Three Ministers have been asked to leave their million-dollar portfolio in this month’s Cabinet reshuffle. Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say, 63, propaganda Information and Communications Minister Yaacob Ibrahim, 62, and Trade Minister Lim Hng Kiang, 64, have had their farewell parties planned by the ruling party, according to state media Straits Times. None of the 3 Ministers volunteered to leave.
The state media also rumoured that Minister of State Chan Chun Sing will take over as the Trade Minister, but the ministerial position may be too much for the former army general who has no experience or formal training in economic and business administration.
Another former army general, Education Minister Ng Chee Meng, will also likely leave the education ministry to take over Chan Chun Sing’s NTUC position. This will leave Education Minister Ong Ye Kung (there are two education ministers in Singapore) to take charge of the ministry by himself, as a signal for the end of his probation period.
Two PAP Ministers are expected to be promoted for their starry performance in attacking government critics: ex-Malaysian Minister Janil Puthucheary and Minister Chee Hong Tat. The PAP Minister who has never served National Service would take over as propaganda minister after Yaacob Ibrahim.
Minister Josephine Teo is expected to take over the Manpower Minister position after Lim Swee Say. Minister Heng Swee Keat will likely remain as Finance Minister as there is no alternative – none of the new leadership batch is trained or possess experience in fiscal policies.
It is also unknown who will be the unlucky one taking over the Transport Minister’s position, whose ministry has been the worst-performing following the failure to control project costs and deliver reliable train service.
Despite having three Ministers leaving the Cabinet, Singapore’s leadership is still getting older as the key leadership is still old. 7 key Ministers belong to the old batch, and the party have yet to find a successor for them. Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean is 63, DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam is 61, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam is 59, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan is 65, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong is 59 and Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen is 59. The last is the oldest, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at 66.
The late leadership renewal is resulted from poor planning, and Ministers being too comfortable in their million-dollar positions.