SINGAPORE – Education Minister Lawrence Wong will helm the Ministry of Finance, in the latest Cabinet reshuffle announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday (April 23) that will take effect from May 15.
Replacing him at the Education Ministry will be Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing, who in turn will relinquish his portfolio to Health Minister Gan Kim Yong.
Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung will take over from Mr Gan as Health Minister, and co-chair the Multi-Ministry Taskforce handling Covid-19 along with Mr Lawrence Wong.
The Cabinet reshuffle will see seven of the 15 ministries helmed by new ministers.
Communications and Information Minister S. Iswaran will be Minister for Transport, with Manpower Minister Josephine Teo replacing him at the ministry.
Second Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng will move up to helm the Ministry of Manpower in her place. He will continue as the Second Minister for Trade and Industry.
Speaking at a press conference, PM Lee noted that he is making a more extensive reshuffle than is usual this early in the term of government, which began last July after the general election.
There are two reasons for this, he said.
First, there are many repercussions with Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat relinquishing the key portfolio of finance.
Second, he is moving the ministers heading the frontline ministries dealing with Covid-19 – Health, Manpower and Trade and Industry.
PM Lee said he had considered making these changes after the general election, but the country was still in the thick of battling Covid-19.
He added that he is now able to do so as the Covid-19 situation is more stable.
Noting that most of the fourth generation ministers have already accumulated experience in a wide range of portfolios, he said this round of Cabinet changes will allow them to gain new experience and exposure
In other changes,Ms Sim Ann will be appointed Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, replacing Mr Chee Hong Tat.
She will continue as the Senior Minister of State for National Development, but relinquish her appointment as Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information.
Mr Tan Kiat How will take over as Minister of State for Communications and Information, among other new postings.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.