Members of new Government bid farewell to old colleagues and prepare for new posts

New Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong packing up his work stuff at the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. PHOTO: LAWRENCE WONG/ FACEBOOK
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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Cabinet was sworn-in at the Istana on Thursday, paving the way for a new chapter of the Singapore story.
New Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam posted a photo on Facebook of his desk as he packed his things in his office. PHOTO: K SHANMUGAM/ FACEBOOK
The Ministry of Health threw a farewell party for former Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Transport, Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim (centre). PHOTO: ASSOC PROF MUHAMMAD FAISHAL IBRAHIM/ FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - New and existing members of the incoming Government have started to bid goodbye to their old ministries as they settle into their new roles from today, following PM Lee Hsien Loong's announcement on Monday (Sept 28).

Several ministers thanked their colleagues, posted photos of farewell parties, and shared their thoughts on their new portfolios.

And even though the ministers will be officially sworn in only on Thursday (Oct 1) evening, some have started preparing for their new roles.

Mr Khaw Boon Wan, one of the new Coordinating Ministers who will also now lead the Transport Ministry, wrote a blog post about his four-year stint in the Ministry of National Development (MND).

Mr Khaw said he was "particularly happy to be able to help many newlyweds get their home and start their family early" but apologised for not being able to "finish up business" with the 2R Flexi and Fresh Start Housing Grant.

He started a blog called Housing Matters when he was at MND, and has begun posting on a new blog for the Ministry of Transport called Moving News.

He has also started visiting SBS and SMRT maintenance crew to "know them well, understand their concerns, and their aspirations".

New Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat shared a lengthy and heart-warming farewell letter he wrote to educators this week.

Mr Heng said he would be leaving the Education Ministry with many "fond memories, deep friendships and meaningful learning" and with confidence that the new Acting Ministers for Education, Mr Ng Chee Meng and Mr Ong Ye Kung, will give their best.

Mr Ng, who will also be Senior Minister of State for Transport, said he was looking forward to working with the team at Ministry of Transport to better the lives of Singaporeans.

Meanwhile, Mr Ong has left his post as director of Group Strategy at Keppel Corporation, and will also take on the role of Senior Minister of State for Defence.

Taking over the role of Mr K. Shanmugam, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said he was looking forward to his new posting at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and was deeply grateful for the commitment and hard work of his colleagues at the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.

Mr Shanmugam will continue helming the Law Ministry, and will also take over as the new Minister for Home Affairs. He posted a photo on Facebook of his desk as he packed his things in his office, and wished Dr Balakrishnan well in spearheading Singapore's diplomatic efforts.

Mr Masagos Zulkifli, the new Environment and Water Resources Minister, shared a photo of his last conference as Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) minister at the Asean Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime, saying that he will miss his counterparts.

New Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Ms Grace Fu, who also takes over Mr Ng Eng Hen as Leader of the House, said she will be "continuing on the good work of Lawrence Wong".

Mr Wong, the new Minister for National Development, meanwhile, shared some photos of himself packing and saying goodbye to the iconic Singa the Lion and friends at MCCY.

Senior Minister of State Indranee Rajah, who is swopping her Education portfolio for Finance, said goodbye to Ministry of Education on Thursday. She also added that she is looking forward to working with the new Cabinet and MOF colleagues.

Dr Koh Poh Koon, a colorectal surgeon who will take on the role of Minister of State for Trade and Industry, and National Development from January 2016, will spend the next few months handing over his patients to his colleagues and hopes to be able to "do more for Singaporeans and Singapore by contributing in policy making".

New Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth Baey Yam Keng posted a video interview where he talked about his family being prepared for him to spend less time at home.

The Ministry of Health threw a farewell party for former Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Transport, Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, before he leaves for his new role as Parliamentary Secretary for Education, and Social and Family Development.

Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, who will continue as Minister for Social and Family Development, shared a photo of the last Cabinet seating on Wednesday (Sept 30). He also thanked outgoing Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew for his friendship and leadership.

New Senior Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, Foreign Affairs, and Transport Josephine Teo on Thursday penned a touching goodbye note to Mr Lui, calling him "a lion like no other".

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