Singaporean PM announces big Cabinet reshuffle

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Singapore, April 24 (IANS) Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced here on Tuesday the biggest Cabinet reshuffle affecting nearly all his 16 ministries in an effort to let the fourth-generation ministers shoulder more responsibilities.

The regrouping of the cabinet will come into force on May 1. Two thirds of the ministries will be headed by younger ministers except for transport, health, defence, home affairs and law, Xinhua news agency reported.

Of the three men who have the potential to succeed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Chan Chun Sing will chair the Ministry of Trade and Industry while Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat will be staying on in his existing role but will take over responsibility in National Research Foundation matters as well.

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In the Education Ministry, 48-year-old Ong Ye Kung, who is in charge of higher education and skills, will now be ascended to take charge of the whole ministry. He will relinquish his appointment as Second Minister for Defence.

Three ministers who will be retiring were Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang,64; Minister for Manpower Lim Swee Say, 63, and Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim, 62.

They will be taken over respectively by current labour chief Chan Chun Sing, 48; Second Manpower Minister Josephine Teo, 49, and Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran, 55.

Lee Hsien Loong said on his Facebook post that the younger ministers will progressively take over more responsibility for governing Singapore.


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