generation (4G) leaders of the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) are in "complete unity" behind the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said on Sunday (Jul 26).
Speaking to reporters at the Woodlands Immigration and Checkpoints Authority building after a meeting with his Malaysian counterpart on cross-border travel arrangements between the two countries, Dr Balakrishnan was asked to comment on the implications of the Cabinet reshuffle announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday.
Mr Lee had announced that three office holders would retire, while six others would be promoted. Seven new political office holders were also announced.
READ: Cabinet reshuffle sees Lawrence Wong appointed as Minister for Education and Ong Ye Kung helming Ministry of Transport
Mr Heng will remain as Deputy Prime Minister, a post he was promoted to in May last year, and Finance Minister. He will also be appointed Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies.
"First I'll reiterate what the prime minister said yesterday that this is a Cabinet reshuffle that reflects the need for continuity, the need for rotation and the need for renewal," said Dr Balakrishnan.
"And if you look carefully at the composition and in fact, at the moves that the Prime Minister has made, it reflects all these three priorities," he added.
"There's one further point which I would make on behalf of the 4G (leaders), and that is that we are all of us in complete unity behind the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat. So there's no need for any discussions or questions on that. I mean, we are in absolute unity under his leadership," Dr Balakrishnan said.
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing had expressed a similar sentiment during a press conference about the Cabinet reshuffle on Saturday, when he was asked if the 4G ministers had discussed or reviewed the backing of Mr Heng as their leader.
"We are entirely focused on helping our country overcome the economic challenges and saving the jobs at this point in time," Mr Chan said.
"We have no plans to do otherwise and no discussion on any change in plan," he added.
Earlier on Sunday, Dr Balakrishnan met Malaysia's Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein at the mid-way point of the Johor-Singapore Causeway to discuss arrangements on the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA), ahead of the implementation of the two schemes on Aug 10.