Two in nation's Cabinet sworn in as full ministers

President Tan officiating at the swearing-in and appointment ceremony of Education Ministers Ng Chee Meng (far right) and Ong Ye Kung at the Istana yesterday.
President Tan officiating at the swearing-in and appointment ceremony of Education Ministers Ng Chee Meng (far right) and Ong Ye Kung at the Istana yesterday.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

Promoted on Nov 1, Mr Ng Chee Meng and Mr Ong Ye Kung were sworn in as full ministers at the Istana yesterday.

Their move-up comes just over a year after they were appointed Acting Education Ministers. Mr Ng, 48, oversees the Schools portfolio, while Mr Ong, 47, is in charge of Higher Education and Skills.

Both also have a second portfolio: Mr Ng is Second Minister for Transport and Mr Ong, Second Minister for Defence.

Both men were elected to Parliament in last year's general election. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said last month that their promotions are "part of the renewal process, to reinforce my Cabinet and get a younger team in place, ready to take over".

President Tony Tan Keng Yam officiated at yesterday's ceremony, before a gathering consisting of Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and the ministers' family members and grassroots leaders.

Posting on Facebook, Mr Teo said: "Congrats to Ng Chee Meng and Ong Ye Kung on their appointments. Looking forward to their further contributions, as part of the Team that will take us all forward in the future."

In a Facebook post yesterday, Mr Ng marked the occasion by playing with the acronyms of his two ministries, Education and Transport.

He quipped: "One year on, some say I already have MO(r)E white hair. Thank you all for your support alongside. More hard work to come. Keep MOTivated!"

Mr Ong, also in a Facebook post, thanked staff and volunteers "for supporting our initiatives over the past year".

He added: "More hard work lies ahead!"

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2016, with the headline 'Two in nation's Cabinet sworn in as full ministers'. Print Edition | Subscribe