Lawrence Wong promoted to Deputy Prime Minister in Singapore Cabinet reshuffle, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper
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Lawrence Wong promoted to Deputy Prime Minister in Singapore Cabinet reshuffle

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong will be promoted to Deputy Prime Minister from June 13, in a move that cements his standing as the successor to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The announcement comes two months after Mr Wong, 49, was endorsed by his peers as the leader of the People's Action Party's fourth-generation team.

He will be the Acting Prime Minister in the absence of PM Lee.

He will also continue as Minister for Finance, and assume responsibility for the Strategy Group within the Prime Minister's Office, taking over this role from Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat.

DPM Heng, 61, will remain as Deputy Prime Minister.

He will also continue as Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, and oversee the Future Economy Council as well as the National Research Foundation and Productivity Fund Administration Board.

PM Lee said in a Facebook post on Monday (June 6): "The next generation leadership is taking shape. I ask everyone to give your full support to this important transition, to steer Singapore safely out of the pandemic and into a brighter future."

DPM Heng added in a Facebook post: "We took another important step towards leadership renewal today, with the appointment of Lawrence Wong as DPM.

"Lawrence has our fullest support. I will give my all to help him succeed, while serving alongside him as DPM and as Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies," he added.

The Cabinet changes, announced by the Prime Minister's Office on Monday (June 6), move Singapore's leadership transition process further along, after it hit a snag when Mr Heng stepped aside as leader of the 4G team in April last year.

The Cabinet has traditionally had two deputy PMs since the 1980s, with the exception of a short period in the 1990s when PM Lee was the only DPM on board, and since May 2019, when DPM Heng was the only person holding the post.

Besides Mr Wong's promotion, eight officeholders will be promoted or given new portfolios and responsibilities.

Minister of State for National Development, and Communications and Information Tan Kiat How will be promoted to Senior Minister of State.

Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth and Social and Family Development Eric Chua will be promoted to Senior Parliamentary Secretary.

Parliamentary Secretary Rahayu Mahzam will also be promoted to Senior Parliamentary Secretary. She will remain at the Ministry of Health and take up a new appointment in the Ministry of Law, and relinquish her appointment at the Ministry of Communications and Information.

Meanwhile, Senior Minister of State for Transport Chee Hong Tat, who joined the labour movement last year, will relinquish his role as deputy secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress and return to government full-time. He will be given an additional portfolio in the Ministry of Finance.

Senior Minister of State for Manpower and Health Koh Poh Koon will give up his Health portfolio and join the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment.

Minister of State for Social and Family Development and Education Sun Xueling will relinquish her Education portfolio and join the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Minister of State for Home Affairs and Sustainability and Environment Desmond Tan will relinquish both portfolios. He will be appointed Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, and take on Mr Chee's role in the labour movement.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Baey Yam Keng will take on an additional portfolio in the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment.

The latest reshuffle comes a year after seven 4G ministers were given new roles in a major reshuffle in May 2021.

At that time, Mr Wong was given the key finance portfolio.

In April this year, PM Lee announced that Mr Wong had been selected as leader of the 4G team by his peers and that Cabinet ministers had affirmed the choice.

The decision was then endorsed by all PAP MPs in a party caucus.

Mr Wong was a senior civil servant before contesting the 2011 General Election, and became minister of state for defence and education. He was acting minister for culture, community and youth in 2012, and promoted to full minister in 2014.

He became national development minister in 2015, took on an additional role as second minister for finance in 2016, and was made education minister after the 2020 General Election. He became finance minister in May last year.

Lee Hsien LoongLawrence WongSingapore Politics