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Singapore Cabinet Reshuffle April 2021

A Singaporean's Guide to The NEW Singapore Cabinet

profileKenneth Fong

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has just announced a major Cabinet reshuffle on 23 Apr 2021, following the news of Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat stepping down as the leader of the fourth-generation People’s Action Party (PAP) leadership team.

Source: CNA

So, what does Singapore’s new Cabinet line-up look like following the reshuffling?

And why should you care about who’s in it?

Here’s a summary in case you missed it.

New Update: New Ministers for 7 Ministries in Cabinet Reshuffle

 Former RoleNew Role
Mr Lawrence WongMinister for EducationMinister for Finance
Mr Chan Chun SingMinister for Trade and IndustryMinister for Education
Mr Ong Ye KungMinister for TransportMinister for Health
(Co-chair COVID-19 Multi-Ministry Task Force)
Mr Gan Kim YongMinister for HealthMinister for Trade and Industry
Mr S IswaranMinister for Communications and InformationMinister for Transport

Continues as Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations in the Ministry of Trade and Industry
Mrs Josephine Teo Minister for ManpowerMinistry of Communications and Information
Dr Tan See Leng-Minister for Manpower

Continues as Second Minister for Trade and Industry

There is no new Deputy Prime Minister appointed.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat will continue as Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies.

Other Changes in Appointment

 New Role(s)Remarks
Mrs Josephine Teo Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation InitiativeTaking over from Dr Vivian Balakrishnan
Minister in-charge of the Cyber Security Agency of SingaporeTaking over from Mr S. Iswaran
Mr Edwin TongDeputy Chairman of the People's AssociationTaking over from Mr Chan Chun Sing
Ms Sim AnnRetains post of Senior Minister of State for National DevelopmentRelinquish appointment as Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information
Senior Minister of State for Foreign AffairsTaking over from Mr Chee Hong Tat
Mr Chee Hong TatJoin the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)Continues as Senior Minister of State for Transport
Dr Koh Poh KoonSenior Minister of State for Manpower,Relinquish position as Deputy-Secretary-General of NTUC
Mr Tan Kiat HowMinister of State for Communications and InformationRelinquish appointment as Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office
Ms Rahayu MahzamParliamentary Secretary for Communications and InformationRetains position as Parliamentary Secretary for Health

What Does the Cabinet Do?

The Cabinet is led by the Prime Minister.

Who is appointed by the President, as the Member of Parliament who commands the confidence of the majority of the Members of Parliament (MPs).

On the Prime Minister’s advice, the President will then appoint other ministers from amongst the MPs to form the Cabinet.

In turn, the Cabinet is collectively responsible to the Parliament.

Meaning our elected Ministers of Parliament act as a check on the Cabinet, as the Cabinet Ministers are required to justify their actions and announced policies.

For those of you going, “Erm… why should I care who is in the Cabinet?!”

“It’s got nothing to do with personal finance what…”


The Cabinet is responsible for ALL government policies and the day-to-day administration of the affairs of state.

Like the various Budgets that were announced to combat COVID-19.

So for example, if the Minister of Finance decides on a whim to pass a policy where our income tax becomes so ridiculously high.

That every single cent you earn will now go to the Government because of… well… reasons (read: that is NOT a legit reason at all).

And somehow, our elected MPs don’t question the motive or rationale.

And simply allow the policy to pass legislation and become an actual law…

Source: SpongeBob SquarePants | Giphy

Yeah… you see where I’m going with this?

So while the Cabinet steers the general direction and control of the Government.

And the MPs provide a check and balance.

It’s extremely important for us to vote carefully when it comes to deciding who are our leaders.

Especially since they’ll be deciding what’s best for the future of Singapore.

And for us to also pay attention to what is going on in Parliament to ensure that our chosen leaders are ACTUALLY making decisions with our interests at heart.

The New Singapore Cabinet

(Note: This portion is updated as of 25 Jul 2020. We will update accordingly again with the new information!)

As announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, there will be a total of 37 Cabinet members in office.

Due to the reshuffle of portfolios, 6 ministries will be headed by new ministers.

And here’s the breakdown:

Cabinet of SingaporeMinisterAppointed AsRemarks
Prime Minister's OfficeLee Hsien LoongPrime MinisterNo change
Heng Swee KeatDeputy Prime MinisterNo change
Teo Chee HeanSenior Minister

Coordinating Minister for National Security
No change
Tharman ShanmugaratnamSenior Minister

Coordinating Minister for Social Policies
No change
Indranee RajahMinister, Prime Minister's OfficeNo change
Ong Ye KungCoordinating Minister for InfrastructureReplaces Khaw Boon Wan (retired)
Maliki OsmanMinister, Prime Minister's OfficePromoted to Full Minister
Tan See LengMinister, Prime Minister's OfficeNewly appointed
Communications and InformationS IswaranMinister for Communications

Information & Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations
No change
Culture, Community, and YouthEdwin TongMinster for Culture, Community, and YouthPromoted to Full Minister

Replaces Grace Fu
DefenceNg Eng HenMinister for DefenceNo change
EducationLawrence WongMinister for EducationReplaces Ong Ye Kung
FinanceHeng Swee KeatMinister for FinanceTakes on additional portfolio of Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies
Foreign AffairsVivian BalakrishnanMinister for Foreign AffairsNo change
HealthGan Kim YongMinister for HealthNo change
Home Affairs & LawK ShanmugamMinister for Home Affairs & LawNo change
ManpowerJosephine TeoMinister for ManpowerNo change
National DevelopmentDesmond LeeMinister for National DevelopmentReplaces Lawrence Wong
Social and Family DevelopmentMasagos ZulkifliMinister for Social and Family DevelopmentReplaces Desmond Lee
Sustainability and EnvironmentGrace Fu Hai YienMinister for Sustainability and EnvironmentReplaces Masagos Zulkifli

Note: ministry also renamed from Environment and Water Resources
Trade and IndustryChan Chun SingMinister for Trade and IndustryNo change
TransportOng Ye KungMinister for TransportReplaces Khaw Boon Wan who has retired
PromotionsZaqy MohamadSenior Minister of State - Manpower
- Defence
Existing office holders
Amy KhorSenior Minister of State
- National Development
- Communications and Development
Chee Hong TatSenior Minister of State
- Foreign Affairs
- Transport
Sim AnnSenior Minister of State
- National Development - Communications and Information
Janil PuthuchearySenior Minister of State
- Health
- Communications and Information
Koh Poh KoonSenior Minister of State
- Health
Low Yen LingMinister of State
- Culture, Community, and Youth
- National Development
Muhammad Faishal IbrahimMinister of State
- Home Affairs
- National Development
Sun XuelingMinister of State
- Education
- Social and Family Development
Alvin TanMinister of State
- Culture, Community, and Youth
- Trade and Industry
New office holders
Desmond TanMinister of State
- Home Affairs
- Sustainability and Environment
Eric ChuaParliament Secretary
Gan Siow HuangMinister of State
- Education
- Manpower
Tan Kiat HowMinister of State
- Prime Minister's Office
- National Development
Rahayu MahzamParliament Secretary
MayorsAlex YamMayor for North West District
Mohd Fahmi AlimanMayor for South West District

Overall, you’ll notice that most of the key positions remain unchanged.

PM Lee mentioned that continuity is crucial in this time of pandemic.

Which is why he has decided to keep the ministers who are directly handling COVID-19, in office.

However, he has also reshuffled portfolios to allow ministers to deepen their knowledge and expertise.

So that they’ll be able to make better decisions for Singapore, and not just be limited to what is best for the seat which they occupy.

Notably, there has also been an injection of new faces in the Cabinet to allow for fresh perspectives and valuable insight to contribute to greater and more robust discussions.

And yes, all of the 37 Cabinet members are fielded by candidates from the People’s Action Party.

What’s Next for Singapore?

While we try to adjust to this new normal that has forever been altered by COVID-19.

I sincerely hope that this Cabinet will make the right decisions to stabilise our economy and help all Singaporeans tide through this crisis as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds.

About Kenneth Fong
I threw all of my money into the longkang once... because I wanted to see my cash flow.
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