4G ministers take centrestage in Cabinet reshuffle announced by PMO

Top row (left to right): S Iswaran, Ng Chee Meng, Chan Chun Sing, Ong Ye Kung. Bottom row (left to right): Amrin Amin, Indranee Rajah, Josephine Teo and Baey Yam Keng. (PHOTOS: Reuters, Getty Images, Yahoo News Singapore file photos, YouTube screengrabs)

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.

Related stories:

PM Lee asks Chan Chun Sing ‘to return to the government’, NTUC unveils changes at top

PM Lee says choosing his potential successor will take ‘a bit longer’: reports

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