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Cabinet revamp won't be last during this term: PM Lee

PM Lee Hsien Loong said the latest Cabinet reshuffle will not be the last during this term, adding that the new line-up has proven themselves capable of taking on greater responsibility and so, too, will others.

SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the latest Cabinet reshuffle will not be the last during this term.

Prime Minister Lee on Tuesday announced changes to his Cabinet, just 14 months after a new team was formed after the 2011 General Election.

In replies to media queries, Prime Minister Lee said that since the new ministers had settled in, it was time to promote others who had stepped up to the plate to better address Singapore's priorities and challenges.

On his assessment of the new team, Mr Lee said the new ministers have performed well.

He said they plunged deep in right from the start and have tackled their tasks energetically and imaginatively.

Mr Lee said: "They have learnt quickly and become more confident and familiar with the issues.

"I have decided to appoint two new Acting Ministers in this round - Tan Chuan-Jin and Lawrence Wong.

"But the others have done well too, and I will give them heavier responsibilities in due course."

He added the ministers are not only responsible for the work of their ministries.

"They also do political work, which can often be even more important. So you should not judge a minister's contributions only by the portfolios explicitly assigned to him," said Prime Minister Lee.

"I am also happy to promote two backbench MPs - Indranee Rajah and Muhammad Faishal bin Ibrahim. They have proved themselves both in and out of Parliament, and shown that they can be more than MPs.

"I hope to make more backbench promotions in future reshuffles."

As for the new ministries, he said all three will have to break new ground, try fresh approaches, and keep up with rapidly changing conditions and needs.

From November, the Community Development, Youth and Sports Ministry or MCYS as well as the Information, Communications and the Arts Ministry or MICA will be restructured into three new entities.

They are the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY); the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MFS); and the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI).

The MCCY, for example, will drive community development, which in Singapore, perhaps more than elsewhere, is integral to building an inclusive and cohesive society, said Mr Lee.

He said the name "Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth" does not identify all these areas explicitly, but that is only to keep the ministry name reasonably concise.

"The MSF will strengthen our families and social safety nets as pillars of support in more uncertain economic conditions," Mr Lee said.

"MCI will oversee our efforts to improve public communications and engagement, which are more important in the age of social media and a more active citizenry," added Prime Minister Lee.

"MCCY will nurture our arts and sports sectors, engage our youth and build stronger communities. Many countries have a dedicated ministry to oversee youth, arts and sports, and see benefits in grouping them together. These are important areas for us, too."

Source: CNA/ir

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