Everything you need to know about today's Heng Swee Keat announcement

Heng decided to "stand aside" as the leader of the 4G team of Ministers.

Nyi Nyi Thet | April 08, 2021, 09:30 PM

If your timeline has been inundated with news about DPM Heng Swee Keat, here's a relatively short explanation to what was going on.

What happened?

Heng announced that he will relinquish his Minister of Finance portfolio at the next cabinet reshuffle, and stand aside as leader of the 4G.

When is the next cabinet reshuffle?

About two weeks.

What does that mean for Heng?

He will not be Minister of Finance after the next cabinet reshuffle, he also effectively took himself out of the running to be the next Prime Minister.


Heng cited age and health as some of the reasons why he was stepping aside.

"This year, I am 60. As the crisis will be prolonged, I would be close to the mid-60s when the crisis is over.

The 60s are still a very productive time of life. But when I also consider the ages at which our first three Prime Ministers took on the job, I would have too short a runway should I become the next Prime Minister then."

While he has recovered fully, and is in good health today, the demands of the "top job" (PM) on the person holding the role are "exceptional."

When was this decided?

It is unclear, however PM Lee did say that Heng spoke to him "about the succession issue" after Budget and COS debates 2021.

Did the GE have something to do with this decision?

Heng personally answered this question from the media during the Q&A session, according to Heng, it was not the reason.

On the results of the election, he said that it "is not for (him) to judge, it's for others to judge."

Heng had noted that "East Coast [GRC] needed reinforcements" at that time.

"I decided to go. It was a completely new ground for me and I did my best," he said. He also added that he had met East Coast GRC residents who told him that they changed their mind and decided to vote for the PAP.

So who is going to be the next PM?

No one's all too sure. Not even the 4G leaders apparently.

"We have therefore requested PM Lee Hsien Loong to stay on as Prime Minister until such time when a new successor is chosen by the team and is ready to take over."

Do you have any guesses?

Yeah, here you go.

What will happen to Heng?

He will still be DPM, or as the last line of his Facebook post put it:

"I remain as Deputy Prime Minister, remain in service to Singapore, and remain sincerely yours."

He will also stay on in his roles as Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies and the first Assistant Secretary General in the People’s Action Party.

Top image from Gov.sg YouTube's channel.