Lawrence Wong, Singapore’s Deputy Development Minister, at the country’s press conference on the COVID-19 situation on April 22, 2021.
Singapore Ministry of Communications and Information
SINGAPORE – Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has nominated a new finance minister to replace Heng Swee Kee, who announced two weeks ago that he would step down as Lee̵7;s successor.
Lawrence Wong, the current education minister and second finance minister, will be in control of the financial portfolio from May 15, the Prime Minister’s Office said Friday. Wong is also co-chair of Singapore’s COVID-19 Working Group and has grown in popularity since the coronavirus outbreak last year.
Wong was one of the potential candidates that analysts said could eventually take over from Lee as prime minister.
The cabinet reshuffle comes after Heng’s announcement puts Singapore’s carefully planned leadership succession in turmoil.Heng, who turns 60 this year, claims his age is a barrier to propel the country in the post-epidemic world.
Heng will relinquish his role as finance minister. But still remains the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Economic Policy of the country
In addition to Wong, analysts said there were three other prime minister candidates:
- Chanchun Singh, the 51-year-old Minister of Trade and Industry, who will become the Minister of Education in the new cabinet.
- Ong Ye Kung, the 51-year-old Minister of Transport, will become the Minister of Public Health.
- Desmond Lee, 44, will remain as Minister of National Development.
Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party has ruled Singapore since its independence in 1965.The party suffered one of the worst electoral issues last year, gaining 83 of the 93 seats in parliament and 61% of the vote.
The current Prime Minister Lee had previously said he was ready to retire. By the time he turned 70, however, he later said he would delay a delivery to see Singapore through the COVID-19 crisis.
Lee, 69 this year after Heng Lee’s surprise announcement, said he would continue to serve as prime minister until a new successor is available and ready to take over.