Heng Swee Keat suitable for MOE role: Masagos

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Heng Swee Keat, a first-time Minister leads the Ministry of Education. (Yahoo! photo)
Heng Swee Keat, a first-time Minister leads the Ministry of Education. (Yahoo! photo)

Former Minister of State for Education and Home Affairs Mr Masagos Zulkifli has described Mr Heng Swee Keat as the right person for the Education Minister role.

Speaking at a pre-school conference organised by the People's Action Party Community Foundation (PCF), he said that his Tampines Group Representation Constituency (GRC) teammate and first-time Minister is both knowledgeable and kindly, a "wonderful combination" for the Education Minister position.

Mr Heng, a former managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, will be replacing Dr Ng Eng Hen. He retired from the Administrative Service on 2 April and was part of the People's Action Party Tampines GRC team.

Both PAP MPs will be sworn in on Saturday. Mr Masagos will leave his post as the Minister of State for Education and Foreign Affairs. He will retain his office in the Home Affairs Ministry.

Mr Masagos will be working in the Foreign Affairs Ministry with an old colleague K Shanmugam, who has moved from the Home Affairs Ministry.

"It is an advantage that I already know Shanmugam and his work style," said Mr Masagos.

He added that "he (Shanmugam) is a very open person who is willing to let initiatives to be carried out independently of him, so long as we consult (him) and we're aligned on the objectives we're trying to achieve."

Mr Masagos admitted that he lacked prior experience in foreign affairs, but had an "inkling" of what he is required to do as he had previously worked with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew on official trips and diplomatic negotiations.

During his term as the Education Minister of State, Mr Masagos said he is most proud of his efforts in developing the pre-school sector.

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