Singapore’s new cabinet sworn in

Singapore, Oct 2 (IANS) Singapore’s new cabinet was sworn into office late Thursday at the Istana, after Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the new cabinet on Monday.

In a speech at the swearing-in ceremony, Lee said his first objective in forming this cabinet is to provide the most effective government for Singapore.

“We are entering a new phase of our nationhood. We face more complex challenges and new issues that cut across multiple domains. Therefore, I have appointed Coordinating Ministers to oversee work in three major areas,” he said, adding that the new cabinet will focus on areas including national security, economic and social policies as well as infrastructure.

The other major goal in forming this cabinet, as Lee pointed out, is to prepare the next team to take over from the current leadership, Xinhua news agency reported.

“My responsibility…is not just to govern Singapore well today, but also to prepare the next team to take over from us. This will secure Singapore’s future beyond this generation, and take the country another step towards SG100.”

To prepare the fourth-generation leadership for the near future, Lee has re-shuffled the new cabinet, with more younger ministers being promoted.

Another key change to the structure of the new cabinet is the introduction of three coordinating ministers, each of whom will oversee a handful of related ministries so that the government can take “bold step” in putting younger leaders.

“My overriding goal is to have a new team ready to take over soon after the next elections, to work with you, for you and for Singapore,” Lee noted.

The ceremony saw 31 office-holders take their oaths before President Tony Tan Keng Yam, including 20 full or acting ministers. The oath-taking ceremony was witnessed by about 700 representatives from all walks of life.

Singapore’s 13th parliament will convene in January next year.

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