ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Lee reshuffles Singapore cabinet
The sweeping changes, which he described as “radical' and “epochal,” will put new ministers at the helm of 11 of the 14 ministries and see Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam promoted to Deputy Prime Minister.
Nine veterans in government when the May 7 polls were called will no longer hold office.
They include three ministers whose retirement was announced on Wednesday — Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan and Transport Minister Raymond Lim.
The trimmer, more youthful leadership team to be sworn in on Saturday includes seven new office-holders.
They are new Members of Parliament Heng Swee Keat, Chan Chun Sing, Tan Chuan-Jin, Lawrence Wong and Sim Ann, as well as backbenchers Halimah Yacob and Josephine Teo.
Lee has also taken the unusual step of appointing political newcomers to the top spot in two ministries.
Heng, 50, the former central bank chief, will be the new Education Minister, while Major-General (NS) Chan, 41, the former Chief of Army, becomes Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports.
The new cabinet will be 15-strong, trimmed from 21 previously, and the average age of ministers will fall to 53 from 59.
“It's a fresh slate after a watershed election,” said Mr Lee on Wednesday, flanked by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Tharman at a 40-minute Istana press conference.
The faster pace of appointment of newly elected MPs “reflects the urgency of leadership succession,” he added. He has set himself a 2020 deadline to hand over to the fourth generation leadership.
He said all ministers would have a free hand to rethink and reshape policies, and the Cabinet would review policies and approaches and come up with new ones.
His team would work hard “to engage a new generation of Singaporeans in order to take Singapore forward in a more complex environment, more complex externally and I think more complex within Singapore too.”
Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below