Josephine Teo, Desmond Lee sworn in as full ministers at Istana

President Tony Tan Keng Yam officiating the swearing-in and appointment ceremony of ministers Josephine Teo and Desmond Lee at the Istana yesterday. Both Mrs Teo, 48, and Mr Lee, 40, had been promoted on May 1 to full ministers in the Prime Minister'
President Tony Tan Keng Yam officiating the swearing-in and appointment ceremony of ministers Josephine Teo and Desmond Lee at the Istana yesterday. Both Mrs Teo, 48, and Mr Lee, 40, had been promoted on May 1 to full ministers in the Prime Minister's Office.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

The two newest members of Singapore's Cabinet were sworn in yesterday at the Istana, in a ceremony officiated by President Tony Tan Keng Yam.

Both Mrs Josephine Teo and Mr Desmond Lee were promoted on May 1 to full ministers in the Prime Minister's Office.

Mrs Teo, 48, was also made Second Minister for Manpower and Foreign Affairs, and continues to oversee population matters, assisting Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

She had been Senior Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office and for Foreign Affairs since 2015, and also held the transport portfolio, which she has relinquished.

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With her promotion, Singapore has two women as full ministers for the first time. Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu is the other woman minister in the 22-member Cabinet.

Mr Lee, the youngest minister in the current Cabinet at age 40, is also Second Minister for Home Affairs and National Development. He had been Senior Minister of State for the ministries since 2015.

There at the ceremony to witness his swearing-in was his father, Mr Lee Yock Suan, a former Cabinet minister whose portfolios included labour and education.

The appointments of Mrs Teo and Mr Lee topped a list of promotions that included other office holders.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had said the changes were part of the ongoing leadership renewal.

He was at the ceremony, along with the ministers' spouses, parents and grassroots volunteers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2017, with the headline 'Two sworn in as full ministers at Istana'. Print Edition | Subscribe