Desmond Lee, Low Yen Ling join front bench

SINGAPORE - Thr son of a former Cabinet minister and a businesswoman with a keen interest in family issues will move from the backbench to become office-holders.

Jurong GRC MP Desmond Lee, who entered the political arena only in the last general election, has been appointed Minister of State for National Development.

Chua Chu Kang GRC MP Low Yen Ling, who also joined the People's Action Party at the last GE, will become Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development.

Both were described as "outstanding backbenchers" by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday.

Mr Lee, 37, is following in the footsteps of his father Lee Yock Suan, whose first appointment was as Minister of State for National Development in 1983 when he was a year younger.

The elder Mr Lee retired from politics in 2006, after helming several ministries, including Finance, Labour and Education.

His son was a lawyer in the civil service before entering politics, when he then became associate director of Temasek Holdings' subsidiary Temasek International.

Heritage, conservation and "keeping places green" are areas he wants to pay attention to, he told The Straits Timeson Wednesday.

PM Lee said of his appointment: "Looking at his experience and what he's able to do, I think that's a right place to peg it."

Meanwhile, Ms Low, 39, is the third chief executive officer from networking group Business China to become an office-holder.Her appointment was due to her good contacts and her interest in MSF issues, PM Lee said.

She has raised issues such as early childhood education, families and supporting those at risk in Parliament previously. "I hope in some ways, being a mother or parent, wife and daughter will bring me closer to the issues that we need to tackle," she said.

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