Singapore: Singapore Prime Minister Lee
Hsien Loong on Wednesday reshuffled his cabinet, with the party old
guard making way for younger leaders, even as an Indian-origin
has been appointed as the new foreign affairs minister.
Sweeping cabinet revamp was done after the ruling
People`s Action Party (PAP) suffered a major poll setback on
May 7. The new cabinet will be sworn in on May 21.
Lee appointed Tamil origin lawyer K Shanmugam as the
new Foreign Affairs Minister.
The party old guard, led by his father Lee Kuan Yew
and Goh Chok Tong, both former prime ministers, are out of the
Shanmugam has also retained his law ministry portfolio
in one of the big cabinet reshuffle after the May 7 General
Election where the ruling People`s Action Party (PAP) secured
81 of the 87 parliamentary seats but on a reduced vote
percentage of slightly over 60.
Lee has retained Teo Chee Hean as Deputy Prime
Minister and given him additional responsibility as
Coordinating Minister for National Security & Minister Home
Teo was formerly a Deputy Prime Minister and Defence
Minister. Lee has also promoted Tharman Shanmugaratnam to
Deputy Prime Minister, as well as Minister of Finance and
Manpower. He was formerly Finance Minister.
The PAP lost two ministers in the May election
including Foreign Minister George Yeo.
Following the election, Lee`s father and Singapore`s
first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew decided not to continue in
For the mid-term review, Lee said he "will make
further changes as new team shakes down and people establish
themselves." Lee said he was expected to review the cabinet
appointments within the next two years.
Singapore`s second Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong has
also opted out of the government, joining Lee, the 87 year old
architect of modern Singapore.
However, the elder Lee would be appointed senior
advisor to the Government Investment Corp.
Goh would have the honorary title of Emeritus Senior
Minister and would be appointed the senior advisor the
Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Eleven of the 14 Ministries will have a new Minister
in charge while seven new faces from amongst the re-elected
members of parliament and new MPs will join the Government.
Nine current ministers will leave the government
including Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng.
Premier Lee said the new cabinet lineup was a "fresh
slate after a watershed election."
Lee said his government would review existing policies
and approaches, engage with a new generation of Singaporeans
and take Singapore forward in a more complex environment.
A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said the
cabinet would be sworn in on May 21.
The May 7 General Election saw opposition parties
taking close of 40 per cent of the over 2 million votes cast,
with the Workers` Party securing six parliamentary seats, one
of the biggest opposition representations in recent decades.