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Breaking News: PM reshuffles Cabinet

Posted by theonlinecitizen on March 29, 2008

From The Straits Times:

By Jeremy Au Yong

PRIME Minister Lee Hsien Loong reshuffled his Cabinet on Saturday, as part of a process to groom the next generation of leaders for Singapore.

The most eye-catching in the slew of changes announced by PM Lee was the appointment of Mr K. Shanmugam as Law Minister and Second Minister for Home Affairs from May 1.

The last person to move directly from the backbench to full-fledged minister was Mr Richard Hu, who became Minister for Trade and Industry in 1985 after a few months as MP.

Mr Shanmugam, 49, an MP since 1988 and currently a senior partner in Allen and Gledhill, will take over the Law Ministry from Deputy Prime Minister S. Jayakumar. The DPM will continue as the Coordinating Minister for National Security.

Mr Wong Kan Seng remains Home Affairs Minister.

In PM Lee’s new-look Cabinet, three ministries were given new bosses, five Ministers of State were promoted to Senior Ministers of State, and one Parliamentary Secretary was moved up one level.

Although two women Ministers of State, Mrs Lim Hwee Hua and Ms Grace Fu, were promoted to Senior Ministers of State, Singapore will still have to wait for its first woman minister.

The Cabinet retains a familiar look with few major changes.

Apart from the Law Ministry which will now be helmed by Mr Shanmugam, the other two ministries with new chiefs are Education and Manpower.

Mr Gan Kim Yong, formerly Minister of State (Education and Manpower), was promoted to Acting Minister for Manpower.

Mr Gan replaces Dr Ng Eng Hen, who takes over the Education portfolio.

The Education Ministry (MOE) position was vacated by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam who took over from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as Finance Minister in December.

The rest of the Ministers retained their posts, although Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) Vivian Balakrishnan relinquishes his position as Second Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts (Mica).

Among the Ministers of State, Mr Gan Kim Yong, Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Mr S. Iswaran, Ms Grace Fu and Rear-Admiral (NS) Lui Tuck Yew were all promoted up one level.

Ms Fu and RAdm Lui received additional portfolios. Ms Fu adds the Education Ministry to her current role in the National Development Ministry, while RAdm Lui adds Mica to his appointment in MOE.

Minister of State Heng Chee How relinquishes his role in the health ministry and moves to the Prime Minister’s Office, where he will assist Mr Lim Boon Heng, the minister in charge of ageing issues and the re-employment of older workers.

Only one Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Teo Ser Luck, was promoted to Senior Parliamentary Secretary. He takes on a role in the Transport Ministry alongside his current position in MCYS.

All the changes take effect from April 1, apart from those affecting Mr Shanmugam and Prof S Jayakumar.

Commenting on the Cabinet changes, RAdm Lui said: ‘On the whole, I thought the reshuffle was well done. There is change amid continuity.’

‘Personally I’m glad that I’m going to continue working in the MOE because there is some unfinished business, namely the fourth university and the arts college.’

‘At the same time, I have the opportunity to do something new, something exciting. Mica is an area that’s completely new to me. I look forward to going there, listening, learning, and then contributing.’



8 Responses to “Breaking News: PM reshuffles Cabinet”

  1. No Big Deal. said

    No big deal lah. Only very disappointed the WKS never get kicked
    out from DPM post lah.

  2. I guess they still need him there because he is probably a good ‘scapegoat’. Personally I will not pay him so much for all the policies that he has been making, not to mention all the ‘honest mistakes’ and so called apologies.

    PAP probably has a point to make for keeping him as DPM and that is “Shut up citizens (and bloggers), your opinions will never be taken seriously by us because we sign the pay checks (from your generous contributions as tax payers) so if someone is useful for and to us, that person stays.”

    Ok, along the lines of that anyway!

  3. No Big Deal said

    Should at least give George Yeo or Teo Chee Hian a chance to become DPM mah.

    GY nearly lost in GE2006, give him a booster, right or not? TCH broke his leg during GE2006, give him a reward so that he won’t break his leg again mah.

    Take turns mah, right or not?

    How can every goodie goes to only the Familee? What about others who served loyally with great merits.

    What has happened to Meritocracy hah? Looks like it has become Marritocracy, is it?

  4. Dingo said

    Why would reshuffling a cabinet matter if all your shirts are identically white?

  5. Jason said

    Seem to be a sick line-up.

    Bunch of useless fools still in the cabinet.

  6. musical chair

  7. Happy said

    Funny why from back-bencher ordinary MP can jump so high to become Minister?

    Some more double ministerial posts – one in Law and one in Home Affairs. What is the secret hah?

    Some more just divorced by wife not long ago, you all know or not? Why wife divorced him hah? On what ground hah? Anyone know?

    Last time he MP only, so never mind lah. Now minister level already we all must kaypoh a bit lah. Minister’s character must be perfect one. Cannot any how one, right or not?

  8. patriot said

    Divorce is a personal affair.
    Becoming a full minister is an appointment by superiors and commanders in the Cabinet, it is not the choice of the Appointed. He looses 80% of his usual income and that a very great sacrifice.May we pay our respects for that please!

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