Important to support, motivate new ministers

 PM Lee taking questions from reporters after he announced his Cabinet and other office holders at a press conference in the Istana on Sept 28, 2015.
PM Lee taking questions from reporters after he announced his Cabinet and other office holders at a press conference in the Istana on Sept 28, 2015. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

I congratulate Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for his bold and decisive move to put in place a relatively young team and test them intensively and comprehensively, so that they can confidently and competently assume party leadership in time to come ("PM names Cabinet aimed at leadership succession"; yesterday).

The learning curve will be very steep for those tasked to learn the ropes from the seasoned seniors who previously helmed the ministries the new ones now take over.

The new ministers must have the wherewithal to stay focused and committed in their ministerial leadership while remaining vigilant over municipal and national issues.

Singaporeans can take pride in knowing that the team assembled is the best that can be.

The competence, commitment and perseverance of the office-holders are critical.

Working seamlessly with their more seasoned colleagues, they must come up with fresh, well-thought-out and doable ideas to enable Singapore to continually stay head of its rivals in the intense global competition over investments and technological advances.

These ideas must also ensure quality of life, social-cum- economic excellence and a vibrant arts and cultural scene, as well as world-class transport, communications, health and education systems.

Singaporeans have a part to play in this, too, in supporting, motivating and cheering on these new ministers when they falter during missteps.

Those who jeer or try to trip up these office-holders will only be jeopardising the collective efforts of the Government, to the overall detriment of our nation.

Ho Kong Loon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2015, with the headline 'Important to support, motivate new ministers'. Print Edition | Subscribe