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Lawrence Wong to become new Minister for Finance, Heng Swee Keat to remain DPM, in Cabinet reshuffle

Felicia Tan
Felicia Tan4/23/2021 03:15 PM GMT+08  • 3 min read
Lawrence Wong to become new Minister for Finance, Heng Swee Keat to remain DPM, in Cabinet reshuffle
The reshuffle will see changes in seven key ministries including the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
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Lawrence Wong will be the new Minister for Finance, announced Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong via a statement on April 23.

Wong, who was appointed as the new Education Minister in July 2020, has been the second Minister for Finance since 2016.

The news comes after former Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat, who announced that he will be stepping down as the leader of the fourth-generation (4G) leadership team of the People’s Action Party (PAP) and Finance Minister on April 8.

See: DPM Heng Swee Keat no longer next PM; to step down as Finance Minister

Heng will remain deputy prime minister and co-ordinating Minister for Economic Policies.

The new line-up is a “more extensive reshuffle than is usual this early in the term of government,” says Lee, with seven key ministries to see changes in the reshuffle.

“Following Budget 2021, DPM Heng is relinquishing the Finance portfolio. Finance is a key ministry, so when the Finance Minister changes, it has many repercussions,” he adds.

Wong will remain co-chair of Singapore’s Covid-19 task force.

His co-chair, Gan Kim Yong, will relinquish his role as Minister for Health. Gan has been appointed the Minister for Trade and Industry.

Chan Chun Sing, who previously held the Trade and Industry portfolio, will be the new Minister for Education.

“I hope the investors will see that we have changed from one MTI minster who has been competently discharging his responsibilities, to another MTI minister who has mple experience and whom we have every reason to expect will discharge his responsibilities equally well,” says Lee.

Ong Ye Kung will replace Gan as Health Minister. He will relinquish his transport portfolio. Ong will replace Gan to become a co-chair of the Covid-19 task force.

Tan See Leng, previously the Second Minister for Manpower, will now be Minister for Manpower, replacing Josephine Teo.

Teo will replace S Iswaran to become the new Communications and Information Minister.

Tan will remain as the Second Minister for Trade and Industry while Teo will continue as Second Minister for Home Affairs.

S Iswaran will become the new Minister for Transport and continue as Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations in the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Teo will also be appointed as Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative, taking over from Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, and Minister- in-charge of the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore, taking over from Iswaran.

The new appointments will take effect from May 15 after the next parliamentary sitting.

“The reshuffle is… an opportunity for [the 4G ministers] to work together in new capacities, so that they can understand each other better, and strengthen their cohesion as a team,” says Lee.

“This will make the new team readier to take over form me and my older colleagues.”

On the change, Lee says he considered making the changes after the General Election in 2020, but indicated that the changes had to wait due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Now that the Covid-19 situation is more stable, I am able to make these changes,” he adds.

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