Friday, 2 October 2015

Fourth generation of political leadership

PM Lee and Singapore's new Cabinet sworn in

The Republic's new Cabinet was sworn in on Thursday evening (Oct 1) at the Istana, three days after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the lineup. Mr Lee said that in choosing his Cabinet, his objective was to provide the "most effective Government for Singapore", as it enters a new phase of nationhood after half a century of independence.

The ceremony saw 31 office-holders take their oaths before President Tony Tan Keng Yam in his first Cabinet swearing-in since taking office in 2011.

The number includes 20 full or acting Ministers, led by PM Lee who was sworn in first, followed by his Deputy Prime Ministers and Coordinating Ministers.

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PM Lee stresses urgency of leadership renewal

The clock is ticking when it comes to Singapore's leadership renewal and his overriding goal will be to have a new team ready to take over soon after the next elections, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Thursday at the new Cabinet's swearing-in ceremony.

Stressing the urgency of the matter, he said he has "entrusted major responsibilities to younger ministers", while the older ministers will "provide my team with depth and breadth to think more deeply about issues and to plan more systematically for the future".

He also highlighted the importance of "review" for the economy, saying Singapore must create opportunities even as global growth flags and speed up its move towards higher skills, innovation and productivity. "These are urgent tasks, because both global economic conditions and domestic demographic trends will pose us severe challenges."

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10 examples of how our new ministers/office-holders reacted to their appointments
The news of the post-GE2015 cabinet reshuffle has left many ministers and new office-holders in gratefulness, humility and honour, if their Facebook posts in response to the news are anything to go by.

We bring you the ones we could find tonight (September 28) and their new appointments come Children’s Day:

  1. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister of Foreign Affairs
  2. Lawrence Wong, Minister of National Development
  3. Teo Chee Hean, Deputy PM/Coordinating Minister for National Security
  4. Khaw Boon Wan, Transport Minister/Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure
  5. Josephine Teo, Senior Minister of State in the PMO/Foreign Affairs & Transport
  6. Koh Poh Koon, Minister of State/National Development & Industry
  7. Chee Hong Tat, Minister of State/Health & Communications and Information
  8. Baey Yam Keng, Parliamentary Secretary/Ministry of Community,Culture & Youth
  9. Amrin Amin, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs
  10. Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen (still Defence Minister) bonus from overseas
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The winners and winners (no losers) of the 2015 Cabinet reshuffle

After the resounding GE 2015 victory by the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) earlier this month, it appears that everyone is a winner in this Cabinet reshuffle too. This was what Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told the media on Sept. 12:

“We need to form a new Cabinet because we have new faces now, we have one or two retirees, and that’s what I’ll be doing over the next two weeks”.
In short, these are the changes: One new retirement (Lee Yi Shyan), seven new faces (Ong Ye Kung, Ng Chee Meng, Chee Hong Tat, Koh Poh Koon, Janil Puthucheary, Baey Yam Keng and Amrin Amin) and three promotions (Ministers of State Maliki Osman, Sim Ann and Desmond Lee to Senior Ministers of State). Using goals to measure the level of success experienced by the politicians, we present to you the Winners and Losers  Winners of the 2015 Singapore cabinet reshuffle:
  1. Environment Water Resources Minister Vivian, now new Foreign Affairs Minister
  2. Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam, now the Home Affairs Minister
  3. Masagos Zulkifli from Oct helm his own Ministry Environment & Water Resources
  4. Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, who will become Finance Minister 
  5. Minister in PMO, 2nd Minister in MHA/MTI S Iswaran becomes Minister of Trade
  6. Grace Fu the 1st female full minister to helm her own MCCY.
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Support, groom more women for Cabinet posts

I am concerned that we do not have more women and more promotions of women in the new Cabinet ("PM names Cabinet aimed at leadership succession" and "Grace Fu finds place in history with two firsts"; both published on Tuesday)

In this time and age, it cannot be said that there are no available female talents or that these talents cannot be groomed to take on more responsible positions. We have seen women proving their worth in formal education and in the workplace. Many of them are leading major organisations and delivering commendable results.

With the disproportionate number of men in the Cabinet, perhaps there are underlying issues that we have not addressed in our search for female talents.

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AWARE calls for higher female representation in new Cabinet
Dear Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, I write as the Executive Director of AWARE, to offer my congratulations on your recent impressive success at the ballot box. It was a very intense and hard-fought election, and I am sure you must be heartened by the PAP’s strong results.

As you proceed with Cabinet appointments, I urge you to be mindful of gender equality in the selection of ministers. With an electoral slate that was 22 per cent women – all of whom won – you have numerous competent female candidates for leadership roles.

I hope that you will form a Cabinet where at least 22 per cent of the full ministers are women, and that those women are given their own portfolios, where their individual contributions can be more easily distinguished.  22 per cent is a very modest and achievable figure, given that the citizen population of Singapore at large is 50 per cent women.

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FaceBook AWARE Singapore

A good letter: "We need to intensify our search for good female talents and work at grooming them, so that there will be adequate representation of women in the Cabinet... not addressing the gender issue can cause a cascade of negative consequences, including having policy myopia and less-than-representational feedback from the electorate."

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The Prime Minister said of leadership renewal: "It's an urgent task. We don't have the luxury of time." Women's representation in leadership should be an integral part of this, not an afterthought.

Men who are wholly new to Parliament have been appointed as Acting Ministers based on a long-term vision. Why can't women - some of whom have worked very hard at Minister of State levels for many years - be part of that vision too?

Open letter to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister
Women have much to contribute in politics

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Let’s Welcome Our Brave Paratroopers Who Made the Leap (and Those Who Didn’t)

Falling from the sky, they crawled through the mud and dug in. Just like the paratroopers of yore, only this time in the political battlefield. Some didn’t make cabinet, but they might in the future. After all, PM Lee’s says that its time for a revamp of the leadership. For now, let’s welcome our paratroopers who made the leap. Well done, soldiers!

Koh Poh Koon (Minister of State for Trade and Industry and National Development)

Ong Ye Kung (Acting Education Minister)

Ng Chee Meng (Acting Education Minister)

And the rest of the paratroopers who will have to sit out this round in Cabinet:
Melvin Yong

Desmond Choo

Darryl David

Joan Pereira

Sun Xueling
And now the notable mentions:
Tin Pei Ling

Lee Yi Shyan
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PM names 3 coordinating ministers, new Transport Minister in new Cabinet

Singapore’s new Cabinet has been named, and it will have 20 ministers, one more than the last line-up.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong revealed the new slate on Monday, some two weeks after his ruling party won a landslide 70 per cent of the vote in the general election.

Among the changes, the Cabinet will have three, instead of the current one, Coordinating Ministers:

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Urgent need to prepare next team to take over: PM Lee

Announcing the line-up to his new post-GE Cabinet, Mr Lee said, “I will put many younger colleagues into key ministries to broaden their experience. I have also reinforced my team with newly-elected MPs as well as existing backbenchers.”

“These moves will help prepare the next generation of leaders that will work with you,” said Mr Lee, who has indicated that he would like to step down as PM by the time he is 70, which is about seven years from now.

“Half of the office holders will now be below 50 years old,” he said of the new cabinet. “I will do a mid-term review and expect to make further changes. We must have a new team ready to take over, soon after the next general election.”

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Singaporeans, This Is Your New Cabinet

Lee Hsien Loong’s 4th cabinet features 2 new faces and 3 Coordinating Ministers

2 weeks after winning 69.9% of the popular vote in the GE2015, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has announced his fourth cabinet on Monday (28 Sept). What are the changes?
  • 3 Coordinating Ministers
  • 2 New Faces
  • 7 full Minister Reshuffles
Here are PM Lee’s list of Ministers in full:

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In a much anticipated announcement, which comes 2 full weeks since the upset victory by the ruling PAP party at GE2015, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has unveiled his new Cabinet line up, which sees a swop in portfolios for many existing ministers and the injection of relatively new faces into key positions. In total, there will be 20 Cabinet members, an increase from 19.

Among the existing Ministers, those with a change of portfolio include Dr Vivian Balakrishnan (Foreign Affairs), Mr K Shanmugam (Home Affairs), Mr Heng Swee Keat (Finance), Mr Lawrence Wong (National Development) and Mr Masagos Zulkifli (Environment and Water Resources). Ms Grace Fu will head the Culture, Community and Youth Ministry. Mr Chan Chun Sing, who remains a Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, will take over Mr Gan Kim Yong as Party Whip.

Those new to the Cabinet are Acting Ministers Ng Chee Meng (MOE, Schools) and Ong Ye Kung (MOE, Higher Education and Skills. New office holders at Minister of State and Parliamentary Secretary level are Mr Chee Hong Tat, Koh Poh Koon, Dr Janil Puthucheary, Mr Baey Yam Keng and Mr Amrin Amin.

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Former Air Force General quadrupled-promoted to Senior Minister in new Singapore Cabinet

Sorry there was an error in the initial reporting. Ministers of State are on a different progression. Ng Chee Meng has been promoted 4 times instead of thrice. MP to Parliamentary Secretary, then to Senior Parliamentary Secretary then to Minister of State and then finally the Senior Minister of State.

Former Air Force General and first term PAP MP Ng Chee Meng who has zero experience in managing the Transport ministry has been “quadrupled-promoted” to become a Senior Minister of State in Transport.

Although there is no directive, the traditional progression should be from Parliamentary Secretary, then to Senior Parliamentary Secretary then to Minister of State and then finally the Senior Minister of State. However, it seems not the case for first term PAP MP Ng Chee Meng who became Senior Minister right away on Lee Hsien Loong’s order.

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10 things about the new Cabinet line-up announced by PM Lee Hsien Loong

Mr Khaw Boon Wan, who will be Transport Minister, speaking to the media after the press conference.ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the line-up for his new Cabinet on Monday (Sept 28).

More than half of the ministries will have new full ministers in what Mr Lee described as a "decisive move" to prepare the next team to take over from the current one.

Most of the appointments will take effect on Oct 1. Here are 10 things about the new line-up:
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New Cabinet Announced: Newbies, New Roles, and Ah Loong Stays!
Singapore’s new Cabinet line-up has been announced

For the first time, we’ll have 3 “Coordinating Ministers”, Teo Chee Hean, Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Khaw Boon Wan. Khaw will take on the problematic portfolio of Transport Minister, in addition to overseeing infrastructure development. His National Development posts goes to Lawrence Wong.

In another notable swop, former Monetary Authority of Singapore head honcho Heng Swee Keat has been appointed Finance Minister, making way for cabinet newbies Ng Chee Meng and Ong Ye Kung to take over the education portfolio. Teo Chee Hean will continue to oversee national security, while Tharman Shanmugaratnam now takes on a broader role as Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies. The two have retained their posts as Deputy Prime Ministers.

With the haze problem looming, Vivian Balakrishnan will be relieved to relinquish his position as head of Environment and Water Resources. That post has gone to Masagos Zulkifli, who was just recently promoted to a full minister in the Prime Minister’s Office. And yes, PM Lee Hsien Loong remains as PM Lee Hsien Loong.

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Khaw Explains Why He Didn’t Cower from Transport Minister Job

Many friends have advised me against taking on transport. But when asked by PM, I said yes, because of three strong beliefs:

  • First, I believe in raising Singaporeans’ quality of life further in a city where public transport is so convenient, accessible and reliable, much like public utilities, and that Singapore can be car-lite. In many European cities, the young no longer bother to learn to drive. In Tokyo, New York, Sydney and London, it is common for bankers, lawyers, businessmen, students, hawkers, tourists and all, to walk, cycle, and take the trains and buses for most of their journeys. This is not yet our lifestyle here, but it can be. We should make it hip, and do our part to save the environment, eventually reclaiming some road/car park spaces for more greenery and communal spaces for the people.
  • Second, I believe that we can make our train lines more reliable, even though some of the trains and infrastructure are no longer new. We just need to pay extra attention, and invest sufficiently in the engineering and maintenance department. Critically, we must prioritise the engineering and maintenance department over others, as an organisational culture. In hospitals, we put our doctors, nurses and allied professionals ahead of others. In schools, we put priority in our teachers and principals. In public transport, we must put priority in our drivers, engineers, technicians and maintenance crew. They are our most precious. They deserve our “sayang”, as a clear corporate culture. In my first visits to SMRT/SBST, I will chat up the drivers, the engineers, the mechanics and view their rest areas, their workshops.
  • Third, I believe that a united Team Singapore can tackle any problem, daunting as it may seem. That was how we tackled SARS, and the 2011 housing crisis. That is what I will bring to the table. Let’s drop silos. The train reliability problem is not an SMRT problem, or an LTA problem, or an MOT problem; it is everyone’s problem. Let’s tackle it collectively as good engineers will.
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None of the PAP MPs volunteered for the Transport Minister profile, not even Khaw Boon Wan. This reflects very badly on the PAP and it appears the Education Ministry is an "easy" portfolio given that all new MPs are posted there. Well, the education ministry is on auto-pilot, Education Ministers simply just have to leave the civil service to do their work and act on complains.

Whereas the transport ministry is in a terrible shape at the moment, and more structural changes in policies are needed before public transport become stable.

Singapore cannot progress with leaders who do not want to roll up their sleeves and prove their capabilities but only want to do the easy work. It is like having generals who dare not engage in uphill battles, choosing only the sure-wins. I find people in positions of power who pick the roads of least resistance very distasteful. It is not that I am arrogant but I really look down on PAP MPs as none of them have proven their salt. They have no idea what they are doing, I worry for Singaporeans.

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In a 10-page document released on Tuesday to all PAP Members of Parliament, PM Lee Hsien Loong outlined the Rules of Prudence that he feels are important for the MPs to adhere to. He emphasized on the importance of integrity, honesty, incorruptibility within the PAP. Elected PAP MPs were too reminded to be "humble in victory" and "always remember we are servants of the people, not masters".

Lee Hsien Loong added "The people have endorsed what we have done in the previous term, and given us a clear mandate to take Singapore forward beyond SG50," said PM Lee. "Now we must fulfil what we have promised to do in our manifesto."

The Rules of Prudences are:
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Lee Hsien Loong: No conflict of interests allowed

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong today (Sep 29) issues a behaviour guideline, called the Rules of Prudence, urging PAP MPs to adhere to. In one of his recommendations, Lee Hsien Loong specified that MPs should separate their positions as MPs from their private sector positions. This is also subtly imply that PAP MPs are not required to quit their private sector jobs including non-executive directorships.
“Separate your public political position from your private, professional or business interests. You must not exploit your public position as Government MPs, your close contacts with the Ministers, or your access to government departments and civil servants, for your personal interest or the benefit of your employers. Do not use Parliamentary questions as a means to lobby the Government on behalf of your business or clients.”
However, many PAP MPs have one or a few full time private sector positions and are only doing their S$16,000/mth MP work part time, like Dr Chia Shi Lu, who is working as a senior consultant with the Singapore General Hospital.

Unfortunately, a few of them are holding full time jobs that raised speculations of conflicts in interests. One of them is MP Lee Bee Wah, who is the Group Director of Meinhardt Engineering, an engineering consultant company which contracts Yishun HDB construction jobs. The other one is MP Sun Xue Ling, who is the director of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund company Temasek Holdings. MP Gan Thiam Poh is also the Senior Vice-President of DBS bank. It is hard to believe these executives’ private vested interests in their daytime jobs are able to divorce from influencing the political appointments they hold in the evening part-time MP duties.

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Responding to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's latest cabinet line-up, AWARE, Singapore’s leading gender equality advocacy group expressed dismay at the lack of female representation among Cabinet Ministers. AWARE chided the lack of women promotion to full Ministers while new male candidates like Ng Chee Meng and Ong Ye Kung were parachuted into Acting Minister position.

They wrote on their Facebook:
  • "The Prime Minister said of leadership renewal: "It's an urgent task. We don't have the luxury of time." Women's representation in leadership should be an integral part of this, not an afterthought.
  • "Men who are wholly new to Parliament have been appointed as Acting Ministers based on a long-term vision. Why can't women - some of whom have worked very hard at Minister of State levels for many years - be part of that vision too?"
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Full Coverage:
Expose the next prime minister to key ministries
Difficult to find the right person to succeed PM
PM Lee stresses urgency of leadership renewal
Support, groom more women for Cabinet posts
Aim to support women's choices - The Straits Times
Fresh, bold ideas to face complex challenges
'Steady hands and fresh perspectives' in new Cabinet
Work hard to deserve people's trust: President
A Cabinet for today and tomorrow

Panel being set up to chart future of economy
Lee Hsien Loong sworn-in as Singapore Prime Minister
PM Lee outlines plans to chart economy, build on OSC project
Much remains to be done for Singapore: President Tony Tan
Next chapter of Singapore Story will have to be written by both Gov
PM Lee and Singapore's new Cabinet sworn in
Cabinet formed with focus on 3 key areas, leadership renewal: PM Lee
Chinese premier congratulates Singapore's Lee on re-election
Govt must continue to strive to deserve people's trust, President Tony Tan
New Cabinet sworn in
PM Lee's new Cabinet to be sworn in on Oct 1: A look at 6 past Cabinet
The Singapore Government: By the numbers
Cabinet, with 4th generation leaders, to be sworn in today
PM Lee holds last meeting with old Cabinet
Important to support, motivate new ministers
Politics is about service
Coordinating ministers' responsibilities
Singapore Cabinet, with 4th generation leaders, to be sworn in today
PM Lee's last meeting with outgoing Cabinet
Chinese Premier congratulates PM Lee
PM reminds PAP MPs to remain honest and incorruptible
Singapore's new cabinet sworn into office
Channel NewsAsia - PM Lee and Singapore's new Cabinet sworn in
Post-election, opposition has much to do

Cabinet, with 4th generation leaders, to be sworn in today
New Singapore Cabinet cost S$49 million a year excluding bonuses
New Trpt Minister Khaw Boon Wan mock Hongkong Public Trpt to defend Spore

New Cabinet Announced: Newbies, New Roles, and Ah Loong Stays!

This is what happens when PAP MP Alex Yam did not become an office holder
Look at all the weight resting on DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s shoulders
What Khaw BW said about becoming Transport Minister after he “readily said Yes”
PM LHL on Cabinet reshuffle: ‘We must have a new team ready to take over frm me’
Everything you need to know about the latest Cabinet reshuffle in 60 seconds
We think Grace will be the first female Fu minister to helm her own ministry

Leadership Renewal

– AnyhowHantam: Disappointing President TonyTan’s Partisan Remarks@Swear-In

– The Middle Ground: Is it hard to be humble?
– NewNation: Sg apologise to PM Lee: ‘Sorry we gave you too strong mandate
– 10 reactions politicians may have to the Cabinet reshuffle in gifs
– My Singapore News: The unbelieveable talent of politicians
– The Middle Ground: Ms Minister must master all
– Yahoo! SG: New Cabinet: Will Heng Swee Keat be the next PM?
– Six-six News: Chirping Their Support
– Musings From the Lion City: The New Minister of Transport
– My Singapore News: 15 Prime Ministers for Singapore
– SG Hard Truth: Who is Chan Chun Sing’s Mother?

– The Middle Ground: Introducing super ministers
– Mothership: The winners and winners (no losers) of the 2015 Cabinet reshuffle
– Anyhow Hantam: Open Letter to the New Cabinet and MPs.
– Singapore Short Stories: Spore Cabinet Line-Up: Eight things you need to know
– My Singapore News: Hsien Loong’s new cabinet
– The Singapore Beacon: Khaw Boon Wan For Transport Minister?
– Lu Keehong Singapore: Our New Cabinet…
– Marcellie: 3 leadership qualities of a Cabinet Minister
– marvellous…: Or
– New Nation: Sg encourage HenryThia to differentiate himself from Khaw Boon Wan
– Popspoken: Singapore, Meet your new culture Minister: Grace Fu
– Coconuts: Khaw Boon Wan takes demanding role of Trpt Minister in new cabinet

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When will Singapore next PM be unveiled?
ESM Goh: "Ministers are not paid enough"
Top 20 Highest Paid Government Leaders

Govt debunks falsehoods on ministerial salaries
Old Mahathir could be frosty with Singapore: New Mahathir?
GST hike: Damned if they do
In perverse fashion, the Malaysians might have done the PAP a favour
Goh Chok Tong & Tan Cheng Bock ‘do a Mahathir’?
A Political Elite Class in Singapore?
The Chan Chun Sing Puzzles
Dawn of a new era, in our own backyard!
The protege toppled by his mentor
3 veteran ministers step down for 4G leaders
Singapore 2018 Cabinet Reshuffle
ESM Goh wants 4th-Gen PM to be picked this year
Next Prime Minister “likely” to be already in the cabinet
Fourth generation of political leadership
Fourth generation political leadership taking shape
PM Lee in Focus
PM Lee the Latest “Victim” of Donald Trump Handshake
The politics of power dressing: Ho Ching
PM Lee Hsien Loong at G20 Leaders' Summit in Hamburg
Singapore must ‘steal other people’s lunches’
Singapore PM draws laughs in US speech
PM Lee on BBC's HARDTalk
A Post-LKY Singapore?
Lee & Lee - The job has changed
Order of Succession And Baton Passing
PM Lee In The Limelight
ESM Goh Chok Tong in the limelight
Former PM Lee Kuan Yew in the limelight
From Lim Lui Teo to Yaacob