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4G ministers take centrestage in Cabinet reshuffle

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  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    266,165 posts since Dec '99
    • 4G ministers take centrestage in Cabinet reshuffle announced by PMO



      Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday (24 April) announced new roles for Singapore’s fourth-generation (4G) leaders as he unveiled the closely watched Cabinet reshuffle and other political appointments.

      A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) indicates the following changes:

      • Chan Chun Sing, 48, will be the Minister for Trade and Industry and relinquish his post as Minister in the PMO.
      • S Iswaran, 55, will be Minister for Communications and Information. He will continue to be in the Ministry of Trade and Industry in his new role as Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations.
      • Ng Chee Meng, 49, will be appointed Minister in the PMO and relinquish his posts of Minister for Education (Schools) and Second Minister for Transport.
      • Ong Ye Kung, 48, will continue to be in the Ministry of Education as Minister for Education. He will relinquish his post of Second Minister for Defence.
      • Josephine Teo, 49, will be appointed Manpower Minister and continue as Second Minister for Home Affairs. She will relinquish her post in the PMO.

      Promotions and Retirements

      Indranee Rajah, 55, will be promoted to full Minister. She will be Minister in the PMO, Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for Education. She will also be Second Minister for Law until 30 June.

      Baey Yam Keng, 47, and Amrin Amin, 40, will be promoted to Senior Parliamentary Secretary. Baey will hold a new role in the Ministry of Transport and continue in the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth while Amrin will continue in both the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Home Affairs.

      Trade Minister Lim Hng Kiang, 64; Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say, 63; and Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim, 62, will step down from their Cabinet roles.

      Several ministers will also be given additional responsibilities.

      Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, 57, will take over responsibility for assisting PM Lee on National Research Foundation matters from Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, 63.

      Chan will take over the Public Service Division from Teo and will continue to be Deputy Chairman of the People’s Association.

      Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, 55, will also be in charge of Muslim Affairs, taking over from Dr Yaacob.

      The reshuffle has been eagerly observed by political analysts for hints of the person in the new Cabinet who would be chosen to become Singapore’s next prime minister.

      Lee had said previously that his successor would be selected among the 4G ministers. In a joint statement released in January, 16 of Singapore’s younger leaders said that they would work closely to pick a candidate among them to head the government, according to media reports.



  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    266,165 posts since Dec '99
    • Cabinet reshuffle: Indranee Rajah promoted to full minister, new Cabinet will have 3 women ministers


      When changes to the Cabinet kick in on May 1, there will be three women ministers in Parliament, the largest number ever.

      Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law Indranee Rajah, 55, will be made a full minister in the Prime Minister's Office, the PMO said on Tuesday (April 24).

      She will join Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu and Mrs Josephine Teo, who will be promoted to Minister for Manpower, in the Cabinet.

      Ms Indranee, a core member of the fourth-generation leadership team, will also be Second Minister for Education and Second Minister for Finance. The Ministry of Education will revert to having one minister at its helm, with Mr Ong Ye Kung leading it.

      As a transition arrangement, Ms Indranee will also be Second Minister for Law until June 30 before Mr Edwin Tong becomes Senior Minister of State in the Law Ministry from July 1.

      Ms Indranee is no stranger to the education sector. She was Senior Minister of State for Education from 2012 to 2015. She also led the Applied Studies in Polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education Review Committee, which was launched to improve the career and academic prospects of polytechnic and Institute of Technical Education graduates.

      The committee's recommendations later culminated in the national SkillsFuture movement to encourage lifelong learning and aligning education with economic demand.

      Ms Indranee has also overseen the expansion and development of the pre-school sector, and weighed in on issues such as mother tongue languages and the Primary School Leaving Examination in public dialogues.

      As Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law, she is known for her work on the Committee on Family Justice, which has been behind legal reforms that help divorcing couples disentangle their lives as painlessly as possible and minimise adverse impact on their children.

      She was also involved in the formation of the Singapore International Commercial Court, which is aimed at growing the Republic's status as an arbitration hub in the region.

      Under her finance portfolio, Ms Indranee has played a key role in working with Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in formulating the national Budget, and communicating to the public the Government's rationale for introducing tax hikes to raise revenue.

      A law graduate from the National University of Singapore, she joined politics in 2001 as an MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC.

      Edited by FireIce 24 Apr `18, 6:16PM
  • Queen of sgForums
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    266,165 posts since Dec '99
    • Cabinet reshuffle: Chan Chun Sing to be sole MTI Minister; will gain economic experience


      Mr Chan Chun Sing's appointment to lead the Trade and Industry Ministry (MTI) was one that political analysts had widely expected, as it would give him more exposure to economic issues, as a core member of the fourth-generation team.

      With the Cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday (April 24), Mr Chan, 48, will relinquish his role as Minister in the Prime Minister's Office.

      It also means that MTI will come under one minister when the new appointments take effect on May 1. 

      MTI is now led by two ministers - Mr Lim Hng Kiang, who oversees trade, and Mr S. Iswaran, who leads industry.

      Analysts who spoke to The Straits Times before Tuesday's announcement noted that Mr Chan, one of the three front runners to be Singapore's next prime minister, has not had experience leading an economics-related portfolio.

      An appointment at MTI would help round out his experience, they said.

      In a statement he posted on Facebook, Mr Chan said he felt "greatly privileged" to join the MTI team. "In a way, the new role at MTI is an extension of the work in NTUC to ensure that our working people can continue to benefit from good jobs and our businesses can have the opportunities to become more competitive," he said.

      "I look forward to working even more closely with the business community and labour movement to write the next chapter of our country's economic development."

      Mr Lim, who is retiring after 26 years as an office-holder and 14 years as MTI minister, will  stay on at MTI as a special adviser at Mr Chan's request.

      He will provide advice on economic strategy and international trade.

      Mr Chan said: "His years of leadership experience in trade negotiations and industrial development are invaluable and I am glad that MTI and I will continue to benefit from his counsel."

      Mr Iswaran will be Minister for Communications and Information, but will also stay on at MTI to guide Mr Chan, in the newly created role of Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations.

      Mr Chan said: "I am also happy that Minister Iswaran will help to oversee various trade negotiations at MTI, given his familiarity with the stakeholders and issues involved."

      Mr Chan, who entered politics in 2011 as an MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC, was previously Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, and Minister for Social and Family Development.

      He was also Minister of State for Information, Communication and the Arts and Second Minister for Defence.

      The secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) is expected to relinquish his labour movement position to focus on his new portfolio at MTI.

      Mr Chan has built up a reputation as a strong advocate for blue and white-collar workers in his three years at the helm of the labour movement.

      Under his charge, NTUC called on the Government to expand the Employment Act to cover workers of all salary levels, and not just those earning up to $4,500 monthly - a recommendation that the Manpower Ministry accepted.

      On Monday, it was announced that Mr Ng Chee Meng, now the Education Minister (Schools), has been co-opted into the labour movement as deputy secretary-general of NTUC, and will serve it full time from May 1 - a strong indication that he will take over Mr Chan's role as labour chief.

      Mr Chan will also be taking over responsibility for the Public Service Division from Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean. 

      "DPM Teo Chee Hean has led the civil service for many years and established a strong foundation for our civil service," Mr Chan wrote in his statement.

      "I will now build on his foundations and work with the many committed civil servants to keep our civil service as a pillar of our country's progress, serving our nation and Singaporeans with integrity, dedication and distinction."

  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    266,165 posts since Dec '99
    • Cabinet reshuffle: Josephine Teo is new Manpower Minister

      Mrs Josephine Teo will be Manpower Minister from May 1, taking on a role that observers said she has been primed for since she was promoted to full minister last year.

      She replaces Mr Lim Swee Say, who will step down after three years in the post.

      The moves are part of a larger Cabinet reshuffle meant to give younger ministers more exposure and responsibilities.

      Mrs Teo, 49, was the second woman after Ms Grace Fu to become a full minister in the current Cabinet, when she was promoted to Minister in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) last year.

      She was made Second Minister for Manpower at the same time.

      But her involvement with manpower issues started earlier at the National Trades Union Congress, which she joined in 2005. She rose to the post of assistant secretary-general before leaving the labour movement in 2011 when she was appointed Minister of State for Transport and Finance.

      An MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, she has also headed human resources at agencies such as the Economic Development Board and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research.

      Given her experience in the labour movement and in human resources, observers saw in her promotion and her appointment to the Manpower Ministry last year signs that she may be groomed to take over the manpower portfolio.

      Mrs Teo herself said then of her MOM appointment: "It feels like I'm coming home to Singapore's unique brand of tripartism at this critical juncture for our workers."

      With her new role, she will relinquish her appointment in the PMO, but will remain as Second Minister for Home Affairs.

      In her 12 years in politics, Mrs Teo has also taken on portfolios in Finance, Transport and Foreign Affairs.

      In the PMO, she also oversaw the National Population and Talent Division, where she was tasked to deal with the hot-button issue of immigration and Singapore's dwindling total fertility rate.

      Mrs Teo graduated from the National University of Singapore with a degree in economics.

  • Queen of sgForums
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    FireIce's Avatar
    266,165 posts since Dec '99
    • Cabinet reshuffle: Ong Ye Kung to helm Ministry of Education, which will revert to having one minister

      He called for a national conversation on the issue of inequality at a youth dialogue earlier this month. Now, he is poised to do more to address the problem when the Ministry of Education (MOE) comes fully under his charge.

      Mr Ong Ye Kung, 48, who oversaw higher education and skills at MOE, will take over the schools portfolio from Mr Ng Chee Meng on May 1, as the ministry reverts to having one minister.

      Mr Ng was appointed deputy secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress on Monday (April 23), and is expected to take over as labour chief.

      As part of the Cabinet reshuffle announced on Tuesday (April 24), Mr Ong will relinquish his appointment as Second Minister for Defence.

      He will also relinquish his role as Minister-in-charge of public service innovation. Mr Chan Chun Sing, who will  be Minister for Trade and Industry, takes over that role as Minister-in-charge of the overall public service.

      Widely seen as one of three front runners for the position of Prime Minister, Mr Ong has been tasked with reshaping how people approach learning since he joined the Cabinet soon after being elected in Sembawang GRC in the 2015 general election.

      The former chief executive of the then Singapore Workforce Development Agency has expanded aptitude-based admissions and lifelong opportunities in an increasingly diverse higher education landscape as Education Minister (Higher Education and Skills).

      He has also been a strong proponent of shifting the focus of the education system from academic qualifications to skills and aptitude.

      This philosophy could now be applied further upstream, in pre-tertiary schools.

      Some recently-announced policy moves that he will have to implement include the scrapping of general academic tests in the direct school admissions schemes, which will kick in from March next year, as well as an increase in the number of MOE Kindergartens, set to hit 50 by 2023.

      In his role driving innovation in the public service, Mr Ong has called on civil servants to "think big, start small, act fast". Some observers are hoping to see this slogan applied to the education system in a disruptive age.

      Although Singapore's students topped the charts in mathematics, science and reading in a 2015 study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the study also suggested that they score high on test anxiety.

      Mr Ong, who is in Hong Kong on an official visit at the invitation of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, has been stepping up engagement with schools lately.

      Last week, he attended a dialogue session with students from Raffles Institution, where he addressed issues such as the relevance of the arts and humanities, soft skills and bridging inequality.

  • Queen of sgForums
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    266,165 posts since Dec '99
    • Cabinet reshuffle: S. Iswaran is new Minister for Communications and Information


      As Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), Mr S. Iswaran launched the "Passion Made Possible" brand last year to promote Singapore for tourism and business purposes.

      Now, he may soon be mulling over ways to promote the Republic and its policies to the public as the new Minister for Communications and Information (MCI) from May 1.

      Mr Iswaran, 55, is taking over from Dr Yaacob Ibrahim - who is retiring - but will continue serving in the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) as Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations.

      He has been with MTI since 2006, first as Minister of State, then Second Minister in 2011 before becoming one of its two ministers in 2015, alongside the retiring Mr Lim Hng Kiang, 64.

      Mr Iswaran, a West Coast GRC MP, focused on economic restructuring and creating a vibrant domestic economy, while Mr Lim oversaw Singapore's trade negotiations. Mr Lim will be appointed Special Advisor to MTI from May 1.

      Mr Chan Chun Sing, who was Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, will be taking over as Minister for Trade and Industry.

      The changes were announced in a statement by the Prime Minister's Office on Tuesday (April 24) announcing the new Cabinet line-up.

      At MTI, Mr Iswaran oversaw not just the "Passion Made Possible" branding exercise but also extensions of the deal to stage the Formula One Grand Prix here. Last year, this was extended for another four years until 2021.

      He also recently unveiled Industry Transformation Maps for sectors such as aerospace, marine and offshore engineering, and electronics manufacturing.

      Mr Iswaran was one of the youngest People's Action Party candidates to be fielded in the 1997 General Election when he made his political debut, but is now the most politically experienced of the Fourth Generation leaders - having been elected four times since 1997.

      A former civil servant, he was the first appointed chief executive officer of self-help group Singapore Indian Development Association (Sinda) before joining politics.

      Mr Iswaran, who was managing director of Temasek Holdings between 1998 and 2006, had previously held positions in the ministries of Home Affairs and Education and served on Government Parliamentary Committees.

      While he has not served in MCI previously, he weighed in earlier this year on the importance of making a special effort when doing language translations for the National Day Parade (NDP), after last year's Tamil translation mistakes in pamphlets used at NDP rehearsals.

  • Queen of sgForums
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    266,165 posts since Dec '99
    • Cabinet reshuffle: 4 backbenchers promoted, lawyer Edwin Tong to be Senior Minister of State for Law and Health



      An elite lawyer, a business consultant, a non-profit director and a doctor will move from the backbench to become office-holders.

      Marine Parade GRC MP Edwin Tong, who joined politics in 2011, will become Senior Minister of State for Law and Health from July 1.

      Mr Tong, a Senior Counsel, will leave law firm Allen & Gledhill where he heads its litigation and dispute resolution department, as well as its restructuring and insolvency practice.

      Meanwhile, Chua Chu Kang GRC MP Zaqy Mohamad, a 2006 General Election alumnus, will be Minister of State for National Development and Manpower.

      The Ernst and Young partner is serving notice and will begin work at his two ministries on May 1, he told The Straits Times.

      Two politicians from the Class of 2015 have been made senior parliamentary secretaries.

      Ms Sun Xueling, chief executive of Business China, a non-profit organisation promoting bilingualism and biculturalism, will join the Home Affairs and National Development ministries.

      She is an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.

      Jurong GRC MP and oncologist Tan Wu Meng will join the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

      In a statement announcing changes to his Cabineton Tuesday (April 24), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also detailed new portfolios for seven existing office-holders.

      Among the senior ministers of state, Mr Heng Chee How will move from the Prime Minister's Office to the Ministry of Defence, while Ms Sim Ann will take on the Communications and Information porfolio, continue in the Ministry of Community, Culture and Youth and relinquish her appointment in MTI.

      Mr Chee Hong Tat will move to MTI and the Ministry of Education (MOE), and leave his roles at the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and Ministry of Health.

      Dr Janil Puthucheary will move to the Ministry of Transport, continue in MCI and leave MOE.

      Dr Koh Poh Koon will leave the Ministry of National Development but continue as Senior Minister of State at MTI. On Monday, he was appointed deputy secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress.

      Minister of State Sam Tan will take on a new role at the Social and Family Development Ministry, continue in MFA and leave his appointments at the Prime Minister's Office and Manpower Ministry.

      Senior parliamentary secretary Low Yen Ling will move to the Manpower Ministry, continue at MOE but leave MTI.

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