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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        21  May 2011

New Singapore cabinet leaders for eco-city

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Cabinet reshuffle will see a completely new slate of leaders taking charge of the Tianjin Eco-City, with many of the key people stepping down and others being transferred to different portfolios.

But analysts are hopeful that the transition will be smooth, as the incoming men have strong experience in China. Besides, they say, the multi-billion-dollar joint project is based on mutual interest rather than individual ties.

The retirement of several Singapore ministers affects many of the key leaders overseeing the project to build an eco-friendly town that will eventually house green businesses and housing for some 350,000 residents.

They include outgoing Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan, who played key roles in helming it since its inception in 2007; and outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng, who will relinquish his position as co-chairman of the Joint Steering Council for the Eco-City.

Another key figure, Senior Minister of State Grace Fu, will also be leaving the Ministry of National Development (MND) - which has been in charge of the flagship bilateral project - for other portfolios.

These leaders had built up ties with Chinese officials over the past three years while working on the 30 square kilometer green city, which is expected to welcome its first residents this year.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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