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Redistribution in the cabinet "a big step in leadership succession": outgoing DPM Tharman


SINGAPORE: Reconstruction of the cabinet, published on Tuesday (April 23rd), was "a big step … in the succession of leaders," Tharman Shanmugaratnam said. Teom Cheey, Hean, dismissed his role as Vice Prime Minister.

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat will advance to the DPM, while two current DPMs will be appointed high-level ministers and will remain in the cabinet.

The promotion of Mr Henga is yet another indication that he is the leader in being the next prime minister in Singapore. Last November, he was appointed the first assistant to the Secretary General of the People's Action.

In a statement published on Facebook shortly after Tuesday's announcement, Tharman said: "Swee Keat is the best person to move to the DPM and take over the role of the Prime Minister in the next term of government. It has the exceptional abilities, capabilities and trust of the 4G team.

"We avoided a sudden change. It might be unexpected and predictable, but it works for Singapore."

READ: Heng Swee Keat will be promoted to DPM in redeployment in the cabinet

READ: Teo Chee Hean resigns after 10 years as DPM; stay in the cabinet as a senior minister

Mr Tharman also stressed the need for Mr. Heng and the 4G team "themselves take on their role as leaders, individually and as a team, and gradually leave their mark."

"The views and wishes of the Singaporeans are changing," he said. "I believe that after ten years they will be quite different."

"Our 4G leadership will have to keep our ears close to the ground, stay open to new ideas and initiatives, and continue to develop our strategies so that our society is inclusive and vibrant. In order to preserve the confidence of the Singaporeans and lead the country with confidence.

"I am sure they will, and will help them in every way possible in the government," he added.

heng swee keat tharman shanmugaratnam

Heng Swee Keat and Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Mr Tharman was first elected Member of Parliament in 2001 and was an eight-year minister of finance, from 2007 to 2015. Between 2003 and 2008 he was the Minister of Education. In 2011, Tharman was appointed Deputy Prime Minister.

In the sequel, Mr. Tharman continued to advise Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on economic policies, as stated in the PMO statement.

The current Director of the GIC will also be appointed as Deputy Chairman of the State Property Fund from 1 May and will assist Mr Lee – who is the President – in managing the Board, as it oversees the long-term allocation of assets and the performance of the portfolio.

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