Cabinet reshuffle: Indranee Rajah promoted, new Cabinet now has 3 women ministers

Ms Indranee Rajah will be made a full minister in the Prime Minister's Office. PHOTO: MCI

SINGAPORE - When changes to the Cabinet kick in on May 1, there will be three women ministers in Parliament, the largest number ever.

Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law Indranee Rajah, 55, will be made a full minister in the Prime Minister's Office, the PMO said on Tuesday (April 24).

She will join Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu and Mrs Josephine Teo, who will be promoted to Minister for Manpower, in the Cabinet.

Ms Indranee, a core member of the fourth-generation leadership team, will also be Second Minister for Education and Second Minister for Finance. The Ministry of Education will revert to having one minister at its helm, with Mr Ong Ye Kung leading it.

As a transition arrangement, Ms Indranee will also be Second Minister for Law until June 30 before Mr Edwin Tong becomes Senior Minister of State in the Law Ministry from July 1.

Ms Indranee is no stranger to the education sector. She was Senior Minister of State for Education from 2012 to 2015. She also led the Applied Studies in Polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education Review Committee, which was launched to improve the career and academic prospects of polytechnic and Institute of Technical Education graduates.

The committee's recommendations later culminated in the national SkillsFuture movement to encourage lifelong learning and aligning education with economic demand.

Ms Indranee has also overseen the expansion and development of the pre-school sector, and weighed in on issues such as mother tongue languages and the Primary School Leaving Examination in public dialogues.

As Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law, she is known for her work on the Committee on Family Justice, which has been behind legal reforms that help divorcing couples disentangle their lives as painlessly as possible and minimise adverse impact on their children.

She was also involved in the formation of the Singapore International Commercial Court, which is aimed at growing the Republic's status as an arbitration hub in the region.

Under her finance portfolio, Ms Indranee has played a key role in working with Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in formulating the national Budget, and communicating to the public the Government's rationale for introducing tax hikes to raise revenue.

A law graduate from the National University of Singapore, she joined politics in 2001 as an MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC.

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