The final 18 Central Executive Committee (CEC) members of ruling party PAP was announced yesterday and Minister of National Development Lawrence Wong and MP Baey Yam Keng are officially kicked out of the committee.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen who was formerly the Organising Secretary was also kicked out of the CEC. However, unlike new face Minister Lawrence Wong, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen is retiring due to his recent diplomatic spat with China over the detained Terrex vehicles. Minister Lawrence Wong was shortlisted as one of the potential successors to the Prime Minister role but apparently has fallen out of Lee Hsien Loong’s favour.
Considering the heavyweight portfolio of Ministry of National Development, Minister Lawrence Wong is also the only full minister to be kicked out of PAP CEC and is likely to be demoted following the next Cabinet reshuffle.
MP Baey Yam Keng was also kicked out of the CEC following public disapproval of his public display of vanity posting online selfies on his Facebook page. Another MP Liang Eng Hwa was also removed due to lack of participation within the CEC.
Half-Education Minister Ng Chee Meng was also not selected by Lee Hsien Loong to sit in the CEC, and as a result 2 out of 6 potential PM successor candidates have fallen out. The remaining 4 successors who are in the CEC are – Minister-without-portfolio Chan Chun Sing, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, Social and Family Affairs Minister Tan Chuan Jin and Education Minister Ong Ye Kung. Chan Chun Sing is currently leading the Prime Minister race as CEC Organising Secretary, and his closest competitor Minister Heng Swee Keat lagged behind following a 6-month absence after a stroke in May 2016.