Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced a Cabinet reshuffle in a live press conference today (Apr. 23).
Calling it "a more extensive reshuffle than is usual this early in the term of government", PM Lee gave two reasons for it.
Firstly, he highlighted the change of Minister for Finance, brought on by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat relinquishing his portfolio.
The second consideration in the reshuffle was the movement of the Ministers for Health, Manpower and Trade & Industry — frontline ministries which are dealing with Covid-19 and its consequences.
Noting that these major moves would inevitably lead to other consequential adjustments to appointments, he said:
"I am therefore taking this opportunity to redeploy some of the other Ministers, to give them fresh responsibilities, and gain different exposure and experience"
While most of the 4G Ministers have existing experience in a wide range of portfolios, he focused on creating new opportunities for exposure.
Here are the main changes:
- Heng Swee Keat will continue as Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies
- Lawrence Wong will become Minister for Finance
- Chan Chun Sing will become Minister for Education
- Gan Kim Yong will become Minister for Trade and Industry
- Ong Ye Kung will become Minister for Health
- S. Iswaran will become Minister for Transport
- Josephine Teo will become Minister for Communications and Information
- Tan See Leng will become Minister for Manpower
Reshuffle will allow ministers to work together in different capacities
PM Lee also said that the new Cabinet will have to work quickly in the current climate as Singapore is still in the midst of a public health and economic crisis.
He added that the Cabinet reshuffle will allow the ministers to work together in different capacities, fortify the team's unity, and prepare the new team to take over PM Lee and their older colleagues.
Top images via PMO.