Finance Minister of Singapore Heng Swee Keat, who assumes the new role of Deputy Prime Minister today, is set to take more political responsibilities in run up to General Elections next year, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong while talking to reporters at the end of his five-day visit to China.
Prime Minister Lee said these included “setting the agenda, pitching the Government’s stance and policies to the public, building the younger team and being ready in all respects to take over from me and my older ministers as soon as possible.”
He also said that Heng will also take a leading role in campaigning during the next General Election.
The Prime Minister’s Office last week announced changes to the Cabinet, with Heng being promoted to the post of Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) from May 1.
The two incumbent DPMs Teo Chee Hean and Tharman Shanmugaratnam will relinquish their posts but remain in the Cabinet as senior ministers.
When reporters asked about the possible reasons for appointing one DPM, Lee said that the latest round of Cabinet changes is a “natural progression from the party leadership adjustments last year.”
“Sometimes we’ve had two, sometimes we’ve had one. Most of the time, we’ve had two. Right now, we have one. But it’s not the final position and we will make further adjustments as we go along,” said Lee.