Singapore names new finance minister in cabinet reshuffle after setback in leadership succession

Singapore names new finance minister in cabinet reshuffle after setback in leadership succession [ad_1]

Singapore’s Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong at a press convention on the nation’s Covid-19 scenario on April 22, 2021.

Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has named a new finance minister, changing Heng Swee Keat who introduced two weeks in the past that he’ll step aside as Lee’s designated successor.

Lawrence Wong, the nation’s present training minister and second finance minister, will helm the finance portfolio from May 15, the prime minister’s office said on Friday. Wong can also be the co-chair of Singapore’s taskforce on Covid-19, and has risen in prominence because the coronavirus outbreak final yr.

Wong is among potential candidates that analysts stated might finally take over from Lee as prime minister.

The cabinet shuffle got here after Heng’s announcement threw Singapore’s fastidiously deliberate leadership succession into disarray. Heng, who’s 60 this yr, had cited his age as an impediment in steering the nation in a post-pandemic world.

Heng will relinquish his position as finance minister, however stays the nation’s deputy prime minister and coordinating minister for financial insurance policies.

In addition to Wong, analysts recognized three different potential candidates for prime minister:

  • Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, 51, who will turn into training minister in the new cabinet.
  • Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung, 51, who will turn into well being minister.
  • Desmond Lee, 44, who will stay as minister for nationwide growth.

The ruling People’s Action Party has ruled Singapore because the nation’s independence in 1965. The get together suffered one in every of its worst electoral showings final yr, profitable 83 out of 93 parliamentary seats and 61% of the votes.

Lee, the present prime minister, had beforehand stated he was ready to retire by the time he turns 70. However, he later indicated he would delay his handover to see Singapore by way of the Covid-19 disaster.

Lee is 69 this yr. After Heng’s surprise announcement, Lee stated he would keep on as prime minister till a new successor emerges and is able to take over.

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