Saturday, March 29, 2008

Cabinet reshuffles

Following the last Cabinet reshuffle in May 2006 soon after Mr Lee won his first General Elections as Prime Minister, PM Lee announced the long-awaited changes to his Cabinet today with most of the changes taking into effect from 1 Apr 08.

A new addition to the cabinet will be Member of Parliament for Sembawang GRC, K Shanmugam, who will take over as the new Law Minister from Professor S Jayakumar from May 1st. Mr Shanmugam will also concurrently hold the appointment of Second Minister for Home Affairs. Professor Jayakumar will continue as Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security.

A summary of the reshuffle in the cabinet is as follows:

Education Ministry
*Dr Ng Eng Hen, Minister (cum Second Defence Minister)
*Ms Grace Fu (MOS to SMOS)
Mr Lui Tuck Yew (MOS to SMOS)
Mr Masagos Zulkifli (SPS)
Mr Gan Kim Yong relinquish MOS
Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam relinquished Minister

Ministry of Finance
Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Minister
Mrs Lim Hwee Hua (MOS to SMOS)

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Dr Balaji Sadasivan (SMOS)

Health Ministry
*Mr Hawazi Daipi (PS to SPS)
Mr Heng Chee How relinquished MOS

Home Affairs Ministry
*K Shanmugam, 2nd Minister
*Mr Masagos Zulkifli (SPS)

Ministry of Manpower
*Mr Gan Kim Yong, Acting Minister (MOS to SMOS)
Dr Ng Eng Hen relinquished Minister.
Mr Hawazi Daipi (PS to SPS)

National Development Ministry
Grace Fu (MOS to SMOS)

Transport Ministry
Mrs Lim Hwee Hua (MOS to SMOS)
*Mr Teo Ser Luck (PS to SPS)

Ministry for Community Development, Youth and Sports
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister
Mr Teo Ser Luck (PS to SPS)

Prime Minister's Office
*Mr Heng Chee How (MOS)

Information, Communications and The Arts Ministry or MICA
*Mr Lui Tuck Yew (MOS to SMOS)
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan relinquish Second Minister
Dr Balaji Sadasivan relinquished SMOS

Trade and Industry Ministry
Mr S Iswaran (MOS to SMOS)

*: appointed to new ministry

SMOS: Senior Minister of State
MOS: Minister of State
SPS: Senior Parliamentary Secretary
PS:Parliamentary Secretary

It was earlier believed that in this coming cabinet reshuffle, there would be a first woman minister for Singapore but the reshuffle indicated that Singapore may wait for a few more years before this became a reality.

Minister for MICA, Mr Lee Boon Yang, widely speculated to retire in this reshuffle, with Dr Vivian, the Second Minister replacing him, still helm the top post in MICA. It was also earlier speculated that if Dr Vivian were to replace Mr Lee in MICA as the Minister, there would be a vacant post of Minister in MCYS and a new minster for MCYS would be appointed, but it did not happen.

Senior Counsels Alvin Yeo and K Shanmugam were hottly tipped to be the next Law Minister before the appointment of the latter for this position.

Straight after the elections in year 2006, 5 new candidates assumed top office: Grace Fu, Lui Teck Yew and Lee Yi Shyan were appointed MOS, Masagos as SPS and Teo Ser Luck as PS. In this latest cabinet reshuffle, only Lee Yi Shyan and Masago retained their current offices title though the latter assumed another post in the Home Affairs Ministry.

Plans for Joo Chiat SMC where SMOS Lee Yi Shyan is made the Second Adviser to the constituency, together with Adviser Chan Soo Sen were also not revealed in this reshuffle.

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