Lawrence Wong promoted to Deputy PM in Singapore Cabinet changes


SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): Finance Minister Lawrence Wong (pic) 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 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 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.

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 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 Lee was the only DPM on board, and since May 2019, when DPM Heng was the only person holding the post.

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

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

In April this year, Lee announced that 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.

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.

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