Challenges, aims and priorities of 7 S'pore Cabinet ministers with new portfolios

(Clockwise from top left) Lawrence Wong, Chan Chun Sing, Ong Ye Kung, Josephine Teo, Tan See Leng, S. Iswaran and Gan Kim Yong.
(Clockwise from top left) Lawrence Wong, Chan Chun Sing, Ong Ye Kung, Josephine Teo, Tan See Leng, S. Iswaran and Gan Kim Yong.ST ILLUSTRATIONS: CHNG CHOON HIONG

As seven Cabinet ministers take on new portfolios on Saturday (May 15) following the latest reshuffle, Insight looks at the key challenges facing them and what some of their key priorities are likely to be.


New Finance Minister Lawrence Wong may face hard decisions on taxes, more Budget measures for Covid-19 relief


Lawrence Wong will continue to co-chair the Covid-19 multi-ministry task force. ST ILLUSTRATION: CHNG CHOON HIONG

Mr Lawrence Wong takes over from Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat as Finance Minister. Having assisted Mr Heng as Second Minister for Finance since 2016, he has, as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said, the experience and is a "natural fit" for the job.

Ms Indranee Rajah supports Mr Wong as Second Minister.

Mr Wong will continue to co-chair the Covid-19 multi-ministry task force together with new Health Minister Ong Ye Kung and Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong.

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New Education Minister Chan Chun Sing to build on work to bring out the best in every student


Major changes have been initiated in education, which Chan Chun Sing will have to put in place and build upon. ST ILLUSTRATION: CHNG CHOON HIONG

When Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that he was changing Mr Chan Chun Sing's portfolio from Trade and Industry to Education, he said the fourth-generation minister will build on the work of his predecessors to improve the education system to bring out the best in every child.

He noted that "nurturing people is quite different from growing the economy or mobilising unions", and said he looked forward to Mr Chan taking on this fresh responsibility and broadening his experience.

Indeed, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has always been seen as a testing ground for future top leaders and considered one of the most challenging ministries.

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New Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong to steer economy to recovery, seize opportunities for future


Gan Kim Yong's longest and most recent ministerial stint was at the Health Ministry. ST ILLUSTRATION: CHNG CHOON HIONG

Mr Gan Kim Yong has come full circle. As the new Minister for Trade and Industry, he has returned to where he first started his career in public service more than 30 years ago.

The 62-year-old former government scholarship holder and engineer by training served his bond in the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Home Affairs before joining NatSteel in 1989.

He entered politics in 2001 and was appointed Manpower Minister in 2008. His longest and most recent ministerial stint was at the Health Ministry, where he has been for the past decade.

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On top of Covid-19 fight, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung has 3 key areas to focus on


Ong Ye Kung would need to deal with issues like ageing, healthcare infrastructure and healthcare finance. ST ILLUSTRATION: CHNG CHOON HIONG

Mr Ong Ye Kung takes over the Ministry of Health on Saturday (May 15), the third ministry he will be helming in as many years.

He was Transport Minister for less than a year. Prior to that stint, he headed Education for two years, though he shared the top position in that ministry with Mr Ng Chee Meng for three years before that.

In announcing his move to Health, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Mr Ong would need to deal with issues like ageing, healthcare infrastructure and healthcare finance.

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New Transport Minister S. Iswaran's ongoing journey to greater sustainability


S. Iswaran will have to retain Singapore's position as an air and sea hub "in the post-Covid-19 world". ST ILLUSTRATION: CHNG CHOON HIONG

As with most previous transport ministers, Mr S. Iswaran will have his work cut out for him.

As Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said during the ministerial reshuffle on April 23, the latest transport minister will "continue improving the quality, affordability and environmental sustainability of our transport system", as well as retain Singapore's position as an air and sea hub "in the post-Covid-19 world".

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New Manpower Minister Tan See Leng to link work of two vital economic ministries


Dr Tan See Leng takes on full responsibilities at the Ministry of Manpower while continuing as Second Minister for Trade and Industry. ST ILLUSTRATION: CHNG CHOON HIONG

Since he was appointed Second Minister for Manpower in July last year, Dr Tan See Leng has led efforts to tackle Covid-19 in migrant worker dormitories. He now takes on full responsibilities at the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) while continuing as Second Minister for Trade and Industry.

These portfolios will help him connect the work of the two vital economic ministries, especially on restructuring the economy and the workforce.

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New Communications and Information Minister Josephine Teo to counter fake news, speed up digital transformation


Josephine Teo is also Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative. ST ILLUSTRATION: CHNG CHOON HIONG

Mrs Josephine Teo, 52, takes over from Mr S. Iswaran as the new Minister for Communications and Information and the Minister-in-charge of the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore.

She is also Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative, taking over from Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.

She continues as Second Minister for Home Affairs.

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