Cabinet reshuffle: Josephine Teo to head Smart Nation Initiative; new roles for political office holders
SINGAPORE: Mrs Josephine Teo will be appointed as Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative and Minister-in-charge of the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore, announced Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday (Apr 23) in the latest Cabinet reshuffle.
She will take over from Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and Mr S Iswaran respectively.
The appointments come on top of her new role as Minister for Communications and Information. She will relinquish her appointment as Manpower Minister to Dr Tan See Leng.
In addition, Minister for Community, Culture and Youth Edwin Tong will be appointed deputy chairman of the People’s Association (PA), taking over from Mr Chan Chun Sing, who will be Education Minister.
Responding to a question on the rationale behind this change, Mr Lee said Mr Chan, who is also Minister-in-charge of Public Service, has been heading the PA for more than three years.
“In education, he's going to have his hands very full. He's also covering several other additional responsibilities including (the Public Service), as well as party work. So I felt that it was better to spread the duties out.
“And I think there is synergy between (the Ministry of Community, Culture and Youth's) work, and PA’s work,” he explained.
NEW ROLES FOR POLITICAL OFFICE HOLDERS
Some of the newer political office holders are also being rotated, with Dr Koh Poh Koon returning to the Government full-time, said Mr Lee.
Dr Koh will be appointed Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), while continuing as the Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Dr Koh was seconded to the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) as Deputy Secretary General in 2018, Mr Lee said.
“I have asked NTUC’s Central Committee for (Dr Koh) to return, and they have agreed.
"It’s very good for the labour movement to have someone familiar at (MOM), especially one who has been working on worker training,” said Mr Lee.
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Following discussions with labour chief Ng Chee Meng, Mr Lee said he will be sending Mr Chee Hong Tat to NTUC to replace Dr Koh.
Mr Chee will also continue as the Senior Minister of State in the Transport Ministry, but relinquish his appointment as Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
At the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Mr Chee will be replaced by Ms Sim Ann, who will be appointed Senior Minister of State there.
She will relinquish her appointment as Senior Minister of State in the Communications and Information Ministry, but continue as the Senior Minister of State in the National Development Ministry.
Mr Tan Kiat How will be appointed Minister of State in the Communications and Information Ministry, but will relinquish his appointment as Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office.
He will continue as the Minister of State in the National Development Ministry.
Ms Rahayu Mahzam will be appointed Parliamentary Secretary in the Communications and Information Ministry, while continuing as Parliamentary Secretary in the Health Ministry.
The changes will take effect on May 15.