SINGAPORE - Relinquishing his appointment as Deputy Prime Minister while continuing in the Cabinet to support Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, new DPM Heng Swee Keat and the younger leaders is the "Singapore way of ensuring smooth leadership transition, continuity and stability", Mr Teo Chee Hean said on Tuesday (April 23).
"Senior leaders make way in good time for the next generation, share their experience and help the next generation of leaders to succeed," Mr Teo said in a statement on the upcoming Cabinet changes.
He also said Mr Heng's promotion to DPM is "another important step in our leadership renewal".
From May 1, Mr Heng will be DPM while remaining as Finance Minister. He will also continue chairing the Future Economy Council and National Research Foundation.
At the same time, Mr Teo and Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam will relinquish their appointments as DPMs and be appointed Senior Ministers.
Mr Teo will continue as Coordinating Minister for National Security while Mr Tharman will be re-designated as Coordinating Minister for Social Policies as well as continue to advise PM Lee on economic policies, said a statement from the Prime Minister's Office.
In his statement, Mr Teo said he will continue in Cabinet to support PM Lee and DPM Heng in whatever way he can as well as work with Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing and other younger leaders for the security, safety and success of Singapore.
He congratulated and wished Mr Heng all the very best as well as thanked PM Lee and his colleagues for their support over the 10 years he said he had the privilege of serving as DPM. He was appointed DPM on April 1, 2009.
"I also hope to continue to have the support of our Pasir Ris-Punggol residents to continue as their MP at the next general election," he added.