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Gan Kim Yong to become deputy prime minister in Cabinet reshuffle

Gan Kim Yong to become deputy prime minister in Cabinet reshuffle
Gan kim Yong, DPM Lawrence Wong and DPM Heng Swee Keat at the press conference on Monday.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong will be promoted to deputy prime minister (DPM) after a Cabinet reshuffle on Monday (May 13). 

Gan, who has been the Minister for Trade and Industry since 2021, will serve alongside Heng Swee Keat, who was appointed DPM in 2019. 

He will be Acting Prime Minister in the absence of the Prime Minister, reported CNA. 

The 65-year-old will also take over as chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore from DPM Lawrence Wong and assume responsibility for the Strategy Group within the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). 

Gan was also the Minister of Health from 2011 to 2021. 

He co-chaired the Covid-19 multi-Ministry taskforce with DPM Wong and current health minister Ong Ye Kung, where he directed and coordinated Singapore’s response to the pandemic. 

On Monday, PM Lee Hsien Loong announced his resignation in a letter to President Tharman Shanmugaratnam. 

In his letter, he said that he wanted to hand over the reins by his 70th birthday, but his plans were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

On April 14, 2022, PAP Members of Parliament met and unanimously endorsed DPM Wong as PM Lee's successor. 

"Now, two years on, he is ready to lead Singapore," wrote the outgoing prime minister. 

President Tharman accepted PM Lee's resignation and thanked him for his selfless service towards the nation. 

"Your tenure as Prime Minister was marked by crises which shook the world, in particular the 2008 global financial crisis and then the Covid-19 pandemic. 

"You gave our people the confidence to see through each crisis, while staying united. You steered a nation to emerge not just intact but stronger and resilient."

In his letter, President Tharman also noted PM Lee's efforts in mentoring the next generation of leaders to ensure a "smooth and orderly" transition of political leadership. 

On Monday, the president also sent a letter to DPM Wong, inviting him to select his Cabinet members. 

DPM Wong, who will be sworn in on Wednesday, responded to the letter by accepting his appointment as Prime Minister.

He added that he would retain his Finance portfolio on top of his responsibilities as Prime Minister. 

Other appointments 

During a press conference held at the Istana on Monday, Wong, 51, announced other promotions and appointments, reported The Straits Times.

He said: "Continuity and stability are key considerations, especially as we are approaching the end of this term of government." 

Desmond Tan and Low Yen Ling will be promoted to Senior Ministers of State in their existing portfolios —  under the PMO for Tan, and under Culture, Community and Youth as well as Trade and Industry for Low. 

Senior Parliamentary Secretary Rahayu Mahzam will now be Minister of State for Health as well as Communications and Information.

Two backbenchers have been brought into the Cabinet.

Bukit Batok MP Murali Pillai will be Minister of State for Law and Transport, while Jurong GRC MP Shawn Huang will be appointed senior parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance.

ALSO READ: PM Lee Hsien Loong to be Senior Minister, Cabinet reshuffle in May: DPM Wong

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