SINGAPORE - Singapore will have the highest number of women politicians in senior positions in its legislative history, following Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's decision to promote four of them on Wednesday.
Moving into the senior ranks are Mrs Josephine Teo, 45, (left in photo) and Dr Amy Khor, 55, (right in photo) who will be Senior Ministers of State from Sept 1. Both are now Ministers of State.
They will continue to hold their current portfolios of Finance and Transport, and Health and Manpower respectively.
Their promotions will also double the number of senior women office-holders from the current two: Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu, 49, and Senior Minister of State for Education and Law Indranee Rajah, 50.
Wednesday also saw Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Communications and Information Sim Ann, 38, moving up to be Minister of State, with the same portfolios.
In addition, backbencher Low Yen Ling, 39, will join the Government on Oct 1 as parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Social and Family Development.
With the four new promotions, six out of the 32 office-holders will be women. This is an increase from five, which resulted from Madam Halimah Yacob leaving the front bench to be Speaker of Parliament in January this year.
The greater female representation was cheered by Dr Khor.
She told The Straits Times: "I am very happy. It bodes well for women in politics. It is an affirmation of the meritocratic principles that Singapore has been built on."
She added: "I hope that more women who are interested to serve and join politics will be encouraged to step forward."