SINGAPORE: Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat will become deputy prime minister from May 1, in a move that cements his standing as Singapore’s next prime minister.
Meanwhile, both existing deputy prime ministers – Teo Chee Hean and Tharman Shanmugaratnam –will relinquish their appointments, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced yesterday
They will be appointed Senior Ministers and remain in Cabinet.
Heng, 57, will remain as Finance Minister, and continue chairing the Future Economy Council and National Research Foundation.
He will be appointed Acting Prime Minister in Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s absence.
Teo, 64, will continue as Coordinating Minister for National Security, while Tharman, 62, will be re-designated as Coordinating Minister for Social Policies.
He will continue to advise the prime minister on economic policies, said the PMO.
In a Facebook post, Lee, 67, said the changes are part of the ongoing leadership renewal.
He wrote: “The next generation leadership is taking shape, and progressively taking over from me and my older colleagues. The team is working closely together, building up public trust and confidence in their leadership.”
“I ask all Singaporeans to support them, and work together to secure a bright future for Singapore,” he added.
Heng said he is deeply honoured by the trust and confidence of Lee and his Cabinet colleagues in entrusting him with the appointment. — The Straits Times/Asia News Network
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