New Cabinet line-up: Nine out of 37 political office-holders are women

This term's line-up of women political office holders are (clockwise from top left) Mrs Josephine Teo, Ms Grace Fu, Ms Indranee Rajah, Dr Amy Khor, Ms Sim Ann, Ms Low Yen Ling, Ms Sun Xueling, Ms Gan Siow Huang and Ms Rahayu Mahzam. PHOTOS: KEVIN LIM, KUA CHEE SIONG, ST FILE, MCI

SINGAPORE - There are nine women among this term's line-up of 37 political office-holders, with two newcomers among them.

They are PAP new face Gan Siow Huang, who has been appointed Minister of State for Education and Manpower, and former backbencher Rahayu Mahzam, who will be appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Health from Sept 1.

"I will do my best to support jobs and skills for Singaporeans, both of which are critical to help us weather the recession and emerge stronger after the storm," Ms Gan said in a Facebook post. "I will also continue to do my best to serve the residents of Marymount and help those in need."

In a separate post, Ms Rahayu added: "I am humbled by this trust and opportunity to continue serving in a different capacity."

The number of women political office-holders has inched up over the years, and this is the largest number in recent times.

But the proportion of women who are full ministers has gone down slightly, with more men added to the team.

In the previous Cabinet, there were three women full ministers - Mrs Josephine Teo, Ms Grace Fu, Ms Indranee Rajah - out of a pool of 19 full ministers, compared to three out of 20 in the new Cabinet.

The other women office-holders are Dr Amy Khor, Ms Sim Ann, Ms Low Yen Ling and Ms Sun Xueling.

Ms Low and Ms Sun have both been promoted to ministers of state. Ms Low will take up appointments at the Ministries of Trade and Industry and Culture, Community and Youth, while Ms Sun will be Minister of State for Education and Social and Family Development.

Mrs Teo remains Manpower Minister, while Ms Fu will head the newly-renamed Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, which was the former Ministry of Environment and Water Resources.

Ms Indranee will be appointed Second Minister for National Development, relinquishing her education portfolio. She will remain Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Finance Minister, and also assist Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean with population matters.

Dr Khor, who used to be Senior Minister of State for Health, will now be Senior Minister of State for Transport and Sustainability and Environment.

Meanwhile, Ms Sim Ann will be Senior Minister of State for National Development and Communications and Information.

The Cabinet and other office-holders will be formally sworn in on Monday.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.