Prime Minister Lee announces new Cabinet

25 Jul 2020 5 min read

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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has announced his new Cabinet in a reshuffle that will see six ministries headed by new ministers.

Three office holders will retire and six office holders will be promoted. In addition, there will be seven new political office holders. These changes take effect from 27 July 2020 unless stated otherwise.

PM Lee also thanked the retiring office holders, Mr Khaw Boon Wan who was the  Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport; Mr Sam Tan who was the Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Social and Family Development, as well as the Chairman of the Government’s feedback unit, REACH; and also Dr Tan Wu Meng who was the Senior Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Trade and Industry.

In total, the new Cabinet will have 37 political office holders, the same as the previous Cabinet.

Appointment of Ministers

Mr Ong Ye Kung will move from the Education Ministry to head the Transport Ministry.  Mr Lawrence Wong will move to the Education Ministry, while Mr Desmond Lee will relinquish his role as Minister for Social and Family Development to succeed him at the National Development Ministry. Mr Lee is concurrently appointed as Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration.

Ms Grace Fu will head the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, which is formerly the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR). It has been renamed to better reflect its future role.

Mr Masagos Zulkifli will move to helm Ministry of Social and Family Development. Remaining as the Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs, he will take on the new role as Second Minister for Health.

Ms Indranee Rajah will be appointed Second Minister for National Development, and relinquish her appointment as Second Minister for Education. She will remain Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and as Second Minister for Finance.

Dr Tan See Leng, newly elected Member of Parliament for Marine Parade GRC, will be appointed Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry.

Two former senior ministers of state have also been promoted to full ministers. Mr Edwin Tong succeeds Ms Grace Fu as Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and will also be the Second Minister for Law while Dr Maliki Osman will be appointed as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office as well as Second Minister for Education and Foreign Affairs.

In addition, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat will be taking on an additional role as Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies.

In a press conference announcing the Cabinet line-up, PM Lee said that providing continuity, giving ministers exposure and renewal are the three factors behind his Cabinet reshuffle.

“I’m rotating the ministers, especially the younger ones to gain exposure and experience. We regularly do this during Cabinet reshuffles, and the intent is to expose the office holders to different portfolios, to gain both breadth and depth, to understand the intricacies of the issues and to see things from different perspectives,” he added.

Appointment of Senior Ministers and Ministers of State

Mr Zaqy Mohamad will be promoted to Senior Minister of State. He will remain at the Ministry of Manpower and take up an additional appointment at the Ministry of Defence.

Ms Low Yen Ling will be promoted to Minister of State, and take up new appointments at the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, and at the Ministry of Trade and Industry. She will also remain as Mayor of South West District.

Associate Professor Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim will be promoted to Minister of State, and take up new appointments at the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of National Development.

Ms Sun Xueling will be promoted to Minister of State, and take up new appointments at the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social and Family Development.

Other changes in portfolio

Dr Amy Khor will be appointed Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport. She will continue in the Ministry of Sustainability and Environment.

Ms Sim Ann will be appointed Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of National Development and will continue in the Ministry of Communications and Information.

Mr Chee Hong Tat will be appointed Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Transport.

Dr Janil Puthucheary will be appointed Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and will continue in the Ministry of Communications and Information.

Dr Koh Poh Koon will be appointed Senior Minister of State in the Ministry of Health.

New Political Office Holders

Other than Dr Tan See Leng, six PAP’s newly elected MPs have been appointed as political office-holders.

Ms Gan Siow Huang will be appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Manpower. Mr Alvin Tan will be appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, with effect from 1 September 2020.

Mr Desmond Tan will be appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Sustainability and Environment. Mr Tan Kiat How will be appointed Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministry of National Development. He will also be the Chairman of REACH.

Mr Eric Chua will be appointed Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, and the Ministry of Social and Family Development while

Mdm Rahayu Mahzam will be appointed Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Health, with effect from 1 September

In addition, two new mayors were appointed with Mr Alex Yam appointed as Mayor for North West District, and Mr Mohd Fahmi Aliman appointed as Mayor for South East District.

The Cabinet and other office holders will be formally sworn in on 27 July 2020.

Photo from MCI